School/Class News




 

 

Camelback Dance Program to Hold First Annual Spartan Scramble Golf Tournament

The Camelback Dance program is holding its first annual Spartan Scramble Golf tournament, to benefit the students of the dance department.  Proceeds will allow the varsity dance team, Camelback Elite, to attend multiple local competitions this school year, and provide funding for costumes and other necessities for the 150-student program.  The tournament will be Saturday, October 28 at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Paradise Valley at 8 a.m.  For player and sponsorship information, contact Camelback’s Director of Dance, Heidi Wilkes, at hwilkes@phoenixunion.org or (480) 438-9120. 


Ninth Annual Phoenix Union M.E.Ch.A. Youth Conference for 2017-18

The Ninth Annual Phoenix Union M.E.Ch.A. Youth Conference for 2017-18 will be hosted by Metro Tech and Linda Abril Educational Academy,   October 27.    The theme for this year’s conference is Nuestra voz cuenta – in fronteras (No border can silence our voices).

“In the current social and political climate that puts immigration, the border, racism and education issues in media across our nation, M.E.Ch.A. responds with a message of unity, love and self-empowerment,” M.E.Ch.A advisor at Linda Abril Christopher Bates said.

The workshops being planned will feature immigration attorneys, social and cultural awareness activities with regard an emphasis on the Indigenous origins of many of the peoples of the Western Hemisphere.


The First Academic Decathlon Event of the Year is the Phoenix Union Decathlon

The first Academic Decathlon event of the year is the Phoenix Union Decathlon, which will be held November 17-18 at Camelback High School.  It is not just limited to PUHSD schools.  This year, 20 teams are expected.  The decathlon organizers are looking for volunteers for this event.  No experience is necessary.  It starts with essay scoring, November 15.  Friday, November 17 is when speeches and interviews take place, with training beginning at 4 p.m.  Dinner is provided for volunteers.  Saturday, November 18, there is a need for test proctors in the morning, and the Super Quiz in the afternoon.  For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Sharon Bernero at bernero@phoenixunion.org


The Fifth Annual Phoenix Union Experience High School Expo to Be Held Saturday, November 4 at Phoenix College

The fifth annual Phoenix Union Experience High School Expo will be held Saturday, November 4 at Phoenix College.  It is an opportunity for middle school/junior high students to explore the many schools and programs available at Phoenix Union High School District and meet students and staff.  It is also the first official day to register for one of the schools.  There is student entertainment, giveaways, food and fun, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  


Phoenix Union Students Spend Fall Break on a Annual Tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Thirty-eight Phoenix Union students will spend Fall Break on a annual tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, thanks to financial support from the Burton Family Foundation, a supporting organization of the Arizona Community Foundation, and its Black Philanthropy Initiative.  The group from Betty Fairfax, Cesar Chavez, Maryvale, Linda Abril and Trevor Browne will explore post-secondary opportunities at Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M, Grambling State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Jackson State University, and Southern University, October 9-13.  Fairfax teacher Sandra Jenkins is a driving force behind these annual trips.  She is a graduate of Mississippi Valley State University, and her hometown newspaper in Mound Bayou has reported that the Phoenix group is on their way to the Magnolia State.


Trevor Browne’s JROTC Rifle Team Finishes Second of 15-Team Competition

Trevor Browne’s JROTC Rifle team finished second in the 15-team Carver Mountain Rifle Tournament, hosted by Cesar Chavez High School, September 22-23.  Tombstone Marine JROTC won the tournament by ten points, 1030-1020.  Chavez fielded two teams, with the Purple team finishing 5th.  Alhambra was 7th among PUHSD Schools.  The Bruin shooters  are Jackie Urquidez, Raymond Zazaya, Ashley Gutierez and Rafael Gomez        


South Mountain High School Awarded $20,000

South Mountain has been awarded a $20,000, two-year grant to participate in the Verizon Innovative Learning design thinking program.  The program is in conjunction with ASU.  South Mountain will join a network of over 50 schools and 200 educators from New York, Chicago, Baton Rouge, Boston, Atlanta, Long Beach and Washington, D.C. in engaging students and teachers in design thinking, entrepreneurship and emerging technology.  Teachers will participate in a fall training institute, receive virtual modules, and work with ASU staff and faculty on professional development and implementation.  The program hopes to foster nnovation, entrepreneurship and digital literacy through hands-on projects with local small businesses.  Multi-media instructor Heather Jancoski wrote the grant and will oversee the program at South.  Camelback was one of the first schools picked for this program three years ago.


Maryvale Girls Show Up & Show Out At the Doug Conley Cross Country Invitational

At the Doug Conley Cross Country Invitational, September 23, the Maryvale Girls Cross Country team beat everyone but the three-time State Champions.  The Panthers finished second to Desert Vista, in a field that included nearly 60 teams.  The team is Ariz Duarte; Janet Chavez; Mia Avelar; Julieta Aviles and Angel Tapia.  Duarte finished 7th, Chavez, 8th and Avelar, 13th.


Betty Fairfax Students of the Month for September

Fairfax Students of the Month for September are Omar Bustamante, Health/PE; Mariah Armenta, Counseling; Iilyan Fierro, Science; Abigail Guerrero, World Language; James Mulbah, English; Jorge Dominguez, Math; Malissa Pinkney, Business; Jeremiah Schexnayder, JROTC; Hayley Toro, Business, Kiley Truong, Business; Joseph Tullius, Performing arts.


The Betty H. Fairfax Vocal Ensemble Was Invited to Perform in a Concert Hosted by Helios

The Betty H. Fairfax Vocal Ensemble was invited to perform in a concert hosted by Helios, a local professional modern Renaissance vocal ensemble, September 23 at the Central United Methodist Church. The students performed two secular madrigals that fit the theme "A Book of Beasts". This is the first time that Helios, now in its third season, has invited a high school choir to perform in one of their concerts.  During the Medieval and Renaissance eras, the animal kingdom was a source of amazement and entertainment in literature, art and music from cats and dogs to dragons and griffins.


Central Badminton Team Shows They Are Play-off Worthy

The Central Badminton team has shown that it is play-off worthy.  The  Bobcats knocked off Gilbert Highland, 8-1 September 19, which was ranked #5 in the state at the time.  Central is ranked #13, and leads the Metro section, which is made up of five Phoenix Union teams and Millennium.  They defeated Maryvale, September 26, 9-0 and have an overall record of 7-4, playing some strong East Valley schools.  Twelve teams make the Division I playoffs, five as sectional champions, and seven others as at-large, based on rankings.


Camelback Dance Program to Hold Its First Annual Spartan Scramble Golf Tournamen

The Camelback Dance program is holding its first annual Spartan Scramble Golf tournament, to benefit the students of the dance department.  Proceeds will allow the varsity dance team, Camelback Elite, to attend multiple local competitions this school year, and provide funding for costumes and other necessities for the 150-student program.  The tournament will be Saturday, October 28 at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Paradise Valley at 8 a.m.  For player and sponsorship information, contact Camelback’s Director of Dance, Heidi Wilkes, at hwilkes@phoenixunion.org or (480) 438-9120. 


The First Academic Decathlon Event of the Year is The Phoenix Union Decathlon

The first Academic Decathlon event of the year is the Phoenix Union Decathlon, which will be held November 17-18 at Camelback High School.  It is not just limited to PUHSD schools.  This year, 20 teams are expected.  The decathlon organizers are looking for volunteers for this event.  No experience is necessary.  It starts with essay scoring, November 15.  Friday, November 17 is when speeches and interviews take place, with training beginning at 4 p.m.  Dinner is provided for volunteers.  Saturday, November 18, there is a need for test proctors in the morning, and the Super Quiz in the afternoon.

 

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Sharon Bernero at bernero@phoenixunion.org.  

 


The Fifth Annual Phoenix Union Experience High School Expo Will Be Held Saturday, November 4

The fifth annual Phoenix Union Experience High School Expo will be held Saturday, November 4 at Phoenix College.  It is an opportunity for middle school/junior high students to explore the many schools and programs available at Phoenix Union High School District and meet students and staff.  It is also the first official day to register for one of the schools.  There is student entertainment, giveaways, food and fun, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   


The Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Benefit Golf Tournament to Be Held On October 7

The Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Benefit Golf tournament is October 7 at the Grand Canyon University Golf Course.  Sponsorships, foursomes and individual players are invited to play with the Hall of Famers for the 7:30 shotgun scramble.  This year a new event for non-golfers is a nine-hold putt-putt tournament on a course constructed by the South Mountain construction students.  Foursome and player registration deadline is September 29.  For more information, call (480) 289-5761. 

The third annual Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, December 19.


Phoenix Union Schools Participated in National Voter Registration Day

Phoenix Union schools participated in the National Voter Registration Day, September 26 with lunchtime tables set up for students and staff to register.  The District utilized community partners Arizona Coalition for Change, AZ Center for Empowerment, Center for Neighborhood Leadership, Neighborhood Ministries, Mi Familia Vota, Promise Arizona and Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy to man the registration tables at 14 campuses.


Trevor Browne JROTC Marksmanship Team Takes First Place in the Old Pueblo Rifle Match in Tucson

The Trevor Browne JROTC Marksmanship Team took first place in the Old Pueblo Rifle Match in Tucson, September 10, in the first rifle marksmanship competition of the 2017-2018 school year. Six other JROTC programs from around the state competed.  Led by Ramon Zozaya, who took top honors at the match, the team is made up of Ashley Gutierrez, Jasmine Sompit, and Jacqueline Urquidez.  The Bruin cadets are coached by First Sergeant Michael Jurczak.    


South Mountain School Community to Hold Water Drive

The South Mountain school community is holding a Water Drive with St. Vincent de Paul for community members in need, September 11-15.  Students and staff will be collecting water bottles with a goal of 4,000 (two per student.)  The community service activity will culminate with the students removing the water bottle brand stickers and replacing it with   inspirational messages written by the students Saturday morning at the school cafeteria. These messages will bring reflection and hope for those receiving the water bottles.  Former South Mountain graduate Marcelino Quinonez (Class of 2002) who is now the Director of Youth Outreach at SVdP helped to organize the event.  


South Mountain Alumnus & Teacher National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences National Student Production Awards

South Mountain alumnus Amanda Salameh,  along with teacher/advisor Heather Jancoski were announced as nominees for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences National Student Production Awards, also known as the Emmys.  Nominees were selected from high school student entries across the country in 23 programming and craft categories.  National winners will be announced at the awards presentation, which will be live-streamed October 3 from Los Angeles. 

Salameh, who graduated last year,  produced a video essay (single camera only) called “Females in Aerospace.”  She advanced after winning a Rocky Mountain/Southwest Chapter Emmy.  She is the second South Mountain student in the past two years to be nominated for a national Emmy.

Over 200 young professionals, from 19 regional chapters of the NATAS were narrowed down from 1,500 entries by judges selected from industry professionals to advance to the national competition.


Phoenix Union High School District Employees Strive to Instill Six Core Values

Phoenix Union High School District employees strive to instill six core values-compassionate, collaborative, committed, courageous, creative and conscious. At Metro Tech, the administration is celebrating examples of those with “traveling trophies,” to its employees. For teachers, English teacher Cassandra Villegas earned Committed;  English teacher Erika Harvey, Collaborative; and PR/Health teacher Nick Malko, Compassionate.  Maintenance/Campus Operations worker Gilbert Enriquez earned the Committed Trophy. 

The school also selected the Professional Learning Community of the Month to the Exceptional Student Services Vocational program, and members James Irvine-Business Prep; John Snyder-Horticulture; LaCholla Caraway-General Tech and Dennis Bullino-Commercial Building Maintencance.


Metro Tech Announced as Nominees for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences National Student Production Awards

Metro Tech alumni Natalie Torres, Cande Duran, and Ashley Salazar, along with teacher/advisor Bob Marquis were announced as nominees for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences National Student Production Awards, also known as the Emmys.  Nominees were selected from high school student entries across the country in 23 programming and craft categories.  National winners will be announced at the awards presentation, which will be live-streamed October 3 from Los Angeles. 

The three Metro girls produced commercial, called “Workplace Etiquette Video.”  These students advanced after winning a Rocky Mountain/Southwest Chapter Emmy.

Over 200 young professionals, from 19 regional chapters of the NATAS were narrowed down from 1,500 entries by judges selected from industry professionals to advance to the national competition.


Carl Hayden to Hold Open House

Carl Hayden will hold an Open House, Friday, September 22 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.   Freshmen students will also be receiving theirfree  smart phones or hot spots as part of the Sprint 1Million Project that night.  The evening culminates with a football game as the Falcons host Maryvale at 7 p.m.


Betty Fairfax T Host Naturalization Ceremony

Betty Fairfax will host a Naturalization Ceremony on Monday, September 18 to welcome 100 new United States citizens, who will take the Oath of Allegiance to America, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  It is the third consecutive year that a Phoenix Union school is the site of this ceremony, which will conclude the PUHSD “Civics Week” and targeted instruction to help support students’ success on the state-mandated U.S. Citizenship Exam. PUHSD will have administered the exam to some 9,000 students the week before.  It also coincides with the start of National Citizenship Week.  Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson will be the keynote speaker.


The Camelback Dance Program Holds First Annual Spartan Scramble Golf Tournament

The Camelback Dance program is holding its first anual Spartan Scramble Golf tournament, to benefit the students of the dance department.  Proceeds will allow the varsity dance team, Camelback Elite, to attend multiple local competitions this school year, and provide funding for costumes and other necessities for the 150-student program.  The tournament will be Saturday, October 28 at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Paradise Valley at 8 a.m.  For player and sponsorship information, contact Camelback’s Director of Dance, Heidi Wilkes, at hwilkes@phoenixunion.org or (480) 438-9120. 


Bioscience High School One of the Beneficiaries of the Eighth Annual Pie Social

Bioscience High School will be one of the beneficiaries of the eighth annual Pie Social, co-sponsored by Roosevelt Row and Phoenix New Times, to be held at Margaret T. Hance Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 19. There will be celebrity chefs, and community bakers.  Tasting tickets will be $15 for five tastes.   


Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Benefit Golf Tournament - October 7

The Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Benefit Golf tournament is October 7 at the Grand Canyon University Golf Course.  Sponsorships, foursomes and individual players are invited to play with the Hall of Famers for the 7:30 shotgun scramble.  This year a new event for non-golfers is a nine-hold putt-putt tournament on a course constructed by the South Mountain construction students.  Foursome and player registration deadline is September 29.  For more information, call (480) 289-5761. 

The third annual Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, December 19.


Phoenix Union Earns Energy Star Certification at 15 schools

You have probably seen the Energy Star logo on appliances, but buildings can also earn Energy Star certification.     Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. 

Certified buildings save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emission than typical buildings.  Through the District’s energy management practices, Phoenix Union has earned Energy Star Certification at 15 schools.

To be eligible for Energy Star certification, a building must earn an Energy Star score of 75 or higher, indicating that it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. 

For the second year in a row, all eligible Phoenix Union campuses have attained the designation as an Energy Star certified building. 

At the September 7 governing board meeting, Cenergistic, a company that specializes in organizational behavior-based energy conservation that has partnered with Phoenix Union, presented a plaque to the District and recognized each school’s principal and campus facility supervisor with the Energy Star certification.

 Of the 15 schools (new schools Linda Abril and Coding were not yet rated) 10 scored 92 or above, meaning more efficient than 92% of similar education institutions.    South Mountain and Betty Fairfax topped the list at 97, Alhambra, Metro Tech, Trevor Browne and Desiderata had 96, Camelback and Carl Hayden, 95, Bostrom, 94 and Maryvale, 92.


Almost 9,000 Phoenix Union Students Take the U.S. Citizenship Civics Test

Almost 9,000 Phoenix Union students will take the U.S. Citizenship Civics Test, September 14-15.  Most of the test takers will be juniors in their U.S. History classes, and some sophomores taking U.S. History.   Seniors who have not taken or passed the test will also have the opportunity.  This is the third year that this exam is being administered, and its passage is required for high school graduation in Arizona.   Most of the exams will be completed and graded online for the first time.  Students need to score 60% or better on the exam.  No senior failed to graduate as a result of failing this exam last year.  Students can study for the test online.  The students had a few questions that stumped them, including: Who was the U.S. President during WW I?   The answer: Woodrow Wilson.  

Civics Week will culminate with a Naturalization Ceremony, Monday, September 18 at Betty Fairfax High School, presented by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


More than 5,400 Phoenix Union Freshmen to Receive Equipment and Connectivity

More than 5,400 Phoenix Union freshmen will receive equipment and connectivity as part of the Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project this year.  The students who qualify, based on income and not currently having internet at home, will receive either a smartphone or hot spot, and 3GB of high-speed data per month for up to four years while they are in high school. 

Sprint and the District kicked off the project, September 13 at Central High School with selected students from 17 schools, joined by Sprint executives, Superintendent Chad Gestson and Mayor Greg Stanton.  The students received their devices and had them activated during the event.  Each campus has, or will facilitate its own large-scale distribution and activation plan for its freshmen.

Phoenix Union is one of only three school districts in Arizona to take part in this project, which will impact more than 180,000 students in 1,300 schools across 30 states.  The project will continue for five years, so that each year, freshmen will be equipped devices and free connectivity, until one million students are served.   

According to research, five-million U.S. families with school aged children do not have internet access at home, but 70 percent of teachers assign homework that requires web access, creating a “homework gap.”

“This partnership will help us close not only the digital divide, but also the digital homework gap,” Gestson said.   “It is an honor to be selected among the first school districts in the nation to participate in a program that will benefit students at no cost to the District.  We look forward to building this program, one incoming grade at a time, connecting all students who choose to attend a PUHSD school.”

Sprint, the Sprint Foundation and Phoenix Union High School District are demonstrating how business and education can work together to help close the digital divide,” Greg Post, Sprint Mountain Southwest Regional President said.

The free devices with service to 5,400 PUHSD students is a donation valued at $3.7 million in the first year alone.


Trevor Browne's Tiara Mitchell Recently Selected as The National Society of High School Scholars

Tiara Mitchell was recently selected as to The National Society of High School Scholars.  The Society recognizes top scholars who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship and community commitment.  This lifetime membership helps high-achieving millennials build on academic success by connecting them with unique learning experiences and resources to help prepare them for college and meaningful careers. 


South Mountain’s Football Team Holds More Wins Then Previous Season

South Mountain’s football team has more wins in three games than the Jaguars had all last year.  With a 19-13 win over North, September 1, the Jags are 3-0, for the first time since 1994.  South hosts Alhambra this Friday.


Metro Tech Holds Workforce Programs Tour

The Greater Chamber of Commerce and its Phoenix Forward initiative, held a Workforce Programs tour today with Phoenix Union.  The topic was Construction Trades.  The group began at the Linda Abril Educational Academy, and concluded with a tour of Metro Tech’s construction program and welding program.  Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Metro Tech Principal Bryon Reynoso spoke, along with Chamber President Todd Sanders and Senator Steve Smith. A student panel of Metro construction students answered questions from Sanders and the audience. Construction is one of the focus areas of Phoenix Forward, because of the shortage of skilled workers.


Maryvale Goes Big for the District’s Moment of Peace and Unity

Maryvale went big for the District’s Moment of Peace and Unity event, September 1.  Students lined up and joined hands on the running track, while students gave speeches and poems from the middle of the field.  Jacqueline Suarez and Leslie Reyes of student government read impassioned messages, and Alaiza Lopez performed a poem she had written for the occasion.  Students listened to inspirational sound bites from famous folks over the loudspeakers, interspersed with music as they entered the stadium and upon leaving.  The whole event, which included dozens of water stations in the 100-degree heat, lasted some 20 minutes, with students and staff moving with the precision of a well-trained army.  State Senator Martin Quezada came out to watch the spectacle.  Several staff members took photos and video, including coverage from a drone, high overhead.


Carl Hayden Hosts the Arizona Association of Student Councils (AASC) 2017

Carl Hayden hosted the Arizona Association of Student Councils (AASC) 2017 Central AZ Metro Fall Leadership/Spirit Conference, August 31, one of four state conferences that week.  There were 37 schools represented, and 1019 attendees at Hayden, including 13 Phoenix Union schools.  The host school brought out its cheerleaders, band and step team to entertain the packed gym, and the school administrators performed a skit, with Principal Dr. Dani Portillo posing as Dora the Explorer.  Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson gave welcoming remarks.  The event kicks off the student government year and also affords students and Advisors in attendance the opportunity to share ideas and network with other student leaders and Advisors from across the state.

The Arizona Association of Student Councils (AASC) is a state wide association made up of approximately 190 public, private, and charter high school student councils.   Several PUHSD Student Government Advisors sit on the AASC Executive Board: Salvador Lopez -Cesar Chavez; Adam Lopez - North and Kenya McKinney - Camelback

 Metro Tech assistant principal Dan Dodge, who was one of the emcees, is the Executive Director of the association, having served in that role since 2003 in consecutive four-year terms.  


Betty Fairfax will host a Naturalization Ceremony

Betty Fairfax will host a Naturalization Ceremony on Monday, September 18 to welcome 100 new United States citizens, who will take the Oath of Allegiance to America, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  It is the third consecutive year that a Phoenix Union school is the site of this ceremony, which will conclude the PUHSD “Civics Week” and targeted instruction to help support students’ success on the state-mandated Civics Exam. PUHSD will have administered the exam to over 7000 students the week before.  It also coincides with the start of National Citizenship Week.


Cesar Chavez Football Season

Cesar Chavez’ 0-2 start in football is a bit misleading.  The Champions have lost games to undefeated and top-10 teams.  They lost by 6 pointsto 5A #4 Queen Creek and # 7 Gilbert Highland by 2 points.  The non-region schedule is a tough one, with another game against #5 and perennial powerhouse Hamilton in two weeks.  Chavez completes it season playing six Phoenix Union schools, including four at home.


Cesar Chavez Top College Basketball Prospect Malik Porter

Top college basketball prospect Malik Porter will begin his college career at the College of Southern Idaho, a premier junior college program. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Porter played this past summer with Team Harden with elite players on the Adidas circuit.

In his senior season for Chavez, Porter averaged strong overall numbers, helping his team to a 24-5 overall record.  Porter averaged 11.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 3.8 blocks and 2.1 steals per/game.


PUHSD Schools Paused to Join Together for a Moment of Peace and Unity

All around the Phoenix Union High School District, schools paused to join together for a Moment of Peace and Unity, September 1.  It was the first such activity for Phoenix Union, organized through staff and student leadership in response to the current unrest and divisiveness in our state and country.  Some filled football fields, while others formed human chains in the hallways, while music, speeches, poetry, recorded audio clips and signs colored the day. 

At Bioscience, students signed a banner that says “We stand together,” and they hung it in their Town Hall multipurpose room.  At Bostrom, students were given a yellow ribbon and wrote a positive note on it.  The ribbons were attached to the fence, forming the word, “Peace.”  Central ended their first spirit assembly early and formed a human chain around the perimeter of the school, filling up two stories with students.  At Chavez, students wrapped around the track to hear inspirational messages.  At Trevor Browne, 3000 students used most of the fence line of the school to show their support.  Metro Tech took to the baseball field, while the 200 students and staff at Coding Academy showed their support with a building-long banner saying “Coders Unite.”  South Mountain created three heart-shaped groups of students and staff on the football field.  Seniors were on the 50 yard line, sophomores were on one side, juniors on the other, while freshmen, holding hands, wrapped around the three hearts.  Alhambra lined the hallways indoors, to beat the heat, but Maryvale’s 2900 students, took to the football field, taking a lane on the running track for each class.  Students read poems and gave inspirational speeches, while student government closed with letter placards spelling out “Maryvale Unites.”  Every school participated in its own way, and many teachers followed up with discussions prompted by guiding questions.  Despite the 100-degree temperatures, a Moment of Peace and Unity was a peaceful, unifying success.


Trevor Browne Takes 35 Young Women to the Hispanic Women’s Corporation Youth Leadership Institute

The World Language Department took 35 young women to the Hispanic Women’s Corporation Youth Leadership Institute, August 24, where they learned about going to college, listen to motivational speakers and making connections with community.   

 The Hispanic Women’s Corporation (HWC) focuses on the continued Professional Development and Leadership Institute and the personal and career development of Latinas. It encompasses the spectrum of education and professional needs of Latina women, one of the fastest growing segments of our community. The Youth Leadership Institute is tailored to meet the academic and personal empowerment needs and interests of both junior high and high school students through its comprehensive one-day Youth Leadership Institute.


South Mountain's Football Team Wins First Two Games

The South Mountain Football team won its first two games of the year, equaling the Jaguars’ win total for all of last year’s 2-8 season.  South beat Maryvale and Trevor Browne, and will visit North High, Friday, September 1.  The team’s slogan is CTC, which stands for “Change the Culture.” 


South Mountain's Sarah Cowherd was Nominated for Two Rocky Mountain Emmys

Sarah Cowherd was nominated for two Rocky Mountain Emmys, August 28. Both of her projects were produced last year. Nominated in the High School Long Form Non-fiction category was a documentary on the late Coach Pete Tuccio that was created for Carl Hayden High School and played during a ceremony at a basketball game last year. The other project was a public service announcement that she made for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. Cowherd is a senior this year in the multimedia magnet.


Metro Tech Assistant Principal for Student Success Keith Brazier to Be Honored with the JV Educational Leadership Award

Metro Tech Assistant Principal for Student Success Keith Brazier will be honored with the JV Educational Leadership Award for providing outstanding leadership within the area of Student Support Services in Academics for 2017.  His nomination focused on educational and enthusiastic technique, contribution to student retention, and dedication to his discipline through scholarly advancements, according to the company, which is an educational consulting firm. He will receive his honor at the 15th Annual Male of Color Empowerment and Retention Conference on October 26. 


Metro Tech Students Had a Signing Party

Metro Tech students had a signing party, August 25, pledging to class themes.  Freshmen pledged to “Start Strong,” sophomores to “Be Strong”, juniors to “Stay Strong,” and seniors to “Finish Strong.”   The banners will be posted in a common area as a reminder to the students.  Assistant principal Dan Dodge heard about the idea from a school back east and thought it was a great way to encourage the different classes to be true to their class slogan.


Maryvale High School Completes Its First Year of Implementing Virtual Learning

Maryvale High School completed its first year of implementing virtual learning during its Evening School Opportunities (ESO) program, with 76% of the students obtaining their credits. About 891 students completed ESO at Maryvale during the 2016-2017 school year; of those students, 471 credits were earned by seniors, which allowed them to graduate.  Maryvale utilized Edgenuity, which is a rigorous virtual learning program that individualizes the classes to best meet students’ needs and allow students to recover credits from classes they either failed, did not complete or were unable to take due to scheduling conflicts. The ESO teaching staff set a high standard of accountability by maintaining that students earn a 70% on assessments with 100% completion of the course. 


Betty Fairfax JROTC, successfully defended his PhD dissertation “The Effect of High School JROTC on Civic Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Hispanic Cadets”

Major (Retired) Kirk Loving, Senior Army Instructor at Betty Fairfax JROTC, successfully defended his PhD dissertation “The Effect of High School JROTC on Civic Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Hispanic Cadets” and will formally receive his Doctorate in Education from Grand Canyon University in October. His research was conducted in conjunction with the PUHSD JROTC programs and will add to the knowledge of how JROTC impacts the civic development of Hispanic Cadets enrolled in the program.  Major Loving’s previous education includes BA, Russian Studies, George Washington University; MA, Educational Psychology, University of Oklahoma; and an MA, Russian and East European Studies, Florida State University.

Did you know that currently 59% of the PUHSD JROTC teachers have an advanced degree.   Lieutenant Colonel Pete Sandberg, the District’s JROTC coordinator, has three Masters.


