School/Class News




 

 

Bioscience Robotics Team Competes in the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology World Championships

The Dragon Robotics team competed in the Carver Division of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) World Championships in Houston, April 17-20, and recorded a 5-5-0 record, ranking 33rdplace of 68 teams. 

“Thanks to tax credit donations and the Phoenix Union High School board, we are able to take 23 students to our second-ever visit to World Championships,” Coach Po-pé Enrique said.


Betty Fairfax Band Teams up with Elementary School Districts

Band students from the Laveen and Roosevelt Elementary districts have practiced with band students at Betty Fairfax this month. They will be performing together for a concert on April 25 at Fairfax.

Cesar Chavez band teacher Antonio Lozano, worked with these same elementary band students to give a performance, April 5 at the Laveen Festival at the Laveen District Office complex. 

“My son is a band student in the Laveen District, so I've had the fortune to witness how powerful and positive this collaboration is for students and parents. Many parents, including me, are very excited about the concert on April 25,” Arellano Aurora, a Laveen parent and Metro Tech teacher said.


Betty Fairfax Wins in Phoenix Union Track and Field Championship

The Phoenix Union Track and Field Championship was held April 16 and 18, and Betty Fairfax won the Girls title, with 152 points, topping Cesar Chavez, which scored 120 points. 

Makayla Dickerson won the 100, 200, and 400-meter runs and the high jump. D'ionna McBride won the 800 meter run and led her team to victory in the 4x100, 4x400 and the 4x800 relays.


The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education Scholarship Open Golf Tournament Will be on May 3

The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education Scholarship Open Golf Tournament has sold out for six consecutive years. The 2019 event will be held Friday, May 3 at the Grand Canyon University Golf Course. The tournament, the second largest fundraiser of the year, raises funds for post-secondary scholarships for Phoenix Union students. To sponsor, play or donate an item for a raffle, contact the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education at (480) 289-5761, or info@foundation4education.org.


Phoenix Union Will Approve New Student Handbook for the 2019-20 School Year

A brand new Phoenix Union Handbook for Students and Families will be approved and in use for the 2019-20 school year. A committee has been working on this project, focus groups have been held, and the Governing Board has had a study session on the new handbook, which replaces the Student Procedures Handbook. This colorful, informative book is not just discipline procedures and policy. It introduces parents to programs and services, such as ELL, ESS, Food and Nutrition, Student and Family Services, School Safety and Transportation. It also presents a District-wide dress code, attendance, student expectations and restorative practices at school and at home. 

The Handbook Committee invites our stakeholders- staff, students, parents and community to three forums, Monday, April 29 at three regional locations-Central, Alhambra and Betty Fairfax from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to share the changes and gather input.  


A Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair Will be on April 27

A Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair is Saturday, April 27 from 8-12 p.m. at Linda Abril Educational Academy, 3000 N. 19th Avenue. The District is hiring secondary teachers in all subject areas, with an emphasis on applicants certified in the following areas: Mathematics, Special Education, Science and ELL English.

Applicants must complete an online application prior to interviewing at the career fair at www.phoenixunion.org/jobs. Applicants may schedule a screening interview prior to the career fair by calling Audrey Damonat 764-1504 or Cynthia Vargas at 764-1515 Applicants will also have the opportunity that day to complete an initial screening interview and then interview with campus principals for positions for the 2019-20 school year.

Phoenix Union employs over 1600 teachers and has among the highest salaries in Arizona. The District is introducing a new salary schedule in 2019-20 in which first-year teachers earn a base of $46,500. Experienced teachers will be credited with up to 12 years experience on the salary schedule (starting at $55,854 on Step K.) For more information, contact Mary Lou Chavez at mchavez1@phoenixunion.org.


Trevor Browne Principal Moving to District Office

Principal Tony Camp is moving to the District office for a director-level position for the 2019-20 school year. Selection for a new Trevor Browne principal will include a Principal Community Forum, Wednesday, April 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the principal finalists. Parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend, ask questions and meet the candidates. The attendees will also have the opportunity to submit their comments to the superintendent before a decision is made. The forum will take place in the school’s community room. 


Maryvale Revitalization Corporation Developing Program for Youth in the Maryvale Community

The Maryvale Revitalization Corporation (MRC) is developing a development program for youth in the Maryvale community. The launch is a HERO U Convention for current 8th and 9th grade students from Cartwright School District and freshmen from Maryvale and Trevor Browne High Schools, April 18 at the Grand Canyon University Arena. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Opportunity Zone, where they will have access to community partners and youth organizations. The program, supported with grants from local businesses includes the Hero U rally, educational training opportunities and summer employment and service projects. The MRC and its school partners will promote goal setting, college and career readiness for students and follow student progress so that other communities can learn from the experiences of this collaboration. Each year, it intends to add an additional high school grade.


The Academies at South Mountain High School Seeks Nurse Health Care Teachers

The Academies at South Mountain High School is seeking Nurse Health Care Teachers for its Nursing Assistant classes, within the Science & Technology Academy. These teachers prepare students for employment in the health care industry as Certified Nursing Assistants. This Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. For more information, contact Cynthia Vargas at 602-764-1515.


Phoenix Union Students Attend National Marshall Brennan Moot Court Competition

Seven Phoenix Union students travelled to Washington, D.C. last weekend to compete at the National Marshall Brennan Moot Court Competition at the American University College of Law. The Academies at South Mountain’ Jude Bauer, after a national semifinalist finish last year, made it to the finals this year. At least one South Mountain student has qualified for the semi-finals 11 consecutive years that the school has competed. Bauer became the first Arizona high school student to make back-to-back trips to the National Semi-finals. He became the fifth South Mountain student to become a National Finalist. Academies at South’s Candelaria Crum also competed.

The Marshall Brennan Moot Court Program is a national program designed to promote Constitutional Literacy in high schools, particular urban high schools, through the use of Law Students in high school classrooms. In the Phoenix area, Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law partners with high school students. Students prepare lesson plans and teach various Supreme Court precedents. They also help teach the students about how oral arguments work before helping the students prepare to participate in a Moot Court competition.

The Moot Court Competition consists of two phases. The first is a local competition held at ASU’s College of Law. This year’s competition was last November and included other PUHSD schools and a couple out-of-district schools. During this competition, approximately 50 students competed to qualify for one of eight spots in the Marshall Brennan National Moot Court Competition.    

Not even a fight delay and spending the night in a Chicago airport on the way home could diminish the experience these students had.

“The rewards the students receive are far greater than plaques or pictures. For many of the students, a trip to Washington, D.C. is the first time they have visited our nation’s capital. In fact, it has been the first plane trip for many of the South Mountain students. While there, they have had the opportunity to see many of the National Monuments, the Smithsonian Institute, the White House, the Capital and the highlight for most, the United States Supreme Court,” Social and Public Policy program manager Matthew Smith said.


Metro Tech Weightlifting Club Hosts First Annual "Squats for Tots"

Metro Tech’s Weightlifting club held its first annual Squats for Tots, March 28. Over 40 athletes participated in this “FUNdriaser” for Metro Tech Weightlifting and Little Knights Preschool. Athletes obtained sponsors that will make 25-cent donations for each squat completed in one minute. Nine-hundred squats were completed at various weights--Body weight (air squats), 45, 95, and 135-pounds. Over 20,000 pounds were lifted during this event and $500 was raised.


Maryvale Early Childhood Education Program Holds First Community Literacy Fest

Maryvale Early Childhood Education program had its first Maryvale Community Literacy Fest at the local Fry's Grocery Store on 67th Avenue and Indian School. The Early Childhood Education (ECE) students were able to pass out free books to emphasize the importance of families reading to their children.

To further the literacy movement, Southwest Human Development  gave Maryvale's ECE class a lending library that students will watch over in its new Fry's café home. First Things First, ASU Division, and PBS Regional Coordinator Lisa Cobb brought literacy resources to share with the community, and two PBS character costumes that Maryvale ECE students wore while they handed out free books to the community, and posed for pictures with the kids.

“It was a huge hit and 100 families were able to enjoy new books thanks to Maryvale High School's ECE, and Educators Rising club, said ECE teacher and club advisor Liz Gonzalez.


Maryvale Student Signs Letter of Intent from the Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Nereida Cabanillas, a member of the Lady Panther Basketball team, signed a letter of intent to play and attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), an NAIA Division II school in Texas. She wants to be an architect. Her weighted grade point average is 3.78.                                  


Franklin Police and Fire Held Annual Arizona High School Fire Science Muster

The school doesn’t have any interscholastic sports, so Franklin Police and Fire’s State Championship is the annual Arizona High School Fire Science Muster, which was held last Saturday at Glendale Community College. And the state’s only public safety high school did not disappoint, winning both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. It is the fourth consecutive title for the boys, and the girls won for the sixth time in seven years. There were 15 schools in the competition, and Franklin brought seven teams.

The competition tests the students’ basic firefighting skills in seven events. The students are timed in donning turnouts (protective fire clothes and gear)  putting on the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), securing a water source from a fire hydrant, advancing a fire attack hose line, performing a rescue drag of a 165-pound mannequin, the fire equipment carry, and the forcible entry, where competitors simulate breaking through a  (prop) door to make entry into a structure.     

 


Franklin Student Receives Full-Ride Scholarship to Northern Arizona University

Franklin's Carlos Yepiz thought he was in trouble yesterday, especially when his mother was called to campus. Instead, a party was thrown in his honor by The Phoenix Suns, Northern Arizona University and the Helios Foundation, who presented him with a full-ride scholarship to NAU, worth $40,000. Yepis had been accepted to NAU, but missed the Lumberjack Scholarship because of one C in a math class, according to his counselor, Dr. Tom Nerini. Despite his 3.74 grade point average, he wasn't going to be able to afford a four-year university. But Phoenix Suns Charities connected with the Be a Leader Foundation to find a worthy recipient for this annual gift. Yepiz had been working with that organization since he was a 7th grader at Sunland School in the Roosevelt District. The Suns CEO, NAU President, Helios executives, Be a Leader, the Suns Charities Board and of course the Sun Gorilla and Louie the LumberJack were there for the party, while the entire student body and staff cheered.

Yepiz was a member of the state champion Fire Muster team at Franklin, in student government, and when his JROTC unit at Metro Tech was discontinued, he formed a Franklin Color Guard to make sure the school flags were raised each morning. Yepiz wants to study biology and psychology and perhaps eventually go to medical school to become a neurosurgeon. 

With his proud mother beside him, he told the throng of cameras that this opportunity would mean, "financially, he will be able to provide a better future for his kids and be a better father."

With the scholarship, Franklin has elapsed last year's record amount of scholarship dollars offered to its seniors. They are at $4.9 million with more to come. In fact, Yepiz' classmate, Sandra Tzunum, has over $600,000 in scholarship offers. She has decided to join Carlos Yepiz at NAU.


Carl Hayden Principal Moving to Roosevelt Elementary School District

Principal Dr. Dani Portillo-Verduzco is leaving Carl Hayden at the end of the school year to take a position at the Roosevelt Elementary School District. Selection for a new Carl Hayden principal will include a Principal Community Forum, Thursday, April 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the finalists.  Parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend, ask questions and meet the candidates. The attendees will also have the opportunity to submit their comments to the Superintendent before a decision is made. The forum will take place in the school’s library.


Cesar Chavez’ Student Newspaper Staff Attend Arizona Latino Media Association Workshop

Nine staff members of Cesar Chavez’ student newspaper, The Champion Chariot, were invited to attend the Arizona Latino Media Association (ALMA) Workshop at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. These students met and interviewed politicians, authors, and Pulitzer Prize winners. The students also had a chance to sit in some professional development sessions studying journalism and broadcasting. 

One of the newspaper students, Esmeralda Valenzuela, was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2019 Summer Journalism Institute sponsored by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, June 2-14.   

“We are so excited that she was selected to participate because it is extremely competitive to get into. Students across the country apply for this and Esmeralda will be representing the Phoenix Union High School District and be going through the college experience with this institute,” newspaper advisor Hara Fineberg said.  


Deputy Mayor of Grenoble Visits Central High School

The Deputy Mayor of Grenoble, France, Fabien Malbet, visited Central High School, April 5. Grenoble is a Sister City to Phoenix, and Central partners with a sister school, Lycee Andre Argouges,there. Malbet met principal Leticia Avalos, Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson, and toured the campus.  Ironically, several Central students were in Grenoble at the same time as part of an International Studies magnet trip. Malbet also visited next door at the Phoenix Coding Academy, and saw the maker space, where the robotics team was preparing for competition.


Betty Fairfax Registration Office Will Open Priority Registration for Incoming Freshmen on April 13

The Betty Fairfax Registration office will be open for Priority Registration for incoming freshmen, Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to noon and April 18 from 4-7 p.m. and This is an opportunity for parent and students to complete the enrollment process. For questions regarding high school enrollment, call 602 764-9000.


Betty Fairfax Softball and Baseball Teams Honored at Arizona Diamondbacks Game

The Betty Fairfax Softball and Baseball teams were honored at the Arizona Diamondbacks game on April 11. Each team received grants from Chase Bank and the Diamondbacks for needed equipment. The teams took a tour of the field and were brought out to home plate for a pre-game presentation. Chase and the Diamondbacks gave $7,000; $3,500 for softball and $3,500 for baseball, for each school in the district that has those sports.


Betty Fairfax Selects New Head Football Coach

Brandon Johnson has been selected at the head football for the Stampede. He coached at Gilbert High the past four years and was a coaching intern with the Oakland Raiders as a Bill Walsh Fellow, in 2018. He played collegiately at the University of Louisville, and had a seven-year NFL career, with the Cardinals, Bengals and Steelers. 

“Coach Johnson was identified as the ‘right fit’ for our community. We are excited about his vision and goals. Coach Johnson believes player accountability and integrity is the platform for team success. He is committed to creating a life plan with each team member; ultimately, guiding them to become better men and preparing them for life. Johnson will continue the Fairfax tradition of empowering student-athletes to achieve in education, athletics, career, and life,” Fairfax Athletic Director Kevin Belcher said.

The Stampede won the Class 5A Metro Region last year, and compiled a 7-3 record, but missed the playoffs because of power point rankings.


Betty Fairfax Principal Moving to District Office

Principal Phillip Wooley is moving to the District office for a director-level position for the 2019-20 school year. Selection for a new Betty Fairfax principal will include a Principal Community Forum, Monday, April 22 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the principal finalists. Parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend, ask questions and meet the candidates.  The attendees will also have the opportunity to submit their comments to the superintendent before a decision is made. The forum will be held in the community room in the 400 building.


Alhambra Principal Moving to District Office

Principal Karen Cardenas is moving to the District office for a director-level position for the 2019-20 school year. Selection for a new Alhambra principal will include a Principal Community Forum, Tuesday, April 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with the finalists. Parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend, ask questions and meet the candidates. The attendees will also have the opportunity to submit their comments to the Superintendent before a decision is made. The forum will be held in the auditorium.


Alhambra Junior Finds Interest in 3D Design Modeling and Printing Technology

Alhambra junior Vinh Chung became interested in 3D design modelling and printing technology in Clayton Jones’ Software Development II class. As a term project, Chung decided to craft a re-creation of a star destroyer spacecraft featured in the “Star Wars” movies. He managed to do this entire project with free, open source software and built it piece-by-piece over many sessions. He had to learn both new modelling software, modelling techniques, and 3D hardware printing techniques to accomplish the final product. 

“Vinh is an exceptional kid and has the focus of a watchmaker and has spent a significant amount of his attention and energy in learning the software tools to accomplish his goals. We want to recognize him for his persistent hard work and research,” Jones said.


Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA Team Earns Chapter of Excellence Award

The Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA team earned the Chapter of Excellence Award, Silver Level, presented at the opening ceremonies of the State SkillsUSA Competition, April 12 at the Phoenix Convention Center. This is the first time in many years Alhambra High School has moved on to the state competitions in Culinary Arts. Students competed in a variety of competitions, including demonstrating their culinary skill and culinary knowledge, as well as participation in community service and employment-ready skills such as job interviews, prepared speech, and technical math. Last year only eight out of the over 1,100 high schools in the State of Arizona earned such distinction, according to Culinary Arts teacher Anette Fields.


Phoenix Union Athletic Director Selected as 6A Conference Representative to the AIA Executive Board

Phoenix Union Athletic Director Dr. Zack Munoz was selected as the 6A Conference Representative to the AIA Executive Board. This is a prestigious honor and important role to play among AIA member schools and athletic administrators. According to Munoz, a PUHSD Athletic Director has not sat on this board for over 30 years. His term will be for two years.   


Trevor Browne Symphonic Band Receives Superior Rating

On April 10, the Trevor G. Browne Symphonic Band received a rating of "Superior," the highest rating at the Eastern Arizona College Festival competition.


Trevor Browne Athlete Signed Letter of Intent to Play Softball at Paradise Valley Community College

Sara Muñoz signed her letter of intent to play at Paradise Valley Community College for softball next year. She earned a scholarship covering full tuition and books for the next two years while at PVCC. Muñoz signed in front of the entire Trevor Browne softball program, administrative team, family members and coaching staff. 


