North Central News

School Briefs

Glendale Union High School District

WHS students earn state awards
Washington High School’s Educators Rising chapter attended the state conference in mid April. Educator’s Rising is a Career and Technical Education program that focuses on careers in education.

The chapter received the state’s highest level of recognition for the third year in a row and was the only chapter in the state to reach this level. WHS was also the only chapter to have members receive individual recognition for their contributions over the past year. Seven members achieved the highest level of Master and five members achieved Excellence.

Among the WHS students named state champions were: Nikole Gomez, for Exploring Non-Core Teaching Careers; Carmen Cazares, for Exploring Administration Careers; Kristeen Huynh, for Lesson Plan and Delivery in Arts; Alexis Hidalgo, for Lesson Plan and Delivery in CTE; Alexandra Gomez for Lesson Plan and Delivery in Humanities; and Jose Cardenas for Lesson Plan and Delivery in STEM.

Additionally, the following teams were named champions: Jessica Plasencia and Ivonne Carmona for Ethical Dilemma; Lizbeth Garcia and Alexandra Gomez for Inside Our Schools Video; and Carmen Cazares and Berenice Carrillo for Researching Learning Challenge.

Nikole Gomez also was awarded the Ed Rising Leadership Award, and instructor Daniel Darrow was recognized as the Educators Rising Outstanding Teacher Leader of the Year for the state of Arizona.

Osborn Elementary School District

Doherty honored at nation’s capitol
The 2017 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year, Michelle Doherty of Encanto Elementary School, joined other state Teachers of the Year in Washington, D.C., in April to meet with officials and attend the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program.

This event is an annual tradition of all state Teachers of the Year. The teachers were recognized for their accomplishments as distinguished educators at a White House Ceremony on April 26, and at the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Recognition Gala on April 27 at The Willard Hotel.

Doherty is a first-grade dual-language teacher and mentor coach at Encanto Elementary School who is in her 23rd year of teaching. She has led professional development for the Standards-Based Change Process in her district, run the 21st Century after school program at two schools in her district, was the lead instructor for her district’s new teacher program, and is the lead consultant for a summer learning collaboration program to prevent summer reading loss for a local non-profit organization.

Phoenix Union High School District

New sheriff visits Camelback High
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. 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.

Student sets sights on engineering degree
Yadira Mins Reyes Garcia, a sophomore at Metro Tech High School, was honored at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Awards Banquet, April 18.

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.

Garcia is taking honors classes with a focus in engineering or computer and network technologies. A duplicate of Yadira’s award was given to Metro Tech for the school’s efforts in inspiring and encouraging young high school females in pursuit of STEM careers.

SRP provides grant to Camelback High
Camelback has received a $5,000 SRP Grant to create In-school maker space. The Invention Studio at Camelback High will allow students to create, invent, and learn in a school makerspace. The space allows students to 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 skills will be used by the students for a lifetime because it stimulates innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and STEA(Art)M careers.

North named an AVID demo school
North High School had the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) team visit the campus on March 21, 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.

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 are 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 past school year, North had 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.

There are 10 AVID tutors, all college students.  All 10 are North High graduates, and six went through the AVID program. There will be 75 AVID seniors for 2017-18.

North High boasts four Academic All-Americans
North’s swimming and 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 percent 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.

Metro Tech brings home awards from FBLA event
Several Metro Tech students competed in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Conference April 17. Metro Tech qualified 34 students for Nationals, based on finishing first through fourth place.

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 attend Arizona State University’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.

Private and Charter Schools

Local girl honored by diabetes association
North Central youth Riley Ward, a sixth-grade student from St. Francis Xavier School, has been helping the Arizona Diabetes Association (ADA) raise awareness for kids with Type I Diabetes. Riley was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes more than three years ago.

Mike Ward, Riley’s father, said, “We turned to the ADA for help, guidance and to get involved with in the Walk to Stop Diabetes. We also discovered that the ADA runs a camp for girls and boys with Type I Diabetes and through the walk, we can raise funds to help others who cannot afford to go to camp.”

The camp, held the first part of June every year, is at Camp Friendly Pines in Prescott. The goal of the camp is to help kids with Type I Diabetes live a long and healthy life. Riley has attended the camp the past two years.

Riley has had great support since her diagnosis. She said, “Everyone supports me; do not think your life is over when you get this diagnosis. It can be hard at times, especially when you are with your friends or at a birthday party and there are foods there that you cannot have. Your willpower kicks in, this is an adventure that I have to take.”

Riley and her family, with the help of the St. Francis Xavier, Brophy and Xavier Prep communities, have been able to raise awareness and funds for the past three years.  Her team, Team Riley, has been a top five performer for the past three years.

