Glendale Union High School District

Car wash for a good cause
With buckets, washcloths and towels in hand, more than a dozen members of the Sunnyslope High School Key Club spent four hours on Oct. 18 washing and toweling dry a variety of vehicles in the school’s parking lot, while others stood in front of the school and at the nearby intersection with large signs encouraging drivers to pull in.

The car wash was a club fundraiser for the Be The Match program, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. Over the past 25 years, Be The Match has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world, working every day to save lives through marrow transplant.

In all, club members raised a total of $358.34 for Be The Match. It’s just one of several service projects the club will be tackling this school year.

Shively named an Administrator of Year
Amanda Shively, Glendale Union High School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) director, has been named the 2014 Region V Administrator of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). This makes her one of four finalists for the national award in 2015.

The ACTE Administrator of the Year award recognizes CTE administrators, program specialists/coordinators, and other CTE personnel who have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical programs.

After serving as a teacher in the Glendale Union High School District for 19 years, Shively became the first CTE director in the district in 2011. The district serves approximately 15,000 students, with about 5,000 enrolled in CTE programs. There are approximately 65 CTE teachers, nine career center specialists and nine liaison counselors in Glendale district that Shively works with directly.

Since becoming the director, she has ensured that all CTE programs are of the highest quality for students. Further, she determined the need for new CTE programs to be introduced, many of which now have a STEM focus.

Shively also developed and implemented the first CTE programs approved to award core academic credit using CTE as the delivery method. Currently, there are four such programs.
Shively presents at workshops and conferences within her district, and has presented at several state and national conferences.

The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Banquet, Nov. 19 in Nashville, Tenn.

Madison School District

Warren honored with Art Advocate Award
Pam Warren, principal and Madison No. 1 Middle School, is being honored this month with the Art Advocate Award from the Arizona Art Education Association (AAEA). The award is in recognition of Warren’s significant service and support of the arts at her school.

Madison No. 1 is an Integrated Visual and Performing Arts school, offering advanced classes in art, theater, music and dance. “Our special area teachers are phenomenal and offer a variety of choices for students to tap into their creative side,” Warren says. “We believe in celebrating not only academic success but also the success students have in the arts.”

Madison No. 1 designated a new dance and choir studio on campus this fall. The school also has a National Junior Art Honor Society, which works within the larger Phoenix community on art service projects, including painting a mural on the outside tea garden wall at Duck and Decanter restaurant, under the guidance of Art Teacher Michelle Lindsay. It was Lindsay who nominated Warren for the award.

Warren will receive her award at the AAEA banquet and awards ceremony set for the night of Friday, Nov. 7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton located in Tempe.

Osborn Elementary School District

PTO donates new shade structure
The Solano Parent Teacher Organization earlier this school year donated a new shade structure for the first and second grade playground at Solano Elementary. Students have enjoyed playing in the “cool” shade.
Students wrote letters to the PTO expressing their gratitude. Comments included, “It stops the sun from hurting my eyes,” “It helps me from getting sweaty,” and “When it sprinkles we can still play.”

The Centers for Disease Control reports that skin cancer is the No. 1 diagnosed cancer in the United States and recommends that people seek shade when UV rays are most intense, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Learning to cook with solar
Students in Osborn Middle School science teacher Kevin DeLuca’s class are learning how to be innovative problem-solvers in the 21st Century.

After extensively studying population trends and identifying the many problems that will arise when the world’s human population is estimated to reach 10 billion in the year 2050, students worked through the engineering design process to create sustainable and cleaner means of cooking the world’s food.

Students constructed, then tested, a variety of solar ovens using things like plastic tubs, cardboard boxes and of course, tinfoil.

Phoenix Union High School District

Students score high in art, design tests
Central High’s Leidy Gonzalez and Dulce Aguilar turned in the highest scores in the nation in the Cambridge Curriculum Art and Design exams taken last spring. The results were released last month.

Gonzalez, now a senior, scored the highest grade on her AS Level exam for digital photography, of the 101 exams submitted. The AS (Advanced) Level is considered college level. It is similar to the AP testing, but it is an international exam.

Aguilar, a junior this year, tied for the highest grade in the IGSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) art and design exam, also for digital photography, among 128 exams submitted in the United States. This exam is a high school level exam for Cambridge students. Aguilar will be taking the college level exam this year.

This was the first year Central High had submitted students in the AS level exam.

Gonzalez and Aguilar are students of Cambridge art teachers Cole Laswick and Judith Mariahazy.