The Maryvale Revitalization Corporation is Developing a Program for the Youth Community

The Maryvale Revitalization Corporation (MRC) is developing a development program for youth in the Maryvale community. The launch is a HERO U Convention for current 8th and 9th grade students from Cartwright School District and freshmen from Maryvale and Trevor Browne High Schools, April 18 at the Grand Canyon University Arena. Students will have the opportunity to visit the Opportunity Zone, where they will have access to community partners and youth organizations. The program, supported with grants from local businesses includes the Hero U rally, educational training opportunities and summer employment and service projects. The MRC and its school partners will promote goal setting, college and career readiness for students and follow student progress so that other communities can learn from the experiences of this collaboration. Each year, it intends to add an additional high school grade.


The Academies at South Mountain is Seeking Nurse Health Care Teachers

The Academies at South Mountain High School is seeking Nurse Health Care Teachers for its Nursing Assistant classes, within the Science & Technology Academy. These teachers prepare students for employment in the health care industry as Certified Nursing Assistants. This Career and Technical Education (CTE) program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. For more information, contact Cynthia Vargas at 602-764-1515.


Three Academies at South Mountain Aerospace Science Students Complete Their First Solo Flight

Three Academies at South Mountain aerospace science students-- Ana Pozos, Itati Giron and  Pablo Mendiaz--completed their first solo flight at Classic Air Aviation at Falcon Field. Jaja Obasi, Maria Ramirez, and Caleb Ready, are very close to their solo flight as well. Students in the program, within the Aerospace and Engineering Academy, can earn pilots licenses in high school.


Arizona Cadets Visit the Academies at South for the 32nd Annual Gallegos Memorial Drill Meet

The Academies at South was taken over by Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force JROTC Cadets from all over Arizona, March 23. It wasn’t a national emergency, but rather, a remembrance. The cadets competed in the 32nd Annual Gallegos Memorial Drill Meet. Although the competition was the primary focus throughout the day, before the trophies were presented to the winners in the various categories the family of former South Mountain cadet Chris Gallegos shared how JROTC helped shape his character and motivated him to be a better citizen.

Chris was a Cadet who passed in away his sophomore year, (1987) in a tragic accident.

“According to his mom, he found a home in JROTC and always talked about his love for drill and how being a part of a team made him want to better in every part of his life. His mom said that this drill meet helps keep his memory alive,” Academies at South JROTC Instructor First Sgt. Larry A. Brown said. “She also mentioned that Chris was an organ donor and his heart was donated and is still beating today.”

The Overall Grand Sweepstakes Winning Team was Thunderbird High School's Navy JROTC from Glendale Union HS District.


Phoenix Coding Academy Qualified for World Championships

Another Phoenix Union robotics team--Phoenix Coding Academy, has qualified for the World Championships in Houston. How they get there will be another challenge.

The Python Robotics Team, along with alliance partners (The Cobra Commanders of Cactus High School and AZTech Robotics of Corona del Sol High School) won first place at the FIRST Robotics Competition Arizona West Regional, April 6. After ranking #13 at the end of qualifications, Coding Academy was chosen to join the sixth-seeded alliance team that won 2-1 in quarter-finals, and 2-0 in semi-finals. They lost the first match in the finals, but upset the favorites to the win by taking the final two matches.    

The win qualifies the team for World Championships for the second year in a row; they qualified last year for winning the Rookie All Star Award.   Bioscience and Carl Hayden also qualified in earlier competitions. This is the first time that three PUHSD teams have qualified for the World Championships, which will feature over 500 teams from around the world, April 17-20 in Houston. 

The team also won a safety award for their pit and George Cardenas, a Carl Hayden alum, won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which is given to the mentor that has most inspired his students based on an essay written by those students. Cardenas is now a finalist for the World Championship Woodie Flower Award.  

The team now needs to raise thousands of dollars in under a week to attend the FIRST Robotics Championships in Houston. 

 


North High Cyborg Mustangs Win Judges’ Award at the FIRST Robotics Competition AZ West Regional

The North High Cyborg Mustangs participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition AZ West Regional hosted by Grand Canyon University, April 6. The Cyborg Mustangs took home the Judges’ Award for “exemplifying FIRST (For inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) values. The team has helped bring awareness to the issue of mental health among young people. This is the second year in a row that the Cyborg Mustangs have received the Judges’ Award.


Carl Hayden Handball Club Put on a Week-Long Tournament for Students to Win a Pizza Party

The Carl Hayden Handball Club put on a week-long tournament recently, with much at stake--the winners would get a pizza party for their advisory class. In the end, Uziel Rodriguez and Rodrigo Silva met in the finals. Silva broke and 8-8 tie and won 15-8 to be crowned the King of the Court Champion. Both players earned a pizza party for their respective advisory periods. Pizza will be delivered to Matthew Vezey's class with Silva, and Jennipher Tanori’s class, care of Rodriguez, April 10.


Cesar Chavez State Wrestling Champion Invited to Attend azcentral Sports Award Show

State Wrestling Champion Andres Avelar was nominated for Male Wrestler of the Year and was invited to attend the azcentral Sports Award show this summer at ASU Gammage Auditorium.  


Cesar Chavez Drumline Competes in Winter Guard Arizona Championships

Cesar Chavez’ Drumline had two groups compete in the Winter Guard Arizona Championships, March 29 and both medaled. The Concert group came in first place, and the indoor group placed second. Both groups took first place in music, as well. Chavez was the only school with two groups and the Champions hosted the event. 

The drumline performed at Odysea in the Desert for their Cultural Concert Series, April 6. They performed with other professional groups for the event “Rhythms Around the World” portion of the concert series. It was a fun day for sure and the Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance donated $250  to the drumline for their performance at this event. Their next big performance is at Northern Arizona University. They have been invited to perform on NAU’s percussion ensemble concert on April 19.


Cesar Chavez Students “speed date” to Review for AzMERIT

The Algebra 3-4 students at Cesar Chavez High School were “speed dating” earlier this month. As a way to review for AzMERIT, students paired up to solve practice AzMERIT math problems. With their initial partner, students became experts on the problem on their card. Then they rotated, exchanged problem cards with new partners, and coached new partners on how to do their problems. Before parting ways with each “date,” students also asked each other questions to get to know each other, such as “What is your favorite TV show?” or “What is your favorite snack?” Students engaged in instruction throughout the period, even offering such comments as, “I feel smarter now!”

Math teacher Stephanie Clark introduced the idea during Algebra 3-4 Professional Learning Community time, and teachers in the PLC implemented “speed dating” during block schedules.


Central Students Accepted into Prestigious Schools

The first week of April was a big week for Central’s top students hoping to be accepted into some very prestigious schools. Students have been accepted to Dartmouth, Yale, Brown, and Columbia. Students have also been accepted to Stanford, UCLA, University of Southern California Santa Barbara, NYU, Vasser, Rice, Carlton, Swarthmore, Univ. of Chicago, Penn State, Virginia Commonwealth, University of Tampa, and Ohio University.Many of these acceptance letters the students received also included scholarship offers that are only a few thousand short of full ride scholarships. 

“For example one student received scholarship offers to Columbia, Brown, and Stanford. We will continue to hear about the scholarships our students are receiving and are looking forward to our Senior Honors and Awards Night on May 16,” Assistant Principal Dr. Michael Gard said.


Central High School MEChA Perform at the 2019 National MEChA Conference

Central High School MEChA was honored when their dance troupe, Ballet Folklórico El Movimiento,was invited to perform at the 2019 National MEChA Conference at UCLA, March29-31. They presented a dance choreographed by sophomore Melina Ruano and dedicated to the Zapatista Movement. The Mechistasalso had to opportunity to meet historical figures who participated as teenagers in the 1968 East Los Angeles High School “Blowouts” during the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.


Betty Fairfax High School has been Designated an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction

Betty Fairfax High School has been designated an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction. AVID is Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college-readiness system.

This honor is awarded to a small subset of AVID school campuses that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their students, acknowledging equity and opportunity for allstudents on a campus; rigorous academic opportunities for all students throughout the campusand a commitment to superb instructional practices across the school.

 “Principal (Phillip) Wooley and the faculty at Betty Fairfax High School have established a culture across campus that sets high expectations for all students. This type of commitment is admired and desired by many parents, students, teachers and community members. Clearly it is something you, as the leader of the district, have instituted,” wrote Dr. Sandy Husk, AVID CEO
 

“This is the highest level AVID recognizes schools for. This is our second year in a row receiving this honor,” Wooley said. “We were also selected to be one of only six schools in the AVID system to take part in a school-wide implementation study.

“Whether our students are taking AVID as an elective class, or exposed to and using the skills and tools AVID brings our teachers in core classes, our staff is recognized by AVID as a top example of work in these important areas. Thank you to all, especially Ashley Alvarado and the AVID team.”


Alhambra Will Host Annual Piano Festival on April 13

The annual PUHSD Piano Festival, hosted by Alhambra High School is April 13. Piano students from across the district will spend the morning performing prepared solos in front of professors from Grand Canyon University, Glendale Community College and Phoenix College. The best solos will be asked to perform on stage for the full group in the afternoon. At 2:30p.m. there will be a special performance for all of the students of Broadway and Film music by GCU’s Black Canyon Chamber Winds, featuring pianist Dr. Jelena Vladikovic.

The Piano Festival and GCU performance are free and open to the public. They will take place in the Alhambra Auditorium.


Alhambra ESL Classes Participates in #TrashTag Challenge

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Alhambra High School participated in the #TrashTag Challenge, a viral social media hashtag challenge that inspires teens to clean up the planet, April 3-4. Students have been writing about and learning academic vocabulary related to the effects of plastic and other pollutants on our environment as part of a unit. A total of 128 pounds of garbage was collected from campus over a two-day period, reinforcing the message that with combined efforts teens really can make a positive difference in the community and on the planet.


Alhambra JROTC Complete Three-Day Staff Ride to San Diego

The Alhambra JROTC Class just completed a three-day Staff Ride to San Diego, March 30-April 1. The 44 Cadets spent a day at the beach and Belmont Park the San Diego Zoo, and toured the USS Midway aircraft carrier. They completed a research project before they left to make the educational process more relevant. 


The Phoenix Union Student Art Show Will Be on April 24

The Phoenix Union Student Art Show is April 24 from 5 -7 p.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum’s Cummings Great Hall. The museum has free admission the night of the reception, and will stay open until 9 p.m. Unlike years past, the student art will only be on display the night of the show. Awards begin at 6 p.m.


Trevor Browne Held Annual Cesar Chavez Day Assembly

Trevor Browne held its annual Cesar Chavez Day Assembly, March 29, presented by the MEChA club. Chavez was born, March 31, 1927, and Cesar Chavez Day was celebrated Monday this year. The theme was “Where there is unity, it feels like home--TGB.” That unity was displayed with the Maryvale Mariachi performing, and Browne singer Arianna Espinoza joining on the vocals. Votaire Casido (bottom right photo)told the audience about the Filipino connection to the United Farm Workers movement, Chavez’ friend Larry Itliong,and their slogan,“Oo, Kayanatin.”Administrator Dolores Ramirez recalled when her parents and other adults from an earlier generation told their children, “No, No Se Puede,” twisting the Chavez rallying call to “No, It can’t be done.” She and so many others are living proof that “yes, it can be done.” She urged the students to ask their parents about their family history.  

Social studies teacher William Reimersgave a local history lesson, and remembered a time when members of the community said “Sal si puedes,” or “Leave if you can.” But people stayed, and built a thriving community and through Trevor Browne High School, children grew up to take important jobs, becoming  leaders, entrepreneurs, and teachers. Reimers named several TGB employees who have been at the school for 25 years and more. “They came back to you because they believe in you," Reimers said. "Monday is not a day off, it is a day on. Do something positive for your community.” 

 

 


North High Key Club Awarded at the 2019 Key Club International Southwest District Convention

Eight North High students attended the 2019 Key Club International Southwest District Convention, March 29, along with over 400 other Key Clubbers representing 42 high schools across Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (El Paso area). The District Convention is a celebration of member and club achievements and electing Southwest District officers for the 2019-2020 year.

The Key Club of North High School was awarded trophies for first place for the single service project entitled “Mustang Unity,” a series of lunchtime events to engage students and third place for its annual achievement.

Four students earned the Service Hour Award for completing 100- and 150- hours of volunteering during a 12-month period. Elizabeth Medrano (junior) completed 121 hours of service. Oscar Hernandez (sophomore) completed 157 hours, Anael Toscano (sophomore) completed 174 hours, and Isabel Joyce (senior) completed 166 hours. This is the second year that Joyce has earned the Service Hour Award.  

Bridget Martinez (junior), Lieutenant Governor for the Lookout Mountain Division, was awarded the outstanding Lieutenant Governor award for her work during the past year, leading 14 high schools in the central Phoenix area and working with the executive board of the Southwest District. Ashley Barboza (sophomore) was elected as Lieutenant Governor for the Lookout Mountain.    


Two Metro Tech Film Students Place Second in Career and Technical Education Month Video Contest

Two first year film students-- Diego De Jesus Escobedo Guzman and Kevin Covarrubias came in 2nd place in the Arizona CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month Video Contest recently. Their video has been shared on social media and will be shown at the CTE Summer Conference.The Video Contest gave CTE students the opportunity to promote Career and Technical Education by creating a video public service announcement (PSA) to support CTE Month and increasing awareness and understanding of the benefits of CTE. 

Association for CTE in Arizona’s Pam Fergusoncame to award the students, April 3.   

Bob Marquisis the Metro Tech Digital Film Instructor.


Maryvale Students Compete in Instrumental and Choir Music Festival

The Maryvale Bella Voce and Bella Jazz choirs and touring guitar ensembles traveled to Washington D.C., March 27-31, and competed alongside 25 ensembles from nine different states in an instrumental and choir music festival. Maryvale won three golds and a silver for their groups.

Maryvale High School’s Bella Voce Women’s Choirwon 1st Place Gold and an Adjudicators Award. This award is only given to choirs that receive an overall score of 95/100 or higher.  It is the first time Maryvale has received this award for choir. They were also offered participation in the National Festival of Gold and Carnegie Youth Festival. The Bella Jazz- (an all-female ensemble formed five weeks ago) won a 1st Place Gold. The Maryvale Guitar Small Ensemblestook 1st Place Gold and Guitar Combine Ensemble won 2nd Place Silver.

The directors are Amanda Taylor (Choirs,) and Ruben MaciasGuitar).


Carl Hayden Will Have a Tri-University Tour on April 18

Representatives from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona are coming to Carl Hayden for the Tri-University Tour, April 18 from 6-8 p.m. for a combined in-depth program to understand admission and financial aid in Arizona. The state universities want to ensure that students and families are well-informed about the opportunities and resources available to you in Arizona. Families will learn more about admission requirements, honors colleges, degree exploration, scholarship opportunities and can have personalized conversations with admission counselors.


Falcon Robotics Team Qualify for Robotics World Championships

The Falcon Robotics team has become the second District team to qualify for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships in Houston, April 17-20, joining Bioscience. Now comes the hard part—raising the funds to get there.

The Falcons were on the winning alliance at the Las Vegas Regional competition, March 29. Hayden was second at the end of the qualification rounds, and the first place team picked the Falcons to be on their alliance. The three-team alliance cruised through quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. In the first finals match, their robot had an electrical malfunction with 45 seconds left and they lost that match. In the second finals match, the Falcon robot worked perfectly and their alliance scored a tournament high of 101 points. In the dramatic third match, the alliance won 89-77.  Carl Hayden’s winning alliance included the High Rollers from Las Vegas and Green Valley Robotics from Henderson, NV. All three teams qualified to go to the FRC World Championships.

“We are currently fundraising to pay for the trip.  If you or anyone you know would be willing to make a donation, please let me know. And even if you can't donate, we would appreciate you spreading the message on your social media,” Coach Ken Whitleysaid. 


Cesar Chavez Students Receive Scholastic Art Award

Students from Amie Jo Cook’sAdvanced Placement Studio Art class have been hard at work preparing to submit their portfolios to the college board in May. Along with working on all of their required work, the students have also submitted artwork to the Scholastic Art and Writing Award. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens from grades 7-12. Congratulations to the following students for receiving Scholastic Art Awards: Kayla Patterson"Fabric"; and Diego Vigil"Fighting Another Man's War" won Gold Key Awards. Eleanor Zambrano won two silver awards." Honorable Mentions went to Kayla Patterson and Paige Lambouth.


Central Will Host French Students and Mayor of Grenoble on April 12

A group of International Studies magnet students left on a two-week trip to Grenoble, France, April 2. Besides Grenoble, they will also visit Lyon, the culinary capital of France. When they return, Central will host the French students and the mayor of Grenoble, April 12.


