Glendale Union High School District

Two students make All-State Choir
Two GUHSD students made the Arizona Music Educators’ All State Choir this year. This choir is made up of the top 200 high school singers in the state who are selected after a rigorous audition process.

Thunderbird Junior Brenna Ellington and Sunnyslope Senior Luke Maschue spent three days rehearsing with Brad Holmes, the director of Choral Studies at Millikin University. The event culminated in an outstanding performance on April 12 at Gammage Auditorium.

Madison Elementary School District

Moore makes it to state spelling bee
Anjali Moore of Madison Meadows School made it all the way to this year’s 2014 AEF Arizona Spelling Bee, held at the end of March. She was part of a group of the state’s top 27 spellers, ranging in age from 10-14.

Anjali, 13, is an eighth-grader at Madison Meadows and this was her first time appearing in the AEF Arizona Spelling Bee. Her interests include art, history, writing, human civil rights, societal/global issues & activism, reading, drawing and cooking.

This is the 15th year the event was sponsored by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in education through diverse statewide programs and community partnerships throughout the year.

Osborn Elementary School District

Longview hosts summer preview
“Swing into Summer with Longview School” is an event sponsored by the Longview PTO where students, families, community members, businesses and organizations from around the area will come together to welcome the start of summer. It will take place 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 in the Longview School Gym, 1209 E. Indian School Road.

The event will enable the district’s community partners to show off their best, and allow parents to discover some great opportunities in which to involve their children. Entrance and activities are free. There will be popcorn, hotdogs, pizza and more for sale.

For more information, contact Annie Eldon at 602-707-2715.

Phoenix Union High School District

Graduation schedule set
Graduation ceremonies for Phoenix Union High Schools will be Wednesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 22 for the Class of 2014.

On Wednesday, small schools Bioscience and Franklin Police & Fire will hold commencement exercises at the Herberger Theatre, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. respectively. Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy will hold graduation, Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Central High School.

The large schools will have graduation ceremonies at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Central Phoenix schools Metro Tech (8 a.m.); Central (10:30 a.m.); Camelback (1 p.m.) and North (3:30 p.m.) will graduate their 2014 classes, Thursday, May 22.

Register now for summer school
Free summer school will be offered for both current Phoenix Union students and incoming ninth graders. Current students will have the opportunity to earn a half-credit or a full credit this year at 12 campuses. The schools will run two sessions: a morning, and an afternoon. Students can attend one session for half credit, or both sessions for one full credit.

Most schools will hold classes May 27-June 26, Monday through Thursday. Courses will vary by campus. Current students should see their counselor for recommendations.

The Freshman Academy is for incoming ninth graders who need to increase their math or English skills necessary to succeed in high school. Classes will be from 8-11:45 a.m. Mondays through Thursday.

Courses offered will be: Independent Reading, Introduction to High School Literacy, and Introduction to High School Math. Enrichment classes in science and Academic Decathlon will also be available at some locations. Freshman Academy students who pass receive one-half credit if they attend a Phoenix Union school in the fall.

Free transportation, breakfast and lunch are available for Freshman Academy and regular summer school. Registration deadline is May 16. For more information, visit www.Phoenix or call 602-764-1307.

Padilla honored with leadership award
Central Speech and Debate closed out its season at the National Forensic League (NFL) National Qualifying tournament, April 4-5. Senior Shad Padilla was awarded the Chapter Leadership Award for earning the highest number of competitive points for Central High over the course of the season. This award went to the top student from each NFL member school.

Students recognized for superior artwork
Three Central High students were awarded for their work in the COBA annual student art show. The students were honored at the annual luncheon at ASU, held on April 22.

KemiSholola won First Place in Photography; Lucia Valtierra placed First in Sculpture/Ceramics; and Juan Alonso took Second Place in Digital/Computer.

Sholola also won the prestigious Classics through the Ages award. This is the Signature Arts Project of The Links, Inc. National Program and earns her scholarship funds as well as a number of opportunities to practice her art in photography with master artists and in workshops over the coming years.

Garcia earns perfect score
Karla Garcia of North High School earned a perfect score on the National French Test given in March to French students across the United States. A junior who tested at the third-year level, Garcia will not only receive a gold medal and a first place prize, but she is also eligible to win an all-expense paid two-week trip to France, offered by the French Embassy.

Garcia is in the International Baccalaureate program, and is so fluent that she wrote her IB Extended Essay in French this year. This is the first time North has had a non-native national winner.

North traditionally has students ranked near the top for the state and nationally, but those rankings for the rest of the school’s National French Test-takers will not be reported until May.

“We were notified right away about her national prize,” French teacher Anne Boisdin said. “Karla is an amazing French student and young lady.”

