A visit to Germany as a junior ambassador
Biltmore Preparatory Academy eighth grader D’Anna Kashey had the experience of a lifetime when she participated in the Creighton School District’s Junior Ambassador international exchange program to Germany.
After completing an extensive interview process, D’Anna was one of 12 students selected to participate in the program where she would first spend two weeks living with a German family and traveling in Europe, and then her German student exchange partner would spend two weeks with her in Arizona.
Highlights of the trip included attending a school in Mainz, Germany, as well as visits to Strasbourg, France, Austria, Munich, Neuschwnsteing Castle, Linderfhof Palace, and a river cruise on the Rhine. When the German students came to Arizona for their two-week visit, the students traveled together to the Grand Canyon, Tombstone, Sedona, Meteor Crater, Montezuma’s Castle, and the Petrified Forest.
For D’Anna, this was an extraordinary opportunity to experience new cultures and make life long friendships. She had never before traveled overseas.
“Programs like this truly make the world a smaller place,” said Biltmore Preparatory Academy Principal, Faith Burtamekh. “Through connecting lives and sharing cultures, our students can see that anything is possible.”
Biltmore Preparatory Academy is an “A” rated Kindergarten through eighth grade school located at 4601 N. 34th St. For more information, contact Biltmore Prep at 602-381-6160.
Scholarship available for Sunnyslope students
Sunnyslope Village Alliance and Credit Union WEST are offering a $1,000 scholarship to recognize and reward outstanding student achievement by Sunnyslope High School graduating seniors.
The scholarship can be used for any accredited university/college/technical school attended on a part-time or full time basis. The award may be used for tuition, books or supplies. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 5. Pick up the application at Sunnyslope High School’s Career Center, and follow the directions for submitting the application.
‘Bash’ features art show, games, more
Celebrating the talented artists and musicians in the Madison Elementary School District, the Madison Education Foundation presents The Madison Bash 12-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, on the campus of Madison No. 1 Middle School, 5601 N. 16th St.
Mayor Greg Stanton and State Representatives Kate Brophy McGee and Eric Meyer are expected to attend the festival, which is a family-friendly fundraising event with many opportunities to enjoy and participate in the arts.
The Aspiring Young Artists Art Show features selected works from each school in drawing, sculpture, pastels and more. A jury comprised of members of the local art community and invited special guests will select the top artisans in two age groups. Madison Bash festival-goers will vote for their favorites for the People’s Choice Awards.
Works of art from classes at each Madison school also will be on display. An exhibit highlighting one of the Foundation’s signature programs, Art Masterpiece, will include live demonstrations of the long-running art appreciation program.
More than a dozen student groups and performers will provide continuous live music and entertainment on two stages including; student choirs, bands, jazz bands, dance, musical theater, and drama teams on the Main Stage presented by McCarthy Building. Fushicho Daiko, the Taiko drum ensemble who recently performed at the Matsuri Festival in Phoenix, also will take the stage, offering students the opportunity for a “test drive” of the drums.
Several gourmet food trucks from the Phoenix Street Food Coalition will serve delicious cuisine including Luncha Libre, Taste Rite! and Burgers Amore. The KidsZone family area will offer participants the opportunity to engage their creativity through free arts activities.
While admission is free to The Madison Bash, there will be plenty of opportunities for donations throughout the event. All proceeds will benefit the Madison Education Foundation, which supports the eight schools in the district. A silent auction will offer a selection of items including autographed sports memorabilia, vacation packages, entertainment outings, summer camps, and gift certificates for local award-winning restaurants.
The Madison Bash also will host a “Once-Loved But No Longer Used Musical Instrument Drive and Trade-in.” Bring your dusty old clarinet, trumpet, guitar or other instrument and give it new life for a deserving student in one of the Madison schools.
For more information about The Madison Bash, visit www.madisoneducationfoundation.org or call 602-371-8975.
Teachers receive national certification
Seven Phoenix Union teachers, the most in one year, became National Board Certified Teachers in 2012. They were honored at the January Governing Board meeting.
The newly certified teachers are Heidi Garcia, Spanish; Mary McDowell, Social Studies, and Julie Peters, Art from North High; Stephanie Grijalva, Art, and W. Andrew White, World Languages from Bioscience; Susan Reibman Groff, Reading from Central; and Suzanne Vogt, Social Studies from Trevor Browne make up the largest class of National Board Certified teachers at Phoenix Union.
The certification, considered the teaching profession’s highest honor, is presented by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to teachers who demonstrate, through a performance assessment, that they meet the high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.
Phoenix Union now has 28 current National Board Certified (NBC) teachers. Reading, Spanish and Art were represented for the first time among NBC teachers. Phoenix Union compensates its NBC teachers with $3,000 annual stipends.
North gets collection of Muslim media
North High’s library was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. This is a collection of 25 books and three DVDs. The public performance rights for each DVD are included with the award.
The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a collection of materials selected to help public audiences in the United States become more familiar with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world, including those within the United States. The Bookshelf was awarded to 1,000 libraries across the country in December for use in presenting public programs in 2013.
Muslim Journeys is presented by the NEH as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in cooperation with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office.
Student activities benefit from donation
Camelback High is the recipient of a $5,000 donation from Rosewood Homes, and the Spartans know exactly what to do with it. The funds will go to student activities, including the completion of a sand volleyball court on campus. The court was already staked and lined, and the school made arrangements to dig and lay rock underneath, but was struggling to find money for sand and equipment.
“Community support is what drives student activities, and we cannot be more excited to have Rosewood Homes become a part of the Camelback community,” Principal Chad Gestson said. “Our dream of completing a sand volleyball court for our students, especially our female athletes, is now a reality because of the generosity of Rosewood Homes.”