Screening of the New Documentary, “Step”

The Arizona Community Foundation, through the Burton Family Foundation and the Black Philanthropy Initiative, secured a Scottsdale movie theater to host a screening of the new documentary, “Step,” August 22 for members of the Black Student Union across the District.  The documentary chronicles the trials and triumphs of senior girls on the high school’s Step Team as they prepare to be first in their families to go to college, and the first graduating class of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.  Central took full advantage, bringing the most students from any campus, including the new step team, Central High Step Up.


Chess An AIA Sport

Fall means football, volleyball, and more, but did you know that chess is also an AIA sport.  Alhambra has a very active chess team, and has already seen action, playing three matches at Thunderbird High School, August 25, and winning two.  Five team members play in each match. Team members are Adan Lucena, Tuan Nguyen, Raquel Orosco, Jimmy Do, Obeth Martinez, Mya Dominguez, Mia Pena, Javier Placido.  A state team tournament and individual tournament are played in November.


PUHSD Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting is back this year, and expanded to 10 schools in Phoenix Union.  Large schools receive $7,000 and small schools, $4,000 and students determine how that money is to be spent.  The process begins with idea collection, proposal development, a campaign and school election, and finally, implementation.

Central hosted the PUHSD Participatory Budgeting Kickoff, August 26.   Seventy Students, teachers and principals from six other schools: Bioscience, Coding Academy, Carl Hayden, Linda Abril, Metro Tech and Trevor Brown gathered in the library to simulate the year-long process and plan implementation at their own campus.  Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and board member Stanford Prescott addressed the teams.

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a democratic process that gives students the power to decide how to spend school district funds to improve their schools. Through PBP, students brainstorm ideas for projects, develop these ideas into projects, and vote on which projects will be funded.

Last year, voter turnout at the schools was 84%, better than a general election.


South Mountain: Debbie Lindley and Stephanie Clay have Coordinated the College Shower

Debbie Lindley and Stephanie Clay have coordinated the College Shower at South Mountain  for the past several years with donations from various staff.  This year, they received a little extra support from a grant from Reach Higher.  South Mountain received one of 200 $500 grants intended to cover the cost of supplies for the College Signing Day event. Various local and national donors contributed $115.31 while the remaining $431.69 was paid by the grant from the College Football Playoffs Foundation and Reach Higher.  Approximately 80 students participated in South’s event, May 5.


South Mountain: Andriana Jordan a Senior in the Visual Arts Magnet won this year's Congressional Art Competition

Andriana Jordan, a senior in the Visual Arts Magnet at South Mountain High School won this year’s Congressional Art Competition.  She was awarded by Congressman Ruben Gallego of District 7, May 11 at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness in Phoenix.    She will travel to Washington, D.C. for an annual awards ceremony, and her work will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. 

 

Jordan was accompanied by her family, South’s Art magnet manager Erik Erspamer and art teacher Vivian Spiegelman.   South’s Shanae Hollins placed third in the contest.


North: Swimming & Diving Team has four Academic All-Americans

North’s Swimming & Diving team has four Academic All-Americans.  Seniors Tracy Flores, Jellsy Gonzalez, Maryjane Macias, and Ally Lang.  The award is given by NISCA (National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.)   All-Americans must be on varsity swim and/or dive for a minimum of two years with one being their senior year, have a 3.75 or above on the NISCA grade scale through seven semesters, recommendations from the coach and a verified application from school officials.  Only 2% of all swimmers in the nation receive this honor.

 

North High Swimming, under the direction of Coach David Smithers, has had 77 Academic All-Americans in its 21 year history.


North: Million Dollar Scholars are becoming More Common Around the District

Million dollar scholars are becoming more common around the District.  Those are students who have been offered multiple scholarships calculated over four years.  However, one North High student, Rita Anane Wae may have topped the $2 million mark.  Her scholarship totals were tallied for one year, not four, and they came to over $500,000.  She has decided to study biochemistry at the University of Virginia, at $65,000 for one year, but she received 18 scholarship offers, including some that will be applied to her post-secondary career.  Among the schools that offered scholarships were Kenyon College, Gettysburg College, Grinnell College, Middlebury College, University of Southern California and New York Institute of Technology.


Metro Tech: Yadira Min Reyes Garcia was Recently Recognized

Yadira Min Reyes Garcia, a sophomore student at Metro Tech, was recently recognized and awarded by the National Center for Women & Information Technology for her achievements and pursuit in a career field in Technology.  She is currently taking honors classes with a focus in Engineering or Computer & Network Technologies. A duplicate of Yadira’s award was given to Metro Tech for their efforts in inspiring and encouraging young high school females in their pursuit of STEM careers.


Metro Tech: Goodwill and Metro Tech Future Business Leaders of America had Workshops about resume writing

Goodwill and Metro Tech Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) had workshops about resume writing and interview skills all day, May 8.  Over 325 students attended. 

They learned many concepts such as not to put their home address on their resumes due to privacy, be sure to have a professional email address with their first and last name in it, and when using a phone number, that all the greetings are professional, all members of the family are aware you are expecting a call about a job and you are notified of any messages.

These workshops were held to help prepare students for the District Wide student Job Fair being held May 20 from 9 a.m. to  1 p.m. at Metro Tech.  There will be permanent jobs, part-time jobs and summer jobs available.


Maryvale: Hillary Camacho Ruelas and Charley Garay received an invitation to collaborate in a technology round table for the Maricopa County Recorder's Office

Due their efforts and achievements in the Verizon Innovative Learning Program, two Maryvale students, Hillary Camacho Ruelas and Charley Garay received a special invite to collaborate in a technology round table for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office oversees the election process for all of Maricopa County (which is the fourth largest county in the U.S. with over 4 million residents). Students received a tour of the facility and were able to learn and get a behind the scene look at the ballot and election process. The students were among the first to pilot a new technology for the early voting process which will be launching later this year. Students then met with elections staff and gave their feedback on the new technology. Students were able to ask questions and provide input regarding a new app for registering voters.


Carl Hayden: Four Cadets from Carl Hayden JROTC Program completed the 21-mile Hike across the Grand Canyon

Four cadets from the Carl Hayden JROTC program, their instructor, and their school resource officer set out and completed the 21-mile south to north rim hike across the Grand Canyon, May 13.   Luis Cruzes; Gabriella Mada; Osvaldo Alvarez and Omar Reyes joined JROTC instructor Sergeant 1st Class Mark Ellison and SRO Juan Poland.   For the cadets, the hike culminated six months of conditioning, physical training, mental preparation, and classes on fitness and nutrition. 

“The hike, while taxing on their muscles and feet, was a personally rewarding experience for the cadets and a once in a lifetime event they will never forget,” Ellison said.   


Cesar Chavez: Coach and Athletic Director Captured Honors at the Inaugural All- Phoenix Union Sport Awards

A Cesar Chavez coach and athletic director captured honors at the inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.   Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year, and Stacie Porras was selected as the Athletic Director of the Year.

 

Lee has been the only head basketball coach at the school, finishing up his 18th year at Chavez, and 26th year in the District.  His Champions were 24-5 this year, 10-0 in the Metro Region, and advanced to the Final Four of the 6A State Championship Tournament.  He has had many region titles and playoff appearances, including two state runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2012.

 

“The best part of being associated with the program is seeing former players graduate from college.  Chavez is proud to have many players continue to play basketball in college,” Lee said.

 

His father Jerry P. Lee, is a member of the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame and Arizona Track Coaches Hall of Fame.  He owes a lot to the examples of his father and others in his life.

 

“I have had many opportunities to develop has a person and a coach from my father, his peers at Benson High School and participating in sports programs at Phoenix College and ASU.”

 

Porras has served as an Assistant Principal for Student Opportunities overseeing athletics and activities at Cesar Chavez   for the past four years.  In her time at Chavez, Ms. Porras’ programs have produced numerous region champions and state qualifiers as well as many state champions in individual sports.  Porras also works to instill in her coaching staff and student-athletes strong character, competitiveness and accountability.  She emphasizes with her athletes that the true goal of sports is to provide them with another opportunity to reach their potential both academically and in life.  Porras is an active member of the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. 


Jahnson Truong a Math Teacher was selected as one of the Diamondbacks's most Valuable Teacher

Johnson Truong, a math teacher with Camelback Montessori was  selected as one of Diamondback's Most Valuable Teacher, and was honored at the May 12 Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. F  He was awarded $1,000 to use in his classroom. 


Camelback: has received a $5,000 SRP Grand to Create-In- School Maker Space.

Camelback has received a $5,000 SRP Grant to create In-school maker space. The Invention Studio at Camelback High would allow students to gather create, invent, and learn in a school makerspace. This space is where students can become creative, innovative and design products using the design- thinking method. The students will learn the process of designing with empathy, identifying a problem, brainstorming solutions, prototyping and testing the product with community profit or nonprofit business partners or even create their own businesses.   There will be career coursework for all freshman and entrepreneurial classes will have full access to the Invention Studio. These sustainable skills will be used by high school students for a lifetime because of its hands-on design-built education to stimulate innovation creativity and entrepreneurship in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEA(Art)M careers. 


Betty Fiarfax: Maya Hadzic a Junior in Honors Anatomy and Physiology has been selected to attend Midwester University's Health Careers

Maya Hadzic, a junior in Honors Anatomy and Physiology has been selected to attend Midwestern University's Health Careers Institute for High School Students.  She was one of  48  students selected, out of over 150 applicants from all over the state of Arizona.  She will participate in a variety of lab activities, possibly including taking blood pressure, practicing splinting/casting, simulating blood draws, performing science experiments, and participating in anatomy lab exercises.


Betty Fairfax: Soccer Player Brianna Boehm was named Phoenix Union Female of the Year for all PUHSD Schools

Soccer player Brianna Boehm was named the   Phoenix Union Female Athlete of the Year at the All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9.   She has been a multi-sport athlete, playing two years of Softball and four years of Varsity soccer where she was a three-year Captain.  Boehm won a Soccer Leadership Award and All-Academic Medal (w/ a 4.1 GPA) in her sophomore Year.  In addition, she was a member of the varsity football team, during her junior and senior years.  In her junior year she was awarded   Special Teams Player of the Year, as a kicker, and also All-Section 1st Team in Soccer.

She has worked hard in the classroom earning her way onto the Principal’s List as a freshman   an Academic Excellence Award letter winner  her sophomore year, and the National Honors Society in her junior and senior years.  She is active on campus joining Camp Uni-town during her sophomore year and volunteering on the hiring committee in the search for a soccer coach.

Boehm has decided to attend Ottawa University in Surprise on a soccer scholarship.  She will  major in biological sciences with a goal of becoming a nurse. 


Betty Fairfax: Soccer Player Brianna Boehm was named Phoenix Union Female of the Year for all PUHSD Schools

Soccer player Brianna Boehm was named the   Phoenix Union Female Athlete of the Year at the All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9.   She has been a multi-sport athlete, playing two years of Softball and four years of Varsity soccer where she was a three-year Captain.  Boehm won a Soccer Leadership Award and All-Academic Medal (w/ a 4.1 GPA) in her sophomore Year.  In addition, she was a member of the varsity football team, during her junior and senior years.  In her junior year she was awarded   Special Teams Player of the Year, as a kicker, and also All-Section 1st Team in Soccer.

She has worked hard in the classroom earning her way onto the Principal’s List as a freshman   an Academic Excellence Award letter winner  her sophomore year, and the National Honors Society in her junior and senior years.  She is active on campus joining Camp Uni-town during her sophomore year and volunteering on the hiring committee in the search for a soccer coach.

Boehm has decided to attend Ottawa University in Surprise on a soccer scholarship.  She will  major in biological sciences with a goal of becoming a nurse. 


Alhambra: Baseball Player David Avitia was named Phoenix Union Male Athlete of the Year for all PUHSD schools

Baseball player David Avitia was named the   Phoenix Union Male Athlete of the Year at the All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9.   He set the school batting average record as a freshman.  He starred on the 2016 Division III Alhambra State Baseball Championship Team.  Also in 2016, as a junior, he was selected by Arizona Republic as a First Team All-State Catcher and declared Small Schools Player of the Year.   He is currently nominated for All-Conference and All-State consideration.   In the classroom, Arvitia has a 3.8 cumulative grade point average.


Alhambra: Baseball Player David Avitia was named Phoenix Union Male Athlete of the Year for all PUHSD schools

Baseball player David Avitia was named the   Phoenix Union Male Athlete of the Year at the All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9.   He set the school batting average record as a freshman.  He starred on the 2016 Division III Alhambra State Baseball Championship Team.  Also in 2016, as a junior, he was selected by Arizona Republic as a First Team All-State Catcher and declared Small Schools Player of the Year.   He is currently nominated for All-Conference and All-State consideration.   In the classroom, Arvitia has a 3.8 cumulative grade point average.


No Place For Hate Schools for the 2016-2017

Carl Hayden and Franklin Police and Fire High Schools were two of 35 Arizona schools the Anti-Defamation League     designated as No Place for Hate Schools for the 2016-2017 school year, at a May 4 event at Phoenix College.    These schools were recognized for creating safe and respectful learning environments and bringing awareness to the issues of bullying and bias.  

The No Place for Hate initiative provides schools and communities with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate.

According to ADL, No Place for Hate schools receive their designation by building inclusive and safe communities in which respect is the goal, and all students can thrive; empowering students, faculty, administration and family members to take a stand against hate and bullying by incorporating new and existing programs under one powerful message; engaging schools and communities in at least three anti-bias activities per year, which ADL helps to develop; and sending a clear, unified message that all students have a place to belong.


No Place For Hate Schools for the 2016-2017

Carl Hayden and Franklin Police and Fire High Schools were two of 35 Arizona schools the Anti-Defamation League     designated as No Place for Hate Schools for the 2016-2017 school year, at a May 4 event at Phoenix College.    These schools were recognized for creating safe and respectful learning environments and bringing awareness to the issues of bullying and bias.  

The No Place for Hate initiative provides schools and communities with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate.

According to ADL, No Place for Hate schools receive their designation by building inclusive and safe communities in which respect is the goal, and all students can thrive; empowering students, faculty, administration and family members to take a stand against hate and bullying by incorporating new and existing programs under one powerful message; engaging schools and communities in at least three anti-bias activities per year, which ADL helps to develop; and sending a clear, unified message that all students have a place to belong.


Summer School

Summer School is just around the corner.   Phoenix Union will be offering Summer School for continuing students, those going into 10th, 11th and 12th grade and a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders.   Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday.   Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Trevor Browne students will attend at the Maryvale campus, and Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Student registration began March 20 for continuing students, who can sign up with their counselors.    For more information and what courses are offered in the summer, you can go to http://www.phxhs.k12.az.us/summerschool.


Summer School

Summer School is just around the corner.   Phoenix Union will be offering Summer School for continuing students, those going into 10th, 11th and 12th grade and a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders.   Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday.   Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Trevor Browne students will attend at the Maryvale campus, and Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Student registration began March 20 for continuing students, who can sign up with their counselors.    For more information and what courses are offered in the summer, you can go to http://www.phxhs.k12.az.us/summerschool.


ASU indicates that 582 PUHSD Students have received a Financial Aid Package that includes free tuition

A recent report from ASU indicates that 582 PUHSD students have received a financial aid package that includes free tuition and fees for four years, through either the Obama Scholars Program (free tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies for four years.  Estimated worth- $100,000) or the College Attainment Grant (free tuition and fees for four years. Estimated worth- $42,000)   The 582 number is 230 more students compared to the previous year.

Post-secondary articulation specialist Dolores Ramirez attributes it to the District-wide Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion campaign.

“I want to thank everyone for the FAFSA completion efforts this past year. I believe it has truly made a difference in the lives of our students and families,” Ramirez said. 

Phoenix Union schools not only held a College Application Campaign again this fall, but the District made a push to have more students complete the FAFSA.   It is the first step in applying for financial aid, and is often required to apply for state aid, scholarships or financial assistance from individual institutions.  Students at Title 1 (lower income) high schools can qualify for an average of $3,500 in Pell Grant funds, with a maximum amount of $5,815.  More than 80 percent of all student financial assistance is provided by the federal government.

Phoenix Union had a goal of 40 percent of its seniors completing the FAFSA Application, improving upon last year’s 33 percent.  As of mid-April, 2,435 students, or 42.9 percent of the seniors completed the FAFSA application, and the District was only 119 students shy of 45 percent.  

Creative campus contests and events, prizes, expert guidance from counselors, college representatives and community members, and on-going district-wide updates fueled the increase.

Phoenix was one of 22 cities to receive up to $55,000 in the FAFSA Completion Challenge though the National College Access Network (NCAN) this year.  The funds support PUHSD’s efforts to connect its students with financing needed for higher education.  Phoenix Union reaching its goal means that the City of Phoenix will continue its NCAN FAFSA Grant for another year.


ASU indicates that 582 PUHSD Students have received a Financial Aid Package that includes free tuition

A recent report from ASU indicates that 582 PUHSD students have received a financial aid package that includes free tuition and fees for four years, through either the Obama Scholars Program (free tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies for four years.  Estimated worth- $100,000) or the College Attainment Grant (free tuition and fees for four years. Estimated worth- $42,000)   The 582 number is 230 more students compared to the previous year.

Post-secondary articulation specialist Dolores Ramirez attributes it to the District-wide Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion campaign.

“I want to thank everyone for the FAFSA completion efforts this past year. I believe it has truly made a difference in the lives of our students and families,” Ramirez said. 

Phoenix Union schools not only held a College Application Campaign again this fall, but the District made a push to have more students complete the FAFSA.   It is the first step in applying for financial aid, and is often required to apply for state aid, scholarships or financial assistance from individual institutions.  Students at Title 1 (lower income) high schools can qualify for an average of $3,500 in Pell Grant funds, with a maximum amount of $5,815.  More than 80 percent of all student financial assistance is provided by the federal government.

Phoenix Union had a goal of 40 percent of its seniors completing the FAFSA Application, improving upon last year’s 33 percent.  As of mid-April, 2,435 students, or 42.9 percent of the seniors completed the FAFSA application, and the District was only 119 students shy of 45 percent.  

Creative campus contests and events, prizes, expert guidance from counselors, college representatives and community members, and on-going district-wide updates fueled the increase.

Phoenix was one of 22 cities to receive up to $55,000 in the FAFSA Completion Challenge though the National College Access Network (NCAN) this year.  The funds support PUHSD’s efforts to connect its students with financing needed for higher education.  Phoenix Union reaching its goal means that the City of Phoenix will continue its NCAN FAFSA Grant for another year.


Phoenix Union Graduations May 23rd - May 25th

Phoenix Union graduations are May 23, 24 and 25.  Small schools Franklin Police & Fire, Bioscience and Bostrom will hold commencement exercises at Phoenix College’s Bulpitt Auditorium, May 23 at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. respectively.  Linda Abril Educational Academy will graduate May 24 at Alhambra.

The comprehensive high schools will hold ceremonies at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, May 24 and 25.  Five schools will go on the first day- Central at 10:30 a.m.; Betty Fairfax at 1 p.m.; South Mountain at 3:30; North at 6 p.m. and Camelback at 8:30 p.m.  Six schools will be on Thursday, May 25: Metro Tech, 8 a.m.; Carl Hayden, 10:30 a.m.: Alhambra, 1 p.m.; Cesar Chavez, 3:30 p.m., Mayvale, 6 p.m.; and Trevor Browne, 8:30 p.m.


Phoenix Union Graduations May 23rd - May 25th

Phoenix Union graduations are May 23, 24 and 25.  Small schools Franklin Police & Fire, Bioscience and Bostrom will hold commencement exercises at Phoenix College’s Bulpitt Auditorium, May 23 at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. respectively.  Linda Abril Educational Academy will graduate May 24 at Alhambra.

The comprehensive high schools will hold ceremonies at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, May 24 and 25.  Five schools will go on the first day- Central at 10:30 a.m.; Betty Fairfax at 1 p.m.; South Mountain at 3:30; North at 6 p.m. and Camelback at 8:30 p.m.  Six schools will be on Thursday, May 25: Metro Tech, 8 a.m.; Carl Hayden, 10:30 a.m.: Alhambra, 1 p.m.; Cesar Chavez, 3:30 p.m., Mayvale, 6 p.m.; and Trevor Browne, 8:30 p.m.


The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education awarded $110,500 in Scholarships

The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education awarded scholarships this year totaling $110,500, assisting 69 District seniors in furthering their education at Arizona colleges and universities next year.   The amount is the highest annual distribution since the Foundation’s inception and $22,500 more than last year.

 

The Foundation for Education, a 501 (c) (3) that supports pathways to success in college, career and life, and provides support for District-wide, college-going student programs and college scholarships, began in 1985 as the Phoenix Union Partnership of Business and Education. In recent years, it has concentrated on generating need-based scholarships for PUHSD students.

 

Scholarships ranged from $100 annually to $8,000 over a four-year academic career, distributed from a pool of scholarship resources from individual and organization donors to employee contributions and fundraising events.

 

Proceeds from the 2016 Phoenix Union Scholarship Dinner and the Foundation Scholarship Open Golf Tournament generated almost half the scholarship funds.   Proceeds from this year’s Dinner in February and Golf Tournament in May will be used for next year’s scholarships.  These two Foundation fundraisers are also building an endowment fund that is over $450,000, with a goal of $1 million. 

 

Scholarship applications are distributed to all District employees and are due in April.  Volunteer business, community and education members read and score the applications which are awarded in May. A Scholarship Reception was held for this year’s recipients, May 17.


The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education awarded $110,500 in Scholarships

The Phoenix Union Foundation for Education awarded scholarships this year totaling $110,500, assisting 69 District seniors in furthering their education at Arizona colleges and universities next year.   The amount is the highest annual distribution since the Foundation’s inception and $22,500 more than last year.

 

The Foundation for Education, a 501 (c) (3) that supports pathways to success in college, career and life, and provides support for District-wide, college-going student programs and college scholarships, began in 1985 as the Phoenix Union Partnership of Business and Education. In recent years, it has concentrated on generating need-based scholarships for PUHSD students.

 

Scholarships ranged from $100 annually to $8,000 over a four-year academic career, distributed from a pool of scholarship resources from individual and organization donors to employee contributions and fundraising events.

 

Proceeds from the 2016 Phoenix Union Scholarship Dinner and the Foundation Scholarship Open Golf Tournament generated almost half the scholarship funds.   Proceeds from this year’s Dinner in February and Golf Tournament in May will be used for next year’s scholarships.  These two Foundation fundraisers are also building an endowment fund that is over $450,000, with a goal of $1 million. 

 

Scholarship applications are distributed to all District employees and are due in April.  Volunteer business, community and education members read and score the applications which are awarded in May. A Scholarship Reception was held for this year’s recipients, May 17.


Trevor Browne: Theater Program and Phoenix College Theater Program collaborated

 The Trevor Browne Theatre program and Phoenix College's Theatre Program have collaborated in a project this semester.  Students of the TGB Theatre program attended Phoenix College's Musical performance of "Urinetown," April 28.   Multiple students in the TGB Tech Department had the opportunity to  help build the set and hang lights for the show, and the acting students had the opportunity to learn from the actors in the show and even learn a short number from a one of the dances. Drama Teacher Megan Dallas even auditioned for the show.  Students were able to see their teacher perform the subject that they are learning about every day in class.


Trevor Browne: Theater Program and Phoenix College Theater Program collaborated

 The Trevor Browne Theatre program and Phoenix College's Theatre Program have collaborated in a project this semester.  Students of the TGB Theatre program attended Phoenix College's Musical performance of "Urinetown," April 28.   Multiple students in the TGB Tech Department had the opportunity to  help build the set and hang lights for the show, and the acting students had the opportunity to learn from the actors in the show and even learn a short number from a one of the dances. Drama Teacher Megan Dallas even auditioned for the show.  Students were able to see their teacher perform the subject that they are learning about every day in class.


Trevor Browne: Physical Education Department Club hosted the Torch May 5th

Trevor Browne Physical Education Department, the PEOPEL (Physical Education Opportunities Program for Exceptional Learners) Club, and the Trevor Browne Track Team hosted the torch as it moved its way for the opening of the Special Olympics Summer Games, May 5.

 

Over 1600 Special Olympics Athletes from across the state competed in sports ranging from traditional Special Olympics events to Unified® activities at Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale.

 

 The TGB Track Team, accompanied by Coach Robert Mika, joined law enforcement officers from across the state met at Desert Sky Mall and ran north up  75th Avenue to Trevor Browne.   Once on campus, the runners and torch came to the gym for a presentation by Special Olympic athlete Roxanne Johnson.


Trevor Browne: Physical Education Department Club hosted the Torch May 5th

Trevor Browne Physical Education Department, the PEOPEL (Physical Education Opportunities Program for Exceptional Learners) Club, and the Trevor Browne Track Team hosted the torch as it moved its way for the opening of the Special Olympics Summer Games, May 5.

 

Over 1600 Special Olympics Athletes from across the state competed in sports ranging from traditional Special Olympics events to Unified® activities at Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale.

 

 The TGB Track Team, accompanied by Coach Robert Mika, joined law enforcement officers from across the state met at Desert Sky Mall and ran north up  75th Avenue to Trevor Browne.   Once on campus, the runners and torch came to the gym for a presentation by Special Olympic athlete Roxanne Johnson.


Trevor Browne: Student Scholarships

Trevor Browne has a tradition of securing prestigious scholarships for its students, and 2017 is no different.  Giovanni Rogel was offered scholarships from Amherst, Swarthmore, Harvey Mudd, Bowdoin, Williams and Pomona, all near a quarter million dollars each, before deciding on Stanford, worth $239,000.  Kevin Lopez Guevara accepted an offer from Pomona worth $236,000; after being offered $1 million in scholarships from six other schools.  Chnthia Serran Najera is headed to Wellesley at $248,000, but had xix other offers totaling over $1 million.  Edgardo Felix will attend Carlton in Minnesota with a $208,000 package.  Fernando Carbajal Perez is going to Colgate, ($282,600).  Erica Ramirez received the Dorrance Scholarship and more from the University of Arizona, for over $100,000.  Other top seniors include Jesse Terrazas, $32,000 from ASU; Zinnia Figueroa, $66,000 from Grand Canyon University and Diane Lopez Teran, $25,000 for Dream US Scholarships at Phoenix College and ASU.


Trevor Browne: Student Scholarships

Trevor Browne has a tradition of securing prestigious scholarships for its students, and 2017 is no different.  Giovanni Rogel was offered scholarships from Amherst, Swarthmore, Harvey Mudd, Bowdoin, Williams and Pomona, all near a quarter million dollars each, before deciding on Stanford, worth $239,000.  Kevin Lopez Guevara accepted an offer from Pomona worth $236,000; after being offered $1 million in scholarships from six other schools.  Chnthia Serran Najera is headed to Wellesley at $248,000, but had xix other offers totaling over $1 million.  Edgardo Felix will attend Carlton in Minnesota with a $208,000 package.  Fernando Carbajal Perez is going to Colgate, ($282,600).  Erica Ramirez received the Dorrance Scholarship and more from the University of Arizona, for over $100,000.  Other top seniors include Jesse Terrazas, $32,000 from ASU; Zinnia Figueroa, $66,000 from Grand Canyon University and Diane Lopez Teran, $25,000 for Dream US Scholarships at Phoenix College and ASU.


South Mountain: The Ice Cold Souljah won 1st place May 6

The South Mountain step team did it again, winning another national competition.   The squad, known as the Ice Cold Souljah’s, placed 1st, May 6, at the National Step Up or Step Aside   show in Corona, California.  It is the step team’s fourth national title.

There are 24 members, seven of whom are graduating seniors-- Isaiah Pitts, Jazmin Rodriguez, Ricardo Perez, Montell Lewis, Jasmin Duran, Keylondrian Allen and Teviyahn Goodwyn. Walker.    The step team started at South Mountain in August, 2007 under the direction of head coach Marvlyn Jones, community liaison and assistant coach Denesha Hardson, student liaison.  Safiyyah Johnson, an ESS teacher, is the sponsor.  