The ADA wanted to celebrate Riley for her efforts, and sent a representative to St. Francis Xavier to present her with the award during Pledge and Prayer in front of her classmates.

AmeriSchools kids travel to CIMI
AmeriSchools middle school students from the Camelback campus earn a trip to the Catalina Island Marine Institute Outdoor Science School. CIMI at Fox Landing is a unique outdoor science school providing an exciting outdoor educational experience for students from public and private schools grades 4 through 12.

AmeriSchools students focus on hands-on (STEM) experiential science, utilizing state-of-the-art labs and equipment; the hands-on activities increase science literacy and environmental stewardship.

CIMI’s expert instructors guide students through island terrestrial biology, marine biology labs and field activities designed to stimulate minds, build character, develop social skills, and most importantly, create excitement about science. Always a treat for students is the snorkeling excursion; for many it is the first time they have been in a natural body of water.

Students also enjoyed kayaking, hiking, and an evening campfire.

AmeriSchools students have to meet certain academic achievements, engage in volunteer opportunities and participate in leadership activities in order to be eligible for this opportunity.

MHP teams are state champs in track
Madison Highland Prep’s men and women’s track and field teams won state championships on May 13 at Queen Creek High School.

The women’s track and field team captured the first women’s state championship in school history by a score of 175-105. Women’s event state champions are Madison Jones in the 300m hurdles; China Papillion, Tarihya Perkins, Jada Easter, Monet Mitchell in the 4 x 100m relay; China Papillion, Jennifer Kobs, Madison Jones, Jada Easter in the 4 x 400m relay; and Anai Urbieta, Emily Day, Sophie Kramer, Madison Jones in the 4x 800m relay.

State runner-up honors went to by Monet Mitchell in the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles; Jennifer Kobs in the 400m and 800m; Anai Urbieta in the 3200m; and Laynee Fritz in the High Jump.  State medalists are Tarihya Perkins in the 100m; Jada Easter in the 200m; China Papillion in the 300m hurdles; Emily Day in the 800m; and Sophie Kramer in the 3200m and triple jump. The women set eight school records at the state meet.

The men’s track and field team claimed the first men’s state championship in school history by a score of 214.5- 114. Men’s event state champions are Simon Bowen in the 400m and 800m; Alex Kobs, Cristian Casarrubia, Carlos Lopez, Alan Torres in the 4x100m relay; Alan Torres, Cristian Casarrubia, Hugo Lopez, Simon Bowen in the 4x400m relay; and Carlos Lopez, Jay-ar Gloria, Hugo Lopez, Simon Bowen in the 4x800m relay.

State runner-up honors went to Cristian Casarrubia in the 200m; Drake Morris in the 300m hurdles and discus; Hugo Lopez in the 400m; and Alex Kobs in shot put. State medalists are Zach Larger in 300m hurdles; Kai Kroodsma in the 800m; Jay-ar Gloria in the 1600m; Alex Kobs in discuss; and Drake Morris in high jump.  The men set five school records at the state meet.

Local young women earn recognition
North Central resident Lily Worden, a junior at Xavier College Preparatory, has signed a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) letters of intent to play golf at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Worden plans to study economics and history while there. To date, 14 students from Xavier have signed athletic letters of intent in a variety of sports, including golf, volleyball and tennis.

Xavier junior Frances Nowlen, also a North Central resident, is one of 10 students to be awarded the Project Change Scholarship, sponsored by the American Field Service to promote ideas for change in education. She will travel to Guatemala in July to implement her proposal to help young children with stress relief and mindfulness through art.

In addition, Worden and Nowlen were among 36 members of Xavier’s National Honor Society chapter who have each dedicated more than 100 hours of service to the community while maintaining a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.

Other students who volunteered more than 100 hours with NHS include: seniors Carolyn Blake, Stephanie Burckhard, Sarah Carter, Caroline Clark, Tatum Cork, Ivana de la Rocha, Maeneka Grewal, Claire Harders, Julia Jacoby, Emily Klein, ThienAn Le, Annie Miller, Megan Murphy, Kiana Valentova-Macdonald; and juniors Anna Abraham, Ashley Cantrell, Lauren Cohen, Kira Dean, Abigail Hubbard, Nicole Johnson, Madeera Mian, Saleha Mian, Sana Mian, Sydney Missigman, Erin Olesiewicz, Madison Peak, Amanda Platt, Haley Pulliam, Lucila Sanchez-Sandoval, Skylar Smith, Kate Straneva, Ashten Wheeler, Analise Yoo, and Amelia Zurbriggen.

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