Three Central Photography Students Displayed their Work in the Heard Museum Guild’s Student Art Show and Sale

Photography students Sheradon Klain, Savannah Douglas and Lia Wells had photographs displayed in the Heard Museum Guild’s Student Art Show and Sale from March 30-April 1. Students competed in the Photography division, and had their work displayed in the Monte Vista room of the Heard museum.

In addition to being part of the show, all three students, as well as teacher Cecily Frutos and her intern, Xochitl Valdez, also attended the artist workshop on Friday afternoon. This year, printmaking artist, Jacob Meders, led the workshop, and showed the students how to do their own screen printing and how to use a letterpress.  


Phoenix Union Students Participate in Young Entrepreneurship Academy’s Pitch Night

Eight students from Camelback's Entrepreneurship program, one student from North and one from Metro Tech pitched to investors at the Young Entrepreneurship Academy’s Pitch Night, March 18, at Phoenix College. These students have been working all year learning how to find solutions to problems, start their business, write a business plan and create a pitch deck. In total over $7,500 was awarded. The overall winner Jesse De La Cruz from Camelback will compete at the National Competition in New York in May for a chance to pitch on ABC's television show, Shark Tank.

Winning Business -Jesse De La Cruz, The Hair Guy:  Organic Hair Care products for teens 

Runner up: Nadxelly Andrew--KP Derm: Organic Skin Care products

Runners up: Alexa Castillo & Nicole Ruiz--My Pal -A stress relief doll

Penina's Light House--Feza Mto & Worldwide United-- Hiskiel Alsen & Milton Ochoa: Two non-profit companies assisting the assimilation of refugees

Startist-Up: an educational center teaching business and entrepreneurship skills to starving/starting artists: Justin Dubell & Giselle Ramos (North High)

E & D Certified: A vetted contracting company that matches your job with the right company 

Congratulations to all the participants and lots of luck as they begin their new business ventures.


Cesar Chavez Will Have a Tri-University Tour on April 10

Representatives from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona are coming to Cesar Chavez for the Tri-University Tour, April 10 from 6-8 p.m. for a combined in-depth program to understand admission and financial aid in Arizona. The state universities want to ensure that students and families are well-informed about the opportunities and resources available to you in Arizona. Families will learn more about admission requirements, honors colleges, degree exploration, scholarship opportunities and can have personalized conversations with admission counselors.


Betty Fairfax Priority Registration for Incoming Freshmen Will be on April 10, 13 and 18

The Betty Fairfax Registration office will be open for Priority Registration for incoming freshmen, April 10, and April 18 from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. This is an opportunity for parent and students to complete the enrollment process. For questions regarding high school enrollment, call 602 764-9000.


Betty Fairfax Advanced Choir Competed in an Instrumental and Choir Music Festival

The advanced choirs from Betty Fairfax High School traveled to Washington D.C., March 27-31, and competed alongside 25 ensembles from nine different states in an instrumental and choir music festival. Fairfax won two silvers and a gold. The Madrigal Choir won a Silver; Jazz Choir-2nd Place Silver and the Concert Choir- 3rd Place and a Gold rating and they were offered participation in the National Festival of Gold and Carnegie Youth Festival. The Fairfax choir director is Chris Hughes.


Betty Fairfax High School has been Designated an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction

Betty Fairfax High School has been designated an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction. AVID is Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college-readiness system.

This honor is awarded to a small subset of AVID school campuses that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their students, acknowledging equity and opportunity for all students on a campus; rigorous academic opportunities for all students throughout the campus and a commitment to superb instructional practices across the school.

“Principal (Phillip) Wooley and the faculty at Betty Fairfax High School have established a culture across campus that sets high expectations for all students. This type of commitment is admired and desired by many parents, students, teachers and community members. Clearly it is something you, as the leader of the district, have instituted,” wrote Dr. Sandy Husk, AVID CEO
 

“This is the highest level AVID recognizes schools for. This is our second year in a row receiving this honor,” Wooley said. “We were also selected to be one of only six schools in the AVID system to take part in a school-wide implementation study. I will forward you information.

“Whether our students are taking AVID as an elective class, or exposed to and using the skills and tools AVID brings our teachers in core classes, our staff is recognized by AVID as a top example of work in these important areas.  Thank you to all, especially Ashley Alvarado and the AVID team.”


Twenty-five Phoenix Union Seniors Won Students Inspiring Students Scholarships

Twenty-five Phoenix Union seniors from 10 different schools won Students Inspiring Students Scholarships March 26, from Grand Canyon University. To meet the criteria for the SIS scholarship, the students need at least a 3.5 GPA, write an essay about their financial situation, and receive 100 hours of tutoring at GCU's Learning Lounge, an afterschool program with college mentors helping local high school students.

The full ride scholarship requires that they “Pay it forward,” and work in the Learning Lounge during their collegiate career.  

Phoenix Union students made up half of the 50 scholarships awarded. They received the news in an unusual way. They and their parents were invited to a meeting about financial aid at GCU, and the scholarship announcements came as a surprise. 

"We've lied terribly to these families. We've told them that they are here for a mandatory meeting to find out about scholarships, so they think they're here for a boring meeting about scholarship details," said Shari Stagner, GCU's Director of K-12 Outreach. 


Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair Will be on April 27

A Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair is Saturday, April 27 from 8-12 p.m. at Linda Abril Educational Academy, 3000 N. 19th Avenue. The District is hiring secondary teachers in all subject areas, with an emphasis on applicants certified in the following areas: Mathematics, Special Education, Science and ELL English.

Applicants must complete an online application prior to interviewing at the career fair at www.phoenixunion.org/jobs. Applicants may schedule a screening interview prior to the career fair by calling Audrey Damon at 764-1504 or Cynthia Vargas at 764-1515 Applicants will also have the opportunity that day to complete an initial screening interview and then interview with campus principals for positions for the 2019-20 school year.

Phoenix Union employs over 1600 teachers and has among the highest salaries in Arizona. The District is introducing a new salary schedule in 2019-20 in which first-year teachers earn a base of $46,500. Experienced teachers will are credited with up to 12 years experience on the salary schedule  (starting at $55,854 on Step K.) For more information, contact Mary Lou Chavez at mchavez1@phoenixunion.org.


Raise Funds for Carl Hayden and Bioscience Robotics Team

It’s tax season and if you have not donated to a school through the Education Tax Credit program yet, we have a last-minute opportunity and a student plea for assistance. Carl Hayden and Bioscience High Schools have both qualified for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships in Houston, April 17-20.  Now comes the harder part. Raising funds to cover entry fee of $5,000 per team, and transportation and lodging in Texas. 

The Arizona Education Tax Credit allows Arizona residents to contribute up to $400 for the funding ($200 if filing as an individual of approved extracurricular activities, school clubs, etc. and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit for the amount contributed. Donations can be made at  www.phoenixunion.org/taxcredit through April 15 for this year if you have not filed, or for next year.

If you wish to help in a smaller or different way, contact the coaches:

Ken Whitley, Carl Hayden Falcon Robotics Coach: whitley@phoenixunion.org 

Po-pé Enrique, Bioscience Dragon Robotics Coach: enrique1@phoenixunion.org


Trevor Browne Hosts First-Ever Phoenix Union Track and Field Unified Sports Event

Trevor Browne hosted the first-ever Phoenix Union Track and Field Unified Sports event, March 27. Special Olympics Unified Sports is an initiative that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (called Partners) on sports teams for training and competition. Betty Fairfax, Central, Alhambra and Maryvale joined the Bruins. The Physical Educational Opportunities for Exceptional Learners (PEOPEL) club put on the event.

"This day brings inclusion not only to kids with intellectual disabilities and kids without as one big unity,” said Josie Bravo, President of PEOPEL and a partner.

"I'm excited about running and jumping. I have been working my hardest and a lot. I practice by myself and in my PEOPEL class. I'm a superhero to all Browne students." Trevor Browne athlete Steven Cordoza said.

“I am a proud principal to be able to host the first district Special Olympics Unified sports event. Trevor Browne has some of the most innovative inclusive opportunities. I’m excited to watch the kids run and jump,” Principal Tony Camp said.

“TGB loved hosting and is committed to more next year as are the coaches. The athletes had so much fun. It was so awesome to see inclusive practices and amazing collaboration happen,” Exceptional Student Services Director Wendy Collison said. “All athletes were given professional uniforms paid for by Special Olympics.”

“I appreciate the support and advocacy of Amy Remfrey, Stephanie Nelson and many others that have been talking about this for a couple of years now and finally our dream has come true and this is just the beginning of some amazing opportunities for our students where everyone truly does matter.”


Trevor Browne Choir Receive Superior Rating

The Trevor Browne Concert Choir was host and competitor in the 2019 Arizona State Choir Festival, March 26 and received a Superior rating, the highest rating awarded. TGB was one of only 16 choirs from around the state performing in this festival and the only PUHSD school that was selected for this elite festival. The Bruin Choir sang three songs for four highly-regarded judges/clinicians from Arizona and California. A clinician worked with the choir onstage for 15 minutes following the performance. The concert choir then were judged on music literacy.

“The choir received many compliments regarding their professionalism in hosting the event. The students were amazing ambassadors for the best of what TGB has to offer. We are very proud of their success,” Choir Director Nick Halonen said. 

More great news from the choir department. Associate Choir Director Troy Meeker was selected as the Artistic Director for the Phoenix Children’s Chorus beginning the 2019-2020 Concert Season. He was named following a four-month nationwide search, interview, and audition process. Meeker has been a conductor with PCC for eight years and is very excited to serve in this new role. He will conduct Encore, an international touring high school choir, as well as provide artistic administrative support for the organization.

“Don’t worry… he will still be here at TGB next year,” Halonen said.


Two Law Magnet Teams Competed in Mock Trial Regionals

Two Law Magnet teams competed in Mock Trial Regionals, and each fell just one point short of advancing to a possible state championship berth. Team Blue and Team Red each had two wins and one loss heading into their final matches, and both fell by the same score- 96-95, narrowly missing out on qualifying for regional semifinals and state. Team Blue was seniors Monique Ortiz, Abigail Carbajal, Adrian Flores, Marissa De Santiago, Noel Arellano, junior Jimena Barraza and sophomore Luis Manzanarez, along with time keeper Arianna Contreras. Team Red was juniors Alyssia Thomas, Fatima Aranzazu Cervantes, Dazhane Brown, Jude Bauer, Candelaria Crum, Eduardo Alcaraz Lopez and sophomore Seddrick (Isiah) Freeney along with time keepers Alijah Thomas and Brittney Torrens. 

“While both teams fell slightly short of their goal, the 1 point losses will fuel the program moving forward,” law teacher Matthew Smith said.


Two North Students Win Awards through Arizona Art Education Association

Two North students won awards through the Arizona Art Education Association for Youth Art Month. Janae Hoskin’s colored pencil drawing won Best of Show and she received $1000 from Sargent Art. Danitza Govea Troncoso’s drypoint print won 1st Place in the High School Division and she received $300 worth of art supplies from Sargent ArtThe students’ artworks traveled to Boston and were on display for the National Art Education Association’s conference.

Their teacher, Julie Peters, also received art supplies.


Four North Students Win Students Inspiring Students Scholarship

Claribel Calderon, David Bonilla, Marcus Fuentes and Iris Yanez Arambula won Students Inspiring Students Scholarships to Grand Canyon University. To meet the criteria for the SIS scholarship, the students need at least a 3.5 GPA, had to write an essay about their financial situation, and receive 100 hours of tutoring at GCU's Learning Lounge, an afterschool program with college mentors helping local high school students.

The full ride scholarship requires that they “Pay it forward,” and work in the Learning Lounge during their collegiate career.   

Over 40 students received the news in an unusual way. They and their parents were invited to a meeting about financial aid at GCU, and the scholarship announcements came as a surprise.

"We've lied terribly to these families. We've told them that they are here for a mandatory meeting to find out about scholarships, so they think they're here for a boring meeting about scholarship details," said Shari Stagner, GCU's Director of K-12 Outreach.


Maryvale and Betty Fairfax Choir Head to Washington D.C

Maryvale Choir and Guitar Ensemble and Betty Fairfax Choir are heading to Washington D.C., March 27-31. During this tour, students will be visiting the Smithsonian National Zoo, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian National Natural History Museum, Smithsonian American History Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Holocaust Museum, and national monuments. The ensembles will be competing alongside other choirs and instrumental ensembles from around the country for three collegiate/professional level judges. Each ensemble with have a rated/ranked performance and a 15-20-minute clinic with one of the judges.


Phoenix Union Students Prepare With ASU for Marshall Brennan Moot Court Competition

ASU Law Diversity Pipeline partnered with several PUHSD schools including the Gifted and Talented Academy at Maryvale and Maryvale High School. Since August, students have met weekly with ASU law fellows and valley lawyers to practice critical thinking skills and prepare for the Marshall Brennan Moot Court competition. The ASU Law Diversity Pipeline Initiative's mission is to enhance the diversity of the legal profession by developing and fostering a pathway for diverse high school students that encourages an interest in the law, promotes the development of critical thinking and writing skills, and fosters values necessary to succeed academically and professionally.

Maryvale had the unique opportunity to work with local lawyer, Nicholle Harris, who is a 1994 graduate of Maryvale. Harris, an attorney at Gust Rosenfeld P.L.C. was recently recognized in Attorney at Law magazine as the February Attorney of the Month. Harris shared her experiences as a Maryvale student in the 1990’s and stressed the importance of goal-setting and not compromising on your dreams. She, along with third year law fellow, Ashley Fitzgibbons, mentored and taught the students about law and helped them gain confidence to speak in front of others.


Carl Hayden JROTC Cadets Toured Historic Iolani Palace in Hawaii

Carl Hayden JROTC Cadets took a trip of a life time to Hawaii during Spring Break, March 11-15. While there, the cadets toured the historic Iolani Palace (the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii) where they explored the history of early Hawaiian leadership beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani. They also explored through hands-on activities, immersed themselves in Polynesian culture, enjoyed a Luau dinner and watched the spectacular Ha Breath of Life show. The show was a display of traditional dances from each of the six Polynesian islands. Finally, the cadets explored the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, where they discovered and learned through the interpretative exhibits about the attack on Pearl Harbor; learned about life on a submarine; saw the spot aboard the USS Missouri where the Japanese and Allied forces ended WWII and learned about the history of aviation at the Aviation Museum of the Pacific.


Franklin Police and Fire Expand Offerings In Forensic Science

Franklin Police and Fire is expanding its Forensic Science offerings next year to include Forensics Chemistry 3-4, teaching students how to apply chemistry to forensics. There are currently three sections of Forensics 1-2. The mostly junior and senior Honor classes fulfill a required science credit and students can receive dual enrollment credit with Phoenix College. Forensics 1-2 covers the fundamentals of investigation, including hair and fiber analysis, handwriting and document analysis, fingerprinting, DNA, and toxicology covering blood, drugs, poisons and other toxins. Field trips include forensic science programs at ASU, Grand Canyon University and Maricopa County Crime Lab. Baily Hershberger is the forensics teacher.

The expansion of the forensic program was made possible by a $45,000 grant from the Andeavor Foundation.


Charging Stations to be Placed in Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez called its Participatory Budgeting project “Champ Change.” The school had a 71% turnout deciding on three projects to enhance the school, and “Electro Champs” won with 711 votes. Electro Champs will provide charging stations. Student will no longer need to search for outlets when their phone battery is low or go without a phone if they forgot their charger. The charging stations will be placed in convenient areas throughout campus to allow Champions to Charge. Chavez’s voter turnout increased by 8% over last year. Besides the school voting, 257 students registered to vote for real in the next election. 


Three Cesar Chavez Students Advance to Marshall Brennan Moot Court Nationals

Cesar Chavez has three students advancing to Marshall Brennan Moot Court Nationals in Washington, D.C., in April: Cynthia Nieto, Ashley Velasquez and Mia Valdez. Valdez also took first place in the state moot court competition at the ASU Law School. The students have participated in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, studying constitutional law with law-school students. Moot Court is a competition in which two opposing attorneys argue about what the law should be regarding a Constitutional question. They must use previous decisions made by actual courts.


Camelback Students Earn Trip to Orlando for DECA Nationals

Twenty-one Camelback students recently placed in the top four places in events at the DECA State Conference, earning a trip to Orlando, FL for the DECA Nationals. In all, 29 Phoenix Union students qualified for nationals.


Camelback Sophomore English Students Create Wall of Remembrance for Holocaust Victims

Camelback sophomore English students are learning a lesson they will never forget, and making a real-world connection to The Holocaust. This semester they have been reading the book, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, set in 1939 Nazi Germany. The students created a Wall of Remembrance along one of the school’s hallways. Each student researched and identified a victim of the Holocaust, and commemorated that person with a poster. Some 400 names, faces and stories now tile the wall. The story really came to life, March 25, when 94-year old Oskar Knoblach, a Holocaust survivor, came to Camelback and spoke to 200 students. He was born in Germany, fled with his family to Krakow, Poland fearing Hitler’s rise to power. He ended up as a “displaced person,” back in Germany in 1945, and finally received a sponsorship from a family in Canada, and began a new life. Coincidentally, his son went to Camelback many years ago. After his presentation to the students, he visited the Wall of Remembrance with some students.