South Mountain: The Ice Cold Souljah won 1st place May 6

The South Mountain step team did it again, winning another national competition.   The squad, known as the Ice Cold Souljah’s, placed 1st, May 6, at the National Step Up or Step Aside   show in Corona, California.  It is the step team’s fourth national title.

There are 24 members, seven of whom are graduating seniors-- Isaiah Pitts, Jazmin Rodriguez, Ricardo Perez, Montell Lewis, Jasmin Duran, Keylondrian Allen and Teviyahn Goodwyn. Walker.    The step team started at South Mountain in August, 2007 under the direction of head coach Marvlyn Jones, community liaison and assistant coach Denesha Hardson, student liaison.  Safiyyah Johnson, an ESS teacher, is the sponsor.  


South Mountain: Girls were the 4X100 Meter Champions in the Division II State Track and Field Championships

The South Mountain Girls were the 4 x 100 meter champions in the Division II State Track and Field Championships, May 6 at Mesa Community College, with a 48.19 time.   Other Jaguars placing included Robert Williams, 4th in the 200 meters and 5th in the 400 meters; Autumn Boyd had a 4th place in the 100 meters, and a 5th in the 200 meters.  Alaijah Huckaby was 8th in the 200 meters.  The South girls also had an 8th place finish in the 4 x 400 relay. 

 

The South Girls finished ninth in the team standings, tied with PUHSD rival, Betty Fairfax.  There were 33 teams that scored in the meet.


South Mountain: Girls were the 4X100 Meter Champions in the Division II State Track and Field Championships

The South Mountain Girls were the 4 x 100 meter champions in the Division II State Track and Field Championships, May 6 at Mesa Community College, with a 48.19 time.   Other Jaguars placing included Robert Williams, 4th in the 200 meters and 5th in the 400 meters; Autumn Boyd had a 4th place in the 100 meters, and a 5th in the 200 meters.  Alaijah Huckaby was 8th in the 200 meters.  The South girls also had an 8th place finish in the 4 x 400 relay. 

 

The South Girls finished ninth in the team standings, tied with PUHSD rival, Betty Fairfax.  There were 33 teams that scored in the meet.


South Mountain: Jagual News was recognized in the National School Press

South Mountain High School’s Jaguar News was recognized in the National School Press Association’s    Best of the High School Press Yearbook for the second year in a row. Jaguar News  was mentioned under Broadcast News for a television story that Christian Guzman did last school year on gender equality. 


South Mountain: Jagual News was recognized in the National School Press

South Mountain High School’s Jaguar News was recognized in the National School Press Association’s    Best of the High School Press Yearbook for the second year in a row. Jaguar News  was mentioned under Broadcast News for a television story that Christian Guzman did last school year on gender equality. 


South Mountain: Fourteen Visual Arts Magnet Students Completed the Visions Programs

Fourteen of South Mountain’s Visual Arts Magnet students completed the Visions program at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).  SMoCA’s Visions program brings together approximately 40 high school art students from diverse Phoenix metropolitan-area schools for a year-long series of activities with local and national artists, designed to cultivate artistic skills, collaboration and civic engagement. The program was founded in 1999 and is based on a strong community partnership between the Museum and participating schools, which represent economically, ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

The following students on successfully completing the Visions 2017 Teen Art program at SMoCA:

Photography: Alexis Moreno; Jessica  Almanza; Erick Arteaga; Brianna Belnavis; Maria Pozos; Ayoneceli Rodriguez; Victoria Valdez.  3D Design and Sculpture: Andriana Jordon; Selene Corrales Portillo; Jackie Manson; Sarah Cordova; Viviana Flores; Kathya Garcia; Jennifer Gomez Garcia.

 Ayoneceli Rodriguez and Selene Corrales Portillo earned the SMoCA’s Awards for Excellence in Photography and Sculpture.  Each received $150 gift certificate at Arizona Art Supply.

The Visions ’17 Student Exhibition at the Young@Art Gallery at SMoCA  is on display from May 2 to September 17.


South Mountain: Fourteen Visual Arts Magnet Students Completed the Visions Programs

Fourteen of South Mountain’s Visual Arts Magnet students completed the Visions program at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).  SMoCA’s Visions program brings together approximately 40 high school art students from diverse Phoenix metropolitan-area schools for a year-long series of activities with local and national artists, designed to cultivate artistic skills, collaboration and civic engagement. The program was founded in 1999 and is based on a strong community partnership between the Museum and participating schools, which represent economically, ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

The following students on successfully completing the Visions 2017 Teen Art program at SMoCA:

Photography: Alexis Moreno; Jessica  Almanza; Erick Arteaga; Brianna Belnavis; Maria Pozos; Ayoneceli Rodriguez; Victoria Valdez.  3D Design and Sculpture: Andriana Jordon; Selene Corrales Portillo; Jackie Manson; Sarah Cordova; Viviana Flores; Kathya Garcia; Jennifer Gomez Garcia.

 Ayoneceli Rodriguez and Selene Corrales Portillo earned the SMoCA’s Awards for Excellence in Photography and Sculpture.  Each received $150 gift certificate at Arizona Art Supply.

The Visions ’17 Student Exhibition at the Young@Art Gallery at SMoCA  is on display from May 2 to September 17.


North: Art Teacher Julie Peters accepted into the School for Art Leaders 2017

Art teacher Julie Peters was accepted into the School for Art Leaders 2017 class, sponsored by the National Art Education Association and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  The Program runs from June through January 2018 and includes a week at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas in July.

 “Ms. Peter’s enthusiasm and commitment to personal leadership development is applauded and appreciated. There is much work to be done to advance the field of visual arts education and creative leaders who are committed to advancing art education are needed,”   Deborah Reeve, Executive Director said.

Peters is a former Arizona Secondary Art Teacher of the Year, a National Board Certified Teacher and the Instructional Leader for the North Art department.


North: Art Teacher Julie Peters accepted into the School for Art Leaders 2017

Art teacher Julie Peters was accepted into the School for Art Leaders 2017 class, sponsored by the National Art Education Association and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  The Program runs from June through January 2018 and includes a week at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas in July.

 “Ms. Peter’s enthusiasm and commitment to personal leadership development is applauded and appreciated. There is much work to be done to advance the field of visual arts education and creative leaders who are committed to advancing art education are needed,”   Deborah Reeve, Executive Director said.

Peters is a former Arizona Secondary Art Teacher of the Year, a National Board Certified Teacher and the Instructional Leader for the North Art department.


Metro Tech: Students Competed in Future Business Leaders of America State Conference

Several students competed in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Conference, April 17.  Metro Tech qualified 34 students for Nationals, based on finishing 1st through 4th.   First place wins included Hospitality Management, Presentation and Partnership with Business.

There were several other awards for Metro Tech.    The FBLA Chapter was named a Gold Chapter, and is the fourth largest chapter in the country. Ahmed Stanikzai was awarded first place in the most prestigious competitive event, the Future Business Leader competition.  He is an FBLA State officer, the DECA Chapter president and has served hundreds of hours of community service.  He will be attending ASU’s W.B. Carey Business School next year.  Metro Tech’s principal Bryan Reynoso was awarded the Administrator of the Year; Debbie Cross, Banking and Finance teacher at Metro, was award the Honorary Lifetime membership award, recognizing her 30-plus years serving FBLA.  Jane Dobbs, the President and CEO of Canyon Sate Credit Union, was awarded the Business Person of the Year.  She has been active with Metro Tech CTE programs, including an on-campus credit union. 


Metro Tech: Students Competed in Future Business Leaders of America State Conference

Several students competed in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Conference, April 17.  Metro Tech qualified 34 students for Nationals, based on finishing 1st through 4th.   First place wins included Hospitality Management, Presentation and Partnership with Business.

There were several other awards for Metro Tech.    The FBLA Chapter was named a Gold Chapter, and is the fourth largest chapter in the country. Ahmed Stanikzai was awarded first place in the most prestigious competitive event, the Future Business Leader competition.  He is an FBLA State officer, the DECA Chapter president and has served hundreds of hours of community service.  He will be attending ASU’s W.B. Carey Business School next year.  Metro Tech’s principal Bryan Reynoso was awarded the Administrator of the Year; Debbie Cross, Banking and Finance teacher at Metro, was award the Honorary Lifetime membership award, recognizing her 30-plus years serving FBLA.  Jane Dobbs, the President and CEO of Canyon Sate Credit Union, was awarded the Business Person of the Year.  She has been active with Metro Tech CTE programs, including an on-campus credit union. 


Maryvale: Mariachi Panteros de Oro were invited to perform at North High School's Cinco de Mayo Assembly

Cinco de Mayo weekend was a busy time for the Maryvale Mariachi Panteros de Oro.      They were invited to perform at North High School’s Cinco de Mayo assembly.  On Saturday, they were asked to perform at the Maricopa Community College Hispanic Convocation at the Phoenix Convention Center where they escorted the graduates into the ceremony while playing the famous Mexican march, La Marcha Zacatecas.  On Sunday, they performed at the Phoenix Cinco de Mayo Festival in downtown Phoenix. 


Maryvale: Mariachi Panteros de Oro were invited to perform at North High School's Cinco de Mayo Assembly

Cinco de Mayo weekend was a busy time for the Maryvale Mariachi Panteros de Oro.      They were invited to perform at North High School’s Cinco de Mayo assembly.  On Saturday, they were asked to perform at the Maricopa Community College Hispanic Convocation at the Phoenix Convention Center where they escorted the graduates into the ceremony while playing the famous Mexican march, La Marcha Zacatecas.  On Sunday, they performed at the Phoenix Cinco de Mayo Festival in downtown Phoenix. 


Franklin Police & Fire: Heidi Bonfante will travel to Washington D. C. this June

Heidi Bonfante,  Franklin’s Professional Development Specialist, will travel to Washington, D.C. this June to attend the prestigious Supreme Court Summer Institute.  After a highly competitive application process, 60 teachers were selected to participate this year. The Institute, open to teachers in the fields of law-related and civic education, is co-sponsored by Street Law, Inc. and the Supreme Court Historical Society. 

The Institute offers teachers the opportunity to study recent Supreme Court cases in detail and learn innovative teaching methods for conveying this information to students. Well-known Supreme Court lawyers, reporters, scholars, and educators will be among the speakers and instructors for the Institute. Teachers will visit the Court to attend decisions and a reception.

Upon returning home, teachers will be available to present workshops on teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court, and to meet with media to discuss how the new skills and information will apply in their classrooms.   


Franklin Police & Fire: Heidi Bonfante will travel to Washington D. C. this June

Heidi Bonfante,  Franklin’s Professional Development Specialist, will travel to Washington, D.C. this June to attend the prestigious Supreme Court Summer Institute.  After a highly competitive application process, 60 teachers were selected to participate this year. The Institute, open to teachers in the fields of law-related and civic education, is co-sponsored by Street Law, Inc. and the Supreme Court Historical Society. 

The Institute offers teachers the opportunity to study recent Supreme Court cases in detail and learn innovative teaching methods for conveying this information to students. Well-known Supreme Court lawyers, reporters, scholars, and educators will be among the speakers and instructors for the Institute. Teachers will visit the Court to attend decisions and a reception.

Upon returning home, teachers will be available to present workshops on teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court, and to meet with media to discuss how the new skills and information will apply in their classrooms.   


Central: Culinary took Seven Students to do Two Live Salsa Demonstrations at Schools in the Creighton School District

Central culinary took seven students to do two live salsa demonstrations at schools in the Creighton School District, May 5.  The “Be Kind People Project” helped these schools plant their own salsa gardens.  For a fiesta on Cinco de Mayo, Central Culinary students turned the produce into delicious salsa for 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th graders.

 

“This experience was super beneficial to all parties.  The culinary students took on the roles of mentor and were able to share their expertise that they have learned during their two years in culinary.  And the elementary students got to see a thriving program that they can look forward to taking in high school,” Culinary teacher Erin Sullivan said.

 

The students who attended were Anthony Leon, Keana Nells, Emilio Markov, Cecilia Avelar, Anahi Lara, Dariem Pio Salazar and Maria Solano-Ferrer.  


Central: Culinary took Seven Students to do Two Live Salsa Demonstrations at Schools in the Creighton School District

Central culinary took seven students to do two live salsa demonstrations at schools in the Creighton School District, May 5.  The “Be Kind People Project” helped these schools plant their own salsa gardens.  For a fiesta on Cinco de Mayo, Central Culinary students turned the produce into delicious salsa for 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th graders.

 

“This experience was super beneficial to all parties.  The culinary students took on the roles of mentor and were able to share their expertise that they have learned during their two years in culinary.  And the elementary students got to see a thriving program that they can look forward to taking in high school,” Culinary teacher Erin Sullivan said.

 

The students who attended were Anthony Leon, Keana Nells, Emilio Markov, Cecilia Avelar, Anahi Lara, Dariem Pio Salazar and Maria Solano-Ferrer.  


Betty Fairfax: Most Success of any Phoenix Union School at the State Track and Field Championships

Betty Fairfax had the most success of any Phoenix Union school at the State Track and Field Championships, May 6 at Mesa College.   The Stampede Boys and Girls each finished ninth in their divisions.  Only two other schools in Division II, North Canyon and Chaparral, placed both boys and girls squads in the Top 10.

 

Shamar Moreland won the Boys Division II 300 meter hurdles (40.35 seconds) and the long jump (23-9).  He also finished 3rd in the 110 meter hurdles.  Fairfax’ Ma’Kayla Dickerson placed 2nd in the 300 meter hurdles, 2nd in the 200 meters and 4th in the 100 meter hurdles. 

 

The Fairfax Boys finished 9th out of 43 Division II teams, while the Fairfax Girls and the South Mountain Girls tied for 9th out of 33 teams.  


Betty Fairfax: Most Success of any Phoenix Union School at the State Track and Field Championships

Betty Fairfax had the most success of any Phoenix Union school at the State Track and Field Championships, May 6 at Mesa College.   The Stampede Boys and Girls each finished ninth in their divisions.  Only two other schools in Division II, North Canyon and Chaparral, placed both boys and girls squads in the Top 10.

 

Shamar Moreland won the Boys Division II 300 meter hurdles (40.35 seconds) and the long jump (23-9).  He also finished 3rd in the 110 meter hurdles.  Fairfax’ Ma’Kayla Dickerson placed 2nd in the 300 meter hurdles, 2nd in the 200 meters and 4th in the 100 meter hurdles. 

 

The Fairfax Boys finished 9th out of 43 Division II teams, while the Fairfax Girls and the South Mountain Girls tied for 9th out of 33 teams.  


Alhambra: Kristen Wasbotten was recognized for $5000 Grant from University of Phoenix

Phoenix Union celebrated its athletes and athletic programs at the Inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.  Eleven schools, 138 athletes and dozens of coaches were represented.     Each school picked a Player of the Year in each sport, and from that list, each sport recognized a Phoenix Union Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.  There were also 22 All-Academic Players of the Year.

Some of the highlights: Male Athlete of the Year was Alhambra Baseball player David Avitia and Female Athlete of the Year was Betty Fairfax Soccer player Brianna Boehm.  Betty Fairfax High School was the Athletic Program of the Year and Cesar Chavez Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year.   Ray Manquero, a football player at Carl Hayden was the INPIERATIONAL Athlete of the Year, and Joseph Grant, a football player at Camelback won the Community Outreach Award. Chavez’ Stacie Porras was the Athletic Director of the Year. Sportscaster Kevin McCabe was the Master of Ceremony, and former North High Basketball All-State Alumnus and rising star of the Phoenix Suns, Alan “Big Sauce” Williams delivered the keynote address.  


Alhambra: Kristen Wasbotten was recognized for $5000 Grant from University of Phoenix

Phoenix Union celebrated its athletes and athletic programs at the Inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.  Eleven schools, 138 athletes and dozens of coaches were represented.     Each school picked a Player of the Year in each sport, and from that list, each sport recognized a Phoenix Union Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.  There were also 22 All-Academic Players of the Year.

Some of the highlights: Male Athlete of the Year was Alhambra Baseball player David Avitia and Female Athlete of the Year was Betty Fairfax Soccer player Brianna Boehm.  Betty Fairfax High School was the Athletic Program of the Year and Cesar Chavez Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year.   Ray Manquero, a football player at Carl Hayden was the INPIERATIONAL Athlete of the Year, and Joseph Grant, a football player at Camelback won the Community Outreach Award. Chavez’ Stacie Porras was the Athletic Director of the Year. Sportscaster Kevin McCabe was the Master of Ceremony, and former North High Basketball All-State Alumnus and rising star of the Phoenix Suns, Alan “Big Sauce” Williams delivered the keynote address.  


Phoenix Union Celebrates its Athletes and Athletic Programs

Phoenix Union celebrated its athletes and athletic programs at the Inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.  Eleven schools, 138 athletes and dozens of coaches were represented.     Each school picked a Player of the Year in each sport, and from that list, each sport recognized a Phoenix Union Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.  There were also 22 All-Academic Players of the Year.

Some of the highlights: Male Athlete of the Year was Alhambra Baseball player David Avitia and Female Athlete of the Year was Betty Fairfax Soccer player Brianna Boehm.  Betty Fairfax High School was the Athletic Program of the Year and Cesar Chavez Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year.   Ray Manquero, a football player at Carl Hayden was the INPIERATIONAL Athlete of the Year, and Joseph Grant, a football player at Camelback won the Community Outreach Award. Chavez’ Stacie Porras was the Athletic Director of the Year. Sportscaster Kevin McCabe was the Master of Ceremony, and former North High Basketball All-State Alumnus and rising star of the Phoenix Suns, Alan “Big Sauce” Williams delivered the keynote address.  


Phoenix Union Celebrates its Athletes and Athletic Programs

Phoenix Union celebrated its athletes and athletic programs at the Inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.  Eleven schools, 138 athletes and dozens of coaches were represented.     Each school picked a Player of the Year in each sport, and from that list, each sport recognized a Phoenix Union Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.  There were also 22 All-Academic Players of the Year.

Some of the highlights: Male Athlete of the Year was Alhambra Baseball player David Avitia and Female Athlete of the Year was Betty Fairfax Soccer player Brianna Boehm.  Betty Fairfax High School was the Athletic Program of the Year and Cesar Chavez Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year.   Ray Manquero, a football player at Carl Hayden was the INPIERATIONAL Athlete of the Year, and Joseph Grant, a football player at Camelback won the Community Outreach Award. Chavez’ Stacie Porras was the Athletic Director of the Year. Sportscaster Kevin McCabe was the Master of Ceremony, and former North High Basketball All-State Alumnus and rising star of the Phoenix Suns, Alan “Big Sauce” Williams delivered the keynote address.  


Summer School is Just around the Corner

Summer School is just around the corner.   Phoenix Union will be offering Summer School for continuing students, those going into 10th, 11th and 12th grade and a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders.   Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday.   Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Trevor Browne students will attend at the Maryvale campus, and Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Student registration began March 20 for continuing students, who can sign up with their counselors.    For more information and what courses are offered in the summer, you can go to http://www.phxhs.k12.az.us/summerschool.


Summer School is Just around the Corner

Summer School is just around the corner.   Phoenix Union will be offering Summer School for continuing students, those going into 10th, 11th and 12th grade and a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders.   Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday.   Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Trevor Browne students will attend at the Maryvale campus, and Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Student registration began March 20 for continuing students, who can sign up with their counselors.    For more information and what courses are offered in the summer, you can go to http://www.phxhs.k12.az.us/summerschool.


State Superintendent of Public Instruction "Diane Douglas"

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas and the Arizona Department of Education is holding a “We Are Listening” Tour, Monday, May 15 at Phoenix Union’s Governing Board Room from 6-8 p.m.  The community-parents, educators, citizens and students are invited to come for a conversation about education policies and ideas. Douglas will provide an overview of the state education plan “AZ Kids Can’t Wait!  Omments may also be submitted to HearingEveryvoice@azed.gov, or via Twitter using #BeHeardAZ.   The tour will also be at Deer Valley Unified School District, May 16 and Verna McClain Wellness Center, May 17.


State Superintendent of Public Instruction "Diane Douglas"

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas and the Arizona Department of Education is holding a “We Are Listening” Tour, Monday, May 15 at Phoenix Union’s Governing Board Room from 6-8 p.m.  The community-parents, educators, citizens and students are invited to come for a conversation about education policies and ideas. Douglas will provide an overview of the state education plan “AZ Kids Can’t Wait!  Omments may also be submitted to HearingEveryvoice@azed.gov, or via Twitter using #BeHeardAZ.   The tour will also be at Deer Valley Unified School District, May 16 and Verna McClain Wellness Center, May 17.


Phoenix Union STEP Class of 2017

The Phoenix Union STEP (Student Expedition Program) Class of 2017 has been announced.  Twenty-two students, from 10 different schools received 41 acceptances from Arizona universities and 47 from out of state schools. 

 

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. 

 

These seniors will be attending the following schools in the fall:

 

Name

High School

School Attending in the Fall

Alex Garcia-Delgado

Bioscience

Claremont McKenna College

Alexis Rosales

South Mountain

Smith College

Brysha Pelt

Betty Fairfax

Arizona State University

Cassaundra Gomez

Central

Smith College

Cynthia Serrano Najera

Trevor Browne

Wellesley College

Deja Royal

Metro Tech

ASU Barrett Honors College

Douglas Bencomo

North

Bowdoin College

Erwin Rubio Butron

South Mountain

GCU Honors College

Estephany Garcia

Maryvale

Arizona State University

Estrella Garcia

Carl Hayden

Wellesley College

Giovanni Rogel

Trevor Browne

Stanford University

Griselda Solis

Bioscience

Wesleyan University

Isai Diaz

Carl Hayden

Arizona State University

JoseFernando Cabajal Perez

Trevor Browne

Colgate University

Keilen Costilla

Central

Smith College

Kunica Kuy

Betty Fairfax

Bowdoin College

Leslie Mora

Camelback

ASU Barrett Honors College

Maria Villalon

South Mountain

Arizona State University

Mariah Quintero

South Mountain

Wellesley College

Marlon Reyna

Camelback

St. Mary's University

Nati Fuentes

Maryvale

Arizona State University

Ricky Tsang

Bioscience

Bowdoin College

 

As a class, they received over $1 million in first year gift aid from the schools they will be attending and over $12 million in total gift aid.  Twelve students each received over $60,000 in first year gift aid from the schools they are attending.  And six   students received over $1 million dollars each in total gift aid.


Phoenix Union STEP Class of 2017

The Phoenix Union STEP (Student Expedition Program) Class of 2017 has been announced.  Twenty-two students, from 10 different schools received 41 acceptances from Arizona universities and 47 from out of state schools. 

 

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. 

 

These seniors will be attending the following schools in the fall:

 

Name

High School

School Attending in the Fall

Alex Garcia-Delgado

Bioscience

Claremont McKenna College

Alexis Rosales

South Mountain

Smith College

Brysha Pelt

Betty Fairfax

Arizona State University

Cassaundra Gomez

Central

Smith College

Cynthia Serrano Najera

Trevor Browne

Wellesley College

Deja Royal

Metro Tech

ASU Barrett Honors College

Douglas Bencomo

North

Bowdoin College

Erwin Rubio Butron

South Mountain

GCU Honors College

Estephany Garcia

Maryvale

Arizona State University

Estrella Garcia

Carl Hayden

Wellesley College

Giovanni Rogel

Trevor Browne

Stanford University

Griselda Solis

Bioscience

Wesleyan University

Isai Diaz

Carl Hayden

Arizona State University

JoseFernando Cabajal Perez

Trevor Browne

Colgate University

Keilen Costilla

Central

Smith College

Kunica Kuy

Betty Fairfax

Bowdoin College

Leslie Mora

Camelback

ASU Barrett Honors College

Maria Villalon

South Mountain

Arizona State University

Mariah Quintero

South Mountain

Wellesley College

Marlon Reyna

Camelback

St. Mary's University

Nati Fuentes

Maryvale

Arizona State University

Ricky Tsang

Bioscience

Bowdoin College

 

As a class, they received over $1 million in first year gift aid from the schools they will be attending and over $12 million in total gift aid.  Twelve students each received over $60,000 in first year gift aid from the schools they are attending.  And six   students received over $1 million dollars each in total gift aid.


Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board Budget Override

The Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board has called for a 15 percent Maintenance and Operations Budget Override and Bond election for November 7, 2017.  The action was taken at the May 4 Governing Board meeting. 

The election will be a mailed ballot-only election with ballots mailed to qualified electors residing within the District.

The override asks voters for authorization to continue the current 15 percent override for fiscal year 2018-2019 and six subsequent years.  This would be a continuation of the existing override approved by voters in 2013.  There would be no additional taxes if the override is approved.  The override amount for the first year of the proposed continuation would be $24,300,000, approximately equal to the current secondary tax rate for the existing budget override.   The override provides for over 400 teachers and support staff that directly impacts students and student achievement.

The bond would be for $269 million to fund capital improvements over and above those funded by the state.  The District annual capital budget has been cut from $21 million to just under $2 million since the Recession.  The bulk of the bond would fund maintenance, and renovation of school buildings and technology.  This would include instructional technology, such as distance learning expansion, transforming media centers and upgrading student labs, maintaining one-to-one computer-to-student initiatives, and infrastructure to include software, network and wireless upgrades.  The bond would also cover purchasing buses, acquiring school lots, improving school grounds, supplying school buildings with furniture and equipment, and providing all utilities and other capital items necessary for the construction and renovation of school building and grounds.  

The estimated average annual tax rate for the proposed bond authorization is $.38 per $100 of net assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes, which is approximately $38 a year for a home with an assessed value of $100,000.


Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board Budget Override

The Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board has called for a 15 percent Maintenance and Operations Budget Override and Bond election for November 7, 2017.  The action was taken at the May 4 Governing Board meeting. 

The election will be a mailed ballot-only election with ballots mailed to qualified electors residing within the District.

The override asks voters for authorization to continue the current 15 percent override for fiscal year 2018-2019 and six subsequent years.  This would be a continuation of the existing override approved by voters in 2013.  There would be no additional taxes if the override is approved.  The override amount for the first year of the proposed continuation would be $24,300,000, approximately equal to the current secondary tax rate for the existing budget override.   The override provides for over 400 teachers and support staff that directly impacts students and student achievement.

The bond would be for $269 million to fund capital improvements over and above those funded by the state.  The District annual capital budget has been cut from $21 million to just under $2 million since the Recession.  The bulk of the bond would fund maintenance, and renovation of school buildings and technology.  This would include instructional technology, such as distance learning expansion, transforming media centers and upgrading student labs, maintaining one-to-one computer-to-student initiatives, and infrastructure to include software, network and wireless upgrades.  The bond would also cover purchasing buses, acquiring school lots, improving school grounds, supplying school buildings with furniture and equipment, and providing all utilities and other capital items necessary for the construction and renovation of school building and grounds.  

The estimated average annual tax rate for the proposed bond authorization is $.38 per $100 of net assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes, which is approximately $38 a year for a home with an assessed value of $100,000.


Trevor Browne: Co-Choir Director Troy Meeker was Selected by the Arizona choral Director's Association to Guest Conduct the Nation Anthem

Co-Choir Director Troy Meeker was selected by the Arizona Choral Director's Association to guest conduct the Nation Anthem for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday April 28th. The choir consisted of over 150 students from around the state combined to sing for this performance which Mr. Meeker rehearsed for 30 minutes prior to taking the field.

"It is an honor to get to perform the Nation Anthem with so many hard-working students for nearly 20,000 fans of America's Game. I am grateful for the opportunity."


South Mountain: Will Play a Role in The 12th Annual Kids at Hope Masters Institute

South Mountain will play a role in the 12th Annual Kids at Hope Masters Institute taking place May 1-5 in Phoenix.  Besides the administrative team and some teachers attending the institute, South will play host to over 150 attendees from around the state and nation for a site visit.  The visitors will visit Angelee Bilbao’s English class, the south gym and the Jag Café (cafeteria) for a closure panel, and entertainment by the school’s step team.  