Heimbichner awarded $2,500 scholarship
Taylor Heimbichner of North High School has earned an Achievement Scholarship through the National Achievement Scholarship program. He will receive $2,500 toward his college education.

Heimbichner qualified by being a Finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, which was established to honor scholastically talented Black American youth. Of the 160,000 students that entered the program when they took the 2012 PSAT test, 1,300 became finalists, and 800 earned scholarships.

In Arizona, only seven received the scholarships. Heimbichner, who is also a National Merit Scholarship Commended student, plans to study physics or computer science in college, and become a physicist or computer scientist.

Morales receives President’s Award
Lidia Gonzalez Morales, 18, of Metro Tech has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Metro Tech High School nominated Morales for national honors this fall in recognition of her volunteer service.

Morales volunteered more than 400 hours to CASE (Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy), educating people about the importance of voting. She made phone calls, visited homes, and spoke to City Council Members. CASE asked her to take a leadership role because of her energy and enthusiasm.

For the 2012 Presidential Election, she helped register 33,000 people to vote. She has also volunteered more than 100 hours at St Joseph’s Hospital and volunteers at Hospice of the Valley.

“Every person has a right to speak for themselves and I try to explain that to people,” she says. “I know a lot of people are not happy with the economy or decisions our city makes, so the only way to make a change is by voting for what you want.”

Schools receive awards for video, audio PSAs
Metro Tech High School received $4,000 for its communications and digital film program as runner-up of the Phoenix Police Department Video Public Service contest. The “Too Young to Drink” Stop Underage Drinking winners were announced last month at an awards banquet at Metro Tech. South Mountain took the top prize this year as well as last year.

Metro Tech’s Film and Digital Arts class was represented at the April 9 awards ceremony by students Claudia Baldenebro, Edwin Eliosa, Juan Olivas and teacher Bob Marquis.

Camelback High earned $1,000 for a third-place finish in the audio PSA category, and received another $500 as a finalist in the video contest. Camelback’s entries came from the television class and club of Katherine Larkin and Bob Dudley. The students who participated in the video PSA were Alexis Ibarra, Gavin Vandine, Ada Mack, Azalea Yuhnke, Erik Salazar, Jonathan Perez, Irving Castro and Alina Estrada. The students who participated in the audio PSA were Jon Diaz, Legend Matthews, Gavin Vandine, SenaRowaid, Allyssa Peralta, Arturo Calles, Azalea Yuhnke, Lucinda Lucero and Esperanza Serrano.

The public was allowed to hear and view the entrees on YouTube, and seven members of the media served as judges to determine the top three finishers.

The police department received funding for this program through the DUI Abatement Council. Camelback, Metro Tech and South Mountain were video finalists along with Desert Vista, Mountain Pointe, Metropolitan School for the Arts, Shadow Mountain, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Audio finalists were South, Camelback, Metropolitan Arts and Shadow Mountain. Of the $21,000 available, the three PUHSD schools collected $12,500 for their communication programs.

To view the videos of the finalists, go to and type in 2014 “Too Young to Drink”.

Student teachers aiding students
A program that started at Metro Tech two years ago to help students write better has been expanded to three additional schools this year, including Camelback High.

Writing Centers, housed in the school libraries, are staffed by ASU Education students who tutor high school students. Thirty-seven tutors, juniors in the College of Education, are required to spend 75 hours each, working with high school students. Not only does the one-on-one tutoring help the student and the teachers who often allow the students to leave class for the Writing Center, but it provides a training ground for future teachers, before they begin their student teaching stints as seniors.

Washington Elementary School District

McDonald’s grants $500 to Orangewood PTA
In celebration of “Take Your Family to School Week” (Feb. 18-22) and its commitment to education, McDonald’s Restaurants of Phoenix and Northern Arizona awarded ten $500 grants to Arizona Parent Teacher Association (PTA) chapters to promote family engagement in schools. Among the recipients was the Orangewood Elementary School PTA.

“Take Your Family to School Week” is a national PTA initiative that aims to help build positive partnerships with teachers and families, and connect parents to their children’s school experiences through fun, innovative programs.

The funds will be used by chapters to plan programs, host events, and implement activities that welcome and engage families into the school community. These grants also are used to give children fun ways to share what they are learning and doing in class throughout the school year. Examples of activities planned include family field days, movie/game nights, holiday parties and literacy events.

Students draw portraits for orphaned children
Art students at All Saints’ Episcopal Day School have joined the Memory Project, a nationwide initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who are living in orphanages or similar homes.

Given that youth in such situations usually have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with meaningful mementos of their youth. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and service to others while enhancing their portraiture skills.