English teacher Gary Shindler and his team of English teachers came up with the idea.

“The students are very proud of their work. This was an occasion to celebrate the work and investment the students have accomplished in recognizing the importance of Holocaust studies. Oskar helped our students make real-world connections to our text this semester,” Shindler said.


Bioscience Will Hold Evening of the Arts on April 8

Bioscience will hold its annual Evening of the Arts on Friday, April 8 from 5-8 p.m. The school will also host a Future 9th graders & Parent Orientation Night from 5-7:30 pm for the 8th grade students who have been accepted to attend Bioscience for the 2019-2020 school year. These future students and parents will able to view the artwork, poems, dance, music and other items our current students have created.


Bioscience Robotics Team Competes in the First Los Angeles Regional Robotics Competition

Dragon Robotics competed in the Los Angeles FIRST Robotics Competition Regional, March 21-23 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They were the only Arizona team competing out of the 56 teams present. In the qualifying matches, the Dragon had a record of 3-6 in qualifying rounds, but they lost some close matches that drew the attention of the top finishers. The Dragons were selected by the #2 Alliance to contend in the Saturday afternoon playoffs. That three-alliance, made up of Bioscience, and teams from Anaheim and Cerritos, CA, went undefeated in the quarter and semifinals, and took the #1 Alliance to four matches, including a tie, before finishing second. By being a finalist, the Dragons earned a wildcard spot to the World Championships in Houston, Texas from April 17-20. Bioscience also won the Team Spirit Award. Dragon Robotics were led by drive team Laura Lozano, Juan-Carlos Cisneros, Maggie Linde, and Diego Terrazas. Their mentors are Po-pé Enrique, Jonathan Hall, Diane Johnson and Rob Mainieri.

This will be the second time Dragon Robotics has qualified for the World Championships. They went in 2015, as well.


Betty Fairfax Athlete Places Second in Rotary International Meet

Ma'Kayla Dickerson placed 2nd in the 300-hurdles and 5th in the 100-meters in the Elite Session of the Rotary International meet, March 23 in Chandler. Her runner-up time of 41.97 in the 300 hurdles is the fourth-fastest time in the country. Dickerson, a senior, will run track next year at ASU.


Alhambra Advanced Vocal Ensemble Honored to Perform National Anthem

The Alhambra High School Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Da Capo, was honored to perform the National Anthem at the State Board of Education’s Board Meeting on March 25.


The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education Scholarship Open Golf Tournament Will Be Held on May 3

The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education Scholarship Open Golf Tournament has sold out for six consecutive years. The 2019 event will be held Friday, May 3 at the Grand Canyon University Golf Course. The tournament, the second largest fundraiser of the year, raises funds for post-secondary scholarships for Phoenix Union students. To sponsor, play or donate an item for a raffle, contact the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education at (480) 289-5761, or info@foundation4education.org.


Phoenix Union Classroom Teachers Association Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Phoenix Union Classroom Teachers Association celebrated its 50th Anniversary, March 22. The association had some campus chapters, but it wasn’t until 19698 that it became a District-wide association, earned negotiating opportunities for salaries, benefits and working conditions, and drew up its first Professional Agreement. Today the PUHSD CTA is one of the largest and longest-running teachers’ associations in the state. 


Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair Will Be on April 27

A Phoenix Union Teacher Career Fair is Saturday, April 27 from 8-12 p.m. at Linda Abril Educational Academy, 3000 N. 19th Avenue. The District is hiring secondary teachers in all subject areas, with an emphasis on applicants certified in the following areas: Mathematics, Special Education, Science and ELL English.

Applicants must complete an online application prior to interviewing at the career fair at www.phoenixunion.org/jobs. Applicants may schedule a screening interview prior to the career fair by calling Audrey Damon at 764-1504 or Cynthia Vargas at 764-1515 Applicants will also have the opportunity that day to complete an initial screening interview and then interview with campus principals for positions for the 2019-20 school year.

Phoenix Union employs over 1600 teachers and has among the highest salaries in Arizona. The District is introducing a new salary schedule in 2019-20 in which first-year teachers earn a base of $46,500. Experienced teachers will are credited with up to 12 years experience on the salary schedule (starting at $55,854 on Step K.) For more information, contact Mary Lou Chavez at mchavez1@phoenixunion.org.


Trevor Browne Social Studies Teacher Earns Arizona Master Teacher Designation

Social studies teacher William Reimers earned Arizona Master Teacher designation this semester. Reimers has taught at Trevor Browne all 13 years. He qualified to achieve Master Teacher though his National Board Certification process, and his project to boost World History AP writing scores tied to the District’s Exemplary Educator Achievement Model Evaluation (EEAM) process, in which he was in the inaugural class last year. He will be in the New Teacher Mentoring pathway. Becoming a Master Teacher renewed his energy to complete National Board Certification. He has a Bachelor’s in History and two Masters. He says his favorite teaching moment is the roar of the crowd marching into the graduation ceremony.     

The Master Teacher Program, though the Arizona K-12 Center, began in 2006 under Governor Janet Napolitano as an effort to place outstanding and experienced teachers into leadership roles to provide mentoring new teachers or coaching English or Math content teachers. The goals of the Master Teacher program is to provide support for teachers, create pathways for teachers to pursue National Board Certification and implement the use of the Professional Learning Plan with imbedded professional learning opportunities to build capacity and sustainability for future teacher leaders and improved practices.


Trevor Browne Tenor Accepted into Arizona All-State Choir

Tenor Brian Robles was accepted into the Arizona All-State Choir. These students competed with the best high school choir students in the state and were selected to participate in this elite ensemble. Their audition, March 9, included the preparation of a collegiate-level solo, as well as being scored for accuracy while singing music that they have never seen before. They will be traveling to Northern Arizona University on April 11-13 for the festival and concert. Troy Meeker and Nick Halonen are the choir teachers at TGB.

“Brian has worked diligently for three years to make it into this ensemble and Nick and I are incredibly proud of his accomplishment,” Meeker said.


Trevor Browne Law Students Compete at Moot Court Competition

Trevor Browne Law Program students are new to competition, but in their second year, they competed at the Moot Court competition at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor Law School, March 9. Gisselle Santana Saenz and Brian Castro took home awards for Best Petitioner Advocate--Runner Up and Best Respondent Advocate--Runner Up. 

Tramanh Dao and Celeste Ceja were also honored as state competitors who will be traveling to Washington D.C. in April to compete at the National Marshall Brennan Moot Court Competition. 


Brian Fair Named Athletic Director of the Year

Brian Fair has been named the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association 5A Conference Athletic Director of the Year. Fair has been the A.D. at South for the past five years. The Jaguars have won three state championships during his tenure. Fair starred at South Mountain and went on to the Univ. of Connecticut on a basketball scholarship. He not only returned to his alma mater, but his son attends the Academies at South, and his daughter who graduated last year, was the PUHSD Athlete of the Year. Fair follows Betty Fairfax’ Kevin Belcher, who was the 5A Athletic Director of the Year last year. He will be honored in September at the annual AIAAA Conference Awards Banquet in Prescott. 

The association wrote: “This is an outstanding recognition based on your work with the athletics and activities programs at South Mountain High School. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the success of the students and community at South Mountain and PUHSD. We are proud of you!”


Aerospace Student Soloed in Cessna 150

Aerospace student “Tat” Giron soloed in a Cessna 150, March 19 with Classic Air Aviation at Falcon Field in Mesa. She becomes the second Aerospace & Engineering Academy student pilot to solo this year. Ana Pozos also soloed earlier this semester.


North Students Win Awards at Educators Rising Leadership Conference

North students attended the Educators Rising Leadership Conference in Tucson, March 4-6, and came away with some top performers. Jenny Chinchilla, Angie Rodriguez, Claribel Miranda placed 5th in the Literacy Lives service project. Rodriguez was 5th in the Educator’s Rising Moment; Chinchilla won the Master Level Student Achievement Award and Andrew Melteson won the Merit Level Student Achievement Award.

Educators Rising is the Career and Technical Student Organization previously known as the Future Teachers of America.


North Student Selected as Morehead-Cain Scholar

Bailey Benson has been selected as a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The Morehead-Cain Scholarship is the oldest merit-based and one of the most prestigious scholarships in the country, with fewer than four percent of candidates becoming members of the Class of 2023. The purpose of the Morehead-Cain Foundation is to identify and invest in promising leaders, challenging them to have a profound impact on the people and pursuits that define their lives. The scholarship covers four years of tuition, housing, meals, books and supplies, a Macbook Pro, an annual travel/discovery fund, four summer experiences such as the International Gap Year before college, Study Abroad and other enrichment and networking opportunities.

Benson is in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program at North. Besides her rigorous IB courses, she is the lead intern and researcher in the Farm @ South Mountain Community College Aquaponics Case Study, and through the SMCC Junior ACE program, she earned a certificate in Entrepreneurship, focusing on the combined art of storytelling with business to create pitches and make complex ideas appealing to the general population. She is the head of the Food Committee in the Arizona Science Center Teen Advisory  Board, authored a book to spread awareness of food insecurity in Phoenix, attended Yale Young Global Leaders-Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship, an  academic and leadership enrichment program. She is currently an online student in an engineering outreach program at MIT. 

Benson wants to major in economics or finance with a focus on sustainable systems and engineering. She has taken six science classes in high school to prepare for engineering in college. She hopes to become an investment banker to help struggling communities create self-sustainable economies.

Besides North Carolina, she has been accepted at Cornell and Emory College.

“We are confident that Bailey will leave an enduring legacy at Carolina and beyond; we are thrilled to offer her this unique opportunity,” said Karman I. Kent, Director of Scholar Selection.

She is an amazing young woman and a future leader to watch, “North counselor Abigail Dolin said.

“We didn't know this type of opportunity existed before she was invited to apply. We are so grateful to you and the North IB Program. Bailey's IB education made her a very strong applicant - especially coming from Arizona,” Bailey’s mother Maria Benson said.


Three Metro Tech Students Move on to Educators Rising National Leadership Conference

The Metro Tech Educators Rising Club was well-represented at the Educators Rising Spring Leadership Conference in Tucson March 4-6. Three students who competed came home with top finishes and qualified to move on to Nationals in Dallas this summer. Cindy Yahuaca placed 1st in the state demonstrating her knowledge and passion for Non-Core Subject Teaching Careers. Gisselle Loredo and Noemi Diaz were 4th in Ethical Dilemma Solution which focused on students who struggle with behavioral issues. They also presented their presentation of this year’s Service Project; collecting over 500 books to donate to area elementary schools. Additionally, Metro’s Chapter earned a Silver Chapter Award in recognition of their participation in organization events and projects along with their hard work preparing for their futures as educators.


Metro Tech Professional Development Specialist Becomes Arizona Master Teacher

Monique Mogro, the Professional Development Specialist at Metro Tech, is Phoenix Union’s newest Arizona Master Teacher. Mogro is in her 20th year with the District, starting as a student teacher in the communications department at South Mountain. She was hired at Metro Tech in 1999, taught social studies for 14 years, was the instructional leader of the department and has been the Professional Development Specialist there for six years. Her principal, Bryan Reynoso, who is also a Master Teacher and a mentor, suggested she pursue it. She says that becoming a Master Teacher has not changed her practices, except that she is now modeling the same sort of goal setting, implementing, data collecting and self-reflection that she will be asking and helping others do, to improve their own skills.  

The Master Teacher Program, though the Arizona K-12 Center, began in 2006 under Governor Janet Napolitano as an effort to place outstanding and experienced teachers into leadership roles to provide mentoring new teachers or coaching English or Math content teachers. The goals of the Master Teacher program is to provide support for teachers, create pathways for teachers to pursue National Board Certification, and implement the use of the Professional Learning Plan with imbedded professional learning opportunities to build capacity and sustainability for future teacher leaders and improved practices.


Carl Hayden Robotics Team Wins "Excellence in Engineering" Award

The Falcon Robotics team began their season at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition for Science and Technology) Robotics Northern Arizona Regionals in Flagstaff, March 13-16. The Falcons were ranked 8th out of 55 teams after the qualification rounds. They were chosen by the 2nd-ranked alliance captain and that thee-school team lost in the quarter finals. Hayden did win the "Excellence in Engineering" Award for their custom two-speed transmission.

Falcon Robotics will be at the Las Vegas Regional, March 27-30.


Maryvale Finishes 24th in the State Academic Decathlon

Maryvale finished 24th in the State Academic Decathlon, the 40-team championship, March 8-9, at Hamilton High School. Honors decathlete Arzuly Alonzo was the top Maryvale scorer, with Priscillla Peraza close behind.


Cesar Chavez Placed 5th for the Second Year in a Row at State Academic Decathlon

Cesar Chavez finished 5th in the State Academic Decathlon, the 40-team championship, March 8-9, at Hamilton High School. Chavez placed 5th for the second year in a row, top five in the last four years, and has finished in the top 10 nine of the last ten years. Irma Ceco was the Champions’ top scorer with 7,912 points, finishing 13th overall in the Honors division. Kenya Sterns was 10th overall in Scholastic division and won a bronze in economics. Kelly Hussman was 8th in Varsity, and won a gold medal in music. Kevin Chen took a silver in Varsity social studies and had the 14th best Varsity overall score.

Hamilton won State followed by Canyon Del Oro and Westwood.


Camelback Student Accepted into Arizona All-State Choir

Soprano Theresa Hawkins was accepted into the Arizona All-State Choir, one of only four from Phoenix Union. These students competed with the best high school choir students in the state and were selected to participate in this elite ensemble. Their audition, March 9, included the preparation of a collegiate-level solo, as well as being scored for accuracy while singing music that they have never seen before. They will be traveling to Northern Arizona University on April 11-13 for the festival and concert. Kaylee Atkisson is the Camelback choir teacher.


Betty Fairfax Students Accepted into Arizona All-State Choir

Tenors Carlos Grijalva III and Joaquin Valdez were accepted into the Arizona All-State Choir. These students competed with the best high school choir students in the state and were selected to participate in this elite ensemble. Their audition, March 9, included the preparation of a collegiate-level solo, as well as being scored for accuracy while singing music that they have never seen before. They will be traveling to Northern Arizona University on April 11-13 for the festival and concert. Chris Hughes is their choir teacher.


Alhambra Alums Reunite on Baseball Diamond

A couple of Alhambra alums had a reunion on the baseball diamond recently. Aldo Fernandez (Class of 2016) now a junior pitcher for New Mexico State University and Sam Romero (Class of 2015) is a senior Pitcher for Arizona State University. The two teams faced off on March 13 in Tempe, with Romero getting the start for the Sun Devils and Fernandez coming in relief for the Aggies. ASU won the game 7-3. Both teams are atop their respective conferences.


Alhambra Presents “Little Shop of Horrors”

Alhambra Musical Theater is presenting the production of “Little Shop of Horrors” March 28 and 29 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.


Early Childhood Education Teacher Named Teacher Leader of the Year at Educators Rising Leadership Conference

Early Childhood Education teacher Nancy Partin was named Teacher Leader of the Year at the Educators Rising Leadership Conference in Tucson, March 4-6. Partin sponsors the Career and Technical Student Organization that was formerly known as Future Teachers of America at the school. Alhambra received a Silver Chapter Award. Individually, Estefani Medina received a Master Student Achievement Award and Patricia Valenzuela received an Excellence Student Achievement Award.

Educators Rising is a national network that is transforming how America develops aspiring teachers. Starting with high school students, Educators Rising supports communities to provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators.


Alhambra Senior Selected as Dell Scholar

Senior Lilian Sabuni has been selected as a Dell Scholar. This scholarship, from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, includes $20,000 in tuition, a laptop, textbook credits, and support in acclimating to college life and managing the rigors of higher education. This scholarship is based on GPA, but the GPA stands for “Grit, Potential and Ambition.” The Dell Scholars program focuses on low-income, highly motivated students who demonstrate the drive to succeed despite personal obstacles. Sabuni plans to attend ASU and study law. She has been in the school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) College Readiness System that prepares students to enter four-year universities, often becoming the first in their family to attend college.

“Thanks to her continued dedication to the AVID program at Alhambra, Lilian was eligible to apply for this scholarship opportunity. She has enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement level classes, including AP Language and Composition, and AP Psychology and she has challenged herself with the support of her AVID cohort,” AVID coordinator Beau Newton said.

“She continues to get involved in community-building initiatives on our campus to reach out and support other students who struggle; such as our annual Liontown program and Alhambra’s Black Student Union.”