Kids At Hope is a Phoenix-based organization that provides professional development to individuals and organizations in 18 states and Canada in the fields of youth development, education, law enforcement, juvenile justice, child welfare and health.  The Annual Youth Development Master’s Institute co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s School of Social and Family Dynamics.


Phoenix Coding Academy: Winner of the 2017 Arizona Leader Award for Green Schools

 Phoenix Coding Academy was selected as the winner of the 2017 Arizona Leader Award for Green Schools by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Opened this year, Coding Academy is the District’s first   LEED Gold-certified school.   LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Design.   

”In a year with many qualified candidates, the judges were impressed with the project’s combination of sustainability and curriculum objectives, and felt it was a great fit for the Green Schools award,” Cindy Zork, USGBC Manager, Community Advancement said.

U.S. Green Building Council. PUHSD’s Jared Reynolds was on hand to accept the award with ADM lead architect Jennifer Weskalnies.

In addition, the Green Schools Committee chose the Phoenix Coding Academy for the Green Schools Earth Week Tour to showcase a local educational project that exemplifies the reduction of environmental impact, enhances of occupant health and well-being and provides education to a generation of sustainability natives. The April 27 tour was attended by design professionals and educational leaders from around the state and was led by project architect Jennifer Weskalnies and Principal Seth Beute. Assisting with the tour were teachers Susana Masamery and Gina Vullo and four Coding Academy students with discussion about the details of sustainability, efforts in design, construction and education at the school.


North: Calling all Incoming International Baccalaureate Students

North High is calling all incoming International Baccalaureate students with a Registration Rally, Thursday, May 11 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.     The rally, which will be held in the North Library, is for students who still need to turn in registration packets, become enrolled, and avoid getting registered in the summer or at the start of school.  The IB magnet program is one of the longest and most successful programs in Arizona.  For more information, call (602) 764-6500.


North: Symphonic Band earned a Superior Rating at The 2017 State Concert Festival

The North High Symphonic Band earned a “Superior” rating at the 2017 State Concert Festival, April 29.  Their last “Superior” rating during the concert season was at the 2006 Area Concert Festival. The North musicians followed that up with an encore performance at school, May 2, along with special guest bands from Isaac Middle School and Pueblo del Sol.

“So proud of this group of young men and women. They were focused, intelligent, and ready to rock the house. Bravo,” Director of Bands, Orchestras and Percussion Daniel Eaton said.


Metro Tech: Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education held its first Interview Fair, March 30, and it was a huge success.  The Metro Tech gym was filled with tables and chairs, as 307 seniors were interviewed by 114 volunteers.  Students were interviewed twice, and received feedback after each interview.  The students represented 20 CTE programs at Metro Tech. 

The all-day event was co-sponsored by the Valley of the Sun United Way and the Department of Economic Security.  The event was led by Vocational Program Facilitator Victoria Petit and a team of CTE staff. .  

“It is an important event to help our students with the soft skills necessary in the most important activity- a job interview.”


Metro Tech: Was one of the Stops for Future Sun Devil Signing

 Metro Tech was one of the stops for Future Sun Devil Signing Day, Thursday, April 27, welcoming seniors who have chosen Arizona State University.  ASU arrived in a double decker-wrapped bus with ASU Admission Services staff, other ASU personnel, ASU media, Sparky,  music, and lots of ASU paraphernalia. Students signed posters   showing their commitment to ASU and took pictures to post on social media.   Metro Tech had 45 students officially committed to ASU.  Metro also had the highest FAFSA completion rate among PUHSD schools, at 55%, Metro students applied for the most colleges and universities in last fall’s College Application Campaign.  The best news is that most of the students were getting full rides thanks to College Attainment Grants, in which students can qualify for ASU with a 3.0 or 22 ACT score   if their families earn less than $42,400 per year.  Some of the students are also participating in ASU’s Pro-Mod program, which stands for project-based, modular learning.   The students work across disciplines on real world projects, interacting with university faculty and students.   Phoenix Union teachers teach the courses in a project-based format and students receive 13 ASU credits upon successful completion of project criteria and enrollment at ASU directly after high school.


Cesar Chavez: The Percussion Ensemble was Invited to Play at NAU’s Concert

The Cesar Chavez Percussion Ensemble was invited to play at NAU’s percussion ensemble concert, April 28 in Flagstaff.   They were the only high school performing.  The piece they performed was something the ensemble played at the Arizona Percussive Arts Society Spring Festival at ASU, where they scored a “Superior,” and were selected for the showcase concert performing alongside ASU and NAU. 

“This is a big honor and we were honored to have been invited to be special guests on their concert.   I am very excited for them to see college level playing and for the students to meet the Director of Percussion Studies at NAU.  These kids work hard and represent our school passionately through music,” Alison Brightwell-Balot, Chavez’ Director of Percussion and Piano said.

The Chavez Ensemble will also be performing in front of the Herberger Friday evening for their Cinco De Mayo celebration 6-9 p.m.   It is free to the public.


Bioscience: Principal Dr. DeeDee Falls Retired

Last year, Dr. DeeDee Falls, a longtime Bioscience principal, retired, but in her honor, a scholarship fund was created and two students were awarded $2000 scholarships.  That fund has already expanded to $10,000 this year, which will help four seniors this year with their college studies.    

Carlos Yanez Navarro – Arizona State University,  Biomedical Studies; Reyna Gariepy  - Bryn Mawr College,  Neuroscience; Cassandra Montufar  - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Aerospace Engineering;  Hana Malkoc - Arizona State University, Nursing


Betty Fairfax: Vocal Ensemble Traveled to Anaheima to Participate in the World Strides Heritage Festivals Competition.

The Betty Fairfax Vocal Ensemble traveled to Anaheim to participate in the WorldStrides Heritage Festivals competition. There were 30 different choirs there from around the country, and Fairfax’s performances in both madrigals and jazz received Silver 2nd Place awards. In addition, Ivan Alcazar received the "Legacy Lives On" award.  This award is presented to a student who has shown strength of character and a passion for the arts as they pursue excellence no matter what challenges they may have faced. Two students received "Maestro" awards for excellent performances: Andrez Alcazar and Christopher Joseph   for their respective solos. Only six of these awards were given in the entire festival of approximately 700 students. 


Bett Fairfax: Ten Math Studnts Qualified to Attend the State Championships

This past Saturday ten Betty Fairfax math students qualified to attend the mathleague.org state competition in Tucson, Arizona.  These students competed in five rounds; power, relay, target, team, and sprint against fourteen schools.  To qualify these students participated in a local competition in Tucson earlier in the year and took an in-school test in April.  Two students placed in the 12th grade category, Lao Yao (7th place) and Leonardo Ruelas (10th place).   Yao is a student in the 2016-2017 Lanzhou International student program  who will be attending Arizona State University in the  fall.


Betty Fairfax: Math Students Traveled to the Arizona Cardinals Marquee Math Competition

Ten Betty Fairfax math students traveled to the Arizona Cardinals Marquee Math competition at the Arizona Cardinals stadium, April 29.  The two teams of five competed against 26 teams from all over the state.  The students took a one-hour test consisting of physics and math questions written in a football context.  Team one, consisting of Leo Ruelas, Leo Lopez, Yallison Wakayo, Stephanie Martinez and Justin Sanchez, took fourth place overall and team two placed 14th.  This is the inaugural year of the Betty Fairfax Math club, which has been led by Ruelas, a National Hispanic scholar, who will be attending Texas A&M next Fall.   The teams and club were organized by math teachers Susan Heikkinen and Katherine Martinez.


Phoenix Union Teacher Appreciation Night

It seemed like Phoenix Union Teacher Appreciation Night at Chase Field last Friday night prior to the Diamondbacks-Rockies game.   The first wave of Diamondback Most Valuable Teacher (MVT) awardees were recognized, and of course, PUHSD dominated.    Exceptional  Students teacher Patty Sanchez, from Desiderata explained.

“We were chosen from over 160 teachers nominated.  We were recognized on the field before the Diamondbacks and Rockies game and each of us was presented with a check for $1,000 to use in our classrooms.  I was so excited with this honor, but then as I met the other recipients I realized that five out of the 10 teachers were my Phoenix Union colleagues.”

Chris Coupelin (Science) from South Mountain, Jodi Weber (English) from Alhambra, Dr. Genevieve Sanders (World Languages) from Metro Tech and John Gerace (Global Studies) from Central were also Diamondbacks MVT’s. 

“How exciting and validating that so many of us were recognized for our hard work and dedication.  I know we are not the only ones by far, but it is nice to receive accolades for Phoenix Union and our talented and passionate teachers,” Sanchez said. 

The D-backs MVT program is a program in which  students, parents, and fellow teachers are asked to nominate an educator that goes above and beyond, someone that deserves recognition, and someone that has made a significant impact. 

Adding to the Phoenix Union theme, another outstanding teacher, Trevor Browne choir co-director Troy Meeker was selected by the Arizona Choral Director's Association to guest conduct the National Anthem at the same game, Friday.  The choir consisted of over 150 students from around the state who combined to sing for this performance.     Meeker had just 30 minutes to rehearse with the group prior to taking the field.


Phoenix Union will Celebrate its Athletes and Athletic Programs at the Inaugural All - Phoenix Union Sports Awards

Phoenix Union will celebrate its athletes and athletic programs at the Inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School.  The 11 schools that offer interscholastic athletics will select male and female Players of the Year for each team and individual sport, as well as Academic Student-Athletes, and recognize an All-Phoenix Union 1st Team for each team sport.  The event will feature over 120 of the top student-athletes, coaches, athletic directors and programs across the District.  The keynote address will be delivered by former North High Basketball All-State Alumnus and rising star of the Phoenix Suns, Alan “Big Sauce” Williams.  The Awards presentations ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in Central High’s auditorium with the evening concluding with awarding of the Most Outstanding Sports Program at 8 p.m.    Parents and community members are invited to attend this free event. For more information, contact the PUHSD Athletic Office at (602) 764-1334.


The 13th Annual Phoenix Union Art Show

The 13th Annual Phoenix Union Student Art Show opened April 26 at the Phoenix Art Museum, with the awards presentation in the Wolfswinkel Education Center.  Almost 100 art pieces representing 15 schools were judged in six categories: drawing, painting, traditional photo, digital photo, mixed media and 3-D (ceramics, jewelry or sculpture).

The winners are: Drawing- Jonathan Fuentes, Metro Tech; Painting- Mariela Medina, Maryvale;  Traditional Photo-  Arturo Reyes; Digital Photo-  Adrian Alvarez, Trevor Browne;  Mixed Media- Marian Ruvalcaba, Alhambra; 3D- Reid Belanger, North;


Phoenix Union Will be Offering Summer Schools for Continuing Students

Summer School is just around the corner.   Phoenix Union will be offering Summer School for continuing students, those going into 10th, 11th and 12th grade and a Freshman Academy for incoming 9th graders.   Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday.   Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Trevor Browne students will attend at the Maryvale campus, and Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Student registration began March 20 for continuing students, who can sign up with their counselors.    For more information and what courses are offered in the summer, you can go to http://www.phxhs.k12.az.us/summerschool.


Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep: Open House

The new Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep will hold an Open House for incoming ninth graders, Saturday, May 6 from 8 a.m. to noon at the school located at 3005 E. Fillmore Street.  Principal, teachers and staff, and current AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) students from other campuses will be there to introduce students to the first school in the world to provide the successful AVID Secondary College Readiness system to all students.  There will be food, opportunity to interview and apply for the school, and a scavenger hunt to learn more about the school, and earn Arizona Diamondback tickets.  Over 50 students have already enrolled in the first class, which will have approximately 120 freshmen.  The school is located next to Wilson Elementary School, where many students have experienced the AVID program before.


Governing Board: Linda Abril, Rany Schiller, and Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson

Governing Board member Linda Abril heard at the last board meeting from the student government representative that a Small Schools Prom was scheduled for Franklin, Desiderata, Bostrom and Linda Abril Educational Academy.  She reminisced and regretted that in her shortened high school career at Phoenix Union, that she never attended a prom.  Before you knew it, board member Randy Schiller and Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson conspired to invite Abril to the April 29 prom at the Linda Abril Educational Academy.    Needless to say, the 75year old board member, who was named the evening’s Prom Queen, had the time of her life, Saturday night.


Trevor Browne: Band and Orchestra Represented Their School with a Rating of Excellent

The Trevor Browne Band and Orchestra represented Trevor Browne well with a rating of "Excellent" for both groups at the Eastern Arizona College competition, Wednesday, April 12. 

The TGB Jazz Band qualified for State and will compete April 27 at Mesa Community College.  


South Mountain: Social Studies Teacher Charlie Diaz has been invited to his Second National Institute for Humanities Summer Institute

Social Studies teacher Charlie Diaz has been invited to his second National Institute for the Humanities Summer Institute in three years.   There are only 25 teachers selected from a nationwide pool of applicants.  Diaz will spend four weeks in Chicago learning about the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.


South Mountain: Joining Cesar Chavez for South Phoenix High Schools Senior Portfolio Night

South Mountain is joining Cesar Chavez for the South Phoenix High Schools Senior Portfolio Night at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, May 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.    Chavez has held this event the past 12 years, and for the first time, South Mountain High School will join Chavez the event.  All seniors will exhibit their best work from their high school career in the areas of academics, extracurricular activities, and community service.  Admission is free.  Susan Soto, who spearheaded Portfolio Night at Cesar Chavez, moved to South Mountain this year and brought the Jaguars on board.  She is expecting 10,000 attendees for the event.


Phoenix Coding Academy: U.S. Green Building Council of Arizona is touring Phoenix Coding Academy

The U.S. Green Building Council of Arizona is touring the Phoenix Coding Academy, a LEED Gold-certified school, April 27.   LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Design.  Coding Academy is the first LEED-certified school in Phoenix Union, which opened this school year.  Visitors will learn how architects and engineers developed solutions for energy management, energy and water efficiency, and indoor air quality to achieve LEED Gold certification  Features such as a real-time sustainability kiosk were implemented to invite personnel to interact and analyze the sustainability practices of the building.


North: Honor the Work of Former International Baccalaureate Director Julie Pallissard

To honor the work of former North High School International Baccalaureate Director Julie Pallissard, two families of former students are offering four $500 scholarships   to IB Diploma candidates this year.  The school is hoping to expand the scholarship   by raising more money.  Every dollar raised for this fund will go directly to supporting students in the North High IB program in their efforts to attend higher learning institutions.  

Pallissard worked diligently to provide an exceptional education to highly motivated students in the community.  Her goal was to give access to all students (first generation, underrepresented, undocumented, etc.) to a free, rigorous education to prepare them for success in college, career and life. 


North: North and Cesar Chavez Piloted a New Curriculum Called SEED SPOT NEXT

This year, North High and Cesar Chavez High School piloted a new curriculum called SEED SPOT NEXT.  After years of success working with adult entrepreneurs, SEED SPOT launched the NEXT program to empower students to create change through entrepreneurship, providing curriculum, training and resources to teach entrepreneurship. The students’ objective was to create a social venture team solving a problem from topics related to home, school, local and state, or national and global.   

North High School had its first ever Demo Day, April 21.  Thirty venture teams from Rita Lopez' Business 1-2 classes pitched their venture to judges.  Four teams were selected to continue to pitch their venture at SEED SPOT NEXT National Demo Day on Saturday, May 6 at Camelback High School, with the winning team receiving $5000 towards their venture.   North winning presenters were Ruryck Adame;  Mercedes Devian, the team of Yessy Garcia, Ivan Loza Morales, and Josue Fabela Martinez and the team of Marco Bustos and Chiara Castiglione, an exchange student from Italy.    

Student ventures ranged from solving domestic violence, health and environment, to academics.  


North: Calling all Incoming International Baccalaureate Students

North High is calling all incoming International Baccalaureate students with a Registration Rally, Thursday, May 11 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.     The rally, which will be held in the North Library, is for students who still need to turn in registration packets, become enrolled, and avoid getting registered in the summer or at the start of school.  The IB magnet program is one of the longest and most successful programs in Arizona.  For more information, call (602) 764-6500.


North: Vanessa Casillas will be Recommended to the Governing Board

Vanessa Casillas will be recommended to the Governing Board, May 3, as the North High School Principal, beginning in July of 2017. 

Casillas returns to the District where she went to school, and where she began her educational career.  A Carl Hayden graduate, she began her career at the school in 2003 as an English teacher.  

Casillas is currently an assistant principal at Mesa High School, a post she has held for four years.  Her first administrative assignment was as an assistant principal at Pueblo Magnet High School in the Tucson Unified School District, from 2010-2012.

Casillas was the District’s first Chicanos Por la Causa Esperanza Award winner in 2009, honoring Latino teachers who inspire students of all backgrounds, play an active role in the school, and demonstrate a true commitment to the community.     Then Vanessa Valenzuela, she served as the Student Government advisor, rose to English Department Instructional Leader, and was an administrative intern in her final year at Carl Hayden.

Casillas has a B.S. in Secondary Education, and two Masters- Bilingual Multicultural Education, and Educational Leadership, all from Northern Arizona University.  


Metro Tech: Future Sun Devil Signing Day

Metro Tech is one of the stops for Future Sun Devil Signing Day, Thursday, April 27, welcoming seniors who have chosen Arizona State University.  ASU will arrive at 8:30 a.m. on a double decker-wrapped bus with ASU Admission Services staff, other ASU personnel, ASU media,  Sparky, spirit squad, music, and lots of ASU giveaway items. There will have posters for students to sign showing their commitment to ASU and a photo booth items for students to take pictures and post on social media.  April 27 is National College Signing Day this year.


Maryvale: Coding Innovators Attended Competitions at ASU Skysong

Maryvale Coding Innovators attended competition at ASU Skysong, April 22.  Teams of students from schools all over the Valley displayed their apps through a gallery walk and other teams presented a pitch for their product.  One of Maryvale’s teams, Jennifer Gonzalez and Catia Flores Gomez, won second place in the pitch completion.  The second place win was for an app called Reality Check to help with double standards.    

Maryvale Coding Innovators is funded through a grant from ASU and Verizon.  Students learn coding, find a business partner, and design an app to fill a need.


Franklin Police and Fire: Repeated as Champions in the 14th Annual Arizona State High School Fire Science Muster

The 13th annual Senior Portfolio Night will be held at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, May 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and for the first time, South Mountain High School will join Chavez for the South Phoenix High Schools Senior Portfolio Night.  All seniors will exhibit their best work from their high school career in the areas of academics, extracurricular activities, and community service.  Admission is free.  Susan Soto, who spearheaded Portfolio Night at Cesar Chavez, moved to South Mountain this year as its Professional Development Specialist, and brought the Jaguars on board.  She is expecting 10,000 attendees for the event.


Cesar Chavez: 13th Annual Senior Portfolio Night

The 13th annual Senior Portfolio Night will be held at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, May 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and for the first time, South Mountain High School will join Chavez for the South Phoenix High Schools Senior Portfolio Night.  All seniors will exhibit their best work from their high school career in the areas of academics, extracurricular activities, and community service.  Admission is free.  Susan Soto, who spearheaded Portfolio Night at Cesar Chavez, moved to South Mountain this year as its Professional Development Specialist, and brought the Jaguars on board.  She is expecting 10,000 attendees for the event.


Central: Global Studies Teacher John Gerace was Selected as an Arizona Diamondbacks M.V.T.

Global Studies teacher John Gerace was selected as an Arizona Diamondbacks M.V.T.  (Most Valuable Teacher).  He will be honored at the Diamondbacks game, Friday, April 28.  


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stamped Football Family Golf Benefit

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org. 


Alhambra: Division III Baseball State Championship

Alhambra was the Division III Baseball State Champion last year, but this year the Lions were moved up to 6A with the largest schools in the state.  Alhambra won the Metro Region, went 9-1 and 15-3 overall, but was only seeded #20 in the rankings.  That meant they had to “play into” the State Tournament.  Alhambra’s post-season run ended in a Play-in game in Yuma, dropping a 4-3 decision to Kofa High School, April 26.


Trevor Browne: Band and Orchestra Represented well with Rating of Excellent at the Eastern Arizona College competition

The Trevor Browne Band and Orchestra represented Trevor Browne well with a rating of "Excellent" for both groups at the Eastern Arizona College competition, Wednesday, April 12. 

 

The  TGB Jazz Band qualified for State and will compete April 27 at Mesa Community College.   


South Mountain: Law Magnet Competes in a Number of Regional State and National Competitions

Every year, South Mountain’s Law Magnet competes in a number of regional, state and national competitions.  The competitions run year round in terms of preparation and qualifying events and conclude typically in March/April. 

 

Moot Court is a competition that all students enrolled in Matthew Smith’s Government and the Law classes, where two opposing attorneys argue about what the law should be regarding a Constitutional question.  They must use previous decisions made by actual courts.  The local competition, held in November is used to choose the competitors who will represent South Mountain and ASU Law School in the Marshall-Brennan National Competition.  Over 500 urban high school students participate in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project nationally, studying constitutional law with law-school students.  The project is named after former Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan.  This year’s National Competition was held in late March at Suffolk Law School in Boston Massachusetts.

 

Five students, Alexis Rosales, Andrea Gomez, Michael Kulitea, A’Lira Underwood and Mariah Quintero competed nationally.  South Mountain continued its streak of advancing to the National semi-finals for the ninth year, the only high school in the country to have a competitor in every semi-final in the program’s history.  This year South was the only high school to have three competitors advance to the semis, with  Underwood,  Kulitea and Quintero advancing.  Quintero advanced  to the finals and finished as the National Runner-Up.  She is the fourth South Mountain student to advance to the finals in our history.

 

South Mountain has been partnered with ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law over the past nine years – one of the most successful partnerships in the country.  This year, eight Marshall-Brennan Fellows from ASU worked with South Mountain’s students  In addition, the program has been coordinated the past two years by Marshall Brennan Fellow Casey Clowes.  In addition, ASU Assistant Dean Ray English provided administrative support for this program as he works to build a mentor program called High School Inns of Court, which will provide more Moot Court opportunities for South in the future, according to Law Magnet program manager Matthew Smith.

 

Mock Trial is a program where students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in representing both sides of a hypothetical case.

 

This year, South Mountain sent three teams to the two Maricopa County regionals, the most difficult region in the state.  Team Purple consisting of Mariah Quintero, Alexis Rosales, A’Lira Underwood, Gabriel Montes, Miranda Robles, Michael Kulitea and timekeeper Christina Juarez proved to be one of the best teams in the state.  They went 3-1, defeating a state qualifier Xavier team and losing a heartbreaker to the Academy of the Arts team that ultimately finished as 

State Runner-Up.  Team Purple lost out on final round of qualifying for a state tournament bid on a tiebreaker.    Gabriel Montes was named to the All Region Team.

 

The mock trial students represent the plaintiff in some rounds and the defendant in other rounds.  In every competition phase, the students presented an opening statement, examine three witnesses (portrayed by their teammates), cross-examine the other team’s witnesses and present a closing argument.  Each student plays the role of an attorney on one side of the case and a witness on the other.  Each round is presented in front of a real judge who rules on objections and court matters.  The jury is a panel of three practicing attorneys or judges. The team that captures the best of three judges scoring wins the round.  

 

The South Mountain Mock Trial teams are coached by   Matthew Smith and Andrea Bartlett-Sargent from the Law Magnet.  In addition, attorney Jason Gellman and Commissioner Lisa VandenBerg provide legal advice, coaching and support to the South Mountain teams.

 

South Mountain's Moot Court Program has produced two National Champions-  Eugenia Anane-Wae  in 2014 and Ambra Jordan   in 2009.   


Phoenix Coding Academy: Mignon L. Clyburn Visited the School

Mignon L. Clyburn of the Federal Communications Commission visited the Phoenix Coding Academy, April 18.  She was in town for a digital broadband conference.  She was interested in seeing a public school that offered STEM programming, that provided opportunities for minorities and women and she wanted to see how e-rate funding is supporting low income students.   E-rate is a program provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access, administered by the FCC.  Clyburn also wanted to see a school with a unique approach to education, and “this school checked all the boxes,” she said.   Her chief of staff said they learned about the Coding Academy from a Google search, and the commissioner tries to see schools, libraries and other government facilities whenever she travels.  Principal Seth Beute, Innovation and Technology Executive Director Thea Andrade and IT Director Amy Remfrey toured with Clyburn.  Clyburn has served on the FCC since 2009. 


Metro Tech: Former Basketball Player and Students Sam Romero Signed a National Letter of Intent with Arizona State University

Former Metro Tech Basketball player and student, as well as Alhambra baseball standout and current Phoenix College pitcher Sam Romero signed a National Letter of Intent with Arizona State University, April 12.  Romero, who graduated in 2015, was honor roll student at Metro Tech as well as basketball captain.  He currently has a 3.3 grade point average at Phoenix College.


Metro Tech: Twenty-Five Students traveled to Tucson for 2017 Educators Rising State Confrance

Twenty-five students from Metro Tech travelled to Tucson, April 12- 14 to participate in the 2017 Educators Rising State Conference.  Our students competed in nine events, ranging from Children’s Literature to Service Project. Eighteen students placed in the top ten for their particular event.  Of those 18 students, 11 placed in the top five for nationally or state recognized events.  Students who placed in the top five for national competitions will be attending and competing at the 2017 Educators Rising Conference in Phoenix on June 23- 26.


Metro Tech: Yadira Mins Reyes Garcia was Honored at The National Center for Women and Information

Yadira Mins Reyes Garcia, was honored at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Awards Banquet, April 18.  The banquet featured keynote speakers such as Indu Khosla, Director of Software Development at Go Daddy. NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. The award comes with a $4,000 scholarship to Arizona State University Ira Fulton School of Engineering.


Maryvale: Phoenix Union Gifted and Talented Academy will Debut as "School-Within-a-School"

The Phoenix Union Gifted and Talented Academy will debut as a “school-within-a-school” at Maryvale High School in August.  Applications for incoming ninth-graders are available at www.phoenixunion.org/newschools .    There will be opportunity to apply and interview with staff at Maryvale (3415 N. 59th Avenue)  on Saturdays, April 8, 15 and 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.    Wednesday, April 26 is the Maryvale Open House, where parents and students can also interview.  The school will be accepting approximately 40 ninth-grade students.  For more information, contact Dr. Renu Singh at (602) 764-2016 or rsingh@phoenixunion.org .


Maryvale: Open House 26th of April

Future freshmen and their parents are invited to a Maryvale Open House, April 26, from 4-8 p.m. to learn more about the school’s programs, sports and activites, and register for the 2017-18 school year.  Dinner will be served.


Franklin Police and Fire: Defend both Boy's and Girl's Division championships

Franklin Police and Fire will defend both the boys and girls division championships at the 14th Annual High School fire Science Muster, April 22 in Glendale. Last year, the one of Franklin’s girls won for the fourth year in the row, and a boys team took the title for the first time.  In fact, the boys and girls each had first, second and third place finishes, among the 12 schools, and 40 teams competing.  The fire muster competition simulates the skills of 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, and performing a rescue drag of a 165-pound mannequin.   


Camelback: Sheriff Paul Penzone Visits

Newly elected Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone visited Camelback High School along with Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson, April 17, to talk to a small group of students about making good decisions in their life and treating everyone with respect. Students asked questions such as why he wanted to be the sheriff and what a sheriff’s typical day looks like, and then took photos with him.  Sheriff Penzone also spoke with some staff members during their lunch hour to share his vision for the Sheriff’s office, including changes that he has already made or plans to make. The staff asked more challenging questions about how the department works with various cultural groups, treatment of inmates and the procedures they have for working with different law enforcement agencies.   


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stampede Football Family Gold Benefit

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Maryvale: Talented Academy will Debut as a "School-Within-a-School"

The Phoenix Union Gifted and Talented Academy will debut as a “school-within-a-school” at Maryvale High School in August.  Applications for incoming ninth-graders are available at www.phoenixunion.org/newschools .    There will be opportunity to apply and interview with staff at Maryvale (3415 N. 59th Avenue)  on Saturdays, April 8, 15 and 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.    Wednesday, April 26 is the Maryvale Expo, where parents and students can also interview.  The school will be accepting approximately 40 ninth-grade students.  For more information, contact Dr. Renu Singh at (602) 764-2016 or rsingh@phoenixunion.org .