Central tournament a national qualifier
Central’s Speech and Debate tournament, Bobcat Bonanza, has been recognized as a bid tournament for the speech events at the Tournament of Champions. Central is only one of two schools in the state of Arizona to be selected.

The Tournament of Champions (TOC) is a tournament held at the University of Kentucky each April. Students have to first compete at several select tournaments around the country. Based on their performance, they can earn a “bid.” You have to get multiple bids in order to be invited to the TOC.

Because of the difficulty in earning enough bids to qualify for the TOC, it is considered one of the most prestigious events in Speech and Debate.

This year’s Bobcat Bonanza will be Feb. 6-7, 2014. With 550 students spread over 700 events, it was the largest speech competition and the largest Congressional Debate competition in the state last year. It is destined to become even bigger.

“This is huge for us, as it will draw attention from the surrounding region, and has the potential to make the Bobcat a very popular destination not just for Arizona schools, but also for those seeking to qualify to the TOC,” Speech and Debate coach Kevin Berlat said. “On a personal note, it speaks to the quality of our tournament, and how respected we are in the national community.”

New football field dedicated at Camelback
The Spartan football team is playing on a new field at Camelback High, thanks to the Arizona Cardinals and Walmart “Neighborhood Heroes” program.

The football field was dedicated Sept. 19 in a pre-game ceremony. Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, along with Cardinals cheerleaders, mascot, Nicole Bidwill and representatives from Walmart were on hand to cut the ribbon.

The original field was scraped and leveled, and the sprinkler lines and heads were replaced, and the field re-sodded. The field renovation was valued at over $100,000. The new field didn’t help the Spartans that night, but a week later, they won their first game of the season on the new turf.

Washington Elementary School District

USDA official visits Maryland School
Maryland School on Sept. 24 welcomed the USDA under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Service, Kevin Concannon, and guests from the Arizona Department of Education.

First grade teacher Allison Jech and her students invited the guests to join them in tending to the school garden, following a lesson on seed germination. Concannon and the students worked the soil in preparation for fall planting, under supervision of master gardener Cathy Kim. Kim is a former librarian in the WESD and now an active volunteer through the Beatitudes Church.

The under secretary was in Arizona to observe Valley schools that are serving high-quality, nutritious meals to a growing number of children, that exceed federal guidelines.

Employees of the Month honored
Selected as the October Employees of the Month for WESD were: Dawn Applegate, first grade teacher, Richard E. Miller Elementary School; Karla Garcia, one-on-one instructional assistant, Sunnyslope School; and Kim Schaefer, one-on-one instructional assistant, Sunnyslope School.

Sponsored by various business partners, the Employee of the Month recognition is bestowed upon employees who have exemplified the vision, mission and values of WESD. These employees serve as an inspiration to others by maintaining high customer service standards and a commitment to student achievement.

Honorees enjoyed breakfast with the superintendent and received a plaque commemorating their special recognition.

PE teachers are tops in state
Vicky Bonavito, PE teacher at Desert View Elementary School, was selected Arizona’s 2014 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Roger Wakeford, based at Washington Elementary School, was selected Arizona’s 2014 Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year by Arizona Health and Physical Education.

The organization provides leadership to school, community and statewide programs in the areas of health, physical education, recreation and dance. Bonavito and Wakeford were recognized at their schools and at the Arizona State Health and Physical Education Convention in October.

Private and Charter Schools

Preschool holds open houses
The Unitarian Universalist Early Education Cooperative Preschool, located at 4027 E. Lincoln Drive, is a child-centered, play-based preschool for ages 2 through 5. In addition to being a parent participation school, the unique program offers regular education classes for parents.

Bring your preschool-aged children to any open house/play date and learn more about UUEEC’s programs, talk with currently enrolled families, and meet the teachers. Open houses are scheduled from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first Monday and third Thursday of the month.

RSVP to or call 602-840-8400, ext. 233. For more information, visit

Accolades for volleyball players
Phoenix Christian Preparatory School senior Kalina Newcomb has received word from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) that she has been put on the 2014 Under Armour High School All-America Watch List. She is one of only 6 students from Arizona to make the initial list.

The Under Armour Watch List identifies elite high school senior volleyball players who possess the potential to be considered for the Under Armour High School All-America Awards Program. The Watch List is comprised of high school senior volleyball players from all across the country who have received some type of honor (All-State Team, AVCA/Max Preps Players of the Week, etc.), identifying them as a top player in their region/country.