Phoenix Union Bus Drivers are Getting a Raise Next School Year

Phoenix Union bus drivers are getting a significant raise next school year, to $18.47 an hour and up, depending on experience. The increase reflects the severe shortage and demand for drivers in our District and throughout the state. The position comes with a 30-hour guarantee per week, full benefits and the opportunity for extra hours. Contact Transportation Director Bryan Henderson at 764-1612 for more details. 


Cesar Chavez Finishes 5th in the State Academic Decathlon

Cesar Chavez finished 5th in the State Academic Decathlon, Maryvale was 24th, South Mountain 25th and Alhambra, 33rd in the 40-team championship, March 8-9, at Hamilton High School. Chavez placed 5th for the second year in a row, and has finished in the top 10, nine of the last ten years. 


Academies at South Mountain “Meet Me at the Lunch Table” Wins in Participatory Budgeting Project

The Academies at South Mountain had a total of 986 students vote in its Participatory Budgeting Project, March 1, and by a mere two votes, “Meet Me at the Lunch Table” won over “Make It Rain.” Also, 83 students registered to vote in the next real election.


Phoenix Coding Academy Expand Physical Education Department with Kinesthetic Learning

Coding held its Participatory Budgeting election, March 6, and 96% of the student body voted. Occulus Quest Virtual Reality was the winner. According to the campaign, this is an opportunity to expand the physical education department with kinesthetic learning, allow students to experience and tour historical places in social studies clasess and be utilized as a Social and Emotional Learning intervention.


Metro Tech’s Participatory Budgeting Leads to Knights Lounge

Metro Tech’s Participatory Budgeting election was held February 27, with Knights Lounge winning by just 30 votes out of 1,324 ballots cast. The Knight Lounge project will provide students with a place to relax, eat or recharge. Students will have an area where they can sit comfortably, engage with their peers and recharge their electronic devices without having to sit on the floor.


Seventh Annual “Physics is Phun” Data Day Attracts Phoenix Union Schools and Students to Castles and Coasters

The Seventh Annual “Physics is Phun” Data Day attracted eight Phoenix Union schools and over 600 students to Castles and Coasters, March 1.  After 13 tightly contested events requiring physics skills, creativity, and perhaps a bit of duct tape, five schools entered the final event, “Bottled Rockets”, with a legitimate chance at a podium finish. Maryvale’s entries flew a bit farther, and they won their first overall title, with Metro Tech and North finishing second and third respectively. Every PUHSD school earned at least a gold, silver or bronze in an event.

“The students worked hard this year on their class projects and it showed…they spent a lot of time after school making sure their bottle rockets and foosball launchers were built to perform. This transferred to the other competitions too when their engineering skills were again put into practice,” Maryvale Physics teacher Jacob Dunklee said.

 Maryvale won five of the 14 events, including the final two. Juan Matancillas won Foozeballs and Paola Salas won Bottled Rockets.  

This year, one new event was added: Jiant Genga, to go along with such classics as Gummi Bridge, Mouse Trap Car, Egg Drop, Torqued Tangrams, Self-Driving Spheres and Flying Foozballs.


Franklin Police and Fire Social Studies Teacher's Comment is Published in New York Times

Social studies teacher David Flack was reading a New York Times Special Report on Learning about resilience and just had to comment. His point of view was published in the February 24 edition. According to Flack, the typical response from educators back east was that they incorporate resiliency into their curriculum or it is an add-on to existing coursework. 

“That struck me as so different to our students’ experience. I just felt the need to share our students’ perspective to people from other parts of our nation. Our students don’t get the positive feedback that they deserve in difficult times and circumstances,” Flack said.

He wrote: “Our students have been forced to be resilient with parents and grandparents being deported due to immigration status. Resiliency isn’t part of a prescribed curriculum; it is a core survival skill.”


Cesar Chavez Academic Decathlon Will Compete in the Arizona Academic Decathlon

Cesar Chavez Academic Decathlon will compete in the Arizona Academic Decathlon at ASU West, March 8-9. It is the 13th consecutive trip for the Champions, who won the 27-school Region II Decathlon for the fourth consecutive year in February. The Champions have the fourth-ranked regional score coming into the 40-school State Decathlon. They have finished in the top 10 in Arizona eight times in the past nine years. Chavez placed 5th last year, and was 4th the two previous years. 


Central’s Symphonic Band Participated in the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association Area Concert Festival

Central’s Symphonic Band participated in the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association Area Concert Festival, March 1. They performed three pieces of music: “Portrait of a Clown” by Frank Ticheli, “Gymnopedie No. 1” by Erik Satie and “Freedom City March” by Karl L. King. This performance was rated by three judges, who gave us a rating of “Excellent.”


Camelback High School Symphonic Band Will Advance to State Concert Festival

The Camelback High School Symphonic Band attended the Area Festival, February 28, and received a rating of “Excellent.” This rating will advance the band to the State Concert Festival at the end of April.


Alhambra Students Collect Books for Local Title I School

The Alhambra Early Childhood Education class participated in the Educators Rising Arizona Literacy Lives Community Service Project. The students collected new and gently used school age level books to donate to a local Title I school. They collected 527 books.


Linda Abril Participatory Budgeting Leads to Health and Wellness Programs

It’s election season across the District as students vote for their favorite campus project in Participatory Budgeting. Linda Abril had a 67% turnout, February 25 and Health and Wellness won convincingly. The school has the space to allow athletic and wellness programs to be offered to students during school hours, but after-class instruction to pursue physical fitness and awareness was limited. Basketball, soccer, volleyball and exercising would be offered on a participant-only basis during lunchtime and during unscheduled 8th period time slots. A portable basketball hoop and two basketballs, portable volleyball net and two volleyballs, 10 marking cones for soccer and 4 exercise mats will be purchased.


Spring Break Will be on March 11-15

Spring Break will be March 11-15. All schools and the District office will be closed.


Participatory Budgeting Kicks Off

Participatory Budgeting kicked off February 25 and elections will be held at 15 campuses through March 29. Students research and develop campus improvements, campaign and hold an election to select the project. Large schools have $7,000 to work with, while small schools have $4,000. The County Recorders Office assists with ballots, voting booths and electronic ballot counters. After a taste of what voting is like, eligible students also get the opportunity to register to vote for the next local and national elections.


Phoenix Union Bus Drivers Will Compete in Bus Rodeo

The Phoenix Union transportation department will have four bus drivers compete in the Bus Rodeo, March 9 at the State Fairgounds, 19th Ave. and Encanto. The drivers will go against nine other school districts in a skills contest, testing driving and driver safety.


Phoenix Union Distance Learning School Registered its 101st Student

Phoenix Union Distance Learning School registered its 101st student, February 26, in the six weeks since opening its virtual doors to enrolling students. Students from all over the District can enroll as full time students in PUHSD. They have access to fully online instruction, instructors with office hours, a lab to take courses finals, and a take home laptop. For more information, contact 602 764-1701 at Bostrom High School.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for students who need an alternate option to the traditional school setting,” Bostrom principal Deana Gillespey said. 


Phoenix Union JROTC Programs Successfully Complete JROTC Program Accreditation Inspection

Phoenix Union JROTC Programs successfully completed the 2018-2019 JROTC Program Accreditation Inspection, February 25-28. All PUHSD JROTC Programs received 90% or above, with Alhambra, Cesar Chavez, Carl Hayden, South Mountain, Trevor Browne, North, Maryvale and Betty Fairfax JROTC Programs receiving the highest Honor Unit with Distinction rating, of over 95%.  Only 10 % of the Army JROTC units in the country earn Honor Unit with Distinction, and it is 80% of the JROTC programs. PUHSD has 1730 student cadets at 10 school programs.

This all-day accreditation inspection is student-based with all the briefings, inspections, interviews and reviews student-led. It is conducted every three years. The U.S. Army representatives inspected the following areas: battalion administrative procedures, cadet attendance and participation, cadet curriculum knowledge, student electronic portfolios, use of local media, logistical procedures, instructor planning/portfolios, training management and physical security. Additionally, cadet battalion staff presented two formal staff briefings and JROTC classes received a formal uniform inspection and had to perform a prearranged platoon drill marching sequence.  

This inspection is part of the national U.S. Army JROTC AdvancEd certification.


The Phoenix Union Leadership Team Invite Leaders to Enhance Career and Workforce Development

The Phoenix Union Leadership team invited leaders of chambers of commerce, economic groups, foundations and non-profits to Metro Nashville Public Schools, March 4-6, to study a unique public-private partnership to enhance career and workforce development in Phoenix. The Academies of Nashville transformed an urban district by creating 39 academies at 12 high schools, partnering with the business community, nonprofits and foundations to invest financial support, resources, and professional development to create a practical learning model that promotes student career development through community-connected learning. Phoenix Union has made great strides in developing a college-going culture, but also must focus on reform around careers. 

“We cannot and should not do this alone.  We have studied models around the country and believe that Nashville is a starting place to dream big about workforce development and its connection to K-12 and post-secondary education,” Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson said. 

The group met with PUHSD leaders last month to give a quick overview of the Nashville model, and share visioning around a model for Phoenix.


Four Phoenix Union Schools Will Participate in Arizona Academic Decathlon

Four Phoenix Union schools will be in the Arizona Academic Decathlon at ASU West, March 8-9. Cesar Chavez won the 26-school Region II Decathlon for the fourth consecutive year in February. South Mountain, which finished third, Maryvale (4th) and Alhambra (7th) also qualified for the 40-school State Decathlon. Chavez has qualified for State 13 consecutive years, and have finished in the top 10 in Arizona eight times in the past nine years. Chavez placed 5th last year, and was 4th the two previous years. 


South Mountain's Musical Theatre Production of Aladdin Is Accepted into the American High School Musical Theatre Awards Program

South Mountain's musical theatre production of Aladdin has been accepted into the American High School Musical Theatre Awards program and several adjudicators came to see the production, Feb 21-23.  If any of the students are nominated for awards they will be invited to the local awards event in May at Gammage Auditorium. Winners at the local level get an all-expense trip to New York City for the finals during Tony Awards Week in June.


Two Phoenix Coding Academy Students Were Chosen to Present their Engineering Projects in Community Service

Phoenix Coding Academy’s Jesus Alvarado and Joseph De La Cruz were one of two high school teams chosen to present their EPICS project, Arcade 6833, along with university-level teams at ASU’s School of Engineering Design Review, February 20. EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) is “engineering meets entrepreneurship with empathy.” Students are empowered to devise a solution to a need in their community through the engineering design process. Alvarado had to complete a detailed application, design document, and pitch video that was reviewed by the ASU EPICS team and was ultimately one of a limited number of submissions that was rewarded with $500 of funding. For this project, Alvarado collaborated with Maria Enrique, the school counselor, to solve the issue of marketing the school for recruitment purposes. He designed a solution in the form of a modified arcade cabinet that runs on Raspberry Pi with the intention of piquing the interest of potential students to attend PCA and participate in the tech-based pathways it provides.


Phoenix Fire and Police Department Will Stage a Mock Crash Assembly on March 1

The Phoenix Fire and Police Department will stage a Mock Crash Assembly on Friday, March 1, at 9 A.M. The assembly will show real-time accident responses from the police and fire departments. Crashed vehicles will be on campus and student actors will play the role of crash victims. An emergency helicopter will respond to the mock crash along with other emergency vehicles and personnel. 

The goal of the Mock Crash is to help young adults understand the impact of unsafe driving behaviors such as distracted or impaired driving.  According to the CDC, one of the leading causes of teenage death is accidents. In the month of March, Arizona experiences the highest number of car crashes when compared with every other month. The time selected for the crash was strategically-planned around Spring Break and the end of the year festivities, such as graduation and Prom. 


North High Celebrated Black History Month from Start to Finish

North High celebrated Black History Month from start to finish. The Black Student Union, under the guidance of math teacher Joseph Prevost, provided daily announcements about African-American history; African-American artifacts were on display in the school’s library; BSU Club members attended the annual African-American Legislative and Leadership Conference, February 8; a BHM Spirit Week had students wearing attire based on different daily themes during the week; there was an assembly with performances by the school’s choir and dance group, a gospel group, poetry readings and a keynote speaker, and a Career Panel in which African-American professionals from the Phoenix area spoke with students about college and career preparedness, and Black History Month.


Metro Tech and Canyon State Credit Union Student Interns Host Agent from FBI's White Collar Division

Metro Tech High School and the Canyon State Credit Union student interns hosted a special guest--Special Agent Elizabeth Goodman from the FBI's White Collar Division, February 12. She spoke to over 125 students from the Banking/Finance to Computer Network Technologies about the FBI and complex financial crimes. The students asked great questions and were very engaged.


Maryvale National Honors Society and JROTC Join Together to Hold a Valentine's Party for Residents of an Elderly Home

For the past ten years Maryvale's National Honors Society and JROTC join together to hold a Valentine's Party for the residents of an elderly home. NHS brings the balloons and homemade cards for the 82 residents, and JROTC provides the entertainment by showing the residents their maneuvers and skills. The many Veterans of various wars really appreciate their excellence and presence. The home provides a DJ and there is dancing and food for all.


Maryvale Hosts First Ever Phoenix Union High School District One Act Festival

Maryvale hosted the first ever Phoenix Union High School District One Act Festival, February 19. Theatre students of various experience levels from Carl Hayden, Cesar Chavez, Fairfax, and Maryvale participated in this event, while teachers from the remaining schools serves as judges. Each ensemble had the opportunity to receive feedback from theatre teachers from all over the district and from the other participating ensembles. One student from each production was selected to receive the award for "Best Performer in a One Act Play" and Carl Hayden's production of "The Yellow Boat" earned the award for "Best Ensemble". The second portion of this two-day event took plce, February 21 at Camelback High School, where Camelback, South Mountain, North, Metro, and Central performed.  


Two Maryvale Students Win in Phoenix Public Library Black History Month Art Contest

Maryvale’s Ivann Guevara. A 9th grader in the Gifted and Talented Academy, was one of two high school winners in the Phoenix Public Library Black History Month Art Contest. His picture of Tupac Shakur will be displayed on the library website and at Palo Verde Library. He will also receive a gift card. Also, Maryvale’s Melissa Duran, is one of five students who received an Honorable Mention for her portrait of Michael Jackson. Her picture will also be displayed at Palo Verde Library. The students are in Doni Sanchez’ art class.


Maryvale Mariachi Group Invited to Perform the National Anthem at House of Representatives session

Maryvale’s Mariachi Panteras de Oro mariachi group was invited by Maryvale Alumnus and Representative Cesar Chavez to perform the National Anthem at the opening of the February 13 House of Representatives session. The students were invited to walk onto the House floor and meet Representative Chavez. Maryvale was the first Valley High School Mariachi to perform on the floor, and they were invited back by the Speaker of the House.


Carl Hayden Students Win Awards at Code Day Phoenix

Code Day Phoenix was held at the Phoenix College, February 16-17.  This was a 24-hour event and approximately 145 competitors worked in teams to plan, research, design, and code either apps or computer games using any software or programming language.

Students from Carl Hayden’s Center for Computer Studies participated in the event. Two of the four teams from Carl Hayden won the following awards:

Best In Show award- James Garnica for making the most creative, most challenging and most polished project. The Game Project was called “Unorthodox.”

Special Prize Best Art- Edgar De Leon Sanchez, Brisa Perdomo, Arianna Reyes, Julio Parra, and Danny Miron. for making a unique and creative project called “Avery.”

 


Franklin Fire and Police High School Recruiting Team Volunteer at Arizona PBS Kids Day

Franklin Fire and Police High School recruiting team and selected upperclassmen volunteered at Arizona PBS Kids Day, February 16, showcasing what Franklin has to offer to the community and what it is like to be a student at the only public safety-dedicated high school in the Valley. Students spoke with the community, met future students, and showed parents and kids what being a student at Franklin is all about.  The Kids Day is an annual event at Cityscape Park downtown  that hosts over 8,000 parents and children. Takes place in City Scape park downtown.


Franklin Fire and Police High School Recruiting Team Volunteer at Arizona PBS Kids Day

Franklin Fire and Police High School recruiting team and selected upperclassmen volunteered at Arizona PBS Kids Day, February 16, showcasing what Franklin has to offer to the community and what it is like to be a student at the only public safety-dedicated high school in the Valley. Students spoke with the community, met future students, and showed parents and kids what being a student at Franklin is all about.  The Kids Day is an annual event at Cityscape Park downtown  that hosts over 8,000 parents and children. Takes place in City Scape park downtown.


Schools Around the State are Competing in a FAFSA Challenge

Schools around the state are competing in a FAFSA Challenge. FAFSA is Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which determines students’ eligibility for financial aid. At Franklin, 88.3% or 68 out of 77 Franklin seniors have completed their FAFSA and 73 of those 77 or 94% have submitted their application.


Schools Around the State are Competing in a FAFSA Challenge

Schools around the state are competing in a FAFSA Challenge. FAFSA is Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which determines students’ eligibility for financial aid. At Franklin, 88.3% or 68 out of 77 Franklin seniors have completed their FAFSA and 73 of those 77 or 94% have submitted their application.