Franklin Police & Fire: Students Earned their Basic Wildland Firefighting

Students from Franklin Police and Fire High School earned their Basic Wildland Firefighting Certification by completing their wildland field day training, March 24. The students completed 8 weeks of intense classroom and field work to earn their certification. They are now one step closer to becoming employed as firefighters. A diploma ceremony will take place at Franklin, March 30.  from 5-7 p.m. to honor the students for their hard work and accomplishments.


Camelback: Students Display 40 Pieces of art in the Devonshire Exhibition

Camelback art students will display over 40 pieces of art in the Devonshire Exhibition, at the Devonshire Community Center at 2802 E. Devonshire.  Opening reception is  April 6 from 5-7 p.m. 


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Alhambra: Hosting Desert Classic JROTC Drill Championship

Alhambra is hosting the Desert Classic JROTC Drill Championship, Saturday, April 8 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.     Over 350 competitors from 29 schools will participate, representing JROTC programs form all four services-Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.  There will be ten PUHSD units, and teams from Las Vegas and New Mexico.  There are 12 events in this competition in categories of Unarmed Drill Team, Armed Drill Team and Color Guard.  The day culminates with a drill down, where hundreds of cadets respond to rapid fire commands, or face elimination, until only one cadet remains. 


South Mountain: Spanish Teacher Dr. Angela Palacios Participated in a Contest and Was Selected to Recommit to Kids

South Mountain Spanish teacher Dr. Angela Palacios participated in a contest and was selected to attend the Recommit to Kids:  the Summit for America's Future in New York, April 18.  Presented by America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin Powell, the summit will honor progress that has been made in delivering the Five Promises, and salute the champions who have been at the forefront of seeing that underserved children are a priority.  The Five Promises are Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others.  Five past presidents will be honorary co-hosts, as well as Soledad O’Brian, and filmmaker and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas


North: Calling all Incoming International Baccalaureate Students with Registration Rallies

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North High is calling all incoming International Baccalaureate students with Registration Rallies, Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,   and Thursday, May 11 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.     The Rallies, which will be held in the North Library, are for students who still need to turn in registration packets, become enrolled, and avoid getting registered in the summer or at the start of school.  The IB magnet program is one of the longest and most successful programs in Arizona.  For more information, call (602) 764-6500.

 


North: The Public will Have Input on who the Next North High Principal

The public will have input on who the next North High principal will be.  A principal candidate forum for the finalists will be held Tuesday, April 18 from 4-6 p.m. at the North Auditorium.  Finalists will answer questions submitted by the audience, and those in attendance will also be able to provide written feedback to the superintendent.  Students, parents, staff and community members are invited.


Metro Tech: Has been named an A+ School of Excellence

Metro Tech reapplied and has been named an A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation for the second consecutive time.  The school earned the A+ label in 2014.  Principal Bryan Reynoso and staff re-applied a year early in February, and received the good news April 12.  The designation is normally for a three-year period, but Metro Tech will keep the honor for the next four years.  A formal celebration will take place at the school, May 9.

“What this means is that our seniors have been in an A+ school for all four years,” Reynoso said.   “This year was a total school effort.  It included students, staff, parents that were randomly selected by the Foundation and were observed and interviewed by their review committee.  The only thing we could pick were our tour guides, and they did a great job.  When we announced it yesterday, you could hear screams of joy in the classrooms from the students.”

Reynoso and staff had to complete a 22-page narrative application and a selection panel of education leaders conducted a two-day site visit, visiting every classroom, and interviewing students, parents, teachers, support staff, and the administrative team.

To qualify as an A+ School, schools must demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data. Winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population.    Applicant schools are evaluated in the areas of student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement and assessment data.

 

"The A+ School of Excellence™ program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona and calls attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools," explained AEF Executive Director, Bobbie O'Boyle. "The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for going above and beyond the norm to meet their students' needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide."

Thirty-nine Arizona schools were named A+ Schools this year.  Metro Tech was one of eight  high schools awarded.


Carl Hayden: First Time in 12 years The Falcon Robotics Team Will not be going to t he First World Championships

For the first time in 12 years that the Falcon Robotics team will not be going to the FIRST World Championships.   The team competed in two regionals, and made it to the semi-finals at NAU, and again, April 7-8  in Las Vegas,    The Falcons had their moments,   eliminating former world champions, the High Rollers,  and they forced a third match in the semi-finals with two former world champions.   As a Hall of Fame team, Carl Hayden is invited annually, but the team has chosen not to use that anymore as a way to the championships.

 

“The team felt like it did not want to ride on the success of the past teams so the team has made it their policy that they will only go the world championships from now on if they win a regional. We are the only Hall of Fame team that does not take the free ride,” Coach Fredi Lajvardi said.    “I see a marked difference on the team when they realize they get to go without winning a regional. I like it better when they learn how to ‘fight.’ ”


Carl Hayden Athlete and Franklin Student Ray Manquero Received the Fiesta Bowl

Carl Hayden athlete and Franklin Police and Fire student Ray Manquero received the Fiesta Bowl Courage award at the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame Scholar Athletes Awards Banquet, April 8.   The award comes with a $5000 scholarship.  According to football coach Randy Gross, he is the second student in Carl Hayden history to be honored by this association in 36 years.   Manquero has had to deal with Crohn’s Disease since he was four years old, but it has not deterred his success in life and in sports.  He played football and basketball for Carl Hayden, and was a 2nd Team All-Region tight end.  Besides the Crohn’s, he has endured a torn ACL, a separated shoulder and a broken arm in his high school athletic career.  He also had to travel to practice every day from his home school of Franklin.  Manquero takes Advanced Placement and Honors classes and is a member of the National Honors Society.  He tutors students in Algebra, has volunteered at the St. Mary’s Food Bank, the Fiesta Bowl Parade, Neighborhood Cleanup projects and Special Olympics, and has attended the national leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.    Manquero plans to attend NAU and eventually work in the medical field.


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stampede Football Family Gold Benefit

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Trevor Browne: African American Club Packs Food for Feed My Starving Children

The African American Club spent their Saturday April 1, turning hunger into hope with their own hands by packing and boxing food for Feed My Starving Children. The meals they packed will save lives and advance a desperate community in the Philippines. All progress starts with food.


Trevor Browne: Soccer Player Danny Coronado Received a Number of Honors From The AIA

Trevor Browne soccer player Danny Coronado recently received a number of honors from the AIA for his performance over this past season. Honors include All Metro Region First team defender; Metro Region Defensive Player of the Year; Metro Region Player of the Year; All 6A Conference Second Team defender. Coronado was the only Phoenix Union player to be named to the 6A All Conference team.   Only a junior, he will return to lead the Bruins next year when they attempt to win their third Metro Region championship in a row.


Trevor Browne: Giovanni Rogel Just Got Accepted to Stanford

Giovanni Rogel, who has been in STEP (Student Expedition Program)  has just been accepted to Stanford.  She had also been accepted to Harvey Mudd, Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, Bowdoin and Pomona.   

 

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. 


Phoenix Coding Academy: The First LEED Certified School in the District

Not only is the Phoenix Coding Academy the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)  Certified School in the District, but according to state fire marshal Brad Bulgrin, the new school received the first-ever perfect fire inspection in PUHSD.    

 

“He didn’t even have any suggestions for improvements. Another school (in the District) received an inspection with no violations but did include suggestions for improvements. The fire marshal was excited and gave everyone high fives on his way out from our inspection,” Principal Seth Beute said.


South Mountain: JROTC Jaguar Battalion and South Hosted the 31st Annual Gallegos Drill Meet

The South Mountain JROTC Jaguar Battalion and South Mountain HS hosted the 31st annual Gallegos Drill Meet, April 1.  Eighteen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps JROTC programs from all over Arizona participated.  The South Cadets planned, organized and executed the drill meet with assistance from student government and National Honors Society.  The overall winner was Thunderbird Navy JROTC and Trevor Browne’s  Army JROTC took 6th place overall for the best District school showing.


North: Calling all Incoming International Baccalaureate Students With Registration Rallies

North High is calling all incoming International Baccalaureate students with Registration Rallies, Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,   and Thursday, May 11 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.     The Rallies, which will be held in the North Library, are for students who still need to turn in registration packets, become enrolled, and avoid getting registered in the summer or at the start of school.  The IB magnet program is one of the longest and most successful programs in Arizona.  For more information, call (602) 764-6500.


Metro Tech: Chemistry Teacher Gerardo Lopez was The Phoenix Suns-Northern Arizona University Educator

Chemistry teacher Gerardo Lopez was the Phoenix Suns-Northern Arizona University Educator of the Month for April.   He attended the April 2 Suns-Houston game, receiving four tickets, and complementary food and beverages, and a $50 team shop gift card.  The student who nominated him, Ailyn Melendrez was also invited to the game.  The two were introduced on the court prior to the game.  

 

“I am definitely excited and humbled.  Honestly, I am a little shocked,” Lopez said.

 

If you were wondering, Lopez earned his undergraduate degree at NAU, his Masters at ASU, and is currently in the Educational Leadership program at NAU.  He also was able to see his former student, Alan Williams of North High, play in-person.  Lopez was his chemistry tutor. 


Maryvale: Will conclude The 3 Part Series of Parent Training and Support

On April 11, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm we will conclude the 3-part series of our Parent Training and Support in collaboration with Raising Special Kids by discussing the transition from middle to high school. With feedback to RSK from Rachel Fenno and Teri Ritzert, Facilitators from Maryvale and North High School, RSK has graciously created a unique presentation for our students and families.

 

Dr. Gestson will be coming to welcome everyone and celebrate this pivotal time in a teenager’s life.

 

Phoenix Union’s Exceptional Student Services division is partnering with Raising Special Kids to host another Parent Training session for students and families,   February 21, at Maryvale High School, from 6-8 p.m.   The focus will be on different legal options and other transition-based supports families should consider when a child becomes an adult at age 18.  The April event will be about helping transition students from middle school to high school.

 

 

Explore the similarities and differences between middle school and high school

n Discuss common parent and teacher concerns

n Learn tips for communication: parents and teachers

n Learn parent action steps to help the change be successful

n Learn about comparable services for students with disabilities

n Learn the basics of ‘High School Transition’

n Explore resources


Maryvale: The Phoenix Union Gifted and Talented Academy will Debut as a School-Within-a-School

The Phoenix Union Gifted and Talented Academy will debut as a “school-within-a-school” at Maryvale High School in August.  Applications for incoming ninth-graders are available at www.phoenixunion.org/newschools .    There will be opportunity to apply and interview with staff at Maryvale (3415 N. 59th Avenue)  on Saturdays, April 8, 15 and 22 from 8 a.m. to noon.    Wednesday, April 26 is the Maryvale Expo, where parents and students can also interview.  The school will be accepting approximately 40 ninth-grade students.  For more information, contact Dr. Renu Singh at (602) 764-2016 or rsingh@phoenixunion.org .


Maryvale: Musicians Came off a Cold Successful Trip To Boston for The World Strides Music Festival

Maryvale musicians came off a cold but successful trip to Boston for the World Strides Music Festival, April 1.  In the Guitar category, the Illuminati Ensemble placed first, the Combined Ensemble placed second, and the Carpe Diem Ensemble was third.  Illuminati and the Combined also won the Outstanding Ensemble Award.  The Maryvale Choir won a first place gold in the 3A Chamber Choir category.


Franklin Police and Fire: Students earned their Basic Wild land Firefighting Certification

Students from Franklin Police and Fire High School earned their Basic Wildland Firefighting Certification by completing their wildland field day training, March 24. The students completed 8 weeks of intense classroom and field work to earn their certification. They are now one step closer to becoming employed as firefighters. A diploma ceremony will take place at Franklin, March 30.  from 5-7 p.m. to honor the students for their hard work and accomplishments.


Camelback: Art Students will Display 40 pieces of art in the Devonshire Exhibition

Camelback art students will display over 40 pieces of art in the Devonshire Exhibition, at the Devonshire Community Center at 2802 E. Devonshire.  Opening reception is  April 6 from 5-7 p.m. 


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefits

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Alhambra: Hosting the Desert Classic JROTC Drill Championship

Alhambra is hosting the Desert Classic JROTC Drill Championship, Saturday, April 8 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.     Over 350 competitors from 29 schools will participate, representing JROTC programs form all four services-Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.  There will be ten PUHSD units, and teams from Las Vegas and New Mexico.  There are 12 events in this competition in categories of Unarmed Drill Team, Armed Drill Team and Color Guard.  The day culminates with a drill down, where hundreds of cadets respond to rapid fire commands, or face elimination, until only one cadet remains. 


Trevor Browne: Choir Program will hold Winter Concert

The Trevor Browne Choir program will hold its Winter Concert on Friday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the TGB Auditorium. The night will be filled with the traditional sounds of the season as well as some new music including a world premiere commission written for the TGB Concert Choir. They will also welcome guest performers from Estrella Middle School Choir.  

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For the fourth year in a row, theTheatre Department was awarded a Phoenix Union Foundation for Education Innovation Grant.  This grant is the tenth donation/grant  received in the last four years.  Each year TGB Theatre puts on performances for the goal of teaching a lesson to our audiences.  

 

“This year, we are putting on Shrek the Musical to teach the lesson of "loving yourself for who you are.”   Not only that, but we are taking the challenge of performing the full version of Shrek the Musical, which includes live student-performed music from our very own TGB Orchestra and Band students!  Performances will be February 22-24,” Theatre instructor Megan Dallas said.


South Mountain: Members of Multimedia Program Made Front Cover School Video News

Members of the South Mountain Multimedia program made the front cover of this month’s School Video News, an online e-magazine for K-12 TV/video production.


North: Basketball Star Alan Williams and Former Student Attended a Mustangs Game

Former North High basketball star Alan Williams, now with the Phoenix Suns, came to a Mustangs game, December 1.  Williams played on back-to-back state championship teams with North, before going to UC Santa Barbara.  The Mustangs were taking on 2nd ranked Corona del Sol.  Williams talked to the players during halftime.  According to Coach Joe Bustos, he told the players to never stop playing their best effort, shoot the ball with confidence no matter what the score is and keep playing with intensity throughout the basketball season.  The team listened and made a comeback in the second half.  After being down by 28 points, the Mustangs cut the lead to 12 points with three minutes to go in the game.  


Metro Tech: Native American Club Invited Tribal Elder Tim Terry, Jr. to Bless the new Athletic Fields

The Metro Tech Native American Club,  invited tribal elder Tim Terry, Jr. to Metro Tech to bless the new athletic fields, November 29  President Chebon Werito, Vice-President Shylla Dan, and Secretary Savanna Gastelo participated in the ceremony along with Principal Bryan Reynoso, and assistant principals Julio Rubio and Dan Dodge.   The blessing occurred on the morning of the first AIA boys junior varsity and varsity games.  Both teams won their first games that evening and have not lost since.


Betty Fairfax: Athletic Director Kevin Blecher completed Certified Athletic Administrator

Athletic Director Kevin Belcher recently completed all the steps, classes and a written examination to earn the designation of Certified Athletic Administrator from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). He is believed to be the first   PUHSD employee to achieve this designation. Belcher says it will provide more opportunities for the Fairfax Community and its student-athletes.


Cesar Chavez: Formar Player; Pablo Rivas is playing for North Carolina Central University

Former Cesar Chavez basketball player Pablo Rivas is playing for North Carolina Central University in Fayetteville, NC where he is leading NCAA Division I schools in field goal percentage, making 83% of his shots.  Rivas is in his first year with the Eagles, after two years at Sheridan College in Wyoming.  Rivas, who was born in Panama, was the third leading scorer in Chavez’ history.  A first-team All-State player in 2013, he helped lead the Champions to a 29-3 record and the state semi-finals.


Cesar Chaves: Daniel Rubio has gone full circle in Educational and Athletic Career

Daniel Rubio has gone full circle in his educational and athletic career.  The new varsity wrestling coach is a Chavez alumnus, and wrestled for the Champions from 2001-2005.  He went on to Grand Canyon where he wrestled from 2007-2011.  Rubio started volunteer coaching at his alma mater in 2010 and has worked his way up to head coach.  He is also an Exceptional Student teacher at the school.  His squad is off to a good start, with a 3-0 record against East Valley schools and the Champions finished 2nd out of 28 teams at the Jerry Benson Wrestling Tournament at Buckeye Union High School, December 2-3.  Six athletes placed, including first place winners Davon Galindo and Jacob LambertRobert Dominguez and Erik Orozco placed third.


Cesar Chavez: Science Teacher Shawn Rutan Won $5000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers

Science teacher Shawn Rutan has won a $5,000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers award, in partnership with College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers.  Over 2,400 teachers from Arizona submitted applications, and Rutan’s wish was randomly selected to be granted.    Rutan’s wish is for a classroom set of tablets for the students to access environmental science information.  Each winning teacher is also invited to attend the Motel 6 Caxtus Bowl at Chase Field, December 27, where they will be honored on field with 99 fellow Wishes for Teachers recipients.  The Extra Yard for Teachers program is distributing $500,000 in Fiesta Bowl Wishes to 100 Arizona teachers.


Camelback and Cesar Chavez Played in The Bradshow Mountain Boys Soccer

Camelback and Cesar Chavez played in the Bradshaw Mountain Boys Soccer Invitational in Prescott this past weekend.  Both teams advanced for an All-Phoenix Union Championship game on Saturday. Camelback defeated Cesar Chavez in the championship game, 7-1.  The Spartans scored 25 goals in the four tournament games, allowing only two.  The two teams met again last night, with Camelback winning 5-2. 


Bioscience: Green Leapers Club Won a $1800 Grant from The City of Phoenix Recycling Division

A student club on campus called the Green Leapers applied for and won a $1,800 grant from The City of Phoenix Recycling Division to purchase zero waste supplies for the school’s  Town Hall and cafeteria.  Starting in January, students and staff will dispose of their lunch waste differently: first by scraping uneaten food and paper into composting bins, then depositing recyclable plastic and metal into recycling bins, and finally any trash that cannot be recycled or composted.  The Green Leapers will train the school in how to properly sort their items and will monitor the bins to ensure success.  They already worked with the cafeteria staff to train them in how to discard waste from the kitchen. Students will then empty the bins each day into a special composting receptacle in the back of the kitchen, which will be picked up by the city of Phoenix every week.  The students who initiated this program are Alejandra Villarreal, Nancy Ochoa, Alicia Flores, and Griselda Solis.

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Junior Dulce Gariepy went before the Girl Scout board to defend her Gold Award Project, December 1, and is now a Gold Award recipient.  The Girl Scout Gold Award is equivalent to the Eagle Scout for the Boy Scouts.  They are the highest awards a scout can receive.   Gariepy’s Gold Award is the culmination of 12 years of scouting.  Her project focused on educating teens about understanding obstacles that elderly people face.

 

Dulce comes from a family of achievers.  Her sister, Reyna earned her Gold Award in December 2015 and is still in scouting.  Her brother, Santiago Gariepy, from Bioscience’s Class of 2013, is an Eagle Scout.  He is now in his final year at Antioch College in Ohio, majoring in media arts. Their mother, Lionila Gariepy is the student liaison at Bioscience, and was the school’s employee of the year in 2015.


Linda Abril: Louie Kireopoulos won $5000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers Award

Louie Kireopoulos has won a $5,000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers award, in partnership with College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers.  Over 2,400 teachers from Arizona submitted applications, and his wish was randomly selected to be granted.   He wants to provide e-readers for his classroom, so that students can use the tablets to download books and magazine articles.  His class incorporates Silent Sustained Reading at the school, and many of the books that pertain to business are only available via download.  Kireopoulos is also invited to attend the Motel 6 Caxtus Bowl at Chase Field, December 27, where he will be honored on field with 99 fellow Wishes for Teachers recipients.  The Extra Yard for Teachers program is distributing $500,000 in Fiesta Bowl Wishes to 100 Arizona teachers.


Phoenix Union will Hold their Second Annual Sport Hall of Fame

 

Phoenix Union High School District will hold its second annual Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner, Tuesday, December 20 at Talking Stick Arena, honoring coaches, athletes and teams from 1950-1969.    This year’s event will also feature eight special inductees, such as legendary baseball coaches Jim Brock and Martin “Pug” Marich.

 

Among the 51 inductees are 13 coaches and 34 athletes and a few who both played and coached at PUHSD schools.  The program will also recognize 70 State Championship teams.   This year’s list includes four Olympians- North’s Dallas Long, gold medal shot putter, 1960; Central’s Winn Young, bronze medal in diving, 1968; Central’s Marylyn Ramenofsky, swimming, silver medal, 1964; and Central’s Lois Drinkwater, Arizona’s first female Olympic runner, 1968.

 

Special inductee Jim Brock played and coached at North long before his Mesa Community College and ASU coaching careers.  Pug Marich earned fame as Phoenix College’s baseball coach, but he began his career at Phoenix Union in 1947, and became the first football and baseball coach at Central High School in 1957.  Other notable names include Central Tennis coach Dave Silcox, Alhambra Baseball coach Ron Scott, PUHSD athlete and athletic director Moody Jackson and Alhambra Football player Boyd Epley, who is considered the “founder” of strength and conditioning coaching while at Nebraska.

 

The inaugural event last year honored 44 inductees from as far back as 1913, as well as some “modern era” coaches from 1950-present.  

           

The Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony begins at 5 p.m. at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, in the main lobby.  The public is invited.  Tickets are $30, or $260 for a table.   Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education at www.foundation4education.org, or checks may be mailed to the kFoundation, at 7949 Acoma Dr. #207, Scotttsdale, AZ 85260 in care of Sports HOF Ceremony.              Registration deadline is December 15.


Metro Tech: Nursing Instructor Dena Cady won $5000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers Award

Nursing instructor Dena Cady has won a $5,000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers award, in partnership with College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers.  She will use the funds for new mannequins for the nursing lab. Over 2,400 teachers from Arizona submitted applications, and Rutan’s wish was randomly selected to be granted.   Each winning teacher is also invited to attend the Motel 6 Caxtus Bowl at Chase Field, December 27, where they will be honored on field with  fellow Wishes for Teachers recipients.  The Extra Yard for Teachers program is distributing $500,000 in Fiesta Bowl Wishes to 100 Arizona teachers in December.


Franklin Police and Fire: Students in LEAD hosted a food drive

Leadership Exploration And Development (LEAD) is a team of student leaders at Franklin Police & Fire High School. As part of their mission to improve life for everyone at Franklin they decided to host a food drive. This quickly turned into much more. When they found out that the Alhambra High School food pantry was nearly empty, they knew they had to help. LEAD worked with Student Government to obtain donations, they canvased the neighborhoods surrounding Franklin, and some students canvased their own neighborhoods. Word began to spread. Teachers used social media to spread the word and Art Club did a fundraiser to help with donations.

 

As the momentum built, Principal Lorenzo Cabrera worked to find space to create Franklin’s own food pantry.  LEAD has stocked and organized the shelves to prepare for our opening day. Students can come to the pantry Fridays after school to obtain food. Teachers and staff can recommend students to the pantry, as well.

 

On December 15, English teacher Gayle Deaver delivered four large boxes of food and toiletries to Alhambra High School. Community liaison Oscar Adame is working to rebuild their food pantry, and now he has a jump start. The food drive has turned into an ongoing relationship between Alhambra and Franklin, as they will continue to work together to end hunger and food insecurity for our students.


Cesar Chaves: Drum line will be performing in the Fiesta Bowl Parade

The Cesar Chavez Drumline will be performing in the Fiesta Bowl Parade, December 31.  They have already marched in the Electric Light Parade, and performed at the Holiday kickoff at the Cityscape ice rink, downtown, November 26. 


Alhambra: Teacher Rosario Gayton won a $5000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers Award

World languages teacher Rosario Gayton has won a $5,000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers award, in partnership with College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers.  She wants to provide iPads for his classroom.    Over 2,400 teachers from Arizona submitted applications, and Rutan’s wish was randomly selected to be granted.   Each winning teacher is also invited to attend the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl at Chase Field, December 27, where they will be honored on field with fellow Wishes for Teachers recipients.  The Extra Yard for Teachers program is distributing $500,000 in Fiesta Bowl Wishes to 100 Arizona teachers.


Linda Abril: First Class to Graduate 60 students

The first class to graduate from what is now Linda Abril Educational Academy was the largest December class ever.  Sixty students received their diplomas December 21 at a ceremony at Central High School.  The school, formally known as Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy has graduated almost 2,000 students who were at risk of dropping out.  The accelerated credit recovery program is now in its 16th year.  This year in its new building at 3000 N. 19th Avenue, next to Metro Tech High School, the school enjoyed its largest enrollment, topping 300 students at one point.  The school’s namesake, Linda Abril, a longtime governing board member, was a guest speaker at the graduation ceremony.


Trevor Browne: TGB Concert Choir Participated in the Northern Arizona University Jazz & Madrigal Festival

The TGB Concert Choir participated in the Northern Arizona University Jazz & Madrigal Festival this weekend.  The top choral festival in Arizona attracted 129 schools from Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico.  The Concert Choir received the Highest Possible Score: “Superior with Distinction.”  This means that not only did they receive a “Superior” for their overall score, but they earned a “Superior” in all judging categories.

 

Concert Choir sang a set of three songs-- a secular villanelle, All Ye Who Music Love, written in Italy in the mid-1500s; a sacred motet, Ave Maria by Jacobus Handl-Gallus, written in the late 1500s; and they closed with a Cuban folk song for which band director Mike Rebb performed percussion.

 

The TGB Concert Choir also worked with Dr. Angela Broeker from the University of St. Thomas following their performance. She praised the Concert Choir members for their diligent work, artistic expression, and overall performance.  

 

The successful program is supported by 24 TGB staff members who donated a portion of their 2016 Arizona Education Tax Credit to support these 50 students.

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The Trevor Browne JROTC Rifle Team competed in the JROTC Regional Rifle Match held in Las Vegas, February 10-11, and based on their performance the team is currently ranked 10th in the United States.   Cadet Angel Nunez took second overall, out of 175 shooters.   He is ranked second in the nation and will represent Trevor Browne at the National Competition, March 22-26 in Anniston Alabama.   Nunez also received the nation’s highest marksmanship award, the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Distinguished Shooting Medal.  He is the second Trevor Browne student to ever win this medal.  He plans to continue his shooting career in college.

 

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Trevor Browne took three teams of two students each to an Automotive Technologies competition held at Universal Technical Institute in Avondale, February 11.   The contest included four hands-on stations (Brakes, Diagnostic Scan Tools, Electrical, Parts Identification) followed by a 50-question test on all areas of Automotive Technologies. A total of 26 teams competed from various automotive programs in Arizona. The top ten teams were awarded scholarships.  The team of Kevin Hernandez and Sergio Valdez finished 9th and received $1,000 scholarships.  


South Mountain: Andres Avelar Placed Second in the 5A State Wrestling Championships

South Mountain’s Andres Avelar placed second in the 5A State Wrestling Championships, February 11 at Prescott Valley.  The 106-pounder advanced to the championship match, before losing to an opponent from Deer Valley.  Avelar finished with a 47-6 mark this year.

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South’s step team, the “Ice Cold Souljahs” performed at the Phoenix Suns-Chicago Bulls game February 10.      The students received compliments before and after their performance on their awesome costumes and their behavior. 

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Six months of South Mountain Art magnet student visual arts and reflective writings were showcased and celebrated during a reception, February 10 at the Fletcher Library on the campus of ASU West.   One hundred-eighty South Mountain art students, teachers and professional artists were in attendance.  The community collaboration was developed by the Cultural Arts Coalition.  Eight of the students had their stories recorded for an upcoming documentary on this partnership.    Art teachers Jeff Kunes and Erik Erspamer organized the student projects and the trip to the exhibit.