Camelback wants to use it for recreation play during lunch and before and after school, and eventually start an AIA girls sand volleyball team.
International teachers enjoying spring semester
Twelve teachers from eight countries are spending the spring semester with Phoenix Union teachers in the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP). Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, the program brings secondary school teachers from Asia, the Near East, Africa and South America to U.S. universities for a semester of coursework to enhance their teaching skills and increase their subject-matter expertise.
An important component is for the international teachers to work with U.S. counterparts in local schools, so that the ILEP teachers can observe and practice U.S. methodologies and share their country and culture with U.S. students and educators. Teachers from Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Senegal and Uganda are teamed up with teachers from Metro Tech, North, Bioscience and Central High Schools, in English, math, physics, chemistry and biology classes.
Metro Tech and North each are hosting six teachers. The international teachers are taking courses at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and spend approximately one and a half days per week, through May 3 at the high schools. These teachers are active participants in the classroom, co-teaching, teaching groups and providing enrichment or remedial activities and instruction.
Metro Tech continues to ‘Beat the Odds’
Metro Tech is one of three Arizona Schools selected as a “Beat the Odds” Gold school by the Center for the Future of Arizona’s Beat the Odds Institute, demonstrating consistent growth in student academic achievement in math and reading over two or more consecutive years for minority-intensive, low-income student populations.
The school improvement program focuses on K-12 schools where at least 50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch, and at least 50 percent are minority, primarily Latino.
Beat The Odds is a rigorous multi-year school improvement program providing mentoring and training for principals. “Metro Tech’s success can be attributed to our ability to stay focused on the right things,” Principal Kate McDonald said. “We are focused on ensuring that our school provides a balanced experience for students to build skills, strategies and experiences that will help them be successful in college, career and life.”
To get to Gold status, Metro Tech had to move through a three-year process, developing a leadership survey and action plan, in-house assessments and goals and increasing achievement on AIMS and maintaining an A or B in the Arizona Department of Education accountability system. Metro missed an A by one point in 2011, and maintained a B in 2012.
Register now for free, full-day kindergarten
Free, full-day kindergarten registration is now underway for all 27 elementary and K-8 schools in the district. Full-day kindergarten is provided free of charge in the WESD.
Children who will be 5 years of age before Sept. 1, 2013 are eligible to register for kindergarten. In order to complete registration for their child, parents or legal guardians must present the following: A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate; immunization records; proof of residence (e.g. lease agreement, escrow papers, recent utility bill); and legal papers regarding custody, if applicable.
For a complete list of schools and locations, visit the WESD Web site, www.wesdschools.org or call 602-896-6950 for more information.
Students go to work at Bill Johnson’s
Sixth grade students from Orangewood School worked alongside chefs and servers at Bill Johnsons Big Apple, 19th Avenue and Bell Road, on March 14, preparing and serving meals at a fundraiser to help pay for an upcoming field trip.
All of the students first passed the Maricopa County Food Servers exam. They completed job applications, resumes and interviews. Students volunteered as waiters/waitresses, hosts/hostesses, managers, food preparers and cashiers. The school received 10 percent of the proceeds from the event to be used toward covering the costs of the sixth graders upcoming field trip to Catalina Island.
Students bring in ‘tons’ in food drive
WESD students are worth their weight—in canned food items. They collected more than 24,500 pounds of nonperishable food items for the Desert Mission Food Bank during the district-wide “We Can End Hunger” Food Drive in February.
As a community leader and partner with Desert Mission Food Bank, WESD asked each school to participate and invited students and staff to bring canned food to donate from Feb. 4 through Feb. 15. The response was tremendous.
Mountain View School, with 4,293 pounds, won the prize for the most pounds donated per student with 3.129 pounds/student. Alta Vista Elementary School was a close second with 3.115 pounds/student. Also in the top-five was Richard E. Miller with 2.219 pounds/student.
Mountain View students received an ice cream party, courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery, to celebrate its efforts. The school also will receive a “We Can End Hunger” trophy to be proudly displayed until next year’s drive results are in.
Xavier students win tech aptitude awards
Ten Xavier College Preparatory students have been honored with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Award for Aspirations In Computing, as well as a $1,000 renewable scholarship offer from Arizona State University.
Each of the award recipients—Zoe Berk, Natalie Brown, Ashtyn Coyle, Sarah Fakler, Isabella Germinario, Miranda Leon, Dianne Numkena, Lauren Riddiford, Genevieve Valladao and Katherine Welty—was recognized for outstanding aptitude in information technology and computing, solid leadership ability, good academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.
Each winner is eligible for a $1,000 scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year if she enrolls at Arizona State University and selects a major in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The scholarship is renewable for three additional years if the winner remains enrolled as an engineering major and maintains a 3.0 GPA.
Xavier College Preparatory, located at 4710 N. 5th St., has built an outstanding record of academic excellence, innovation, leadership development, athletics and community service.
Suns announcer, mascot visit school
S. Simon & Jude Catholic School, celebrated “Read Across America” a couple days early this year. Tom Leander, the Phoenix Suns announcer, came to read the book “You Are Special” in a special all-school assembly on Feb. 28.
Leander had a couple of students help him with the reading. The entire student body was enthralled. Then Leander introduced a special guest, his friend, The Phoenix Suns Gorilla. Cheers could be heard for miles around.
Students recognized for volunteerism
Xavier seniors Erin Bratton, Jessica Pedroza, and Kassidy Schmidt were each honored with a President’s Volunteer Service Award, presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama, for their exemplary volunteer service.
The award recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, and is sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. All three students received letters from President Obama and President’s Volunteer Service Award certificates for their dedication to community service, and Kassidy Schmidt was additionally recognized with a Spirit of Community Certificate of Excellence for her volunteer efforts.