Curriculum & Instruction

  • Overview

    The Balsz District Curriculum & Instruction Department is here to serve all stakeholders in order to provide students with the highest quality education. We strive to accomplish our district mission to nurture the unique qualities of all learners in order to empower them to become globally competitive and innovative thinkers who contribute to their community’s sustainability. This is accomplished by enhancing student achievement and success in college, career, and life. The Balsz District Curriculum & Instruction Department is committed to student achievement in the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards as established by the Arizona Department of Education.


    The Department understands the importance of instructional best practices and the impact of tier 1 instruction on the academic success of students. Instructional coaches are located within each school as well as at the district office to be deployed to each school as needed. The District Instructional Coaching Team consists of educators with a large range of instructional expertise.

    Coaches’ Mission Statement:

     As content experts, Balsz Instructional Coaches, first and foremost, build teacher capacity to positively impact student learning by focusing on data and the strengths of an individual teacher, team, and a school site to promote growth.

    Response to Intervention

    The Department is committed to serving all student needs, including those who require interventions to move them towards grade level standards and goals. Each school has a site Reading Interventionist and Math Interventionist. These Interventionists are highly qualified experts in their field who use research-based practices and curricula to differentiate the instructional support for students needing a boost in reading or math.

    Mentor Program

    The Department is proud to provide a high-quality induction program to all new teachers in Balsz District. The District Mentor and Induction Program is based on the Arizona Beginning Teacher Induction Standards and the New Teacher Center Mentor Standards. This comprehensive systems approach is research-based with cycles of continuous improvement through the work of our annual committee and district Arizona New Teacher Induction Network Team. The Balsz District provides each new teacher with a Mentor or Peer Support Teacher to increase teacher retention, improve effective teacher practice, and improve student learning.

    National Board Certification

    The Balsz District Curriculum & Instruction Department is honored to support teachers on their journey to continued learning and accomplishment. The Department offers annual informational meetings along with a 6-week Pre-Candidacy course for any teacher interested in learning more about the benefits of National Board Certification. The Department also facilitates monthly cohort meetings where teachers in the process of acquiring their National Board Certification have time to collaborate with peers, work one-on-one with a Candidate Support Provider or have quiet work time. The Balsz District joins in the celebration with each new teacher who accomplishes their certificate at the annual Celebration of Accomplished Teaching.


    • Education Services
    • Professional Development
    • Curriculum
    • New Teacher Induction
    • Mentoring and Peer Support Program
    • Teacher Evaluation
    • Reading and Math Intervention
    • Professional Growth Opportunities
    • Universal Screeners and Diagnostic Assessments 
    • National Board Certification


  • District

    • Dr. Michael Halpert
      Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services
    • Safia Zainulabuddin
      Director of Curriculum & Instruction
    • Tanya Reyes
      District Mentor
    • Maricela Campos
      District Assessment Specialist
    • Stacy Swiader
      ELL Specialist
    • Dr. Cory Peacock
      Data Instructional Coach

    Instructional Coaches

    • Jennifer Rencher
    • Terrie Weissman
    • Rachel DeGrassi
    • Domenica Moreno
    • Ashley Carranza
    • Jennifer Romley
    • Rae Mask - Technology
    • Erin Green - Special Education


    • Rueben Huerta, Brunson-Lee, Reading
    • Karen Netzer, Brunson-Lee, Reading
    • Philip Adiyia, Brunson-Lee, Math
    • Sheri Tjaarda, Crockett, Reading
    • Dr. Cindy Gil, Crockett, Math
    • Paige Stumpf, Griffith, Reading
    • Marian Wusstig, Griffith, Math
    • Isaac Burke, Tillman, Reading
    • Sharon Humphrey, Tillman, Math