North: Sixteen Members of Encore Honor Choir earned a Superior Rating

Sixteen members of the North High Encore Honor Choir earned a “Superior” rating at the Jazz Madrigal Festival at NAU February 11.  It is the highest score possible. The Choir sang two songs a cappella: an English Madrigal and a Medieval-era Old English Round.


Metro Tech: Will Host the Arizona Construction Championship

Metro Tech will host the Arizona Construction Championship, February 17.   Some 120 students from 12 schools throughout the state will showcase their construction skills in electrical, carpentry and masonry projects while industry judges look on.     


Betty Fairfax: Basketball boys and girls

It has been a good year for Betty Fairfax Basketball, boys and girls.  The girls team posted a 20-3 overall record, and 10-0 mark in the Union Region.  They beat Lake Havasu in a play-in game, February 9 and opened 5A state tournament play at Marana, February 14. The Boys also won the region, with a 8-2 record, 15-4 overall, and beat Verrado in a play-in game, advancing to the first round or the tournament at Chaparral, February 15.

 

The boys team captured many Union Region honors, including Player of the Year Vincson Landrum and Coach of the Year, Josh Wray.  Landrum, Jordan Louis and Donavan Regan were 1st Team All-Region, and Ethan Nelson and Khyri Marshall were 2nd Team All-Region.

 

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Betty Fairfax Students of the Month for January were Damion Bunz, Business; Ashley Castrejon-Martinez, English; Dominique Delco, Art; Ifeoma Ezechukwu, English; Agrey Hamilton, history; Mario Hernandez, history; Abraham Lopez, English; Karyme Morazan, science; Mathew Myore, English; Raquel Nichols, world languages; Xitlallic Ortega-Perez; Jorge Sarabia, perfomrning arts; Jonathan Smith, journalism; Aaron Tuggle, counseling.


Camelback: Football Team Served the Surrounding Community by Cleaning up

The Camelback football team served the surrounding community by cleaning up yards, raking leaves, pulling weeds, picking up trash, and most importantly, building relationships with the school’s neighbors, February 11.  

 

“We had 20 football players in the community giving back. We cleaned a number of yards, spoke with a lot of people about the team and how they could support us through tax credit and simply attending games. The feedback from the community was awesome, not one person was upset or unhappy to see us at their door,” Coach Joseph Brissette said.


Central: Multicultural Committee Bobcat Talk

The Central High School Multicultural Committee Bobcat Talk series presented “The Anatomy

 of the N-Word” by ASU professor Dr. Neal Lester, February 13.    Lester provided a brief

 overview of his research addressing issues of racism, linguistics and culture to the Central student

 body.  Lester traced the history of the word back to the 16th century, its negative

 connotation and its use in literature, music and film, right up its almost colloquial presence in

 today’s  rap music and culture. His message to the students, “words do matter.” 

 

Bobcat Talk, a monthly speakers’ series, addresses topics related to the promotion of respect for all cultures, dignity for all communities and justice for all people. 

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The Bobcat Bonanza Speech and Debate tournament had a record turnout, February 10-11.   There were a record-63 schools entered with nearly 750 students and 200 adult judges and coaches participating.    Schools from Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nevada came to compete. 

 

“We heard nothing but praise for our campus and how welcoming our faculty and staff was to everyone,” Speech and Debate coach Kevin Berlat said.  


Cesar Chavez: Boys Basketball Team is in a Familiar Position Winning the 6A Metro Conference

Cesar Chavez’ Boys Basketball team is in a familiar position- winning the 6A Metro Conference, earning a bye into the state tournament, and hosting a first round game, February 15 vs. Chandler High School.  Chavez comes into the 16-team tournament seeded 4th.

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Chavez had two wrestlers advance to the consolation match and take third place medals in the 6A state wrestling championships, February 11, at Prescott Valley.  Davon Galindo won his last three matches, going 4-1 in the tournament in the 195 lb. weight class to capture 3rd place.  In the 220-lb. class, Jacob Lambert finished third with a win in the consolation match.  Chavez was the highest scoring PUHSD team with 36 points, finishing 16th in the 39-team tournament.


Carl Hayden: Robotics Team is Part of a New IMAX Documentary.

The Carl Hayden Robotics team is part of a new IMAX documentary, called Dream Big: Engineering Our World, which opens next week.   Dream Big shows how engineers push the limits of ingenuity and innovation in imaginative and amazing ways. From solar cars and underwater robotics to engineering smart, sustainable cities, the film demonstrates that the future will be in the hands of a new generation of talented, diverse engineers.  Dream Big introduces the audience to three female engineers who are powerful role models.   One of those is Carl Hayden alumnus Angelica Hernandez, whose passion for engineering began with the Falcon Robotics team.  She is a 2014 graduate of Stanford University, having earned a master’s of science in atmosphere and energy.   Hernandez graduated as a distinguished student of the mechanical engineering class of 2011 from Arizona State University.   Hernandez now works as an engineer in the clean tech industry at Nexant, Inc.

 

The filmmakers came to Carl Hayden last summer to produce the segment, which also features the team that beat MIT in an underwater robotics competition.   Falcons’ robotics coach Fredi Lajvardi will attend the premiere at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.,  February 15, and the documentary is scheduled to be shown at the Arizona Science Museum, beginning February 17. 


Trevor Browne: JROTC marksmanship team won First Place at Arizona State Junior Olympics

The Trevor G. Browne JROTC marksmanship team won first place at the Arizona State Junior Olympics rifle match conducted at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, February 25.  Members of the team are Jackie Urquidez, Angle Nunez, Valeria Pajon, Alex Lopez, and coach 1st Sgt. Mike Jurczak.  The team is nationally ranked and shoots at the national level every year.  Cadet Nunez is ranked number one in the state and second in the nation.  He will be shooting a national match in March in Anniston, Alabama. 


Phoenix Coding Academy

Joseph De La Cruz of the Phoenix Coding Academy’s Robotics Club was named as the Support My Club Student of the Week for February 22.  He was selected due to his dedication and hard work as treasurer and historian of the club.

 

Club sponsor, George Cardenas, says he is "blown away" by the student's dedication to robotics.

 

"He always finds time to learn new skills and work in the shop," Cardenas said. “Through his participation in robotics, De La Cruz says he's learned excellent leadership and teamwork skills.”

 

Phoenix Coding Academy Robotics Club has received two items (valued at $80) to date.

 

Support My Club is an e-commerce solution where donors can support the needs of high school clubs and sports. Clubs post their specific needs and donors “shop” for items that speak to them. Items are added to the online cart, donors make a 100% tax-deductible purchase and Support My Club delivers the item directly to the club.  For every $100 of value received, the club completes one hour of community service, allowing the receiver to become the giver and the cycle of philanthropy to continue.

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While in its' pilot year, the all-freshmen robotics team took home third place overall in the Velocity Vortex semi-finals competition recently and received their very first trophy  


Metro Tech: Chris Liebelt- Garcoa Received the Distinguished Service Award at the Western Business Education Association Conference in Bozema, MT

Chris Liebelt-Garcia received the Distinguished Service Award at the Western Business Education Association (WBEA) Conference in Bozeman, MT recently.   The conference includes high school and college business teachers from the western United States.   The award is given to an individual who has served and contributed to WBEA and business education through professional activities that include leadership, service, honors and awards.  The write-up included:  “Chris Liebelt-Garcia has been working at the same school, Metro Tech High School, for 25 years where she is a strong supporter for the business department.   Chris puts in a tremendous amount of time, expertise, and dedication to the success of Arizona Business Education Association (ABEA) and WBEA.  She had held positions, presented, and chaired conferences in these organizations, as well as being nominated for the WBEA Presidency in 2019.  In addition, she has been an advisor for Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) student organization for 25 years where she has taken students to Regional, State, and National Competitions.”

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Metro Tech’s first season in AIA Boys Soccer was a successful one.  The Knights made the playoffs, and landed several players on the 4A West Valley Region All-Region teams.  Marco Galindo, a senior forward was the Player of the Year, and Erika Parra was Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with the Moon Valley coach.  Juan Cruz, William Espino and Fidel Rangel-Gallardo were first-team All-Region, while Noel Melendrez, Jose Gutierrez and Roberto Enriquez were second-teamers.  Four other players were honorable mentions.  Noel Melendrez was also selected as the January 2017 Ethical Athlete, from the Better Business Bureau Foundation, and will receive a $1000 scholarship.

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Metro Tech JROTC cadets Mercedes Jimenez and Dalila Lucero were guests of honor at the Luke Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) dinner held, February 9.  The cadets were able to learn about the community involvement activities of this veterans’ organization, while sharing with its members the benefits they have gained through their participation in the JROTC program.


Cesar Chavez: Boys Basketball Team Reached Final Four of the 6A State Championship Tournament

The Boys Basketball team reached the Final Four of the 6A State Championship tournament.  The Champions beat Chandler 87-80 in the first round, February 15, and defeated Pinnacle, 74-61, February 28.   That moved #4 Chavez into a semifinal game against top-seeded Corona del Sol, February 23 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale.   The two teams met December 8 and Corona edged Chavez, 90-89, and the Aztecs prevailed again, winning 85-66 to advance to the championship game, February 28.


Central: Student Government Hosted the Annual Community Based Training

Central’s Student Government hosted the annual Community Based Training (Exceptional Students) students Valentine’s Dance.  About 100 students participated. Students danced, ate, took pictures, played games and won prizes. A fun time was had by all.


Betty Fairfax: Maryam Addul-Wahid graduated 2012 got into University of Arizona Five-Year accelerated Honors

Maryam Addul-Wahid graduated from Betty H. Fairfax in 2012.  She enrolled in a five-year accelerated honors program at the University of Arizona, and will graduate with her Masters in Electrical Engineering this May.  Her mother, Alia Al-Taqi is a reading teacher and instructional leader at Fairfax.  Maryam was featured as this month’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Scholar, having earned a SWE scholarship to continue her graduate program.


Alhambra: Sport Medicine Club attended the Arizona Athletic Training Day at the Capitol

Thursday, February 23rd, Alhambra Sport Medicine Club attended the Arizona Athletic Training Day at the Capitol. It was a day of meeting state legislators to discuss the importance of athletic training. Alhambra students and teachers gathered with college students, and working professionals to meet, as constituents, to promote the common goal of promoting the healthcare importance of athletic training.

 

The Alhambra Sport Medicine students volunteered at the Spartan Race, February 25.. It was the Spartan Race’s Arizona Sprint and Super Weekend where competitors across the valley came to participate.

 

“It was an amazing experience to spend time providing assistance to pro athletes, amateur competitors and families,” Instructor Whitney Lee said.


Trevor Browne: Choir Students teamed up with Composers Dr. J. Edmund Hughes and Mary Ellen Loose

Choir students at Trevor G. Browne teamed up with composers Dr. J. Edmund Hughes and Mary Ellen Loose to perform the world premiere of Lullaby for a King at the school’s winter concert, December 9.    

 

Hughes first approached choir directors Nick Halonen and Troy Meeker in July to discuss the project. Hughes wrote the original melody of Lullaby for a King to honor the birth of his first grandchild, Caleb, in February. He later discovered a way for the melody to intertwine with the Silent Night melody.

 

Hughes then collaborated with his longtime accompanist and Chandler-Gilbert Community College music faculty member Mary Ellen Loose to compose the piano accompaniment. The TGB Concert Choir worked directly with Hughes via Facetime before the concert.    They performed with co-composer Mary Ellen Loose accompanying them on piano.

 

Hughes informed the choir during rehearsal that his daughter battled cancer. They were uncertain if she would ever be able to have children. Hughes stated that Caleb is truly a gift that their family treasures.

 

Choir officer Eddie Armenta said, “Lullaby for a King is an astounding musical piece that shows great emotion towards people who know the actual meaning of why it was written. Just amazing!”

 

 “We are thankful Dr. Hughes chose our students to premiere this astounding piece. We have incredible students who are deserving of opportunities like this.” Meeker said,

 

“We do not teach music. We teach them how to be people. We do it through the power of music. The emotional expression in Lullaby for a King is a perfect catalyst to inspire this growth.” Halonen said


South Mountain: Will Host an NAACP "Meet the Chief" Community event for New Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and other Officers

South Mountain High School will host an NAACP “Meet the Chief,” community event for new Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams and other officers, Saturday, January 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.   It will be held at the Jag Café, which is the name of the new school cafeteria.   The public is invited to attend for an opportunity to ask questions and discuss mutual goals for enhancing community and law enforcement relations.   

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South Mountain High School is calling it Academies Saturday, when the school will show off its Academies at South concept to incoming freshmen and their parents, Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   The academies are schools-within-a-school that will provide students with different academic and career paths, anchored by the school’s magnet programs-Law, Aerospace and Aviation, Multimedia communications, Performing and Visual Arts, as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to meet the career opportunities of the future.  For more information on Academies Saturday, call 602 764-5000.  


Maryvale: Advanced Guitar Ensembles Have Lined Up Extensive Travel

The Maryvale Advanced Guitar Ensembles have lined up an extensive travel schedule this spring semester.   They will be in New Mexico this month, Hawaii in February, the Chicago area during Spring Break, and in Boston later in March.  Led by James Yancey, there are 12 guitarists in the Illuminati Ensemble and 14 in the Carpe Diem Ensemble.  Much of their touring funding comes from holiday concerts they do throughout the city.

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Senior George Campos will be playing in the Blue / Grey Football All-American Bowl game January 21 in the Oakland Raiders Stadium. He was selected after attending Blue / Grey Football Combines the past two years. He will play offensive line for the Pacific Coast Team playing the Atlantic Coast Team.  The 6-2 1/2, 260 pounder has had some interest from small colleges, but this game could be a showcase for him, according to Maryvale coach George Martinez.   He has a 3.0 GPA and “is the best lineman I’ve coached in 23 years of High School Football,” Martinez said.

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Seniors Marcos Ayala and Gissell Avila recently had the chance to spend a week in London, England with the Universal Cheer Association (UCA) group.  In order to qualify for this trip, the two had to try out to be UCA All-American cheerleaders at their summer camp.  This tryout involved Avila performing a dance, a cheer, and jumps.  Ayala had to do cheer, jumps and a single based stunt.  While they were in London, they were able to see many sights as well as perform in the New Year’s Day parade.  This trip involved much fundraising on the parts of these two students and their families to represent Maryvale in London.


Franklin Police and Fire: Will hold an Open house

The Betty Fairfax Girls Basketball team participated in a 24-team tournament December 26-28 at Arcadia High School. The Stampede won the tournament and improved to 11-2 on the season.  

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The Betty Fairfax staff collected over 100 toys for Phoenix Childrens’ Hospital at their holiday party at the Southern Ridge Golf Club. Student Body President, Ameerah Battle delivered the presents to the hospital.


Betty Fairfax: Girls Basketball Team Participated in 24-Team Tournament

The Betty Fairfax Girls Basketball team participated in a 24-team tournament December 26-28 at Arcadia High School. The Stampede won the tournament and improved to 11-2 on the season.  

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The Betty Fairfax staff collected over 100 toys for Phoenix Childrens’ Hospital at their holiday party at the Southern Ridge Golf Club. Student Body President, Ameerah Battle delivered the presents to the hospital.


Desiderata: Students Took Part in a Fiesta Bowl Team Outreach

Desiderata students took part in a Fiesta Bowl Team Outreach with the Ohio State University players beautifying the Alta E. Butler Elementary School, December 28.  With the assistance of Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, players worked with students to paint a mural, update four-square courts, sidewalk paintings, hop-scotch and tetherball courts.  The best part is the volunteer students were invited to attend the Ohio State-Clemson Fiesta Bowl game, December 31.


Cesar Chavez: Won 16-team Boys Basketball Holiday Classic

Cesar Chavez won the 16-team Phoenix Union Boys Basketball Holiday Classic, December 21-23, beating Central at the buzzer in the championship game.  The tournament’s Most Valuable Player was Chavez’ Malik Porter.  Teammates Donald Carter and Kaleb Martin were also on the All-Tournament team. 

 

 The Chavez Girls won the Cactus Jam Phoenix Hoop Classic, played at Maryvale, December 26-31, competing with teams coming from as far away as New York and British Columbia, CA. Brittany Hardeman of Chavez was the MVP of the Champions’ division, Chavez’ Trinity Valdez and Carla Vargas made the All-Tournament team. 

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The Cesar Chavez drumline participated in the Electric Light Parade last month and was awarded 1st place for "Best Marching Band.”  An awards ceremony and dinner took place, January 10, but the drumline had a performance, so three alumni represented Chavez and accepted the award, which included a $500 donation. 

 

The drumline also performed in the Fiesta Bowl Parade, and will be at the Rock and Roll Marathon, January 15, performing at the Thomas and 7th Ave. location. 
 


Central: Allison Astorga and laura Igual were Selected as Delegates to the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy

Allison Astorga and Laura Igual applied, interviewed and were selected as delegates to the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy taking place at Camp Pine Rock in Prescott over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend. 

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Central High School’s Adopt-A-Bobcat program this past holiday season raised about $2,600 monetary donations from alumni and retired teachers.  The program also received about $1,500 in grocery gift cards and food donations from staff on campus.   In addition, 45 staff members adopted 41 students and their families during the holiday season.    The donations received allowed  the school to give the students a very special holiday party with food, snacks, drinks and treats.  

Students also each received an extra gift from alumni and retired teachers.  Community Liaison Ciara Aguilar organized the campaign.

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The Central High School Global Studies program will host students and teacher-chaperones from Colegio Santa Maria de Guadalupe, a sister school from Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica.  Host students, their families and the school’s faculty and staff will welcome their guests, January 17 with a reception in their honor.


Bioscience: Science Teacher Milton Johnson and his Team of Five Students Traveled to Texas During Winter Break for The American Astronomical Society

 

Science teacher Milton Johnson and his team of five Bioscience students travelled to Texas during the winter break for the American Astronomical Society conference to present the results of their work over the past year in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Research program.  IPAC is Caltech’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center.  Teaming with Caltech astronomers, high school teachers and students, the teams conducted a year-long research project. The Bioscience team, which included students and teachers from two other schools from Oregon and Los Angeles, presented the results of their study to find newly forming stars (Young Stellar Objects-YSO’s) in a molecular gas cloud about 2100 light years from Earth.  No one had spent much time determining which objects were young stars, but using data archiving with IPAC, they found 245 YSO candidates.  They shared this information with the professional astronomical community via a poster session.    

 

The Bioscience students were Anthony Aragon; Elizabeth Chiffelle; Cassandra Montufar,  Lis San Emeterio, and Kevin Hernandez.

 

“Of course, the students were ‘stellar’ in presenting and got loads of compliments from professional astronomers from around the country.  They came home on ‘cloud 9,’ full of confidence for what they had accomplished,” Johnson said.

 

They plan to independently continue our work this coming year and hope to present at the next American Astronomical Society conference in Washington D.C. (Jan 2018).    


South Mountain: School Newspapers Online honored Maria Landa for Her Story Titled Band Teacher Experiences

School Newspapers Online, which hosts over 2000 high school publications, recently honored South Mountain High School junior Maria Landa for her story titled “Band teacher experiences the life of a Marine.” The feature article chronicled music teacher Stuart Bailey’s week long boot camp training at the Recruit Depot in San Diego. Landa has been a reporter on the Southwinds newspaper staff for two years. 

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South Mountain High School is calling it Academies Saturday, when the school will show off its Academies at South concept to incoming freshmen and their parents, Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   The academies are schools-within-a-school that will provide students with different academic and career paths, anchored by the school’s magnet programs-Law, Aerospace and Aviation, Multimedia communications, Performing and Visual Arts, as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to meet the career opportunities of the future.  For more information on Academies Saturday, call 602 764-5000.  


North: Ashante Etsitty Cunningham sang at the MLK Festival

North’s Ashante Etsitty Cunningham sang at the MLK Festival on Monday, at Margaret Hance Park.  Cunningham performed Billie Holiday's All Of Me.


Maryvale: Spirit line Competed in the ALA Championship

The Maryvale Spiritline competed in the AIA Championship, Saturday in Gilbert.   Anthony Pineda (who attends Linda Abril) and Yuvia Lopez placed sixth in the state in the stunting competition.

 

 


Carl Hayden: Oscar Vasquez testified at the U.S. Attorney General

Carl Hayden Alumnus Oscar Vasquez testified January 11 at the U.S. Attorney General confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions in Washington, D.C.   Vasquez was one of the Falcon Four Robotics team members who beat MIT and other colleges in an underwater robotics competition, which subsequently generated a magazine article, a documentary (Underwater Dreams) and motion picture (Spare Parts).  Vasquez told his immigration story, including earning a degree in mechanical engineering at ASU, and serving in the U.S. Army.  He was speaking on behalf of those young people with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status, and DREAMERS, (named after the never-passed DREAM Act--Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors) whose futures could be in jeopardy with new immigration policies.

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Wrestler J’Carie Redmond placed first in the Apache Junction Tournament, January 14, in the 220-lb. weight class.  He is the first Carl Hayden wrestler in four years to win a tournament title.

 


Franklin Police and Fire: Open House for Prospective Students

Franklin will hold an Open House for prospective students, Saturday, January 28.  It is an opportunity to see the school, its programs and meet the teachers and students that make Franklin a unique and successful small school that earned a National Blue Ribbon School designation a couple years ago.  The school specializes in preparing students for careers in public safety, including law enforcement and firefighting.  For more information, contact the school at (602) 764-0200.

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In the early morning darkness, January 13, a dedicated group of eight Franklin Police and Fire Thunderbirds participated in a three-mile run in downtown Phoenix in recognition of the late Dr. Martin Luther King. The students along with a few students from Edison Elementary carried the “Torch of Hope” along the run. The torch was delivered to Phoenix Civic Center where nearly 1000 people gathered for a breakfast to kick-off the MLK weekend.   

 

”Our students shined as they entered the room to start the ceremony,” law enforcement instructor Andrew Vidaure said. 

 

Students Kate Salazar and Kevin Perez stepped up for a live interview with Channel 12.

Other Franklin runners were David Gamboa;  Bryan Loya; Viviana Gonzales; John Paul Archuleta; Andres Paez and  Filemon Ambriz.

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Franklin has been invited to participate in a National School Choice Week at the state capital, January 26.  The event includes a legislative luncheon with Governor Doug Ducey and state lawmakers.  Students and teachers will also be at the capital rose garden to showcase the unique and successful public safety high school.  The emphasis is on Arizona’s highest performing low-income public schools, who are making the fastest educational gains in the country.  Franklin is a National Blue Ribbon School and a Beat the Odds Gold School.  Besides its unique career-related programming in law enforcement and firefighting, it has been an “A” School since the state began assigning letter grades to schools.

 


Cesar Chavez: Drum line Performed in the Phoenix Rock n Roll Marathon

The Cesar Chavez Drumline performed in the Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon, January 15 at Tempe Beach Park.


Central: Aron Orar Finished in 10th Place at Rock n Roll Marathon

Central’s Aron Orar finished 10th in last Sunday’s Rock n Roll Marathon.  At 19, he was also the youngest to place among the first 20 runners,  and was the fifth-fastest Arizonan in the men’s division.


Bioscience: Announced its Partnership with the City of Phoenix January 13

The school held an assembly January 13 to announce its partnership with the City of Phoenix Publics Works Department, and Reimagine Phoenix to become the first school in the city to implement a Zero Waste program.   The program was initiated by four Bioscience students--  Alicia Flores, Griselda Solis, Nancy Ochoa and Alejandra Villarreal, called the “Green Leapers” who approached the city.   Leapers comes from the acronym- Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection.  John Trujillo from Reimagine Phoenix congratulated the girls and the school, and gave some statistics that emphasize not only the volume of trash, but also different ways to turn trash into resources. 

 

“The city will double in population by 2050, and it is important to act now to minimize what you waste.  Phoenix travels seven million miles every year to pick up and dispose trash. That is 14 times to the moon and back. We need change agents.  We will spend millions if we do not recycle right.”

 

The city is giving the school three types of receptacles for recycling, for compost such as food and liquids and for trash, such as sandwich wrappers, chip bags.  Coincidentally, the smallest cans are for trash.  

 

Lucas Mariacher from the city gave examples of what to recycle, and took questions form the students.  


Central: Greater Phoenix Music Festival

The Greater Phoenix Music Festival, featuring all-star musicians from junior high and high school musicians, will be January 20-21, with a culminating concert, January 21 at 3:30 p.m. at Central High School.  A junior high honors band will consist of students from 21 different schools representing eight partner districts.  A mixed (junior high and senior high) string orchestra, a high school honors band and a percussion ensemble will round out the lineup.  The students auditioned and will rehearse together Friday and Saturday morning before taking the stage. The groups are led by guest conductors.  Admission to the performance is $2 for adults, and children are free.  The event started 33 years ago as a recruiting opportunity for the high schools, inviting promising 8th grade musicians to experience high school music programs and their musicians. 

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Phoenix Union’s Exceptional Student Services division is partnering with Raising Special Kids to host a three-part Parent Training series for students and families, beginning with a January 24 session at Maryvale High School, from 6-8 p.m.   The first training is focused on helping students with disabilities prepare for employment. In February the focus will be on legal options and other transition based supports. The April event will be about helping transition students from middle school to high school. 

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Ian Danley was elected president by acclamation at the January 12 Governing Board meeting, succeeding Lela Alston, who led the board for the past two years.   Stanford Prescott will serve as board clerk.  Danley and Alston also began new four-year terms as at-large members, and were sworn in by city councilman Daniel Valenzuela.

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It is not too late to contribute to Phoenix Union schools, clubs and student activities through the Arizona Education Tax Credit program.   The deadline was moved from December 31 to April 15.   A contribution to an eligible school club or activity is worth a dollar-for-dollar credit up to $200 for individuals, or $400 for married couples, filing jointly.   The donation can be applied to one’s 2016 or 2017 tax returns.

 

Any individual who pays taxes in Arizona is eligible for the tax credit.  Companies are not.  The students in the approved club determine how the funds from the contributions are used.  For more information, the Phoenix Union tax credit brochure or to donate online, go to www.phoenixunionorg/taxcredit


Trevor Browne: Ruben Gameros was a Guest speaker in the Advanced Placement French Class

Ruben Gameros (Class of 2008) was a guest speaker in the Trevor Browne Advanced Placement (AP) French class, January 20.   He earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from ASU in 2012 and is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Exploration Systems Engineering with an emphasis in Robotics. He anticipates finishing in December 2018. He said that because of his educational pursuits, he has been to 26 different countries in his 26 years of life. He has extensive knowledge in technology and that is why he was invited to speak to the class.  The class is currently in a Science and Technology unit with a focus on the future of technology. During his presentation today, he addressed the future of technology in three areas: manufacturing methods, maker movement and advances in robotics. Additionally, he discussed the potential positive and negative implications of these advancements in the world society.

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"Shrek the Musical" is coming to Trevor Browne for the first time.  The TGB Theatre Department is performing its spring musical with live music, in collaboration with the school’s band and orchestra. The department was awarded $500 by Social Venture Partners of Arizona, which enabled instructor Megan Dallas to purchase sheet music for the challenging show, as well as to pay for a few professional instrumentalists to make up for the missing instrumental parts.  “Shrek the Musical” will be February 22, 23, and 24. Tickets are $7 at the door. 

 


South Mountain: Andres Avelar First South Mountain Wrestler to Win Bourgade Last Chance Wrestling

Andres Avelar is the first South Mountain wrestler to win the Bourgade Last Chance Wrestling Tournament in over a decade. The 106-pound freshman improved his record to 35-4 and was voted Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. His championship run included wins over   wrestlers from San Carlos, Perry, Mountain Pointe, and ultimately, Show Low in the finals.  