Betty Fairfax Japanese Club and Dance Team Perform at the Phoenix Matsuri

The Japanese Club of Betty Fairfax High School and their dance team, Higanbana (red spider lily), performed at the Phoenix Matsuri, February 23-24. The Arizona Matsuri draws thousands of visitors over the course of the weekend event. The Japanese Club performed bilingual storytelling of traditional Japanese folktales and the dance team performed Japanese pop music dances from their YouTube channel four times to raucous applause throughout the weekend. Matsuri is the biggest Japanese cultural event of the year and happens annually the third weekend of February. This year, Phoenix celebrated the 35th Matsuri.


Betty Fairfax Japanese Club and Dance Team Perform at the Phoenix Matsuri

The Japanese Club of Betty Fairfax High School and their dance team, Higanbana (red spider lily), performed at the Phoenix Matsuri, February 23-24. The Arizona Matsuri draws thousands of visitors over the course of the weekend event. The Japanese Club performed bilingual storytelling of traditional Japanese folktales and the dance team performed Japanese pop music dances from their YouTube channel four times to raucous applause throughout the weekend. Matsuri is the biggest Japanese cultural event of the year and happens annually the third weekend of February. This year, Phoenix celebrated the 35th Matsuri.


Betty Fairfax Athlete Becomes First in Soccer Program's History to Sign at a Four Year University

Kristian Alonso became the first athlete in our soccer program's history to sign at a four year university, Feb 19. Next year Alonzo will be playing ball at Park University in Gilbert.

“We are super excited for him to continue his playing career, but we are even more excited for him to be the first in his family to attend college. He is an inspiration to all future/current players in our program as they will hopefully begin realizing they are capable of obtaining the same opportunities after graduating,” Coach John Shalongo said.


Betty Fairfax Athlete Becomes First in Soccer Program's History to Sign at a Four Year University

Kristian Alonso became the first athlete in our soccer program's history to sign at a four year university, Feb 19. Next year Alonzo will be playing ball at Park University in Gilbert.

“We are super excited for him to continue his playing career, but we are even more excited for him to be the first in his family to attend college. He is an inspiration to all future/current players in our program as they will hopefully begin realizing they are capable of obtaining the same opportunities after graduating,” Coach John Shalongo said.


Cesar Chavez Boys Basketball Win Metro Region with 10-0 record

It was another successful season for Cesar Chavez Boys Basketball. The Champions went 23-5, 16-2 in conference and won the Metro Region with a 10-0 record. Seeded 7th in the6A  state tournament, they beat Basha in the opening round, but fell 77-75 to #2 Chaparral, February 19 in the quarterfinals, despite getting 54 points from two guards, including 32 from Ty Ty Washington.


Cesar Chavez Boys Basketball Win Metro Region with 10-0 record

It was another successful season for Cesar Chavez Boys Basketball. The Champions went 23-5, 16-2 in conference and won the Metro Region with a 10-0 record. Seeded 7th in the6A  state tournament, they beat Basha in the opening round, but fell 77-75 to #2 Chaparral, February 19 in the quarterfinals, despite getting 54 points from two guards, including 32 from Ty Ty Washington.


Central Choir Will Present a Big Apple Pops Choir Concert on March 1

Start spreading the news-Central Choir presents a Big Apple Pops Choir concert, Friday, March 1 at 6:30, featuring songs about New York, Broadway tunes and songs from New York artists. The show will include musical guests from the Madison 1 Middle School Ensemble.


Central Choir Will Present a Big Apple Pops Choir Concert on March 1

Start spreading the news-Central Choir presents a Big Apple Pops Choir concert, Friday, March 1 at 6:30, featuring songs about New York, Broadway tunes and songs from New York artists. The show will include musical guests from the Madison 1 Middle School Ensemble.


Camelback Hosted Annual Apprenticeship Fair

Camelback’s Annual Apprenticeship Fair, February 21 brought over 12 companies to campus talking to students about construction, carpentry, bricklaying, electrician and welding apprenticeship opportunities for them. Gateway Community College and Central Arizona College came, as well, to share their programs. Over 200 students attended. 

“This is only our second year doing this and it grew double this year. This is so important for those students that might not be planning on attending college; it gives them hope for other amazing opportunities,” counselor and organizer Cindee Badalamante, a counselor said.


Camelback Hosted Annual Apprenticeship Fair

Camelback’s Annual Apprenticeship Fair, February 21 brought over 12 companies to campus talking to students about construction, carpentry, bricklaying, electrician and welding apprenticeship opportunities for them. Gateway Community College and Central Arizona College came, as well, to share their programs. Over 200 students attended. 

“This is only our second year doing this and it grew double this year. This is so important for those students that might not be planning on attending college; it gives them hope for other amazing opportunities,” counselor and organizer Cindee Badalamante, a counselor said.


Bioscience Student-interns Receive the 2019 Young Makers Award

Bioscience student-interns at ACCEL, an organization that educates children with severe disabilities, attended the Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa, February 16. This event encourages the local community to share their technology and inspire others to make fascinating technology.

Alex Parra, Ian Westover, Jimmy Rodriguez, Norman Pineda Jr., Adrian Andrade, and their ACCEL mentor Matthew Levac, brought various pieces of technology to showcase what they have done at ACCEL has done so far.

The students showcased two of the projects they have been working on this year. The first is a ‘PVC little room’, which is a small space that provides an active learning environment for children. It contains various hanging objects and textures wrapped around PVC pipes, allowing children to have fun while interacting with the little room.

The other project is an exoskeleton, which would be worn by children with cerebral palsy who have the wish to write or draw, but can’t due to the spams in their arm. The exoskeleton arm applies extra weight to a child’s arm, reducing the effects of the spasms a child may experience. The exoskeleton also connects to an Arduino microcontroller device which can record the movements in the arm to give therapist data about its effectiveness. 

“Watching all the children and their parents smile while using the little room made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It reminded me why I continue to help the community in any way I can.” said Norman Pineda Jr.

At the conclusion of the event, the interns and their mentor were astonished to learn they had received the 2019 Young Makers Award. As a result, they have been invited to compete in the statewide Arizona Science & Engineering Fair in April, which is the state’s top science and engineering fair.


Bioscience Student-interns Receive the 2019 Young Makers Award

Bioscience student-interns at ACCEL, an organization that educates children with severe disabilities, attended the Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa, February 16. This event encourages the local community to share their technology and inspire others to make fascinating technology.

Alex Parra, Ian Westover, Jimmy Rodriguez, Norman Pineda Jr., Adrian Andrade, and their ACCEL mentor Matthew Levac, brought various pieces of technology to showcase what they have done at ACCEL has done so far.

The students showcased two of the projects they have been working on this year. The first is a ‘PVC little room’, which is a small space that provides an active learning environment for children. It contains various hanging objects and textures wrapped around PVC pipes, allowing children to have fun while interacting with the little room.

The other project is an exoskeleton, which would be worn by children with cerebral palsy who have the wish to write or draw, but can’t due to the spams in their arm. The exoskeleton arm applies extra weight to a child’s arm, reducing the effects of the spasms a child may experience. The exoskeleton also connects to an Arduino microcontroller device which can record the movements in the arm to give therapist data about its effectiveness. 

“Watching all the children and their parents smile while using the little room made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It reminded me why I continue to help the community in any way I can.” said Norman Pineda Jr.

At the conclusion of the event, the interns and their mentor were astonished to learn they had received the 2019 Young Makers Award. As a result, they have been invited to compete in the statewide Arizona Science & Engineering Fair in April, which is the state’s top science and engineering fair.


Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA team Win at SkillsUSA Region II Competition

The Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA team took the gold medal in Job Interview Skills, the silver and bronze medal in Technical Math Skills, and silver medal in Prepared Speech at the SkillsUSA Region II competition at Metro Tech High School, Friday, February 22, Izail Smith was gold medalist in Job Interview;  Joseph Urrutia, silver in prepared speech; Heimy Leon, silver in Technical Math Skills and Emoni Satterwhite, bronze n Technical Math.


Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA team Win at SkillsUSA Region II Competition

The Alhambra Culinary Arts SkillsUSA team took the gold medal in Job Interview Skills, the silver and bronze medal in Technical Math Skills, and silver medal in Prepared Speech at the SkillsUSA Region II competition at Metro Tech High School, Friday, February 22, Izail Smith was gold medalist in Job Interview;  Joseph Urrutia, silver in prepared speech; Heimy Leon, silver in Technical Math Skills and Emoni Satterwhite, bronze n Technical Math.


Alhambra Medical Magnet Student selected to Participate in KEYS Research Internship at the University of Arizona

Alhambra Medical Magnet student Jacson Dayee went through a rigorous application process and was selected to participate in the KEYS Research Internship at the University of Arizona this summer. The seven-week KEYS Research Internship Program is a unique summer opportunity for motivated Arizona high school students with a strong interest in bioscience, engineering, environmental health, or biostatistics to work side-by-side with top faculty in University of Arizona research labs.  

After initially training in laboratory techniques and safety, interns will participate in innovative research projects under the guidance of UA faculty and other lab members, including current university students. Past interns have assisted in creating better ways to detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma, and diabetes; exploring the effect of contaminated water sources on populations and the environment; studying plants and animals to determine their impact on ecosystems; and analyzing the role genes play in individual human health. At the close of the program, Jacson will present what he has learned and experienced to friends, family, and the academic community at a public research showcase.


Alhambra Medical Magnet Student selected to Participate in KEYS Research Internship at the University of Arizona

Alhambra Medical Magnet student Jacson Dayee went through a rigorous application process and was selected to participate in the KEYS Research Internship at the University of Arizona this summer. The seven-week KEYS Research Internship Program is a unique summer opportunity for motivated Arizona high school students with a strong interest in bioscience, engineering, environmental health, or biostatistics to work side-by-side with top faculty in University of Arizona research labs.  

After initially training in laboratory techniques and safety, interns will participate in innovative research projects under the guidance of UA faculty and other lab members, including current university students. Past interns have assisted in creating better ways to detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma, and diabetes; exploring the effect of contaminated water sources on populations and the environment; studying plants and animals to determine their impact on ecosystems; and analyzing the role genes play in individual human health. At the close of the program, Jacson will present what he has learned and experienced to friends, family, and the academic community at a public research showcase.


Phoenix Union Hosted a Pre-employment Transition Services Parents’ Night

Phoenix Union held a Pre-employment Transition Services Parents’ Night, February 12 at Carl Hayden High School. Ten agencies from the community presented their resources for pre-employment transition services. Over 50 students, families, and school personnel attended. Students eligible under Section 504 and/or the IDEA learned about free resources available to help them develop career readiness, self-advocacy, and post-secondary skills.  Attendees listened to a presentation by Vocational Rehabilitation and then asked specific questions to community providers present.


Phoenix Union Hosted a Pre-employment Transition Services Parents’ Night

Phoenix Union held a Pre-employment Transition Services Parents’ Night, February 12 at Carl Hayden High School. Ten agencies from the community presented their resources for pre-employment transition services. Over 50 students, families, and school personnel attended. Students eligible under Section 504 and/or the IDEA learned about free resources available to help them develop career readiness, self-advocacy, and post-secondary skills.  Attendees listened to a presentation by Vocational Rehabilitation and then asked specific questions to community providers present.


Trevor Browne’s Boys Soccer Team Bowed out of the State Tournament

Trevor Browne’s Boys soccer team bowed out of the State Tournament February 9 in an electrifying, though heartbreaking loss to Red Mountain 5-4.   

Three penalty kicks given to Red Mountain in the first 20 minutes of the second half---plus a red card putting the Bruins a man down--- proved to be a hole a little too deep to climb out of.   

“A dogged effort tied the game at 3, and again at 4, but our comeback fell just short. Great effort, a great season and a great group of guys,” Coach Jeffrey Scofield said.


Trevor Browne Mixed Choir Traveled to Flagstaff to Participate in the NAU Jazz & Madrigal Festival

The Trevor Browne Mixed Choir traveled to Flagstaff to participate in the NAU Jazz & Madrigal Festival, February 8-9, and turned in a “Superior” rating, the highest rating given at the festival. The festival featured 152 choirs from the Southwest at six performance venues over two days making it one of the largest festivals in the country. 

“Our kids performed very well. They worked very hard in their preparation for this festival. Many hours were put in outside of the school day for them to achieve at their highest level,” choir teacher Troy Meeker said. 


The Academies at South Mountain's Boys Basketball Team Advanced to the 5A State Tournament

The Boys Basketball team advanced to the 5A State Tournament with an upset win at Sierra Vista Buena High School in a play-in game, February 8. The Jaguars were re-seeded #15 for the 16-team tournament and play #2 Apollo in the first round, February 13.


North's Future Business Leaders of America Chapter Hosted a Senior Citizen Prom

North's Future Business Leaders of America chapter hosted a Senior Citizen Prom as a community outreach project, February 9, teaming up with the City of Phoenix at a local senior center. Over 100 seniors had a chance to dance, eat, make new friends and new memories. Guests were provided a free prom photo and were encouraged to make song requests. Even after Donna Summers "Last Dance" song played at the end, guests wanted to keep dancing.

“The FBLA members were such sports as they mingled and danced the night away with their senior guests. Junior member Adam Moore was asked by a guest to dance and he willingly did. We are hoping to make this a yearly event,” Club sponsor Rita Lopez said.


Phoenix Union’s Career and Technical Education Program Will Host a Mock Interview Fair on February 15

Embedded into each of Phoenix Union’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are Workplace Employability Skills or Professional Skills to assist students’ transition into the workforce. The one often described as the most difficult is the Job Interview. CTE will host a Mock Interview Fair at North High School, February 15. CTE students will practice their interviewing skills in a professional setting with partners, such as Valley of the Sun United Way and Arizona Department of Economic Security, and receive feedback. 


Support My Club Delivers $1965 Worth of Donations to Metro Tech Clubs and Sports

The Support My Club organization delivered $1965 worth of donations to Metro Tech clubs and sports. Clubs that received a donation were: Anime Club; Best Buddies; Cheer; Chess Club; Education Club; Engineering Club; Fashion Club; Film Club; Games Club; Honors Engineering; Military History; Physics Club; Robotics; Soccer Boys; Student Government and the Weightlifting Club.


Maryvale English Teacher Receives ASU Gammage Kaleidoscope Project Grant

Maryvale English teacher Dixie Maxwell received the ASU Gammage Kaleidoscope Project grant which gave the school 100 free tickets to Disney's Broadway production of Aladdin, February 6. For many of the students it was their first time seeing a Broadway production, and most had never visited Gammage. The students are completing a project and essays after viewing the production. They are also reading some of the main stories from The Thousand and One Arabian Nights, as well as listening to excerpts of the symphonic suite, Sheherazade, by Rimsky-Korsakov, and viewing excerpts of the ballet by the Ballet Russes, choreographed by Michel Fokine.

“The experience is one that our students will never forget,” Maxwell said.


Maryvale JROTC Dominates Annual Phoenix Union Brigade Drill Championships

The Maryvale JROTC dominated the annual Phoenix Union Brigade Drill Championships, February 9 at Carl Hayden High School. Maryvale won seven events, won the Unarmed Sweepstakes and the Armed Sweepstakes and was the Grand Championship Sweepstakes winner. All PUHSD JROTC programs and others from Arizona participated in the Armed and Unarmed Regulation, Inspection and Exhibition events, as well as formal Color Guard events.


Carl Hayden Handball Club Hosted Event for Students, Parents and Community Supporters

The Carl Hayden Handball Club held an event, February 9, for the students, their parents and community supporters. ASU players came, along with ASU Upward Bound and Success 4 Kids. Upward Bound presented to our parents in the morning and then all were treated to lunch. There were two divisions of handball players, including a novice division for beginners who were given one-on-one instruction by ASU's handball coach. One of the handball courts was reserved for handball challenges, in which objects hung on the wall are targets for the players to hit.  


Franklin Police and Fire In Partnership With Banner Health Organize "Stop the Bleed" Classes

Franklin Police and Fire High School’s firefighting instructor Jeff Clubb organized classes for students called Stop the Bleed in partnership with Banner Health. Nurses from Banner Health and a Phoenix firefighter taught Franklin students about basic training in bleeding control principles. These principles can be applied by the students to provide immediate aid until first responders are able to take over care of an injured person. Students received a certification for completing the course.


Betty Fairfax Students and Staff Help Residents Fill out their Taxes in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Betty Fairfax students and staff are helping residents fill out their taxes in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Allyson Seals (a former Fairfax teacher), trained 20 students and about 3 faculty members to be IRS-certified tax preparers. This is a city-wide program that provides free tax preparation services to low and moderate income families  In preparation for opening the Betty Fairfax site, Social Studies teacher Courtney Hartsfield partnered with Trisha Drake and her graphic design students to design signage for the program. When Julie Bordelon from the City of Phoenix saw the signs, she was so impressed that she wants to use their designs for city-wide events and host a recognition event for the students.   


