Creighton Elementary School District

Loma Linda students fight bullying at recess
Loma Linda Elementary School, 2002 E. Clarendon Ave., and Playworks Arizona recently teamed up with Chompie’s to help combat bullying in recess yards as part of the “Chompie’s Cares” program.

Chompie’s, Arizona’s New York Deli, is doing its part to help keep recess yards at Phoenix area schools safe. It presented a check for $11,282 to Playworks Arizona at Loma Linda Elementary on Oct. 24.

Playworks is a nonprofit organization that transforms recess by placing full-time coaches at schools to teach the kids how to play together, resolve conflicts through rock-paper-scissors, and how to be inclusive.

A survey of teachers and administrators from the seven Phoenix area schools, including Loma Linda, that participated in the program during the 2012-2013 academic school year credit Playworks Arizona for a 90-percent reduction in disciplinary incidents; a 68-percent increase in academic success; a 95-percent improvement in overall school climate; and 16 hours of recovered teaching time.

Exchange program gets visitors from Mexico
Biltmore Preparatory Academy kicked off its exchange program on Nov. 14 with students and chaperones visiting from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

This program is part of Creighton School District’s Junior Ambassador Program, which provides opportunities for eighth graders to participate in exchange programs with students in Germany, Japan and Mexico. It has been nearly 10 years, however, since students have participated in an exchange program with students from Mexico.

Renewing the program with Mexico makes sense because many of the participating fourth-grade students at Biltmore Prep have been part of the innovative Spanish Immersion program for the past three years.

Students in the program from both sides of the border travelled to the Grand Canyon. For most of the students, regardless of where they were from, this was their first visit to the Grand Canyon. Many other weekend activities were planned to integrate the students and families. The students from Mexico also spent a day at Biltmore Prep with their partners in the classroom before they travelled back home to Hermosillo.

The exchange program was funded through donations and fundraising efforts. For more information, contact, Dunora Alba at 602-381-6160.

Madison Elementary School District

The Madison Traditional Academy championship girls volleyball team includes, from left: bottom row, Zoe Traynor and Maggie Williams; middle row, Jessica Schneider, Katie McCarthy, Mayalin Probst, Katie Lindvig, Sloane Wheeler, and Coach Danielle Hartman; top row, Gabriella Gamboa, Alexis Fusselman, Sylvie Harris and Olivia Simpson. Not pictured: Elma Huseinovic (submitted photo).

The Madison Traditional Academy championship girls volleyball team includes, from left: bottom row, Zoe Traynor and Maggie Williams; middle row, Jessica Schneider, Katie McCarthy, Mayalin Probst, Katie Lindvig, Sloane Wheeler, and Coach Danielle Hartman; top row, Gabriella Gamboa, Alexis Fusselman, Sylvie Harris and Olivia Simpson. Not pictured: Elma Huseinovic (submitted photo).

MTA volleyball team wins conference title
The Madison Traditional Academy (MTA) varsity girls volleyball team won the school’s first Valley Athletic Conference volleyball championship. The team was coached by first year head coach Danielle Hartman, who guided the team to an undefeated regular season (10 wins and 0 losses) and the No. 1 seed in the postseason 4A tournament.

After a bye in the first round, MTA defeated Udall for a 2 set to 0 victory in the semifinals. In the other semifinal game, Madison Park, the 3 seed and defending 4A champion, upset the previously unbeaten No. 2 seed, Sevilla West.

In the finals, MTA started co-captains and seventh graders, Gabriella Gamboa and Sylvie Harris, along with sixth graders Maggie Williams, Alexis Fusselman and Olivia Simpson, and fifth grader Katie McCarthy.

Eighth graders Zoe Traynor, Sloane Wheeler and Jessica Schneider came off the bench and provided the team with front- and back-row help. MTA won a back-and-forth first set and overcame an early deficit in the second set to win 2 sets to 0.

Gamboa’s leadership and all round dominant play earned her the Tournament MVP.

Huyck named a Teacher of the Week
The connections Jessica Huyck creates with her parents and students at Madison Rose Elementary on a daily basis are remarkable. She takes the time to really get to know all of the kids in her class, as well as their families. She helps them through hardships with words of encouragement and an understanding smile.

Fulton Homes is honoring Huyck as its “Teacher of the Week” for the week of Dec. 6. This is the 14th consecutive year Fulton Homes has sponsored the educational program that honors Valley schoolteachers for their excellence.

Huyck was nominated for the award by a parent of one of her second-grade students who says, “She has been so great and understanding. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty for any teacher.”

Throughout the school year the program pays tribute to teachers who inspire their students. Both students and parents can nominate their favorite educator each week for that teacher’s chance to win $300 from Fulton Homes and other great prizes. The selected educator will be announced each Friday from 6:20 to 7:20 a.m. on KNIX’s Ben and Matt in the Morning Show, heard at 102.5 FM. Students and parents can nominate their preferred teacher each week by visiting, entering the keyword “Teacher,” and submitting a brief form describing why their teacher deserves the distinct title.