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 South Mountain High School will hold “Academies Saturday,” February 11 to present its instructional programs, extracurricular activities and plans for re-designing the school into The Academies at South Mountain.  All interested future Jaguars and families are invited to the campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information, contact the school at 602 764-5000.


Phoenix Coding Academy will hold an Open House on Thursday 26th

Phoenix Coding Academy will hold an Open House, Thursday, January 26, from 5-7 p.m. for prospective students and their parents.  The event is for current 8th and 9th graders interested in coding and technology.  The innovative small school opened this year to 9th graders, and will grow by one class each year, with a capacity of 400 students in four years.  Attendees can tour the school, met the teachers and learn more about the application and enrollment process.  For more information, call 602 764-5700.  For an application for the 2017-18 school year, go to www.phoenixunion.org/coding


North: Jacob Derbyshire and Joan Huai have Art Displayed at New Horizons High School

Art students Jacob Derbyshire and Joan Huai have art displayed at New Horizons High School student art exhibition sponsored by the Shemer Art Center.      Over 80 student art pieces are on display through February 2.   Derbyshire won a Shemer Family Award at the awards ceremony, January 21.  Julie Peters is their art teacher.   The exhibit continues through February 2.


Maryvale: Jasson Adame and Mariela Medina are Displaying Artwork at the Shemer Art Center

Maryvale have two student artists, Jasson Adame and Mariela Medina, displaying artwork at the Shemer Art Center New Horizons High School Student Art Exhibition.    Adame won a Shemer Family Award and cash at the awards ceremony, January 21.    Each school that participated was able to submit two pieces of art.  Over 80 student art pieces are on display through February 2.   Adame’s teacher is Gabriel Ramirez and Medina’s art teacher is Doniphan Sanchez.

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The Panther Wrestling team finished fifth in the 23-team Brad Jones Pack Invitational at Centennial High School.   The tournament is named after former Centennial wrestler and Peoria Police officer who was killed in the line of duty.  Senior Antonio Perez received the Brad Jones Sportsmanship Award from the Jones family, which each year chooses one wrestler in the tournament to receive the honor. 

Four Maryvale wrestlers placed: Omar Alvarado, 2nd at 220 pounds, Francisco Moreno, 4th at 182, Christian Alvarado, 5th at 160 and Tony Cobian, 6th at 170  pounds.  


Carl Hayden: J'Carie Redmond has committed to a Football Scholarship to Arizona Christian University

 Falcon running back J'Carie Redmond has committed to a football scholarship to Arizona Christian University.  Redmond was Carl Hayden’s co-Offensive Player of the Year this past season.

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Student Government advisor Tony Dolata was selected as the   Arizona Association of Student Councils Advisor of the Year at the annual state convention in Lake Havasu City, January 21.    Dolata, who is a social studies teacher, was nominated by several students and staff members for this honor.  There are 175 schools in the AASC, and Dolata was one of 35 nominated for the award.


Franklin: Open House for Perspective Students January 28th

Franklin will hold an Open House for prospective students, Saturday, January 28.  It is an opportunity to see the school, its programs and meet the teachers and students that make Franklin a unique and successful small school that earned a National Blue Ribbon School designation a couple years ago.  The school specializes in preparing students for careers in public safety, including law enforcement and firefighting.  For more information, contact the school at (602) 764-0200.

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Franklin has been invited to participate in a National School Choice Week at the state capital, January 26.  The event includes a legislative luncheon with Governor Doug Ducey and state lawmakers.  Students and teachers will also be at the capital rose garden to showcase the unique and successful public safety high school.  The emphasis is on Arizona’s highest performing low-income public schools, who are making the fastest educational gains in the country.  Franklin is a National Blue Ribbon School and a Beat the Odds Gold School.  Besides its unique career-related programming in law enforcement and firefighting, it has been an “A” School since the state began assigning letter grades to schools.


Central: Music is the theme of Multicultural assembly

Music is the theme of Central’s multicultural assembly, January 27, featuring student performances in American rock, Civil Rights music, spoken word poetry, African Pop Dance; rap, Chinese Dragon Dance, Korean Fan Dance, Native American Jingle Dance, Lasso Floreo and Ballet Folklorico.


Camelback: Students won "Best in State" Two Years in a Row

For the second year in a row, Camelback entrepreneurship students have won “Best in State” in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.  The app, called XChange, makes it easier for foreign exchange students to find a location, school and host family matching personal characteristics.  Inspired by Svea Boelchl, an exchange student from Germany, she and teammates Andrea Gonzalez, Tasneem Al-Sabbry, Ismael Roman and Daniel Cortez won tablets, and $5000 for the school from Verizon.  Marketing teacher and DECA Advisor Julia Bourdo Lichty helped the team with the App Challenge.

 

“This win is life-changing for these girls,” Lichty said.

 

Each year, the public gets a chance to vote on the favorite app concept. To be the “Fan Favorite” national award winner, a team must garner the most text votes.  That team will also win a $15,000 award for the school and training from MIT experts to develop their concept into a working app.  The voting opened the week of January 16 and closes February 14.

 

To vote for the Camelback App Exchange, text Xchange to 22333.  There you can also see the Camelback video and others, as well as a ranking based on votes received.  Voters can only vote once.

 

Last year, four Camelback girls won Best of State in this competition, developing an app called SHOPEASY that works as an indoor GPS for grocery shopping. 


Alhambra: Two Students won awards at the New Horizons High School

Two Alhambra students won awards at the New Horizons High School student art exhibition sponsored by the Shemer Art Center, January 21.  Over 80 student art pieces are on display through February 2.  Each school was allowed to submit two artworks, both of which had to be by 11th or 12th grade students.  Alhambra’s Jazmin Herrada won the Shemer Family Award, and Elizabeth Kearny won the Linda Tracey Brandon Award for Excellence in Figurative Art.   Alhambra art teachers Tina Yoder and Kim Schuster were on hand.   


AZCAN announced 25 Education Leaders

The Arizona College Access Network (AzCAN) announced that 25 education leaders from across the state earned an Arizona College Access Professional certificate in 2016, including 10 from Phoenix Union. These leaders are prepared to help all students plan for their future beyond high school and make informed decisions about postsecondary education. The certificate involves 60 hours of coursework, discussion and action planning in three areas: creating a college-going culture; college and career planning; and financial aid and college applications.

 

Licet Herrera, Alhambra; Patricia Short, Bostrom; Ernest Pouncy and Elizabeth Carrasco, Central; Jennifer Presnal, Cesar Chavez; Jennifer Corbett, Simir Rand and Marta Carter, Maryvale; Maria Enrique, Phoenix Coding Academy, and Stephanie Clay, South Mountain.

 

Phoenix Union had five counselors earn the certification last year in the program’s first year.

 

“College Access Professional Training is a rigorous, hands-on combination of scholarly reading, online discussion and action planning.   These practitioners have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to their craft and to the students they serve,” Linda Jensen, Director of AzCAP said.

 

AzCAN, a program of College Success Arizona, is a network of college access professionals, and programs dedicated to post high school success for all Arizonans, especially low-income, first-generation students.

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Phoenix Union and ASU’s Teachers College are teaming up again for the International Teachers in Education Program (ILEP).  Sixteen teachers from eight countries are at ASU this semester for professional development, which includes pairing up with a Phoenix Union teacher.  The ILEP Fellow teachers met their partner teachers, January 20, for the first time, and they will team-teach every Thursday at six campuses-Metro Tech, North, Carl Hayden, Central, Franklin and South Mountain.  Two teachers each come from Ghana, India, Tanzania, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Bangladesh, and Brazil, where they teach English, math, science or social studies.  The Fellow teachers range from six years to 20 years in experience, and qualified among over 1000 applicants.  Three other cohorts of 16 international teachers are at Kent State, James Madison and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

 

This is the fifth year Phoenix Union has participated in this program, and many of the partner teachers have done this before.  The partner teachers are:

Carl Hayden: Kristin Roberts-English;  Central-Dawn Maxwell, math; Franklin: Heidi Bonfante and Elizabeth Moran, social studies; Metro Tech: Kelly Blake, Stephanie Knorowski and Jennifer Moore, English; North: Jennifer Moore, Joyce Donaldson, Kalia Athena, Joann Martin; Nicholas Valente-English; Renata Geurtz, CTE; Mohamed Abdellatif, science and Mary Pinnecker, social studies;  South Mountain: Elise Bostic and Leah Hooper, biology.

 

The ILEP fellows are required to teach a content lesson and a cultural lesson.

Social Venture Partners Arizona (SVPAZ) Education Affinity group recently selected projects to fund as part of their Mini-Grant program, and ten schools and programs benefited with a combined amount of nearly $5,000.  Started in 2016, this program asks students, teachers, and administrators from Phoenix Union to submit proposals for funding in the areas of academics, arts and culture, leadership and development, and school culture.  This grant cycle saw more than 35 proposals reviewed and ranked by members of the Education Affinity Group.  Here are the projects that were funded:

  1. Franklin Police and Fire High School - Accuplacer Ready Workshops
  2. Alhambra High School – Quiz Bowl
  3. Bostrom High School – Bostrom’s Got Talent (Talent Show)
  4. Cesar Chavez High School – High Teach Tutoring
  5. Bioscience High School – Dragon News (Broadcasting)
  6. Carl Hayden High School – Sensory Room
  7. Cesar Chavez High School – Preschool Physics Fun
  8. North High School – MemBean Online Vocabulary Development Subscription
  9. South Mountain High School – All Jaguars Reaching Higher Together (ART)
  10. Trevor Browne High School – Theatre-“Shrek the Musical”

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It is not too late to contribute to Phoenix Union schools, clubs and student activities through the Arizona Education Tax Credit program.   The deadline was moved from December 31 to April 15 two years ago.   A contribution to an eligible school club or activity is worth a dollar-for-dollar credit up to $200 for individuals, or $400 for married couples, filing jointly.   The donation can be applied to one’s 2016 or 2017 tax returns.

 

Any individual who pays taxes in Arizona is eligible for the tax credit.  Companies are not.  The students in the approved clubs determine how the funds from the contributions are used.  For more information, the Phoenix Union tax credit brochure or to donate online, go to www.phoenixunionorg/taxcredit


Alhambra: Andres Jimenez got accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy

Alhambra’s Andres Jimenez received an email February 22 that will change his life forever.  He was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy.      The senior who is number one in his class with a weighted 4.682 grade point average, and is the Cadet Battalion Commander of the 240-member JROTC unit, will be one of an elite class of less than 1000 admitted to the academy in Annapolis, MD.   A Naval Academy education is valued at over $500,000.

 

Jimenez became interested in an academy when Lieutenant Colonel Jackson MacDonald, his JROTC instructor,   arranged for him to attend an engineering camp at the Air Force Academy between his sophomore and junior years.   This past June, he attended a summer seminar at Annapolis, and became intrigued with nuclear engineering, because of its future potential.  He was introduced to the traditions, history and academic rigor expected by midshipmen, a term used for cadets at the naval Academy.   

 

He will report to the Academy, June 29 for six weeks of “plebe summer,” consisting of rigorous physical and mental training to turn civilians into midshipmen.  Following his education, he would like to be an officer on a submarine.  His commitment is five years, but Jimenez says he wants to serve his country 20-plus years, and ultimately make it to captain, “one step below an admiral.”

 

Jimenez has worked hard mentally and physically in high school.  He is currently taking Advanced Placement Calculus and Physics, is a National Hispanic Scholar, and is a member of the National Honors Society.  He already has full scholarship offers from ASU and Arizona.  He has participated in the various JORTC activities, such as color guard, drill team and “RECONDO”, the unit’s Adventure Team.  He has volunteered at an animal shelter and tutors grades school children.  Jimenez has been on the wrestling team, track and cross country, and he works out for an hour every morning with 30-50 cadets before school.

 

Success is nothing new in his family.  His sister, Karen, a 2012 Alhambra graduate and Navy JROTC cadet at the University of Arizona, is a Navy nurse, stationed in Portsmouth, VA.   Another sister, Esmerelda, was a salutatorian at Alhambra in 2014, and is studying to be a veterinarian at the U of A, on a full scholarship.

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Sophomore, Alaiza Lopez is a  Regional Gold Key recipient for the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  Her original poem "We Cannot Be Taken Down" is currently being considered for national recognition in New York City. National Medalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

 

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Last Spring, a Phoenix Union school was crowned state champion in a sport that a District school had not won since 1977.  The wait was even longer for Alhambra,   which had never won a baseball championship.  So waiting for their championship rings didn’t seem so long.   But on March 1 for their home opener, the Lions were rewarded.  the 2016 team members received championship rings provided by the Arizona Diamondbacks through their Play Ball Fund.


Election in Five Schools With No Losers

There is an election scheduled for five schools in the Phoenix Union High School District, March 20-24, but in this case, there will be no losers.  The students are voting to see which projects at their schools will be funded through Participatory Budgeting.  Three small schools- Phoenix Coding Academy, Franklin Police and Fire and Bioscience will each have up to $4,000 to pay for the projects, while large campuses Carl Hayden and Central can spend up to $7,000 each.  The elections will get a further dose of reality with the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, helping with voter booths, ballots and scanning machines to tabulate the results.  The students worked with District officials to research projects to vote on, their feasibility and estimated cost of the projects listed on each school’s ballot.  The District’s student Civic Engagement Committee has been working with the Participatory Budgeting Project, a nonprofit organization to determine spending through a public process.  Among the ballot items, a campus beautification project, hydration stations with filtered water and a sports concession kiosk. 

 

County Recorder Adrian Fontes is planning on visiting the Carl Hayden polling station with superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Governing Board member Stanford Prescott, Thrusday. 

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Six Phoenix Union teams will compete in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Led by Cesar Chavez, the Region II champion and second-ranked team in the state,  Alhambra, Maryvale,  Betty Fairfax,  North and  Central qualified.     Cesar Chavez will be at State for the 11th consecutive year, and the Champions have been ranked #2 both of the last two years.  Canyon del Oro is the top-ranked school.    Chavez has finished in the top 10 in the State for the past seven years.   Last year, Chavez had its highest state finish, placing fourth.  Only the winner advances to the Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin in April.

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It was the Phith Annual Physics Phield Day at Castles and Coasters, March 3, and the biggest yet for Phoenix Union.  Ten schools, and over 500 students had a phun-philled day of contests, projects, pizza and rides.  The students, clad in their school team shirts, built and tested gummi bear and toothpick bridges, marshmallow catapults, egg drops, mouse trap cars, paper towers, and tried shooting ping pong balls into baskets with hair blow dryers (Bernoulli Ball, named after the effect behind the aerofoil.), or sweeping a bowling ball through a tight obstacle course (vector bowling), in a dry land version of curling.  There were 12 events in all.  The teachers acted as judges and scorekeepers and had as much fun as the students.

 

“This event provides an amazing way to celebrate the process of science, mixed in with some phun and good-natured competition, all while creating lasting memories and authentic cognitive connections for the students.  One of the best aspects of this endeavor is how over the years our Physics PLC has worked together to keep refining and adding competitions that allow students to deploy the physics models they’ve developed during the year,”  Metro Tech Physics teacher Andrew Chapman said.

 

There was practically a three-way tie in the overall, with Metro Tech,  North, Maryvale separated by “the slimmest of margins,, the width of a foosball, one gummi bear, a ping-pong ball or an egg.”


Southmountain: Fifteen JROTC Cadets began Their South Mountain Army JROTC Continuous Improvement Project

Fifteen JROTC cadets began their South Mountain Army JROTC Continuous Improvement Project (CIP) at the Heard Pueblo Boy Scout Camp in the South Mountains to assist the Camp Ranger in repairing, cleaning and improving his facilities, March 6.    They helped to repair a part of the archery wall; brush removal; moved several items to include a "Whale Walk" board, and repaired numerous trails and pathways damaged by recent rains.   


Metro Tech: Marketing Students are Taking The Ultimate Test, Pitching Their Business Idea to a Panel of Professionals in The School’s Version of The TV show “Shark Tank

Metro Tech marketing students are taking the ultimate test, pitching their business idea to a panel of professionals in the school’s version of the TV show “Shark Tank.”    Developed by sports marketing teacher Jeffrey Howard, four teams made their pitch March 1 in front of representatives from Washington Federal and EverFi, an online financial literacy program for students.  The concept was food trucks.  There was Papa Paul’s Pizza, Exotic Scoops Ice Cream, JV’s Super Tacos, and Beefish.   Adding to the pressure, Channel 3 came in to do a live report, interviewing Erick Valenzuela, Christian Bocardo and Yamely Martinez of Beefish.  Beefish combines two of the most popular food truck items- fish and tacos.  An added twist was an ap, called “Mobile Munchies,” where “foodies” could track the location of their favorite food truck.  After asking for $180,000 and 15% share in the business, the Beefish team watched the judge investors battle each other, until two came together to offer $250,000 for two trucks, and 30% share of the business.   Eight teams were trimmed to four teams, and one team will be declared the winner.  It might not be real money, but the experience is real world.


Four Female Wrestlers From Cesar Chavez Competed in The 8th Annual All-girls Wrestling State Tournament in Camp Verde

Four female wrestlers from Cesar Chavez competed in the 8th annual All-girls wrestling state tournament in Camp Verde, March 4.  They wrestled as unattached, since this was not a AIA sanctioned event. Yaniva Carrillo put together a late comeback and rallied down by four points with a pin in the third making her a state champion at 130-lbs.   Mkayla Black dominated her way to the finals at 135-lbs. and captured the second state title of the day.  Lorna Baker advanced to the final match but fell short and was the runner-up at 140-lbs. Heidi Reyes (145lbs) wrestled tough competition including a junior Olympian and finished 3rd. All four girls started during fall and made it through the regular season practicing and competed with boys all year. All four wrestlers return next year, according to their coach, Daniel Rubio.

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Cesar Chavez participated in Moot Court for the first time ever.  It is similar to mock trial but operating at an appellate level.  The team of six students have been practicing Wednesday monrings since December, and performed brilliantly in their first completion.    Of the five awards possible for the competition, Cesar Chavez won five.   Mimi Bitangacha won best petitioner advocate, best petitioner team and Overall Winner.  Alyssa Turner won best respondent team.  Zabdiel Dominguez won best respondent advocate.

“The attorneys and judges present were all terribly impressed with how professional, how researched, and how articulate our students are, coach William Kibler said. 


Visiting students and Their Teacher-Chaperone from Central’s Sister School in Grenoble, France Enjoyed an Opportunity to Meet with City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

Visiting students and their teacher-chaperone from Central’s sister school in Grenoble, France enjoyed an opportunity to meet with City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, February 23.  Students from Lycée André Argouges had the chance to speak with the mayor about topics of mutual interest – water policy, international relations, and current political events in both the U.S. and France.   Rick Gerrard, the Vice-President of Phoenix Sister Cities arranged the meeting


Camelback Competed at The DECA State Competition

Camelback competed at the DECA State Competition and qualified 25 students to the DECA International Competition to Anaheim, CA in April.  This is the school’s largest total ever.   Camelback students will be joining 17,000 students throughout the world for the DECA International Career Development Conference.   There were 2,400 students from 72 schools that attended the DECA State Competition   and Camelback had the second largest number of students attending in the state.  Among their wins, the students who won the Verizon Best in State App contest also won in the Innovation Competition, the second year in a row that Camelback has won with the Verizon challenge winners. 

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The Camelback JROTC took nine cadets on a field trip to the Arizona State Capitol, February 28.  The trip was focused on the Capital Museum and gaining an understanding of some of the history of our great state. While at the Capitol, the students were able to meet State Representative Kelli Butler. The cadets were able to visit her office and were given a tour of the House of Representatives with her. The cadets also met and were welcomed in the museum by Secretary of State, Michelle Regan.


Betty Fairfax: The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen.

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Alhambra: Andres Jimenez was Accepted to The U.S. Naval Academy

Alhambra’s Andres Jimenez received an email February 22 that will change his life forever.  He was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy.      The senior who is number one in his class with a weighted 4.682 grade point average, and is the Cadet Battalion Commander of the 240-member JROTC unit, will be one of an elite class of less than 1000 admitted to the academy in Annapolis, MD.   A Naval Academy education is valued at over $500,000.

Jimenez became interested in an academy when Lieutenant Colonel Jackson MacDonald, his JROTC instructor,   arranged for him to attend an engineering camp at the Air Force Academy between his sophomore and junior years.   This past June, he attended a summer seminar at Annapolis, and became intrigued with nuclear engineering, because of its future potential.  He was introduced to the traditions, history and academic rigor expected by midshipmen, a term used for cadets at the naval Academy.   

He will report to the Academy, June 29 for six weeks of “plebe summer,” consisting of rigorous physical and mental training to turn civilians into midshipmen.  Following his education, he would like to be an officer on a submarine.  His commitment is five years, but Jimenez says he wants to serve his country 20-plus years, and ultimately make it to captain, “one step below an admiral.”

Jimenez has worked hard mentally and physically in high school.  He is currently taking Advanced Placement Calculus and Physics, is a National Hispanic Scholar, and is a member of the National Honors Society.  He already has full scholarship offers from ASU and Arizona.  He has participated in the various JORTC activities, such as color guard, drill team and “RECONDO”, the unit’s Adventure Team.  He has volunteered at an animal shelter and tutors grades school children.  Jimenez has been on the wrestling team, track and cross country, and he works out for an hour every morning with 30-50 cadets before school.

Success is nothing new in his family.  His sister, Karen, a 2012 Alhambra graduate and Navy JROTC cadet at the University of Arizona, is a Navy nurse, stationed in Portsmouth, VA.   Another sister, Esmerelda, was a salutatorian at Alhambra in 2014, and is studying to be a veterinarian at the U of A, on a full scholarship.

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Sophomore, Alaiza Lopez is a  Regional Gold Key recipient for the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  Her original poem "We Cannot Be Taken Down" is currently being considered for national recognition in New York City. National Medalists will be announced on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

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Last Spring, a Phoenix Union school was crowned state champion in a sport that a District school had not won since 1977.  The wait was even longer for Alhambra,   which had never won a baseball championship.  So waiting for their championship rings didn’t seem so long.   But on March 1 for their home opener, the Lions were rewarded.  the 2016 team members received championship rings provided by the Arizona Diamondbacks through their Play Ball Fund,


Students are Voting to See Which Projects at Their Schools will be Funded Through Participatory Budgeting

There is an election scheduled for five schools in the Phoenix Union High School District, March 20-24, but in this case, there will be no losers.  The students are voting to see which projects at their schools will be funded through Participatory Budgeting.  Three small schools- Phoenix Coding Academy, Franklin Police and Fire and Bioscience will each have up to $4,000 to pay for the projects, while large campuses Carl Hayden and Central can spend up to $7,000 each.  The elections will get a further dose of reality with the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, helping with voter booths, ballots and scanning machines to tabulate the results.  The students worked with District officials to research projects to vote on, their feasibility and estimated cost of the projects listed on each school’s ballot.  The District’s student Civic Engagement Committee has been working with the Participatory Budgeting Project, a nonprofit organization to determine spending through a public process.  Among the ballot items, a campus beautification project, hydration stations with filtered water and a sports concession kiosk. 

 

County Recorder Adrian Fontes is planning on visiting the Carl Hayden polling station with superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson and Governing Board member Stanford Prescott, Thrusday. 

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Six Phoenix Union teams will compete in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Led by Cesar Chavez, the Region II champion and second-ranked team in the state,  Alhambra, Maryvale,  Betty Fairfax,  North and  Central qualified.     Cesar Chavez will be at State for the 11th consecutive year, and the Champions have been ranked #2 both of the last two years.  Canyon del Oro is the top-ranked school.    Chavez has finished in the top 10 in the State for the past seven years.   Last year, Chavez had its highest state finish, placing fourth.  Only the winner advances to the Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin in April.

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It was the Phith Annual Physics Phield Day at Castles and Coasters, March 3, and the biggest yet for Phoenix Union.  Ten schools, and over 500 students had a phun-philled day of contests, projects, pizza and rides.  The students, clad in their school team shirts, built and tested gummi bear and toothpick bridges, marshmallow catapults, egg drops, mouse trap cars, paper towers, and tried shooting ping pong balls into baskets with hair blow dryers (Bernoulli Ball, named after the effect behind the aerofoil.), or sweeping a bowling ball through a tight obstacle course (vector bowling), in a dry land version of curling.  There were 12 events in all.  The teachers acted as judges and scorekeepers and had as much fun as the students.

 

“This event provides an amazing way to celebrate the process of science, mixed in with some phun and good-natured competition, all while creating lasting memories and authentic cognitive connections for the students.  One of the best aspects of this endeavor is how over the years our Physics PLC has worked together to keep refining and adding competitions that allow students to deploy the physics models they’ve developed during the year,”  Metro Tech Physics teacher Andrew Chapman said.

 

There was practically a three-way tie in the overall, with Metro Tech,  North, Maryvale separated by “the slimmest of margins,, the width of a foosball, one gummi bear, a ping-pong ball or an egg.”


North: Two Phoenix Union Schools Raced in the 14th Annual Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Town Lake, March 25

It’s not an AIA sport, but two Phoenix Union schools raced in the 14th Annual Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Town Lake, March 25.   North, under the direction of teacher Rita Lopez has been doing this for seven years.   Maryvale, coached by science teacher Jennifer Cho, joined in the fun this year in the first-ever high school division.  Battling a strong headwind and current, Maryvale came in second, a half second ahead of North.  Both teams practiced two times prior to racing, and lost to a California team that trains year-round. 

In dragon boat racing, you can have up to 20 rowers, 10 on each side, a drummer and a steersman. 

“The drummer is at the front of the boat and keeps the pace/beat similar to the heart of the dragon and the steer is in the rear,” Cho said.

The Arizona Dragon Boat Association waived the race fee of $300 to help promote the high school division.  

“We are hopeful that the division will grow with PUHSD spearheading,” Lopez said.


Metro Tech Weightlifting Coach and Math Teacher Dina Medina Spent her Spring Break Winning The United States American Open National Championship

Metro Tech weightlifting coach and math teacher Dina Medina spent her spring break winning the United States American Open National Championship, division.  Medina placed first in the Masters age 40-44 69-kilogram division. She had a 139 kg total (307 lbs.), 62 kg snatch (136 lbs.)/77 clean & jerk (170 lbs.)

“Dina is officially one of the strongest women America and a true role model to our students,” said Metro teacher and weightlifting coach Mario Malaby

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Culinary Arts student Daylon Bennett shined in the Careers in Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), last month, winning a cash award from C-CAP as well an industry award, which means he has a job upon graduation.  His teacher is Chef Dean Wilberscheid


Students From Franklin Police and Fire High School Earned Their Basic Wildland Firefighting Certification

Students from Franklin Police and Fire High School earned their Basic Wildland Firefighting Certification by completing their wildland field day training, March 24. The students completed 8 weeks of intense classroom and field work to earn their certification. They are now one step closer to becoming employed as firefighters. A diploma ceremony will take place at Franklin, March 30.  from 5-7 p.m. to honor the students for their hard work and accomplishments.


Cesar Chavez: Manuel Alcantar has been Named The New Football Coach for Cesar Chavez

Manuel Alcantar has been named the new football coach for Cesar Chavez.  He comes to the Champions from Dysart, where he was the head coach for four years.  He took the Demons to the state playoffs for the first time in 21 years in 2015, and in the past two years his teams went 7-4 and 9-2.  He replaces Jim Rattay who was at the school for nine seasons.  Chavez was 6-4 last year in the regular season, winning six consecutive games and the Metro Region and, before losing in the first round of the playoffs. 


Eight Central Students were Awarded Students Inspiring Students Scholarships to Grand Canyon University

Eight Central students were awarded Students Inspiring Students Scholarships to Grand Canyon University.  The students had to complete 100 hours of study time in the GCU Learning Lounge.  These students will give back and be tutors to future high school students looking to earn a Students Inspiring Students scholarship.  Other criteria for the scholarship were demonstration of financial need,   university admissible, and demonstrate university preparedness. This is a neighborhood scholarship given to community schools in the GCU vicinity.   The students are Angel Lopez, Kiara Greenfield, Christina Olivas, Edgar Arellano, Keilen Costilla, Marixa Hernandez, Edward Arellano and Adrian Dominguez.   They were visited March 29 by GCU representatives.


