In-person classes resume, graduation planned
Students are back on campuses for in-person learning in the Glendale Union High School District and plans for graduation are underway.
Gov. Doug Ducey required schools in Arizona to resume in-person learning by March 15 or after their spring breaks ended. Students could still opt to continue with online/virtual learning if their parents preferred that.
The Glendale Union district told families that students should not come to school if they show any symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for the virus. Students are required to wear cloth masks that cover their mouth and nose areas except for eating, drinking or some other activities. Those who have trouble breathing documented by a medical provider or who are incapable of physically removing the face masks on their own do not have to wear them but alternate methods of protection will be discussed.
Glendale Union will hold graduations at Gila River Arena at 9400 W. Maryland Ave. in Glendale for all schools. To learn more, visit www.guhsdaz.org/home.
Sunnyslope High senior, staff, volunteer honored
A senior student, a student group, employees and volunteers from Sunnyslope High School were recognition for helping the campus thrive as part of the Glendale Union High School District’s monthly Achievement Above All event. The governing board honored Sunnyslope’s Community-Based Special Education teacher Kimberly Celaya; Angela Santana Torres, a senior student; the Sunnyslope Key Club, instructional assistant Thomas Harms and volunteer Christy Bacon. Each award recipient was given an award and/or certificate.
New principal named for Madison No. 1
The Madison Elementary School District Governing Board has approved Amy Ball as the next principal of the school. Ball worked as an elementary school teacher for 12 years, then served as the assistant principal at Madison No. 1 Middle School for the last two years. She also has been the Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassador for Excellence.
Ball will work with the current principal Pam Warren in transitioning to her new role and Ball will officially start as principal on July 1.
Madison Camelview boy bridges generational gap
A Madison Camelview Elementary School first-grader is bridging the gap with an older generation while enjoying virtual physical education.
Brody Contreras was recently reunited in person with his great-grandmother, Julia Fulkerson, who he had not been able to see in person for almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He and Fulkerson danced together, watching a routine on a laptop. The video of the two dancing received more than 400,000 views on social media. Fulkerson is 102 years old.
Students back in classes, new pandemic protocols set
Students are back in classes in person in the Osborn Elementary School District with protocols in place to try to protect everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district returned to on campus learning last month. Students are required to wear facial coverings all day and their temperatures are checked when they arrive on campus. Children also must wash their hands and sanitize them before and after going outside for recess and they are encouraged to sanitize between activities. The district is striving to maintain social distancing of six feet in all classrooms but when it is impossible to do so there are Plexiglass desk dividers in between desks.
Parents have been told if their children have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, a cough, a sore throat, difficulty breathing, a severe headache, diarrhea or vomiting that they should stay home from school and consider seeing a healthcare provider and obtaining COVID-19 testing.
To learn more, visit www.osbornschools.org/ District/5716-Return.html.
Long-time teacher, leader receives law firm award
A professional development specialist and former math teacher at Camelback High School who makes students feel like much more than a number is in the spotlight.
The law firm of Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A. recently selected Angela Enciso as the recipient of the B&C Star Teacher Award. Enciso is in her 16th year as an educator and has served in many roles since starting at Camelback High in 2012. She has been a math teacher, Math Department instructional leader and now as the professional development specialist supports the more than 100 teachers across the campus.
Enciso’s student Zaye Martinez nominated her for the honor, saying she helped prevent him from dropping out or being kicked out. Now a junior, he has earned all As and Bs in his classes this year and has good attendance.
The law firm chooses a Valley teacher for this award every month, providing them with $500 after educators are nominated at www.bcattorneys.com.
Safety measures in place as classrooms open
Students are back on campus in the Washington Elementary School District but are required to follow many new safety measures during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Pupils and staff members are required to wear masks on campuses and on buses in the district per Maricopa County mandate and Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order, according to the district’s reopening plan. Any students who have trouble breathing or who are incapable of physically removing the face coverings on their own will not be required to wear them and alternative ways of protection will be discussed.
Students’ seats are arranged to keep social distancing, with desks facing the same direction or students sitting on only one side of tables that are spaced apart. There is additional disinfecting of high-touch point areas including door handles, sink handles and light switches. To learn more, visit www.wesdschools.org.
Meal service resumes for area families
If you need some help providing meals for your children, the Washington Elementary School District is offering Grab and Go meals.
Any students in the online learning model or a child 18 years old and younger not attending school in-person can obtain these meals again on Mondays after a brief break one day in March. Each meal kit contains five breakfasts, lunches and snacks.
They are being distributed at schools around the district at various times in the mornings. Parents or guardians can pick up meals for children as long as they show a student ID number or provide their child’s date of birth.
Clubs push to preserve environment, go green
Earth Day is April 22, but every day students at Brophy College Preparatory urge people to go green.
The school’s Student Climate Coalition (SSC) and Native American Club (NAC) frequently take action on environmental issues. The SSC recently delivered a proposal for solar energy use at the school to students and staff members. These students want Brophy to begin using solar panels over the next few years and utilize the financial savings generated from lower energy bills to fund more financial aid scholarships.
Students in the Native American Club recently ran or walked 188 miles over two and a half days starting from the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff to protest a mining company proposal to purchase land and mine copper ore underneath Oak Flat, which is near the town of Superior. The copper deposit lies partially underneath the Oak Flat Campground, which is considered a sacred Native American site.
Brophy senior earns award for overcoming issues
A Brophy College Preparatory senior is a shining example of how a student can overcome challenges.
Diego Acevedo Garcia recently received the 2021 Gwendolyn Reese Spirit of Challenge Award. Brophy Principal Robert E. Ryan III and Brophy President Adria Renke presented the award to him on behalf of the Brophy Mothers’ Guild. Diego has excelled despite dealing with medical and personal issues including developing Type I diabetes when he was younger.