Students at All Saints’ are participating as part of the seventh- and eighth-grade Art and Drawing Elective classes. To do this, the students receive photos of children who are waiting for portraits, and then work in their art classroom to create the portraits. Once finished, the project delivers the portraits to the children. In total, the students will make portraits for 24 children in Nepal.

Private and Charter Schools

Hundreds attend ‘Girls Have IT Day’
Approximately 700 female middle school students from around the Phoenix metropolitan area attended Xavier College Preparatory’s sixth-annual Girls Have IT Day on March 28.

Part of this year’s Arizona SciTech Festival, the event showcased young women’s involvement in science, information technology (IT), engineering, art and math (STEAM).

Following a keynote lecture by Mitzi Montoya, vice president and university dean for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Arizona State University, the middle school students participated in a hands-on, STEAM-focused activity fair hosted by more than 300 Xavier student mentors.

Xavier senior wins engineering scholarship
North Central resident Kaitlyn Krushinsky, a senior at Xavier College Preparatory, has won the Catholic Community Foundation’s Ralph M. Knight Chemistry and Engineering Scholarship.

As part of her recognition, she will receive a $5,000 tuition award to the four-year United States college or university that she chooses to attend. Kaitlyn says she plans on studying mechanical engineering at Purdue University, a major research school located in Lafayette, Ind., known for discoveries in science, technology, engineering and more.

Drama students present comedy
Middle school students from Phoenix Christian Preparatory School present “The High- Schooler’s Guide to the Galaxy,” 7 p.m. Friday, May 9 and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 10 on the Phoenix Christian Elementary Campus, 4002 N. 18th Ave.

Do you remember the fear of your first year of high school? Come and enjoy a comedy of trying to fit in, deal with schedules, dating and worst of all—gym class! Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Call 602-265-4707 for more information.

Bicycle club racks up nearly 1,400 miles
AmeriSchools Academy’s Bicycle Club recently concluded its fourth season, with a record initial turnout of more than 20 students in grades 6-8, completing 1,392 total miles logged. One student logged more than 200 miles, and six others logged over 100 miles.

Biking is a growing sport and activity worldwide and AmeriSchools Academy is proud to be able to bring it to its Camelback campus, located at 1333 W. Camelback Road. Students there have been introduced to numerous safety discussions, functions of bike parts and etiquette rules of riding along the streets as well as riding as a group.

As a result of the many sponsors and supporters of the program, the club has been able to equip the students with refurbished bikes to use, new helmets, new gloves, insulated water bottles, a variety of miscellaneous items and a free family membership to the Arizona Bicycling Club—which also insures the children when on group rides for the club.

Being able to ride on a consistent basis has many positive benefits. It gets the child in shape while making him or her feel comfortable with the control of a bike. The Bicycle Club promotes fun, enjoyable and safe biking practices, which hopefully will lead to bicycling as a lifelong activity.

Co-ed team captures state championship
The Brophy-Xavier Speech and Debate team won its first-ever state team championship against the 10-time reigning state champs, Desert Vista High School, March 15-16.

Ten Xavier College Prep students competed on the team. Among them were individual finalists Sarah White, Duo Interpretation, fourth place; Jaela Robinson, Duo Acting, third place; Rebecca Red Horse, Prose Interpretation, fourth place; and Kaitlin Coltin, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, second place, and Impromptu Speaking, fourth place.

Semifinalists included Elizabeth Vietor for Poetry Interpretation, Shaloni Pinto for Extemporaneous Speaking, Rebecca Red Horse for Humorous Interpretation, and Kaitlin Coltin for Expository Speaking.

Brophy College Prep team members won seven state individual titles. The 2014 individual event state champions include North Central residents Ryan Q. McCoy and Gavin Singer, for Policy Debate; Carlos Ochoa, Expository; Jeremiah Johnson, Humorous Interpretation; and Jim Welty who won Duo Interpretation with partner Carter Santini of Chandler.

Finalists included North Central resident Jim Stickell, who received a fourth place in Duo Interpretation.

Tesseract students break world record
Tesseract Middle School’s student government on March 21 broke the world record for creating the longest marker chain. The previous record was 1,468, and the students broke the record by 532 markers, for a total of 2,000. When finished, the chain looped around the school campus at 3939 E. Shea Boulevard and reached more than 900 feet.

The student government is composed of students in fifth through eighth grade who reached out to the entire Tesseract community asking for donations of Crayola wide markers. These markers later were donated to Golden Gate Community Center in west Phoenix.

The student government decided to build this chain to beat the world record as well as make a difference by accumulating a large number of markers to donate to Golden Gate. High School students joined the Middle School students to assist in building the chain.


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