New Director Brings New Vision to Heritage and Liberty

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Award Wining Superintendent Now to Lead Six Charter Schools Statewide

Superintendent Raena Janes

The success of La Paloma Academy has never been a surprise to its founder Raena Janes. Strong vision and leadership coupled with an incredible team and successful curriculum for every child. Now Janes is expanding her educational outreach across Arizona.

Tucson based La Paloma Academy has become one of Arizona's largest charter school systems since opening in 2002. Its two campuses have consistently had a waiting list every year. Now, Janes has finalized the take over of Glendale's Heritage Elementary School (3 campuses) and Phoenix's Liberty Traditional Charter School.

Both charter schools were formerly owned by Aaron Robinson. Robinson first opened Liberty in 1999, followed by Heritage in 2003. When the opportunity to be a part of these school systems became available, Janes knew this was an exciting opportunity.

"As an educator, the chance to serve and educate hundreds of new students could not be missed. I am eager to bring new programs and materials to the schools and help guide the students in reaching their maximum academic potential. I look forward to working with new colleagues, students, and parents and moving with Heritage and Liberty into the next decade," said Janes.

To Janes, one appealing characteristics was the two schools' bussing programs. Both schools offer free bus transportation to their student bodies, with pick-ups and drop-offs on established neighborhood bus routes.

Though Janes will now be an active part of the greater Phoenix community, she still remains director of La Paloma Academy in Tucson. She will divide her time between both cities.

Janes has been a supporter of charter schools since the beginning of her career in education. Charter schools encompass a range of curricula and styles, and are very well supported across the country. In fact, President Barack Obama's policy on education is focused on nurturing the success of charter schools. He plans to double funding for the Federal Charter School Program to support the creation of more successful charter schools and prioritize the most successful charter schools so they can expand to serve more students.

Janes will oversee Heritage Elementary School's two campuses in Glendale in addition to a smaller third campus in Williams, Arizona, and Liberty Traditional Charter School's campus in Phoenix.

Both schools have similar curriculum centered around basic values of character called the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship), the same curriculum Janes has utilized at La Paloma Academy since its inception.

Heritage Elementary School is an intimate place of learning, where teachers, parents and students act as a team. Students are united by wearing similar uniforms. The latest computer technology is blended into everyday lesson plans and projects with computers accessible in every classroom.

The Heritage Elementary School East Campus serves students in first through eighth grades. The school is situated on a 12 acre lot at 6805 N. 125th Ave. in Glendale. The 78,000 square foot East Campus offers abundant facilities - 43 classrooms, a full gymnasium, performance stage, full cafeteria, football field, computer lab, library/media center, and a science greenhouse, among others.

The Heritage West Campus is located on a 3-acre property at 13419 W. Ocotillo Road in Glendale, Arizona. The 19,000 square foot building exclusively serves preschool and kindergarten students. The school offers comfortable classrooms, a playground, a multi-purpose room, cooking kitchen and a passionate staff dedicated to younger learning.

After an expansion in 2007, Heritage Elementary School determined the East Campus would solely serve first through eighth graders, and transformed the West Campus into an early learning educational facility.

Liberty Elementary School serves kindergarten through sixth grade at 4027 N. 45th Avenue in Phoenix, while the seventh and eighth grade building is just down the street at 4901 W. Indian School Road. Collectively, these two buildings are known as the Liberty Campus.

About Heritage Elementary School
Heritage Elementary School, founded in 2002, is one of Glendale's fastest-growing charter school systems. The tuition-free, character-based charter school is home to three campuses, two in Glendale, one in Williams, and serves students in preschool through eighth grade. Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, Raena Janes will serve as Director and Superintendent of Heritage Elementary School. Visit Heritage Elementary School online at http://www.HESGlendale.org.

About Liberty Traditional Charter School
Liberty Traditional Charter School, founded in 1999, is a leading charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a tuition-free, not-for-profit charter school focused on character education. The school serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, Raena Janes will serve as Director and Superintendent of Liberty Traditional Charter School. Visit Liberty Traditional Charter School online at http://www.LTSPhoenix.org.

About Raena Janes
Raena Janes is also the founder and director of Tucson, Arizona's La Paloma Academy, the largest charter school system in Tucson. Janes focuses her efforts on education with individualized instruction, incorporation of extra curricular activities and emphasis on the importance of family and community values. Janes was named as one of Tucson's 40 Under in 2006 and Tucson's Mentor of the Year in 2008. Visit La Paloma Academy's website at http://www.LPATucson.org.

CONTACT:
Susanna Minegishi
McFadden/Gavender
O: (520) 882-6262
M: (520) 444-9223

Karen Gavender
McFadden/Gavender
O: (520) 882-6262
M: (520) 603-4200

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Susanna Minegishi
McFadden/Gavender
520-882-6262
Email >

Karen Gavender
McFadden/Gavender
520-882-6262
Email >