Diego is a member of the Brophy Advocacy Club, which lobbies for the rights of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. He was born in Mexico, at a time when he said medical personnel were not used to children his age having diabetes.
New charter school will focus on business, design
A new college-prep, charter high school is going to open in August.
Copper State Academy, which is at 1212 W. Camelback Road, will offer specialized elective classes in business and design. The school will give students the chance to learn about financial literacy, small business ownership and design creativity and applications. This campus is enrolling freshmen and sophomores initially to start classes when it opens Aug. 2. Each school year it will add another class of students so that its first group of seniors will graduate in 2024.
Mark Houlden, Pamela Houlden and Anne Ferraioli founded Copper State Academy as a way to prepare students for college, careers and all aspects of life. Pamela is the director of the school, Mark is the director of Business and Operations and dean of students and Ferraioli is the chair of Student Opportunities.
To learn more, visit https://copperstateacademy.org.
Donations sought for seniors’ caps and gowns
A Girls Leadership Academy – Arizona teacher is looking for support to provide graduating seniors with caps and gowns.
Sabrina Araiza-Atkinson posted a request on DonorsChoose.org for financial donations of nearly $570 to be able to purchase caps and gowns for the students who will be graduating soon from the all-girls school. Araiza-Atkinson said 100 percent of students at the charter high school qualify for free lunches and it is a Title 1 school.
Araiza-Atkinson said many of her students are not able to afford graduation caps and gowns but walking across a stage in their school colors to mark the occasion is a highlight of their time in high school.
In order to make a donation to help with the caps and gowns purchases, visit DonorsChoose.org and search under Phoenix schools.
Xavier junior named as a top softball player
A Xavier College Preparatory junior is scoring big on the softball field and classroom.
MaxPreps recently named Bridget Donahey as its number 17 top player in the United States for the Top 25 Softball Players from the Class of 2022. It created the list by tracking high school accomplishments, statistics given to MaxPreps, post-season local awards and ranking services. In addition to playing softball, Bridget is a member of the National Honor Society and Xavier’s Great Books program, a high school offering that combines high quality literature, student-centered discussion and activities that support reading comprehension, speaking, critical thinking, listening and writing.
She has committed to Northwestern University for the 2022 year. Bridget’s older sisters played softball for Princeton and Yale universities and she started playing competitively in second grade.
Villa Montessori hosting online gala fundraiser
Villa Montessori School is taking its annual gala night online during this COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to raise money for its teacher assistants and various classroom needs.
You can bid online during Villa’s Hope & Happiness Week of Giving 2021 Virtual Auction April 19-24. It is free to bid on auction items online using the GiveSmart app on mobile devices. In-home craniosacral massage therapy sessions, a curator tour, a golf foursome, a French gold Napoleon III 2-franc coin and many other items will be available in the auction. The public can buy raffle tickets for $25 each or $60 for three or $100 for five for a chance to win a Tuft & Needle original mattress in any size.
Anyone can make donations for the “Fund The Future” feature to support the school. To bid in the auction and learn more, visit http://villa2021.givesmart.com.
Take summer classes, sports camps at Brophy
Summer is just around the corner and Brophy College Preparatory is planning to offer classes and sports camps in person on campus.
A course bulletin is posted on the school’s Facebook page at facebook.com/brophycollegeprep and its website at brophyprep.org. Registration will start early this month. Classes in the Summer Bronco Enrichment Program are filled quickly.
This program is open to boys and girls who will be going into fifth through eighth grades who attend any school in the Valley.
Senior shines in college classes, technology
A well-rounded senior at Xavier College Preparatory is on a roll, reaping the awards of her hard work in classes and getting a jump-start on college.
Jordan Herrera recently was chosen as one of Rio Salado College’s two Phi Theta Kappa/All-Arizona Academic Team scholarship recipients. Rio Salado selected her to the All-Arizona Academic Team, as did Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for junior and community colleges. This award comes with a tuition waiver for two years that can be used at any public university in Arizona.
Jordan participated in Xavier’s Dual Enrollment Program with Rio Salado College so she will graduate in May with an associate’s degree and an associate’s degree in general studies. She also recently won the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Gold Medal in the Technology category. Jordan also serves on the Governor’s Youth Commission Education Subcommittee and is on Xavier’s Swim & Dive Team.
Students, speakers tackle racism at Brophy summit
Students at Brophy College Preparatory are tackling complex social issues and had a chance to hear speakers, participate in workshops and engage in faith formation for two weeks during the school’s Summit on Human Dignity last month. The topic of the summit this year was “challenging racism.” Students and speakers addressed several subjects including the definition of systemic racism and what the lived experience of racism is for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).
The Brophy community also talked about and asked its members to take action related to how people can examine their thoughts, beliefs, relationships and actions in order to address racism within themselves, as well as the community and how the Jesuit identity calls for them to live as anti-racists who work for racial equality.
Wrestlers, soccer, basketball teams on a roll
The hustle and hard work of two Brophy College Preparatory wrestlers and other athletes at the school has paid off.
David Sweetman, a sophomore, and Ty Trickle, a freshman, recently won their classes at the boys Wrestling Sectionals. Sweetman, at 182 pounds, was undefeated this season and had pinned every opponent in the first period, as of press time. Trickle weighs 126 pounds. The two Brophy students were scheduled to compete at the state level.
Brophy’s varsity soccer team, the defending state champion, had advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament, as did the varsity basketball team, as of press time. For more updates on their records, visit www.maxpreps.com.