Camelback: Joseph Grant Gave His Wish Away to His High School in The Form of a New Shade Structure with Outdoor Seating

Make-A-Wish Arizona wanted to grant Camelback student Joseph Grant a wish, but Joseph had another idea.  He gave his wish away to his high school in the form of a new shade structure with outdoor seating.  Joseph presented his wish, called “Joseph’s Hangout,” to his fellow students, March 24 at two assemblies.

  

Joseph, who has a life-threatening heart condition that required a transplant, has been working on his wish for more than two years, deciding how to leave his legacy to a school that has been amazingly supportive during his illness.  He approached then-principal Dr. Quintin Boyce, and with the help of the school, District facilities personnel, and local builders, the wish came true, with construction taking place during spring break.

 

McCarthy Construction, SunShades Arizona donated a large percentage of the wish, in one of the largest undertakings this year for Make-A-Wish Arizona.

 

“I first hooked up with Make-A-Wish my sophomore year, and when they wanted to know what my wish was.   I wanted to hold off, and then I said, let’s do something for my school,” Grant said.   “There are a lot of kids here, and they like to congregate outside the cafeteria, and there was no place to sit, and a space like this was very much needed.”

 

“They wanted to call it Joseph’s Corner, but Hangout sounded better.  It has a ring to it.  I like the way it sounds,” he said.

 

Joseph worked with the companies, and the school to create a plan and color scheme that complements the school colors-orange and blue.

Joseph’s gift did come with some anxiety.  The seating area replaced the bell tower.  During the assembly he was a little defensive.  He hoped students wouldn’t remember him as “Oh no, that’s the bell tower kid,” he said.

 

But on the plaque that will designate the space, his true message is recorded: Selflessness is all the heart needs.

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Twenty-four Camelback students performed with GRAMMY Nominated Country Recording Artist Eric Church, March 28, during his tour stop at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.    Church is a strong supporter of public music education and he’s inviting a high school choir local to each tour stop to join him.

 

The GRAMMY Foundation contacted band director Jaime Johnston, who had been nominated by the organization a few years ago as a music instructor of the year.  

 

The students, selected from members of the performing arts department- band, choir, and guitar   arrived at the arena at  4p.m., had a dress rehearsal with Church on stage to figure out exactly what they had to do in the performance.   They had a catered dinner and enjoyed the back stage experience and a dressing room just for them.

 

 They performed the opening song, "A mistress named music".

 

“I am so excited for these thriving performing arts students to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. They got to see behind the scenes and the inner workings of a touring, award winning musician,” Johnston said.


Bostrom: Marquis Bundy, Visited The School on March 27 to Donate $1500

Marquis Bundy, a member of the Arizona Cardinals active roster and son of Bostrom Assistant Principal Lisa Bundy, visited the school, March 27 to donate $1500 to the school’s student government.  Bundy began his high school career at Cesar Chavez, then transferred to Boulder Creek, and played at the Univ. of New Mexico.  He started on the Cardinals practice squad last year, but was placed on the active roster for the final seven games, and suited up for one game.  The 6-4, 215 lb. wide receiver remains on the roster this year, and will be participating in the team’s off-season workouts, (OTAs-organized team activities) this spring.   The funds will help Bostrom STUGO pay for prom and a senior field day.


Betty Fairfax Track and Field Athletes Competed in The 77th Annual Chandler Rotary Track Meet

Betty Fairfax Track and Field athletes competed in the 77th Annual Chandler Rotary Track meet, March 24-25.  This is one of the top five high school meets in the country, with several states and 125 schools attending.    Two Fairfax athletes were invited to the Elite session Saturday night, and both medaled.   Shamar Moreland won the long jump competition.  He and a Chandler High long jumper both went 23-3, but in the tiebreaker, their second best jump, Moreland won by one inch.  Moreland also placed 4th in the 300 hurdles.  Destiny Henry placed 3rd in the javelin.

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Betty Fairfax alumnus Kurtis Walls is going to play pro football in the Czech Republic.  Following a record-setting career at Valley City State University in North Dakota, where he threw for 8,675 yards and 87 touchdowns in four seasons, Walls will play for the Prague Lions of the top division Czech League of American Football. 

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The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Alhambra: Charles Santay Began Studying Programming in The Fall

Charles Santay, a sophomore at Alhambra High School, began studying programming in the fall in his computer science class.  After he learned of the Media Center's 3D printer and its possibilities in creating 3D printed models, he began to explore the idea of building a fully functional 3D-printed quadcopter.   Santay began studying, researching, testing, and building in November.  After months of work, Santay achieved first flight on the Grand Canyon University campus.

 

Along the way, Santay taught himself a variety of skills to bring his idea to life: CAD design, 3D printing, electronics, power supply mechanics, guidance systems, R.F. communications, control software, and a host of other skills.

 

"I have gone through a lot of crashes and a lot of parts, but Mr. Brink (Alhambra's Librarian and overseer of AHS's Media Center) has helped with replacement print parts to me keep going, I have a whole box of damaged propellers...I've crashed a lot." 

 

At Alhambra's annual Science Fair / Sustainability Expo March 23, Santay amazed his classmates by demonstrating his ability to achieve flight as well as answer a variety of questions on the building process and very technical aspects of his project.

 

“After hearing him talk at length of his learning, it is apparent Charles has learned a great deal on many topics over the course of the quadcopter's development. Charles plans on continuing his learning,” social studies teacher Clayton Jones said.  

 

 "My next project is going to be a much smaller and faster design for racing, I am working on ideas for a first-person, real time, camera feed as part of the guidance system," Santay said.


Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep is the District’s newest school

Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep, the District’s newest school, will hold an Open House, Wednesday, April 5 from 4-7 p.m. at the school, located at 3005 E. Fillmore Street.  The school will be enrolling ninth graders for next year at the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) school, the first of its kind in the world designed to provide AVID Secondary College Readiness to all students.  For more information, contact Principal Keoni Dang at 602 703-9821, or go to www.wilsoncollegeprep.org

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March is National Athletic Training Month.  Athletic Trainers are highly qualified, multi-faceted allied health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.  Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as appropriate under licensure in Arizona.    Only 37% of public high schools nationally have a full-time athletic trainer to focus on the healthcare of their student-athlete population, but Phoenix Union is fortunate to have 11 athletic trainers, one at each comprehensive high school, to provide service to our thousands of student athletes day in and day out.   


Former Students Alejandro Ramirez (Class of 2011) and Karina Martinez (Class of 2016) have Excelled in Our Community

Former Trevor Browne student Alejandro Ramirez (Class of 2011) is a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley. His research is about how the immune system responds to the zika virus. He got a special mention in a paper published in Cell and Host Microbe and he is the third author on a paper that will be published soon.

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Karina Martinez, a 2016 Trevor Browne graduate, finished a memorable first colleagiate soccer season at Paradise Valley Community College.   PVCC was undefeated, and won the Junior College National Championship with a 3-1 victory over Tyler College, Texas, November 19 at Eckerd College in Florida.   The midfielder was also named Offensive MVP after tallying three goals and an assist during the championship tournament.

Martinez was Section Player of the Year last year as a senior at Trevor Browne.


Metro Tech has Won Two $5,000 Arizona Diamondbacks and University of Phoenix School Challenge Grants

Metro Tech has won two $5,000 Arizona Diamondbacks and University of Phoenix School Challenge grants as part of the Dbacks $100,000 School Challenge initiative.  The Floral Design Small Business Operations project will use the funds to purchase a sliding glass door floral display cooler, allowing the students to showcase their work in the shop, and boast sales.  Remaining funds will purchase other displays, signage and menu boards.  The grant application was submitted by Jennifer Colvin, Floral Design-Small Business Operations teacher.

 

Another grant went to Metro’s new program, Exploring Computer Science, which encourages urban students to either major in computer science, or become more computer literate. The funds will be used to purchase 20 of the latest laptops for the class.  Students recommended a laptop that can handle podcasts, digital media projects and other innovative creations that would be accessible for students.  Teacher Maria Piazza-Palotto submitted the application.

 

In addition to the funding, the Diamondbacks will invite the school to be honored prior to a 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field, receiving up to 450 complimentary tickets for students, teachers, families and supporters to attend this presentation.

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The annual Metro Tech Fall Garden Festival and Community Celebration was held at Metro Tech High School, October 29.  The Annual Fall Garden Festival and Community Celebration is geared towards local community and garden lovers who are interested in learning new techniques for gardening, and to have a fun family-oriented time.  This community celebration is held in conjunction with Masters Gardeners.  Approximately 1500 people were on campus for activities ranging from local vendors to question/answer sessions with master gardeners.  The festival included over 20 local vendors and 18 Metro Tech clubs that sold student made items, cultural food, flowers, baked goods, and provided activities for children and assistance to the attendees with their purchases.  There were also rummage sales and a silent auction along with community service opportunities.


Maryvale Finished Second Place in The Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon

Maryvale finished second behind Cesar Chavez in the Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon, November 18-19.   Julian Contreras won a silver medal in the Varsity ten-event competition, as the second-highest overall scorer, and the team won the Super Quiz Relay.  Gold medals were won by Contreras in Science, Language & Literature and Art; Arlenys Gonzalez in Honors Social Studies, and Diana Flores took gold in Honors Art.


Desiderata: Student Government is Volunteering at The St. Mary’s Food Bank once a month

Desiderata is getting into the giving spirit, with its student government volunteering at the St. Mary’s Food Bank once a month.  Ten students were there last Friday, experiencing the Thanksgiving rush when the line of customers wrapped around the building.  The students helped pack 972 food boxes, which will feed over 500 families.    According to Patty Sanchez, the STUGO advisor, a few of the students had received food boxes from St Mary’s in the past and felt proud to be able to “pay it forward” to others who are in need. 


Carl Hayden Won The Most Improved Team Trophy

Carl Hayden won the Most Improved Team trophy at the Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon, November 18-19, in part by the performance of Brandi Barrett.  Barrett won five event medals, and another silver medal for finishing second in the ten-event overall scoring in the Scholastic Division.  She took gold in Scence and Economics, Silver in Social Studies and Essay, and bronze in Math.  The Falcons improved by 7,942 points from last year, and Barrett accounted for 7,569 points.  Her point total was the second-highest in the decathlon, regardless of division.


The Betty Fairfax Spiritline has Advanced to Compete for The AIA State Title

The Fairfax Spiritline has advanced to compete for the AIA state title in Game Day division by placing 7th in the Regional Qualifier. The Spiritline will compete in AIA Show Cheer division and All-Girl Stunt on December 10.  The varsity and JV will also be competing this month to Qualify for USA nationals.  This Summer Fairfax had10 girls make all-American.

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Three students participated in the All-State Jazz and Show Festival, November 18-19.    Andrez Alcazar was in the All-State Jazz choir, and  Christopher Joseph and Courtnee King were in the All-State Show Joseph performed a solo at the festival.

 

The Betty Fairfax Students of the Month for November are Ivan Alcazar-Performing Arts; Ameerah Battle-Science; Sarah Crosby-History; Quentin Kyyitan-Exceptional Students; Gisela Magana—Reading; Mark Navarro-Counseling; Taylor Poe-Math; Caleb Ryan-World Language; Grecia Saquelares-ELL; Jasper Smith-Engish; Celine Souvanna-Art.

 


Cesar Chavez: Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon will take place at Maryvale High School

The Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon was held this past Friday and Saturday at Maryvale High School, featuring 14 teams, including 11 PUHSD schools.  Cesar Chavez came in first, Maryvale, second and Alhambra, third.     Chavez decathletes were ten-event (overall) champions in each of the three divisions-Varsity, Scholastic and Honors.  In fact, they held seven of the nine medals in overall scoring.  Rodrigo Terrazas Davila, competing in the Scholastic division, was the event’s high scorer, with 7,997 points.  He medaled in nine of the ten events, including three gold medals. Alyssa Turner was the ten-event overall winner in the Honors division, and Karrecia Crawley won gold for the ten-events in the Varsity division.

 

Chavez swept the Honors division, with Benjamin Kibler earning a silver medal, and Samuel Porter, the bronze.  In the Scholastic division, Jennifer Gonzalez was a bronze medalist, while Claudio Corrales won bronze in the Varsity ten-event competition.  Because it was a scrimmage, the Champions competed with more than the nine-person team, and 14 individuals won medals.

 

The next competition will be an invitational over Christmas break followed by a regional competition at Boulder Creek High School in Anthem, February 3-4 where Chavez is the defending Region II champion.    That decathlon determines which teams qualify for the State Decathlon in March.


Central: Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams will be the Guest Speaker at "Bobcat Talks"

New Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams will be the guest speaker at the next “Bobcat Talks,” November 28.  Hosted by the Central High Multicultural Committee the monthly speakers series invite guests to address topics related to the promotion of respect for all cultures, dignity for all communities and justice for all people.  Williams will share her story and to talk to students about what it’s like to be a pioneer African American woman in law enforcement and to give advice to the students on how to be successful and self-empowered. Williams is a graduate of Phoenix Union’s Maryvale High School.

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Central High Badminton won the Metro Region title and advanced to the Division I State Playoffs before losing to Desert Vista. Individually, sophomore EiEi Naing won the Region Player of the Year award and finished the season 13-1.  

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Central placed 2nd in the Varsity Show Cheer Novice Division at the USA Regionals Cheer Competition at Estrella Foothills High School, November 19.   They also placed first in the Game Time-Fight Song division.    

 

“Unfortunately, we did not get a bid to the USA Spirit Nationals, but we’ll try again next year! Not bad for their first competition,” coach Cecily Frutos said.

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Central’s Academic Decathlon team finished sixth out of 11 teams in the Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon, November 18-19, and improved by over 5,000 points from last year’s District Competition.  Medalists were Yarek Wojcik, a Bronze in Essay and the Silver in Speech and  Luis Medina, who won the Silver medal in the Essay Competition


Camelback: Marketing Program was Awarded an additional $5000

The Marketing program was awarded an additional $5000 for the third year.  Verizon has given the program $27,000 plus 40 Samsung tablets in 2014,  $20,000 and eight Samsung tablets in 2015 and in 2016 they also selected teachers Maria Ciolfi-Abrams and Julia Bourdo to be “experts” giving them a personal stipend to help new teachers receiving the 2016-17 grant.   The Verizon Innovative Learning through Design Thinking Program promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation at the high school level that supports both unique missions of Arizona State University and Verizon while driving growth for each school and its surrounding community.


Alhambra Finished Third in The Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon

Alhambra finished third in the Phoenix Union Academic Decathlon, November 18-19 scoring 32,905 points.  Cesar Chavez was first, Maryvale was second.  Among the highlights, the Lions won five medals in math, including three gold medals.  Cesar Carreto took gold in Honors Math, and Anthony Jimenez and Jose Orozco tied for gold in Scholastic Math.  Kayla Resendiz won silver in Scholastic math, and Quan Tran took bronze in Honors Math. Jose Baldovino won gold in Honors Science and Tran tied for the gold in Honors Social Science.

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Alhambra alumnus Nash Kleppan (2012), graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU in May with a degree in Computer Systems Engineering. Upon graduating, he accepted a position as an engineer at Intel where he was an intern in the two years leading up to his graduation. Kleppan currently works on hardware and software in Intel's storage division and is responsible for product and prototype testing.


Student Government in Phoenix Union has a new officer position

Student Governments in Phoenix Union have a new officer position—Sustainability Officer.  Fourteen schools selected sustainability officers dedicated to help promote recycling, water conservation, clean air and other objectives.  On November 17, the students and the Student Council Sustainability Officers Initiative was introduced by City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.  Three years ago, Bioscience High School was the first to have a sustainability officer, who worked with the city’s sustainability office.  This partnership with Phoenix and the ASU School of Sustainability is the first of its kind in the nation to have dedicated student sustainability officers.  The program is designed to improve sustainability literacy in public schools, and provide opportunities for students to become sustainability leaders.  ASU will provide leadership, resources and scholarship opportunities for the students.  The 13 student officers met for an orientation after the announcement.

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Over 150 employees attended the Phoenix Union Employee Appreciation and Awards Reception, November 17, at the Metro Tech banquet room, honoring employees who reached their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 30 and 35-year service milestones at the end of last school year.  In all, 475 employees reached those marks last year.  Thirteen have been with the District for 30 years, and one individual, Albaro Portillo, who retired last year, hit the 35th year.  20, 25 and 30-year employees received plaques and service pins.  Five, 10 and 15-year employees received certificates and service pins.  Governing Board President Lela Alston, who always attends this event, was surprised when Superintendent Chad Gestson presented her with a shadow box of service pins for her 34 years of service at Phoenix Union High School District.  Alston once mentioned she had never received a pin.  She retired a year before this event began.   Alston is all Phoenix Union.  She attended Phoenix Union High School and taught home economics from 1968 to 2002 at West High, Maryvale, Alhambra, Metro Tech and Bostrom.  She has served on the Governing Board for eight years, and will begin her third term in January.


Trevor Brown: Choir Student Ariana Gonzalez was Invited to Sing The National Anthem for The Phoenix Suns

Choir Student Ariana Gonzalez was recently invited to sing the National Anthem for the Phoenix Suns.  She said "it was one of the scariest performances" she has ever done. In spite of that, she said she "had a great time and would love to do it again".  She and the TGB Choirs will perform at their Pops Concert, May 11.


Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Program has Named South Mountain High School a “Mix It Up”

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has named South Mountain High School as a “Mix It Up” Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2016-17 school year.

South Mountain High School is among 76 schools to receive the honor, and it is the third year they have been recognized.

“We commend South Mountain High School for finding innovative ways to create environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Though Model Schools vary in size and demographics, they all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”

 The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2016-17 school year; they included different members of the school’s community—cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students—in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success.

 Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a simple call to action. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.


The AVID Team Visits North High School

 North High School had the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) team visit the campus Tuesday, and when the day ended,    North became an AVID Demonstration School, the first in the Phoenix Union High School District, and only the fourth high school in Arizona.

 

AVID is a college readiness system designed to provide students in the academic middle with structure and support, access to rigorous curriculum and preparation for entrance into a four-year university.   AVID Demonstration Schools are exemplary models of the AVID College Readiness System.  They undergo a rigorous validation process to ensure high levels of implementation of AVID strategies schoolwide.  AVID Demonstration Schools serve as models for schools that wish to see want to see highly successful AVID systems in action.

 

The AVID Validation team visited classrooms, meet with the superintendent, board members, AVID students, tutors and teachers, to determine if North met the criteria.

 

“North knocked it out of the park,” State AVID Director Denise Campbell said.  “There 6,000 schools with AVID nationwide, but only 175 Demonstration schools.  North earned a three-year label which is the most you can get, and it means they are outstanding.  If you get two-years, we come back and re-validate.”

 

North started AVID in 2007 with two classes, two teachers and a counselor.  It has grown to 11 sections, 10 teachers and two counselors.  This year, North will have 43 AVID students graduate from North, the largest class ever.   Collectively, so far North’s AVID senior classes have amassed over $500,000 dollars in scholarship money.  Every AVID student will graduate, 100% of the AVID students have taken both the PSAT and ACT, and many have taken the SAT.  There are 10 AVID tutors, all college students.  All 10 are North High graduates, and six went through the AVID program.

 

There are 285 students school-wide in AVID elective classes, and 50 percent of the staff are AVID-trained, according to North AVID Coordinator Anna Ruiz.  There will be 75 AVID seniors for 2017-18. 

 

“Being a National Demonstration School means that North has made a commitment to utilize AVID methodologies school-wide, provide professional development to our certified staff in the use of AVID strategies/methodologies, provide access to more rigorous curriculum for all students, and at North we have made AVID a central part of or School Improvement Plan,” Ruiz  said.

 

AVID seniors outpace the national average of enrolling in either a two or four-year college the first fall term after high school, and persist at a higher rate than U.S. students overall, into year two of college.  Three of every four AVID students nationally are of low socio-economic status, and are often the first in their family to attend college.

 

AVID comes from the Latin word avidus, which means: eager for knowledge.

 

The other AVID Demonstration high schools are Mesa, Westwood and North Canyon.

 

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Several students in Julie Peter’s Advanced Art classes submitted artwork to the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing competition. The four Gold Key regional winners went on to compete at the National Level where Christian Lopez earned a Silver Medal for his painting “The End”.

Jacob Derbyshire, Joan Huai and Andres Varela also were Gold Key regional winners.  Derbyshire also won a Silver Key and Honorable Mention, Huai won a Silver Key, Mia Ledesma took three Honorable Mentions.  In all, there were eight Silver Key winners and nine Honorable mention.


Maryvale: 2nd Annual Laundry Line Art Show

The art department is excited to announce the 2nd annual Laundry Line Art Show located at The Vig Fillmore at 4th avenue and Fillmore in downtown Phoenix. The show will feature over 100 original artworks by   Maryvale art students and will take place during the First Friday Art Walk, April 7.  In addition, the Maryvale Mariachi will be preforming from 5-6 p.m. 

 

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Former Maryvale student and Olympic Wrestling Gold medalist Henry Cejudo had the honor of driving the pace car at the NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway, March 19.


Franklin Police & Fire Thunderbirds of Charity Club Volunteered for The Mountain Park Health Center

The Franklin Police & Fire Thunderbirds of Charity Club  have volunteered  for the Mountain Park Health Center in two different occasions.  The students were recognized as the Outstanding Volunteers at the inaugural Tempe Run/Walk last fall, and will be there again in April,  and the club volunteered at the  Chris Town Bike Safety Rodeo & resource fair, March 4. 


Cesar Chavez: Finished 4th in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon

Cesar Chavez finished 4th for the second year in a row in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Six Phoenix Union teams qualified for state.  Canyon del Oro won the title for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Hamilton and Westwood. 

Chavez, ranked 2nd in the state after winning Region II, won seven medals, led by Rodrigo Terrazas, who had the second highest overall score in the Scholastic division.  Terrazas also tied for gold in Economics, tied for gold in Science, and had bronze in Social Science and bronze (tied) in Literature.  Other medalists for the Champions were Gerardo Nino Pozos, gold in Varsity Social Studies and bronze (tie) in Varsity Economics.  Victor Hernandez, bronze (tied) in Scholastic Economics.

 

Pino was 7th and Karrecia Crawley was 8th in overall scoring in the Varsity division, and  Alyssa Turner was the top PUHSD Honors scorer, finishing 14th best in that division.

 

Since 2010, Cesar Chavez has finished in the top 10 at state seven times in eight years (two 9th place, three 7th place and two 4th place) under coach William Kibler.


Central: JROTC Archery Team Competed at The State Archery Tournament

The Central High School JROTC Archery team competed at the State Archery Tournament at Ben Avery Range, March 4, and the top-ranked female archer in Arizona, Cadet Amelia Bingochea, didn’t disappoint.   She placed first, scoring 284 out of 300 possible points.   Her teammate, Cadet Vy Lam placed fourth overall, scoring 280 of 300.  Both girls qualified for the Nationals, to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, May 11-13.  Bignochea not only bested 85 high school girls, but she placed first among the 212 female competitors.  Her coach, 1st Sergeant Ronnie Hurt is a competitive archer himself, and teaches archery at the annual JROTC Junior Leadership Camp each summer.  

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Central High was the recipient of a $3,000 donation from the Arizona Cardinals and Wells Fargo, March 22.  Big Red, the mascot, cheerleaders and members of the Cardinal front office and Wells Fargo representatives presented the check for the Wells Fargo Passing Touchdowns for Schools.  Each year, Wells Fargo donates money for every touchdown pass the Arizona Cardinals complete.  Central was one of five schools that was selected for this donation.


Bioscience: Dragon Robotics Team Competed at NAU

The Dragon Robotics team competed at NAU earlier this month, finishing 26th out of 48 teams in a regional FIRST Robotics event that had teams from as far away as Turkey, Mexico and Canada.   The Dragons won the Imagery Award, celebrating attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.  They also won the Safety Pit of the Day award.

The Chairman’s team of Sorvino Nguyen (senior), Alex Haywood (frosh), Jazmin Andrade (frosh) presented how the team empowered students, provided STEM outreach, and broke down cultural barriers in our community.  Their sincerity made the judges cry, according to teacher/coach Nadia Smith.  The drive team was made up of Edmund Dong, Edwin Lozano, Cesar Parra and Laura Lozano and driver coach and Bioscience alumnus Jonah Lerner.

The Dragon Robots have one more competition , April 5-8 at Grand Canyon University.   


Betty Fairfax: Third Annual Stampede Football

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Six Phoenix Union Teams Competed in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon

Six Phoenix Union teams competed in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Cesar Chavez finished 4th for the second year in a row.  Maryvale was 12th, Alhambra 16th, Betty Fairfax, 29th; North, 35th and Central, 36th.  Canyon del Oro won state for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Hamilton and Westwood.

Chavez, ranked 2nd in the state after winning Region II, won seven medals, led by Rodrigo Terrazas, who had the second highest overall score in the Scholastic division.  


Six Phoenix Union Teams Competed in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon

Six Phoenix Union teams competed in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West.  Cesar Chavez finished 4th for the second year in a row.  Maryvale was 12th, Alhambra 16th, Betty Fairfax, 29th; North, 35th and Central, 36th.  Canyon del Oro won state for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Hamilton and Westwood.

Chavez, ranked 2nd in the state after winning Region II, won seven medals, led by Rodrigo Terrazas, who had the second highest overall score in the Scholastic division.  


Bioscience Dragon Robotics Team Compete at NAU

 

The Dragon Robotics team competed at NAU earlier this month, finishing 26th out of 48 teams in a regional FIRST Robotics event that had teams from as far away as Turkey, Mexico and Canada.   The Dragons won the Imagery Award, celebrating attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.  They also won the Safety Pit of the Day award. 

The Chairman’s team of Sorvino Nguyen (senior), Alex Haywood (frosh), Jazmin Andrade (frosh) presented how the team empowered students, provided STEM outreach, and broke down cultural barriers in our community.  Their sincerity made the judges cry, according to teacher/coach Nadia Smith.  The drive team was made up of Edmund Dong, Edwin Lozano, Cesar Parra and Laura Lozano and driver coach and Bioscience alumnus Jonah Lerner.

The Dragon Robots have one more competition , April 5-8 at Grand Canyon University.   


Betty Fairfax HoldsThird Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit

The Third Annual Stampede Football Family Golf Benefit will be held Saturday, April 29 at Southern Ridge Golf Club in Laveen. The four-person scramble with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start generates funds for the football program.   Sponsorships are available, or a $70 donation per golfer.  There will be gift bags and shirts, a BBQ lunch, raffle and prizes.  For more information, contact Stampede Booster at stampedetouchdown@gmail.com, or Coach Dylan Winemiller at winemiller@phoenixunion.org


Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep, the District’s Newest School

Phoenix Union-Wilson College Prep, the District’s newest school, will hold an Open House, Wednesday, April 5 from 4-7 p.m. at the school, located at 3005 E. Fillmore Street.  The school will be enrolling ninth graders for next year at the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) school, the first of its kind in the world designed to provide AVID Secondary College Readiness to all students.  For more information, contact Principal Keoni Dang at 602 703-9821, or go to www.wilsoncollegeprep.org 


Six Phoenix Union Teams Compete in 40-school State Academic Decathlon

Six Phoenix Union teams competed in the 40-school State Academic Decathlon, March 10-11 at ASU West. Cesar Chavez finished 4th for the second year in a row.  Maryvale was 12th, Alhambra 16th, Betty Fairfax, 29th; North, 35th and Central, 36th. Canyon del Oro won state for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Hamilton and Westwood.

Chavez, ranked 2nd in the state after winning Region II, won seven medals, led by Rodrigo Terrazas, who had the second highest overall score in the Scholastic division.