In addition, Miah DeBus, a junior at Phoenix Christian Prep, has been named to the ACVA Phenom List. The athletes on the AVCA Phenom List have received some type of honor (All-State Team, AVCA/Max Preps Players of the Week, etc.), identifying them as a top player in their region/country. In order to be eligible for inclusion on the AVCA Phenom List, the student-athlete must be a high school freshman, sophomore or junior and her high school head coach, club coach or club director must be an active AVCA member in good standing.

In related news, the Phoenix Christian Prep varsity volleyball team received the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2013-2014 season. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

Xavier students complete hands-on medical program
Nine Xavier College Preparatory seniors on Sept. 20 completed The Perry Initiative’s program for high school women aspiring to be leaders in orthopedic surgery and mechanical engineering. The program was held at the Mayo Clinic.

The Perry Initiative advances its mission principally by running hands-on outreach programs across the country for women students in high school, college, and medical school.

The Perry Initiative is named in honor of Dr. Jacquelin Perry, who was one of the first 10 women orthopedic surgeons in the country and was a mentor to countless women and men in the field throughout her career.

The Perry Initiative first brought its program to the Mayo Clinic in September 2012. At that time, the program hosted 40 students from 18 Phoenix-area high schools. This year’s program included 41 students from 20 Valley high schools.

Come learn more about All Saints’
All Saints’ Episcopal Day School (ASEDS) has scheduled its annual series of fall and winter Admission Open Houses: Nov.12, Dec. 10, and Jan. 14. All Open Houses begin at 9 a.m. in Manning Hall on the Day School Campus, 6300 N. Central Ave.

Each event features campus tours lead by Parent Ambassadors with an opportunity to meet with admission officers and faculty. Open Houses also provide an opportunity to view classrooms and attend a Q&A session with a Division Head.

Reservations are suggested, but not required. RSVP online at

Students commit to donating blood
The Blood Drop, a sort of mascot for the American Red Cross, recently visited Phoenix Christian Preparatory School campus to promote blood donations. Students have been participating in Red Cross blood drives for more than 20 years, the most recent of which was on Oct. 28. The blood drives are held twice a year on campus.

Phoenix Christian has consistently earned the Red Cross’ Platinum Award for its high percentage of participation in its blood drives.

SFX sixth graders discover DreamRoads
St. Francis Xavier sixth-grade students participate in the DreamRoads program which is a multi-year program (grades 6-12) that helps students maximize their potential by finding their passion, identifying and building their strengths, and guiding them step-by-step toward realizing their dreams.

Once a month, the DreamRoad coaches meet with their groups of students. The role of the personal success coach is to be a trusted, objective adult focused on supporting the exploration and development of the student’s unique dreams, interests and talents. They are more than a mentor because they are trained to identify and build each student’s strengths, help students procure resources needed for success and hold students accountable.

Kim Cavnar, Principal of St. Francis Xavier says, “We have already begun to see the fruits of the program in students more thoughtfully and intentionally addressing future outcomes as part of their decision-making process.”

St. Francis Xavier School is located at 4715 N. Central Ave. For more information, call 602-266-5364 or visit

Midtown’s student volunteers shine
Teachers from Midtown Primary School nominated a student from each class as the Volunteer of the Month. They were chosen for repeatedly volunteering to help without being asked.

These students are modeling good citizenship and demonstrating what a community is. They helped with campus clean up, playground spruce up, assisted other students that needed help, did projects for the office in their free time, and were found routinely asking if their help was needed anywhere.

The volunteers will be honored with this award at an all-school assembly set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Brophy foundation a good investment
The Brophy Community Foundation, an independent nonprofit school tuition organization, has received a $200,000 donation from New York Life.

Genny Matteucci, executive director of the foundation, accepted the $200,000 check from Mark S. Koskovich, managing partner of New York Life’s Arizona General Office.

New York Life donated to the organization under the state’s Private Education Tax Credit program, which allows a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to businesses that make a contribution to certified school tuition organizations.

The support will help the foundation provide critical K-12 private school tuition aid to low income and working poor families.

In related news, The Hispanic Council for Reform and Education Options (HCREO) released this year’s assessment of school tuition organizations and Brophy Community Foundation has again achieved the top ranking, with five stars. This is the third year that HCREO has produced this report, and the second year that Brophy Community Foundation has ranked at the top of the list because of its commitment to providing scholarships to underserved families.

To see the full list, visit


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