Betty Fairfax Senior Is Selected for the 2019-2020 ASU Barack Obama Scholars Program

Xitlallic Ortega-Perez, a senior at Betty H. Fairfax, has been selected for the 2019-2020 ASU Barack Obama Scholars Program, part of ASU's Advantage Program. The scholarship will cover his tuition, mandatory fees, and provide allowances for housing, meals, books, supplies, and a mentor for up to eight full-time, consecutive fall and spring semesters. The package is valued at $110,000 over the four years. Ortega-Perez wants to become a veterinarian.


Four Cesar Chavez Football Players Sign Letters of Intent to Continue their Football and Academic Careers in College

Cesar Chavez had four football players sign letters of intent this week to continue their football and academic careers in college. 6A Metro Player of the Year Andrew Blitzke, a linebacker and running back, is going to NAU. All-Region first teamers Thairyk Blue, a receiver and kick returner, is off to Adams State University in Colorado and defensive back Shay Guidry will stay here in the Valley at Arizona Christian University. Also, standout defensive back Tavion Allen, who graduated from Chavez in 2017, will continue his career at the University of Hawaii.  He played the last two years at Scottsdale Community College.


Cesar Chavez Wrestler Wins Division I Title

Cesar Chavez’s Andres Avelar is a state champion wrestler.  He won the Division I title for the 120-pound weight class, Saturday, in Prescott Valley. Avelar, who finished third last year while wrestling for South Mountain, ran his record to 24-1.  Avelar pinned the returning state finalist from Corona del Sol in 21 seconds of the first period to become the Champions’ 5th state champion in Cesar Chavez Wrestling history. He led a contingent of nine Chavez wrestlers, four of whom medaled and the Champions finished 7th in the team totals with 91 points, moving up from 20th last year. Giovanni Meza (147-lbs) placed third, Erick Orozco, 197-lbs) was fourth. Samuel Hernandez (154) placed 6th.

In the first-ever AIA girls wrestling state tournament, 130-pound Yaniva Carrillo finished 2nd, one of four Chavez Girls in the tournament. North’s Sakina Lord advanced the semi-finals at 110-lb., and finished fourth.


Central Senior Wrestler Places 6th at Division II State Wrestling Tournament

Central senior wrestler Abel Guillen placed  6th at the  Division II State Wrestling Tournament in the 184-pound weight class, February 9.


Support My Club Will Donate Items to Camelback Clubs to Promote Student Engagement

Support My Club has been donating items to Phoenix Union clubs for a number of years, and Camelback will be the site of a big delivery, February 14, when 30 clubs and teams will receive items and experiences totaling $19,000. Thanks to generous donors and community partners, 718 student needs will be fulfilled. Phoenix Union is not alone. Statewide, over $37,000 worth of items will be donated to 35 districts and 85 schools in this most recent Flash Funding. It is the organization’s way of promoting student engagement.

“It gives students a sense of belonging and school pride, it helps them connect with trusted adults, incrases their self-esteem and most importantly, it keeps them busy, involved and in school,” Amy Armstrong of Support My Club said.  “Support My Club is here to ensure that no student is excluded from that opportunity due to lack of equipment or resources.”


Camelback Wrestler Finishes Second in the AIA Division II Wrestling Tournament Finals

Daunte Cartwright, a state champion last year, fell in the finals of AIA Division II Wrestling tournament in Prescott Valley, February 9.  He finished second in the 113-pound classification. He ends the year with a 37-3 record. Last year, Cartwright won the 106-pound division.


Bioscience Student Advances to Wrestling Semi-Finals

Sakina Lord, who attends Bioscience but wrestles for North, advanced to the semi-finals at 110-lb., and finished fourth in her weight class at the first-ever AIA Girls Wresting State Tournament, February 8 in Prescott Valley.


Fifty-Nine Phoenix Union Sophomores were Accepted into the Class of 2021 Student Expedition Program

Fifty-nine Phoenix Union sophomores were accepted into the STEP (Student Expedition Program) Class of 2021.  There were 268 applicants, and PUHSD had over half of the 102 students selected. Students and parents were welcomed into STEP at its New Student / Parent Orientation, February 10.

The STEP (Student Expedition Program) educates and empowers Arizona high-school students to enroll in and graduate from college.  The program works with students from low-income households who are internally motivated to take rigorous courses and do the hard work to excel. A majority of the students are the first generation in their family to seek a college degree.

Students enter STEP's College-Prep Program in their sophomore year and participate through high school graduation. Twenty-seven highly-focused workshops (and individual advising) provide students with step-by-step guidance in the college preparation and application process, including financial aid instruction for both students and parents. Summer programs at college campuses nationwide and STEP's signature three-week Leadership Expedition in the wilderness of Alaska allow students to experience life away from home in a challenging and supportive environment. 

Last year’s STEP seniors were accepted to such schools as Bowdoin, Notre Dame, MIT, Tufts, Wellesley, Smith and ASU Barrett.


The Academies at South Mountain Broadcasting Students Took First, Second and Third Place in the City of Phoenix’s February Teenage Domestic Violence PSA Contest.

The Academies at South Mountain broadcasting students took first, second and third place in the City of Phoenix’s February Teenage Domestic Violence PSA (public service announcement) contest. Kyree Ware placed first, won $500 and his PSA will be shown on the City of Phoenix Educational channel, Know 99. Nikko Garcia was second, worth $300 and Maurice Holloway earned $100 for his piece. The students will get a tour of the Channel 99 studios and tickets to a Phoenix Suns game in March.  

The students are in Heather Jancoski’s television class. They hosted Briselda Rodriguez from the City of Phoenix who announced the winner and presented the prizes January 30.


The Academies at South Mountain Will Host its Future Freshman Day on February 9

The Academies at South Mountain will have its Future Freshman Day, February 9 from 8 to 11 a.m. The new concept of four distinct academies at the school attracted a record number of freshmen last year. Students can choose from the Science & Technology, Public & Social Service; Aerospace & Engineering or Media, Arts & Design academies. Prospective students will have an opportunity to view some of the unique academy spaces on campus led by the school’s student ambassadors. Registration staff will be on hand to help parents with the registration process. Academy representatives, coaches and club sponsors will also be present.  


Metro Tech Social Studies Teacher Shaves Head to Raise Money for Cancer Research

Social Studies Teacher Jesse Poweziak had his head shaved to raise money for Metro Tech HOSA who is donating it to Cancer Research. In all over $500 was raised. Other staff members who volunteered for this were Principal Bryan Reynoso, Math Teachers Josh Quezada and Michael Varela. Poweziak raised the most and ultimately got his head shaved.


Metro Tech Girls Wrestling Repeated as Champions at the Arizona High School State Championships

When it comes to weightlifting, Metro Tech is powerful. The Metro Tech Girls repeated as state champions, and the Boys finished second at the Arizona High School State Championships, February 2, hosted by Central High School. The Knights had five individual state champions- Celina Ortega, 81-Kilogram (also named State Junior Lifter of the Year and a National Qualifier;) Vivian Lara Olivas 40KG and Jocelyn Gonzalez  45KG and Desslie Valencia,  86KG  for the girls, and Alan Ramirez, 109KG in the boys competition. Janeth Martinez, 49KG and Samantha Rodriguez, 86KG, Araceli Cabrera placed second in their weight classes, and Romina Quintero in 45KG was third.  Metro boys placing second were Kevin Sandoval in Super Heavyweight, and Juan Vazquez, 89K. Jeremy Cubbage finished third in the 89kg category.

According to Metro coach Mario Malaby, it was the largest Olympic Weightlifting event in the history of Arizona. A record number of 17 schools and weightlifting clubs participated. 


Four Maryvale Sophomores are Accepted into the Student Expedition Program

Four Maryvale sophomores were accepted into the STEP (Student Expedition Program), including three from the two-year old Gifted and Talented Academy on campus. Daniela Salazar, Samantha Garcia, Jennifer Higuera and Diego Villalpando. The program prepares students for acceptance to prestigious universiites with several workshops, and culminating with an Alaskan kayaking trip their senior year. Some 268 students across Phoenix and Tucson applied for the Class of 2021, and 58 of them are from Phoenix Union.


The Carl Hayden Boys Soccer Team is Ranked #1 in state in 5A

The Carl Hayden Boys Soccer team is ranked #1 in state in 5A, and will embark on a state championship journey, Saturday, February 9 when the Falcons host a first-round game at 2 p.m. Hayden was 12-0 in regulation games, and actually won 17 matches, including tournament games. Their only loss, in an early season tournament game, was to Brophy, which is the #1 team in 6A. The Falcons have averaged about four goals per game, while allowing an average of one goal. The 16-team tournament culminates February 20. Hayden has never won a state title, but made it to the championship game under coach Abner Calderon in 2010, falling in overtime to Pinnacle.    


Cesar Chavez Will Send 13 Wrestlers to the Division I State Championships

Cesar Chavez will send 13 wrestlers, including four girls, to the Division I State Championships by virtue of performances February 2 at sectional events.  To qualify, a wrestler had to finish in the top four of his/her weight division. Andres Avelar at 122-pounds; Alex Galindo, 184-lbs. and Ruben Maldonado, 222 won their weight classes.  Other Chavez athletes heading to state are Kristopher Sanchez, 115; Edwardo Duran, 128; George Poland, 134; Gio Meza, 147; Samuel Hernandez, 154 and Erik Orozco, 197. 

The Chavez Girls have won back-to-back state titles before it was an AIA sport.  This is the first year that it is sanctioned as an official state event.  Yessenia Martinez-118-lbs.; Yaniva Carillo-132; Janelle Bonnett-138 and Zara Castodan-220, will represent Chavez in the newest AIA sport.  Both the boys and girls state tournaments are in Prescott Valley, February 8-9.


Two Central Wrestlers Head to the Division II State Championships

Two Central wrestlers are headed to the Division II State Championships, February 8-9 in Prescott Valley. Abel Guillen placed 2nd and Julian Parra was 4th in the sectional meet, February 2. Four other Bobcats finished 5th or 6th place, one more win away from qualifying.


Camelback Student Daunte Cartwright Will Try for a Second State Wrestling Title

Daunte Cartwright will try for a second state wrestling title, February 8-9 in Prescott Valley. He won at the 106-pound weight class in Division II last year and this year, at 113-pounds, he comes in as the top-ranked wrestler in that class, with a 31-1 record, after winning the sectional tournament, February 1-2.


New Governing Board Member Naketa Ross Has Been Selected to the 2019 Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy

New Governing Board member Naketa Ross has been selected to the 2019 Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy by the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation.

Ross, who was elected in November, represents Ward 1 in the southwest portion of Phoenix and Laveen. 

The 2019 20-person cohort represents the private and public sectors in business and industry, government, nonprofits and education. The competitively selected Fellows come from a wide range of backgrounds,  and are expecting to pursue roles as state-level elected officials, state-agency executives, policy advisors, members of state boards or commissions, and executives in statewide organizations that affect public policy.

The Academy will hold 14 interactive seminars, with a focus on policy, politics, and solutions,  with topics such as the state budget, K-12 and higher education, corrections, courts, water, rural and urban interests and transportation.


Over 500 PUHSD Staff, Faculty, Students and their Guests Attended the Phoenix Union JROTC Military Ball

Over 500 PUHSD staff, faculty, students and their guests attended the Phoenix Union JROTC Military Ball at the Crescent Hotel, February 2. The Military Ball King was Omar Reyes from Carl Harden and the Queen was Ana Munoz from Camelback.

Shanley Valdes Romero, Maryvale Mathematics teacher and a Maryvale JROTC Alum was the guest speaker. 

Special guests included PUHSD Principals Dana Cook (Camelback); Matthew Georgia (Cesar Chavez)   Tony Camp (Trevor Browne) and Assistant Principals Alaina Adams (Alhambra); Courtney Stewart (Camelback) and John Doherty (Maryvale) and Central teacher Mark Williams.

The annual PUHSD JROTC Military Ball is a culmination of classroom instruction and practical exercise in Military Customs and Courtesies, Cadet Etiquette and Staff Planning.  Central High JROTC Cadets planned and hosted the event.


One Hundred Forty-Five Mattresses Were Delivered to Central High School for Families in Need

One hundred forty-five mattresses were delivered to Central High School, January 30, and school community liaisons across the District were ready to take them to campuses for families in need. The project was in conjunction with Homeless Youth Connection (HYC) and American Furniture Warehouse.  HYC case managers, in collaboration with PUHSD community liaisons, identified 15 families in need – a total of 47 mattresses went to those students first. Community liaisons then took 98 mattresses or 49 sets, (2 mattresses per student/individual) to ten campuses.


Phoenix Union Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Maryvale Teacher Rhonda Turman Honored by Community Organizations and the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Union, Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Maryvale teacher Rhonda Turman were honored by community organizations and the Phoenix Suns during a Black History Month ceremony at the Suns game, February 2. The team recognized local leaders who have made a difference in our community with an on-court presentation. Elevate Phoenix selected Gestson, while Turman, a special education teacher, was nominated by the African American Christian Clergy Coalition.

The District has partnered with Elevate Phoenix for several years at Cesar Chavez and Camelback High Schools, and will add Maryvale next year. The mentoring program focuses on relationship development with students to positively impact urban youth and elevate them to high school graduation, post-secondary success and career opportunities. Teacher-mentors, with similar backgrounds, build life-changing relationships through classroom and after-school activities, summer camps and post-secondary experiences. Elevate Phoenix believes that a long-term relationship with a caring adult produces positive outcomes in the lives of underserved youth.   


Cesar Chavez Will Advance to State Academic Decathlon

Cesar Chavez successfully defended its Academic Decathlon Region II title for the fourth consecutive year, and will advance to the State Decathlon next month. South Mountain, which finished third, Maryvale (4th) and Alhambra (7th) also qualified for the State Decathlon. Other top Phoenix Union schools were Betty Fairfax, 10th; Central, 11th, Carl Hayden, 16th and North, 17th. The Champions also won the Super Quiz Relay team event, and Maryvale was third.

The Champions hosted the 26-school regional competition, February 1 and 2, which included teams from Phoenix Union, Glendale, Deer Valley districts, charter and private schools, and many volunteers from PUHSD. 

Chavez topped 2nd place Basis Peoria by over 5,000 points. Seven of the top nine overall students were from Chavez. The Champions also won the Super Quiz Relay.  

Nimo Ismail won gold for overall Scholastic Scores, winning six individual event medals.  Kelly Husmann was the gold medalist for scoring in the Varsity division, winning eight medals, and Best Interview award.  Kenya Sterns won silver for second most points in the Scholastic Division, earning seven event medals and Kevin Chen was second in overall Varsity scores with eight individual medals.  Bronze overall winners were Irma Ceco in Honors, Tina Chen in Scholastic and Maximo Diaz in Varsity.

The Champions finished 5th last year, and 4th the two previous years. They have finished in the top 10 at state eight times in the past nine years. 

The State Decathlon will feature the top 40 teams in Arizona, March 8-9. 


Trevor Browne Assistant Principal Recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

Assistant Principal and Athletic Director David Provost has been recognized as a Certified Athletic Administrator by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA.) The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination, demonstrating his knowledge and expertise in interscholastic administration.

Provost is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

The NIAAA is a national professional organization dedicated to promoting the professional growth of high school athletic administrators and preserving the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the secondary school curriculum.


Trevor Browne Could Have a Big Freshman Class Next Year

Trevor Browne could have a big freshman class next year, if its Future Freshman Day is any indication. The school hosted over 1,000 8th grade students from partner districts at a Future Freshman Assembly, January 24. The visiting middle school students and staff were greeted by TGB's Link Crew (a student-led high school transition program) and the Cheer squad. Principal Tony Camp gave a warm welcome to all and future freshmen enjoyed performances and information presented by 14 different groups and various staff, including JROTC, Concert Choir, Bruin TV, Hip Hop, M.E.Ch.A, Counseling Department, AVID, Dance Company and Advanced Dance, Theater, Folklorico, ASU Diversity Pipeline, African American Club, Band, and Orchestra. Students gained a deeper understanding of all of the extracurricular offerings that Trevor Browne has to offer their students.  


Trevor Browne Students Earn Spots on All-Region Choir and Band

Trevor Browne had two choir members and three band members earn spots on All-Region Choir and Band after auditioning January 25 with hundreds of musicians. Tenor Brian Robles and bass Humberto Salas made the All-Region Choir. Efrain Parra, alto sax, Bryan Coello, string bass and Yareli Bailon, bass clarinet are in the band. Both groups will perform at the North Central Region concerts, February 16 at Camelback.


North High JROTC Cadets Participate in the AIM High College Scholarship and Officer Career Event

North High JROTC Cadets spent the day at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, January 26, participating in the AIM High (Aviation. Inspiration. Motivation) College Scholarship and Officer Career Event.

Cadets in conjunction with Air Force Officers conducted STEM experiments; experienced a Virtual Reality Flight Simulation; conducted a round table and discussed the importance of positive character and participated in a lunch with a keynote motivational speaker.

