Madison Elementary School District

Staff members receive recognition
The Madison District’s director of Technology, Jay Mann, and Technology Integration specialist Kim Thomas, have been selected as honorees of the Phoenix Business Journal’s Innovation and Technology Awards program. They were selected by an advisory panel made up of industry leaders, last year’s honorees and the Phoenix Business Journal’s news team for their outstanding information technology efforts. They were honored at a reception in June.

Madison Park teacher Rhonda Sobon was named Gifted Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented. Sobon teaches gifted and advanced math at Madison Park.

Osborn Elementary School District

OMS earns A+ award for first time
The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced that Osborn Middle School was one of 28 Arizona public schools to have earned the coveted A+ School of Excellence distinction for the first time.

The AEF A+ School of Excellence program gives recognition to outstanding public schools, and strives to create a comprehensive framework of successful programs and practices that other schools throughout the state and nation might adopt.

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. Schools receive $500 and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence winner. All staff and faculty at the award-winning schools will be eligible for partial scholarships from Argosy University Phoenix. The award is valid for three and a half years.

The AEF has honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona since 1983.

Phoenix Union High School District

Tercero honored by Phoenix College
Cyndi Tercero, Phoenix Union’s Dropout Prevention coordinator, received a Phoenix College Golden Bear Champion award at the 7th Annual “Golden Bear Awards” Community and Partner Recognition Breakfast in May.

Tercero was recognized lending significant support to students, employees, programs, and services. She was nominated for this award by a Phoenix College faculty or staff member as having made significant contributions to the success of Phoenix College students as a K-12 School Colleague.

Berlat receives national award
Central High English Teacher and Speech and Debate Coach Kevin Berlat was honored recently by the National Federation of State High School Association’s (NFHS) Speech Advisory Committee. He was named Outstanding Speech/Theatre/Debate Educator Award winner for the section that represents Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.

Marquis named the Filmmaker of Year
Metro Tech digital film teacher Bob Marquis was named the Arizona Filmmaker of the Year for 2013 by the Phoenix Film Foundation. The prestigious honor, announced during the 2013 Phoenix Film Festival’s Copper Wing Awards Ceremony on April 7, is given each year to a local filmmaker who has made significant strides to impact the Arizona filmmaking community.

Marquis also is the executive director and founder of Sailbear Labs. He has been making films since 2003, including the award-winning “Cordones,” which screened at the 2013 Phoenix Film Festival. Sailbear Labs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works with youth ages 12-18 in metro Phoenix to teach them filmmaking and creative storytelling. The organization, formed in 2011, provides a variety of free workshops and low-cost summer camps around the Valley, empowering students to create their own films.

Mercury ‘adopts’ team at Central
The Phoenix Mercury has selected Central High School’s girls’ basketball program as the team’s official 2013 Adopt-A-Team.

Adopt-A-Team is a mentorship program designed to enrich the lives of female athletes through various programs, on and off the court. Entering its sixth season, the program not only provides the team with much-needed equipment and uniforms, but also looks to increase the team’s confidence by teaching healthy living and life skills such as writing resumes and proper etiquette.

The Adopt-A-Team is selected through an application and interview process. One team is chosen each year based on need and opportunity for positive impact.

Shakir honored at SkillsUSA event
Students from Arizona high school and college technical education programs early last month won the nation’s highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Among them was Fahad Shakir, a student at Metro Tech High School, who was awarded a Skill Point Certificate in Technical Drafting. The Skill Point Certificate was awarded in 86 occupational and leadership areas to students who achieved a high score defined by industry.

Industry leaders representing more than 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 98 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking.

All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards. Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education.

The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA. In addition, high scorers in the contests received Skill Point Certificates.

The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who take three or more career and technical education (CTE) programs in high school are more likely to attend college and stay there to graduate. For more information, contact

Washington Elementary School District

Educators honored by Middle Level Association
Sixteen WESD educators were honored for improving the educational experiences of young adolescents by the Arizona Middle Level Association at an awards breakfast on April 25. The Governing Board acknowledged the accomplishments of these teachers at its meeting on May 23.

Among those being honored were: Joy Metcalf, Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy; Katrina Lomax and Megan Tolway, Royal Palm Middle School; and Andrea Bennett, Theresa Brooks and Stephanie Sanschagrin, Maryland School.

The Arizona Middle Level Association is a statewide service organization committed to advancing and improving the professional knowledge of middle level educators so that young adolescents have the opportunity to experience academic success and personal wellbeing. Each year, it honors middle level educators from throughout the state at a special breakfast awards ceremony.

Private and Charter Schools

Students demonstrate water rescue device
A team of student inventors from the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona (GLAAZ) recently visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., to exhibit and demonstrate its invention at the InvenTeams Showcase.

The GLAAZ InvenTeam, one of only 16 high schools nationwide selected to receive 7,500 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the 2012-2013 school year, showcased its drowning prevention device, the WataWescue. This WataWescue is a garment put on children when they are around a pool. If the child falls into the pool, an alarm will alert bystanders and a trigger will automatically inflate an inner tube, keeping the child afloat.

