Dorothy Stinson Elementary School teacher Wanda Evans poses with a $5,000 grant check she won from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

Tucson-area TCC wireless stores will be giving away free backpacks full of pencils, paper, pencil boxes, folders, glue and more on Sunday, July 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. The authorized Verizon retailer will give away one backpack per kid, who needs to be present when claiming their bag. Find out which TCC location is closest to you at

Paulo Freire school hires new principal

Tamela Thomas will serve as Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown’s new principal for the 2019-2020 school year.

Thomas comes to Paulo Freire, a public charter middle school, from Tucson High Magnet School, where she served as an assistant principal. She earned her master’s in education at the University of Arizona and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education policy there.

“Tamela is a strong advocate for hands-on STEM learning, culturally responsive instruction, and teacher professional growth, all of which make her the ideal choice to lead our downtown middle school,” Jonathan Martin, board chair of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, said in a news release.

Help stuff buses full of school supplies

The Tucson Educational Enrichment Foundation will host its annual Stuff the Bus event at four local Walmarts on Saturday, July 20, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you would like to participate, bring school supplies donations to one of the following Walmart locations:

  • Walmart Supercenter on South Houghton and East Golf Links roads.
  • Walmart Supercenter at El Con Mall on East Broadway near North Country Club Road.
  • Walmart Supercenter on North Kolb Road and East Speedway.
  • Walmart Supercenter at Tucson Marketplace near South Park Avenue and Interstate-10.

Safford teacher wins $5K to launch program

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Wanda Evans, a teacher at Dorothy Stinson Elementary School, was awarded $5,000 by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to launch a program targeting childhood obesity.

Evans plans to use the money to purchase athletic and playground equipment and to replace water fountains with water filling stations near the playground.

Evans said she wants to invest the money in the playground because Dorothy Stinson students tend to sit around at recess due to a lack of play equipment.

“There is a steady stream of kids coming to my class to ask if they can borrow jump ropes, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, footballs, etc.,” Evans wrote in her grant proposal. “I would be so happy to buy equipment for every teacher on our campus, that students would have full access to.”

Contact reporter Brenna Bailey at or 520-573-4279. On Twitter: @brennanonymous.  


Brenna explains how national, state and local K-12 education issues impact Tucson schools. She's a proud product of Arizona public schools. Send her news tips, story ideas and existential life questions at