In addition, the cadets were able to explore College Scholarship and Career Opportunities with enrollment personnel from the Air Force Academy, Univ. of Arizona, ASU and Embry-Riddle. 

“Cadets said the most fun event was when they were able to take the controls of and actually fly a real aircraft for about 30 minutes each, North JROTC instructor Lieutenant Colonel James Gallagher said. “An instructor pilot was with them giving instructions.”


Maryvale Student to be Part of the Southwest Region Concert

Brian Almanza on clarinet auditioned for All-Region Band, and made the cut, January 25. He will be part of the Southwest Region concert, February 16 at McClintock High School.


Two Carl Hayden Student Musicians Made the Southwest Regional Honor Band

Carl Hayden has two student musicians who made the Southwest Regional Honor Band. Bryan Larios plays tuba and Rebecca Smalley plays clarinet.  They faced a nerve-racking audition, January 26 and were selected to represent Carl Hayden in the regional which takes place over President’s Day weekend-February 15-16 at McClintock High School.      


Betty Fairfax Selects Three Students to the All-Region Choir and Band

Betty Fairfax had three students selected to the All-Region Choir and Band. Tenors Carlos GrijalvaJoaquin Valdez, and percussionist Andrew Usher auditioned January 25 and will perform in the NorthCentral Region concert, February 16 at Camelback High School. They can also audtion to make the All-State groups.


Ten Students and Chaperones from Central’s Sister School, Lycee Andre Argouges, Will Come to Phoenix

Central’s Global Studies students just said adios to their Costa Rica visitors, and here come the French. Ten students and chaperones from Central’s sister school, Lycee Andre Argouges, in Grenoble, will come to Phoenix the week of February 11. A reception in their honor will be held with host students, their families and Central staff on February 11. The Central students will go to France in April.


Ahmed Mohammed Earns a Spot as a Tenor in the Arizona All Region Honor Choir

Ahmed Mohammed had a successful audition to earn a spot as a tenor in the Arizona All Region Honor Choir. Thousands of students auditioned, January 25, to participate in eight All-Region Honor Choirs across the state. Twenty-five singers from each voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) combine to form an honor choir of 100 singers that will participate, February 15-16 at Skyline High School in Mesa, with a concert Saturday afternoon. After the regional festival Mohammed will audition to be a member of the Arizona All-State Choir.  


Five Schools Participate in the Second Phoenix Union Dance Festival

Five schools participated in the second Phoenix Union Dance Festival, January 24 at Camelback High School. Students from Camelback, Carl Hayden, Betty Fairfax, South Mountain, and Cesar Chavez spent the morning in clinics learning dance skills from professionals in the field. In the afternoon, each school performed three different pieces for each other in a showcase. 


Camelback Will Host the North Central Region All-Region Choir, Band and Orchestra on February 16

Camelback will host the North Central Region All-Region Choir, Band and Orchestra, February 16, and two Spartans will be among those top musicians-Theresa Hawkins made the All-Region Band on flute, and as a Soprano in the Choir. She will choose choir. Anthony Hawkins, a percussionist, is in the All-Region band. The two had to audition to make these honor groups, January 25.


Alhambra Will Host Its Partner Elementary District’s Track Championships

Alhambra is hosting its partner elementary district’s track championships, January 28, 29 and February 4. Alhambra Elementary athletes from 3rd through 8th grade will be competing in long jump, high jump, shot put, softball throw, 100 and 400 meter runs. The high school athletes and PE students are working the event, and meeting the younger athletes.  


Phoenix Union Teachers Will Again Team Up with Teachers from Around The World in The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Project

Phoenix Union teachers will again team up with teachers from around the world in the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching project this semester. Coordinated with ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the program brings experienced teachers to a U.S. university, auditing education courses and the opportunity to observe and co-teach with U.S. teachers in our classroom environment. This year, 12 international teachers will come to North, Metro Tech and Central and another six are partnering with Balsz Elementary School District.

Phoenix Union hosted an orientation January 25 with the visiting teachers who met their host teachers. North will have six teachers from Brazil, New Zealand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. English teachers Nick Valente, Athena Kalia and Joann Martin, science teachers Sylvester Glover and Dawn Morford, and performing arts teacher Sarah Houghtelin will partner with the international teachers. Metro Tech will have four teachers from Uganda, Brazil, India and Indonesia, hosted by English teachers Lettice Pelotte, Kelly Blake, Jennifer Moore and ESS teacher Herbert Smith.  Central will have visiting teachers from Finland and the Philippines teaming up with math teacher Dawn Maxwell and science teacher Michelle Trush.


Phoenix Union and Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson Honored by Elevate Phoenix and the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Union and Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson will be honored by Elevate Phoenix and the Phoenix Suns during a Black History Month ceremony at the Suns game, February 2. The team will honor local leaders who have made a difference in our community with an on-court presentation. The District has partnered with Elevate Phoenix for several years at Cesar Chavez and Camelback High Schools. The mentoring program focuses on relationship development with students to positively impact urban youth and elevate them to high school graduation, post-secondary success and career opportunities. Teacher-mentors, with similar backgrounds, build life-changing relationships through classroom and after-school activities, summer camps and post-secondary experiences. Elevate Phoenix believes that a long-term relationship with a caring adult produces positive outcomes in the lives of underserved youth.   


The Academies at South Mountain's Drama Department Tour the Production of "Things Fall (Meanwhile)"

The Academies at South Mountain's Drama Department has been touring a production of "Things Fall (Meanwhile)" to local middle schools. Last week they visited Campbell Elementary, and this week they are off to Southwest Elementary. The class has a lot of fun creating the two-dimensional, black and white props, which are meant to symbolize that nothing in our lives is actually black and white, according to theatre arts teacher Susan St. John.


South Mountain ROTC Cadets volunteer at the Saint Mary's Food Bank

ROTC Cadets volunteered at the Saint Mary's Food Bank where they packaged emergency ration boxes, January 19. In just four hours they collectively packaged nearly 4,000 boxes of food. 


South Mountain ROTC Cadets Volunteer at the Saint Mary's Food Bank

ROTC Cadets volunteered at the Saint Mary's Food Bank where they packaged emergency ration boxes, January 19. In just four hours they collectively packaged nearly 4,000 boxes of food. 


Metro Tech Boys Basketball Team Volunteers at the Rock-n-Roll Marathon

The Metro Tech Boys basketball team volunteered at the Rock-n-Roll Marathon, January 20, manning a water/Gatorade station. They passed out water and Gatorade to the runners at mile 21. Many of the basketball players were amazed at what it takes to be a marathon runner. They are looking forward to their next community service project, according to Coach Mario Murillo.


Maryvale’s Henry Cejudo Continues His Winning Ways In UFC Fighting

Maryvale’s Henry Cejudo continued his winning ways in UFC fighting, defending his flyweight championship with a 32-second technical knockout of bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, January 19 in Brooklyn. It was the featured match in ESPN’s first UFC event. Cejudo, the former Olympic gold medal wrestler, fighting at 125 pounds, is now 14-2. He won the title initially in August, and may fight Dillashaw again at 135-pounds in a rematch. Cejudo won two state wrestling titles at Maryvale before moving to Colorado Springs to train for the Olympics.


Maryvale’s Henry Cejudo Continues His Winning Ways In UFC fighting

Maryvale’s Henry Cejudo continued his winning ways in UFC fighting, defending his flyweight championship with a 32-second technical knockout of bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, January 19 in Brooklyn. It was the featured match in ESPN’s first UFC event. Cejudo, the former Olympic gold medal wrestler, fighting at 125 pounds, is now 14-2. He won the title initially in August, and may fight Dillashaw again at 135-pounds in a rematch. Cejudo won two state wrestling titles at Maryvale before moving to Colorado Springs to train for the Olympics.


The American Library Association Awards Maryvale for Broadening Participation and Diversity

Maryvale was selected as one of 10 schools nationally awarded for “Promising Practice” libraries by the American Library Association for broadening participation and diversity in Computer Science Education programs. Librarian Jean Kilker presented a “Ready to Code program in December, recognizing Computer Science week by introducing students to coding. Over 580 students in various classes including ESL, AVID, Math, Biology, Child Development, AP Computer Science and Computer Basics attended. During the week, parents also had a session with Google Hour of Code and AP Biology invited relatives to learn. Several sessions had AP Computer Science and Computer Basics students who had practiced beforehand standing behind a student at the computer and acting as a coach. An ALA task force selected the “Promising Practice” recipients from a pool of 220 high school and public libraries.


Maryvale Will Host Future Freshmen Night on January 31

Maryvale will hold a Future Freshmen Night, January 31. The Gifted and Talented Academy will also host an information session that evening. The academy, now in its second year, begins interviewing for early applicants, January 19, with finalists notified by January 31. There will be a second round of application interviews later this spring.  

Gifted and Talented will also host Westside Gifted Institute Community Outreach Night, February 6 from 5:30-7 p.m. for parents, educators and psychologists. Experts from the International Gifted Consortium will present information on the social, emotional, physical, cognitive and altruistic development of gifted children they can be better understood, identified and supported.


Franklin Police and Fire Will Host Open House on January 26

Franklin will have an Open House, Saturday, January 26 from 8-11 a.m. for those students and their parents interested in enrolling in one of the top schools in the nation. This is an opportunity to apply to the unique, small public safety high school, meet teachers and students, and explore careers in law enforcement and firefighting. There will be lots of activities, including the Franklin  Challenge, where teams of students will compete with each other in muster drills and physical fitness. Franklin Police & Fire has been an “A” school according to state rankings its entire existence and a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School. It is located at 1645 W. McDowell Road. An online application is available at www.phoenixunion.org/franklin. For more information, call 602 764-0201.


Franklin Police and Fire students Participate in Three-Mile Torch Relay

In the early morning darkness last Friday, Franklin Police and Fire students participated in a three-mile torch relay in downtown Phoenix in recognition of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The students took turns carrying the “Torch of Hope” along the run. The torch was delivered to Phoenix Civic Center for a breakfast to kick-off the MLK weekend.   


Betty Fairfax Will Host Future Freshman Night on January 23

Betty Fairfax will host Future Freshman Night, Wednesday, January 23, from 5-7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. It is also an opportunity to register for the 2019-20 school year. Parents and students can meet teachers, athletic coaches, activity sponsors and administrators, tour the campus and learn about specialty academic programs such as the International Baccalaureate program and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination.) Attendees will also become familiar with ECAP (Education & Career Action Plan) that tracks each student’s course, career aspirations, extended learning opportunities to attain individual academic and career goals. For more information, call 602 764-9000.


Cesar Chavez Future Freshmen Day Will Take Place February 23

Future Freshmen Day is Saturday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. See what Cesar Chavez has to offer. Its seniors have earned over $25 million in scholarship offers over the last two years.  Over 900 Advanced Placement (AP) tests are given annually through AP classes.  ARCH or Advanced Readiness at Chavez High is a new application-based program that assists students gain admission to highly competitive universities. Chavez also is committed to first generation college-going students getting to and through college with its AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program. Its Advisory ensures that every student is paired with a caring advisory teacher for academic support. From its large performing arts program, state-ranked Academic Decathlon team, and highly competitive athletics program, Cesar Chavez has it all. Future Freshmen Day will have teachers and counselors ready to answer any questions. Tours of the campus, live student entertainment and food trucks will be onsite.


Ty Ty Washington selected as Arizona High School Boys Player of the Week

Sophomore guard Ty Ty Washington was the Arizona Republic's Arizona High School Boys Player of the Week last week, as selected by readers. He averaged 25 points, five assists and six rebounds in three Chavez wins over Corona del Sol, Alhambra and Tucson.  The Champions are  6th in 6A state rankings, with a 17-4 record, and 5-0 in the Metro Region. They play North tonight in the first of six remaining regular season games.


Phoenix Union Foundation selects Education Counselor of the Year

Helen Hoffman has been selected as the Phoenix Union Foundation's Education Counselor of the Year. She will be honored at the Foundation’s Scholarship Dinner, February 22. She has been a counselor at Central High School  since 2006. She began her teaching career on the Navajo Reservation in 1989 after graduating from Northern Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Secondary English Education.  She came to Phoenix Union in 1999 and taught English and ELL at Camelback High School. After earning her Masters in Counseling in 2003, she became a counselor at Camelback. Ms. Hoffman's husband, Richard Hoffman is a math teacher, also at Central High School.


Central High School and Desert Dance Theatre Present “Sister Moses: The Story of Harriet Tubman”

Central's Black Students’ Union, Choir and Dance programs, in collaboration with Desert Dance Theatre, presents “Sister Moses: The Story of Harriet Tubman,” January 31 and February 1 at the Central High School Auditorium. It is the story of Tubman, from slave to abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad. There will be three matinee shows for student field trips, and an evening performance, February 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets for all shows are $5.  The cast is made up of Desert Dance theatre’s professionals, along with student dance and music performers from Central High and neighboring elementary schools. The student performers are participating in residency sessions and rehearsals facilitated by Desert Dance Theatre’ Artistic Director Lisa Chow.

“The project provides an opportunity for students to actively learn every aspect of producing a major event, including fundraising, reserving facilities, securing artists, staging, gathering the audience, hosting and performing,” Black Students Union sponsor and math teacher Shirrilyn Parham said.

For ticket information, contact Parham at (602) 764-7500 or parham@phoenixunion.org. Tickets for the evening performance, February 1 will also be available at the door.


Camelback Will Welcome the Class of 2023 at Future Freshman Night

Camelback will welcome the Class of 2023 and parents at its Future Freshman Night, Tuesday, February 12 from 5-7 p.m.  Students can turn in their registration packets, visit clubs, sports and elective class booths, meet the counselors, teachers, coaches and administrators, tour the campus, and take in performances by performing arts students. You can also check out Camelback Montessori, the first and only public Montessori high school in Arizona. 

For those registering that night, you will need birth certificate, immunization records, proof of address, and guardianship records to complete the process.


Phoenix Union Has A New Technology Integration Educator

Phoenix Union has a new Technology Integration Educator. Aric Bilas has been a math teacher at Central High for the past 11 years, but in his new role, he is assisting teachers in enhancing the teaching and learning experience by implementing technology more effectively, and helping students understand Digital Citizenship. His strategies follow the Triple E framework- how does technology engage, enhance and extend the learning goals.


The Phoenix Union Food Services Department Is Looking for Cafeteria Helpers

The Phoenix Union Food Services Department is looking for cafeteria helpers, There will be a job fair at the District offices, 4502 N. Central Avenue, January 31 from 8-10 a.m. There are some 20 part time cafeteria positions available, starting at $11 an hour. These positions are for the nine-month school year. For more information, contact Nancy Cohen at 602 764-7901 or ncohen@phoenixunion.org.


The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education’s 11th Annual Scholarship Dinner Will Be on February 22

The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education’s 11th Annual Scholarship Dinner is Friday, February 22 at the Phoenix Art Museum. The theme this year will be “Education Has No Bounds,” celebrating the District’s diversity. There will be several internationally-inspired student performances and art. This is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Foundation, a 501 c 3 nonprofit that provides post-secondary scholarships to Phoenix Union students. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $1 million in scholarships. A silent auction begins at 6 p.m., the awards program at 7 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m.  For information on tickets or a donation to the silent auction, go to www.foundation4education.org


The Phoenix Union Spring Teacher Career Fair Will Take Place February 23

The Phoenix Union Spring Teacher Career Fair is Saturday, February 23 from 8-1 p.m. at Linda Abril Educational Academy, 3000 N. 19th Avenue. The District is hiring secondary teachers in all subject areas, with an emphasis on applicants certified in the following areas: Mathematics, Special Education, Science and ELL English. Applicants must complete an online application prior to interviewing at the career fair at www.phoenixunion.org/jobs. Applicants may schedule a screening interview prior to the career fair by calling Audrey Damon at 764-1504 or Cynthia Vargas at 764-1515. Applicants will also have the opportunity that day to complete an initial screening interview and then interview with campus principals for positions for the 2019-20 school year. Phoenix Union employs over 1600 teachers and has among the highest salaries in Arizona. The District is introducing a new salary schedule in 2019-20 in which first-year teachers earn a base of $46,500. For more information, contact Mary Lou Chavez at mchavez1@phoenixunion.org.  


Phoenix Union and Cesar Chavez High School School Will Host the Region II Academic Decathlon February 1-2

Phoenix Union and Cesar Chavez High School will be hosting the Region II Academic Decathlon, February 1-2.  Twenty-seven teams will compete for the opportunity to advance to the State Decathlon in March.  Besides the almost 250 students attending, this event requires many volunteers to judge speech and interview events, Friday (4-8:30 p.m.) and proctor tests and the final event, Super Quiz Relay on Saturday.   Essay grading also takes place, Wednesday, January 30 from 4-8 p.m.  No experience is necessary, training is provided, and volunteers receive a free lunch or dinner.  Volunteers can sign up with Vikki Rowley at rowley@phoenixunion.org.