Students paint mural at Duck and Decanter

Students in the National Junior Arts Society (NJAS) Club at Madison No. 1 school recently completed a mural at Duck and Decanter.

Students from Madison No. 1’s National Junior Arts Society paint a mural on a wall in the Tea Garden at Duck and Decanter (submitted photo).

Students from Madison No. 1’s National Junior Arts Society paint a mural on a wall in the Tea Garden at Duck and Decanter (submitted photo).

Deborah Itule of Gardens From The Heart redesigned the Duck and Decanter’s Tea Garden, and thought a mural would be just the right finishing touch. “Part of my project from the beginning was to include the Art Club from Madison No. 1,” she explains. “Karen Mason with the Duck and Decanter was open to the idea and in turn, I brought in Michelle Lindsay, the Art Club director. Karen and Michelle thought this would be the perfect way to involve the students in a community event.”

The students completed the mural and also created art tiles that were sold on Nov. 30 at a fundraising event to benefit Beads of Courage (, also held at the Duck.

“The Duck and Decanter has strong ties within the community and did not hesitate to be a part of this project,” Itule says.

Club director Lindsay also feels very strongly about involving the students in community events that focusing on giving back and donating their time through art. The students spent many hours working on this project and did a great job.

Phoenix Union High School District

Camelback club performs at Disneyland
Camelback High Masque and Gavel club members became stars of their own Disney show on Oct. 5, when they entertained visitors at Disneyland Resort.

They traveled from Phoenix to the Disneyland Resort in California to take part in a Disney Performing Arts Program.

Dance groups, choirs, ensembles and marching bands from around the world apply to perform each year as part of Disney Performing Arts at both the Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resorts. Once selected, they are given the opportunity to perform at the resort for an international audience of theme park guests. Millions of performers have graced the stages of the Disney Resorts in the more than 25-year history of the program.

Disney Performing Arts offers band, choral, dance and auxiliary performers the opportunity to learn, perform and compete at the Disneyland Resort. For more information, visit or call 800-603-0552.

Auto tech students get car to work on
The Auto Tech programs at Metro Tech just added another vehicle to its line-up, when Tom Richardson, a vice president of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and Mike McAfee of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association dropped off a 2008 Buick Enclave.

McAfee also represents the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), and they were visiting the newest NATEF-certified (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) high school program. The connection has also garnered a Toyota Avalon and van, a GM Saturn, and a Chrysler Jeep for students to work on.

Metro auto tech students can earn up to nine certifications, which can help them get entry-level dealership positions, college credit and college scholarships. The teaching team of John Henry, Dan Miller and Jim Salem offer certification in suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, engine repair and heating and air conditioning.

Last year in its first year of certification testing, 29 students earned 92 certificates. These certificates are recognized nationwide and are helpful for students when applying for scholarships and jobs.

Central students sign up for college
Central High participated in the College Application Campaign during November, with a goal of every senior applying to a college or university. College readiness activities took place on campus, and those who participated received a neon green bracelet band that reads, “I Applied!!”

The program is through a partnership with Degree Phoenix, and the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. Degree Phoenix is a collaborative effort between the city of Phoenix, Phoenix College and Phoenix Union to strengthen educational attainment for students in the metro Phoenix area, funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation.

Art students win ribbons
Central High Visual Arts students submitted nearly 50 individual pieces to the Arizona State Fair this year, and 19 students came home with 26 ribbons.
Sabrina Badilla won three ribbons, including Exceptional Merit and First Place Painting and Illustration, as well as Second Place in Image Collage.

Jake Warner won three ribbons, including a Second Place in Image Collage for 12th grade. Rebecca Grayhat won a first place in Image Collage, and an honorable mention in Photo Manipulation.

Davila receives silver award
Jocelyn Davila of Camelback High was one of three Phoenix Union students who received Phoenix Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, Nov. 13 at Arizona State University.

Fifteen Arizona and New Mexico students were awarded educational grants in five different categories: Business, Education, Engineering & Math, Healthcare Science, Technology & Innovation, in each of 10 regions throughout the country. Davila was awarded a Silver award in the Education division.

More than 10,000 high school students apply for the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards. All recipients are eligible to be selected as their category National recipient, receive a laptop computer, and a trip to be recognized at the National Youth Awards ceremony.

Davila has maintained a 4.0 or higher GPA and challenges herself in rigorous classes. She currently is involved and in many different leadership clubs and groups including MECHA, Ambassadors Club, and the French Club. She also participates in the ACE (Achieving a College Education) program, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Lopez qualifies for weight-lifting finals
Martin Lopez, an 11th grader at Metro Tech, qualified for the USA Youth Nationals Weight Lifting Championships in the Performance One Regional Qualifier, held in Mesa on Nov.2.

The 123-pound athlete snatched 64 kilograms (141 pounds), and clean and jerked 85 kilograms (187 pounds) for a combined total of 149 kilograms, placing him in the Top 10 nationally.

The USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals are Jan 31-Feb. 2, 2014, in Aurora, Colo.

Washington Elementary School District

Maryland honors vets at ceremony
Those who have served our country in the U.S. Armed Forces were honored Nov. 8 at a flag-raising ceremony held at Maryland School. Veterans, students, staff and family members gathered around the school’s flagpole in an inspirational tribute to all five branches of the military.

Students and staff introduced family and community veterans in attendance, including 101-year-old Navajo code talker Arthur Hubbard Sr., former Marine and Arizona state senator. Hubbard was awarded a Silver Congressional Medal in 2001 by the U.S. Congress.

As part of the U.S. “island-hopping” strategy to push the Japanese back across the Pacific following the bombing at Pearl Harbor in World War II, the Marines trained troops of Navajo Indian descent to use their language as part of a code to communicate troop movements and other important battle information over telephones and radios.

The ceremony was organized by Maryland PE teacher Leon Shinsky, who acted as emcee for the event. The Washington High School Marching Band played the National Anthem as local Boy Scout Troop 747 members raised the flag.

Following the brief ceremony, junior high students were treated to presentations by former Army Sgt. Jeff Rattay from the Joe Foss Institute, which enlists veterans nationwide to teach young people about the value of their freedoms, and by Shinsky’s former student, Marine Cpl. Marcus Chischilly.

Vasey surprised as a Teacher of Week
Orangewood Elementary sixth-grade teacher John Vasey has been selected as a KNIX and Fulton Homes Teacher of the Week. Vasey received the news during a surprise visit from KNIX morning personality Carolyn Coffey on Nov. 6.

Vasey was nominated by one of his students, Jennifer B. In her nomination letter Jennifer wrote, “My sixth grade teacher, John Vasey, is an amazing educator that makes school fun and exciting. He is very patient and kind. He has a way of making everybody understand the subjects and my classmates and I like to learn when we are with him.”

Vasey received $300 from Fulton Homes, a clock and goody bag from the Dairy Council of Arizona. He was spotlighted during the Ben and Matt morning show on KNIX on Nov. 29.

Private and Charter Schools

Two Xavier golfers will play in college

Megan Hauptman, left, and Katie Dunaway, Xavier College Prep seniors and golfers, recently signed their letters of intent (submitted photo).

Megan Hauptman, left, and Katie Dunaway, Xavier College Prep seniors and golfers, recently signed their letters of intent (submitted photo).

Two student golfers from Xavier College Preparatory, 4710 N. 5th St., have signed collegiate letters of intent.

Megan Hauptman will study and play golf at Brown University, while Katie Dunaway will buckle down and tee off at California State University, Sacramento.

In 2009 and 2012, the Xavier golf teams were ranked No. 1 in the National Federation Record Book. The Xavier golf program, led by Winsor, has produced a total of 30 5A State Championship teams.

Laguna recognized with two awards
Brophy College Preparatory senior Sebastian Laguna recently received an AP Scholar Award for his scores on

the AP exams. The AP Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. This achievement is acknowledged on any score report that is sent to colleges the

Sebastian Laguna

Sebastian Laguna

following fall. The AP Scholar Award is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

Laguna also was recognized with a National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholar Award. The NHRP was initiated in 1983 by the College Board to identify outstanding Hispanic high school students.

Laguna has not yet decided on a college major or which college he will attend in the fall.

Xavier lauds its honored students
Fourteen Xavier College Prep students have been named Commended Students, and are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. They are: Madison Cisiewski, Lauren D’Souza, Erin Fakler, Kathleen Fowler, Sierra Fullmer, Hailey Jensen, Lauren Murphy, Alyssa Nazareno, Elizabeth Overton, Mackenzie Paynter, Sophia Tew, Katherine Welty, Octavia White and Emily Wusterbarth.

The approximately 34,000 Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students nationwide who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT / National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

In addition, three Xavier students have been recognized as 2013-14 National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) Scholars for their excellence in academic achievement: Marli Dunn, Jennifer Escalante and Margot Luna.

Octavia White also has been named a semifinalist in the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program. She scored in the top 3 percent of more than 160,000 Black American high school students who took the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT.
Brophy’s newspaper
receives honors

Brophy College Prep’s student-led newspaper, The Roundup, has earned multiple top honors from state and national journalism associations, which included Arizona’s “Best High School Newspaper” for the third year in a row.

The Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors named The Roundup the 2013 “Best High School Newspaper” in its annual Better Newspapers Contest. The Roundup won the same award in 2012 and 2011.

The Arizona Scholastic Press Association gave The Roundup First Place for Online General Excellence. Students also earned 17 awards at the AIPA state conference Sept. 19.

The National Scholastic Press Association named The Roundup a 2013 “Pacemaker” winner in the category of Broadsheet 9-16 Pages. The Pacemaker is the top honor the NSPA gives. Finalists were named at the NSPA national conference in Boston on Nov. 16. The Roundup last earned this honor in 2009.


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