The GLAAZ InvenTeam, led by Jess Horton, chemistry and science teacher, demonstrated its WataWescue device during EurekaFest, a multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit, on June 21. EurekaFest is an annual event presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program, a nonprofit organization at MIT that inspires youth to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

The festivities also provided the GLAAZ InvenTeam with the opportunity to meet fellow student inventors from across the country, past and present Lemelson-MIT Program award winners, MIT alumni and staff and leaders in science, technology and engineering.

On June 22, the InvenTeams participated in closing EurekaFest activities at the Museum of Science in Boston. The GLAAZ InvenTeam joined more than 200 high school students from across the country, along with the general public, in hands-on invention activities.

To learn more about GLAAZ and its programs, visit More information about Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is available at

Brophy receives ‘distinction’ award
Seven Brophy students and their coaches traveled to Birmingham, Ala., in June for the world’s largest academic competition: the National Forensic League’s Speech and Debate nationals.

The Brophy team was named an “All-Around School of Outstanding Distinction,” an honor only 10 schools (out of hundreds competing) received.

Brophy Speech and Debate student Carlos Ochoa, Class of 2014, who lives in North Central Phoenix, was individually recognized as a semifinalist in the “Congress” category.

Brown takes helm at prep academy
Keith Brown has been named the new principal of the Phoenix College Preparatory Academy (PCPA), Coming to PCPA from Skyline Prep High and South Valley Prep & Arts Academy, Brown brings to the position many years of experience in the classroom, the football field, and the principal’s office.

Brown led Skyline Prep and South Valley Prep & Arts to the achievement of high AIMS scores and an “A” grade from the Arizona Department of Education. Previously, Brown served as a teacher and football coach at Casa Grande High School. He has 18 years of head coaching experience, including 10 years at Phoenix Christian High School.

Brown’s goals for PCPA include increasing the school’s enrollment to 75 for the upcoming school year and reaching 100 for the following year. With an increased enrollment, Brown hopes to bring a more robust offering to students, including performing arts and athletics.

Brown is excited about the opportunities offered to students at PCPA, including access to facilities on the Phoenix College campus such as computer labs, science labs and libraries, as well as the ability for qualified students to take college courses for credit while still in high school.

For more information about Phoenix College Preparatory Academy (PCPA), call 602-285-7998.

Lewkowitz to head Brophy soccer program
Noah Lewkowitz has accepted the position of head varsity soccer coach at Brophy College Preparatory. Lewkowitz graduated from Brophy in 1998.

His own soccer pedigree is distinguished. While a student at Brophy, Lewkowitz was a four-year varsity letterman and member of Brophy’s 1995 state championship team. After Brophy, Lewkowitz attended Duke University, where he was a four-year varsity letterman and member of Duke’s 2000 ACC Championship team.

For the last eight years, Lewkowitz has been an assistant coach on Brophy’s varsity team. He not only brings a wealth of soccer expertise but as an alum and current teacher, Lewkowitz has a deep understanding of Brophy’s mission and values.

“I look forward to the leadership Noah will provide as he looks to build on the successes and momentum Brophy Soccer has enjoyed under Marc Kelly for the last 12 years,” said Brophy Principal Bob Ryan.

Golf coach honored in ‘Hall of Fame’
Xavier College Preparatory girls’ golf coach, Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, CMAA, in June was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Des Moines, Iowa. Winsor was honored for her 39 years of dedication to advancing girls’ high school golf and for leading her Xavier team to several national golf records.

Under Winsor’s guidance, Xavier holds the national records for the most girls’ state championships won (30) as well as the most consecutive state championships won (16). She and her Xavier team also hold the national record for most wins in dual matches (403 wins and 25 losses)—and a current record of 181 dual match wins without any losses.

In her 39-year golf-coaching career, Winsor has worked with student-athlete golfers who have gone on to careers in such fields as medicine, engineering, politics, teaching, and golf. In the professional golf arena, her graduates are past and present LPGA and European Tour players, directors of golf, teaching pros, collegiate golf coaches, and are involved in golf media outlets.

Heather Farr, Grace Park, Kimberly Kim and Amanda Blumenherst are among the LPGA professional golfers who played on Winsor’s team.

“Participating on Xavier’s golf team not only means that you are part of a nationally recognized golf program … it means that you are a member of the Xavier golf family that extends over 50 years,” said Winsor, who is also Xavier’s vice principal of Activities and athletic director.

“In my 39 years of coaching golf at Xavier, it has been an honor to follow the school’s mission and to coach more than 150 talented, generous and dedicated young women.”

Christ Church offers differentiated learning
Christ Church School’s Elementary Division is offering registration for the 2013-14 school year for first- through third-grade students who may flourish in a Differentiated Learning Community curriculum.

In a Differentiated Learning Community, students begin the day in a homeroom class. Then they rotate to different classrooms for reading (guided, small group and independent), communication arts (journaling, spelling, writing, word attack skills and grammar) and math (centers, small group work, fact drills). This model encourages problem solving, working independently and multi-age student partnering.

Founded in 2003, Christ Church School continues to honor its mission to provide local families with “an education enriched by faith.” The school campus is equipped with a state-of-the-art computer lab, a library and librarian, a Spanish program, sport court, shaded play areas and a strong fine arts curriculum.

Applications for the 2013-14 school year are available online at For additional information or to schedule a tour of the CCS campus, located at 4015 E. Lincoln Drive, contact the school office at 602-381-9906.


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