Glendale Union High School District

District office receives two finance awards
The Glendale Union High School District Finance Department has been awarded with two prestigious awards for the 26th year in a row.

The department received the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award.

By participating in these programs, the district ensures that those who access financial statements have the information they need to assess the district’s financial health. The district receives constructive feedback to improve the clarity and completeness of its financial reports, demonstrates a commitment to fiscal integrity and is able to improve its bond rating for credit evaluations.

These awards recognize the district for preparing a comprehensive annual financial report that shows a spirit of excellence, transparency and full disclosure. “The awards document the district’s long-standing commitment to the transparency and fiscal accountability critical to success in today’s dynamic education environment,” said Chief Financial Director Louis Wiegand.

“We believe these awards validate the dedicated work of district financial staff and provides taxpayers, grantors and the public assurance that we are using resources efficiently and effectively,” Wiegand added.

Comprehensive annual financial reports are reviewed by selected members of the ASBO/GFOA professional staff with expertise in public sector financial reporting and include financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics and other finance professionals.

Madison Elementary School District

Learn more about kinder programs
Madison School District hosts its annual Discover Madison Tour on Thursday, Oct. 27, for families interested in learning more about the kindergarten programs at Madison Camelview, Madison Simis, Madison Rose Lane, Madison Heights, and Madison Traditional Academy.

The tour will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Madison District Office Governing Board Room, 5601 N. 16th St. Attendees will board the school bus and visit each of Madison’s elementary schools to receive a guided tour by the principal and learn more about each school. The tour includes a luncheon at the District Office and will conclude by noon.

For more information and to RSVP, visit Madison or contact the Madison District Office at 602-664-7900.

Osborn Elementary School District

Clarendon students enjoy ‘mobile’ learning
Students at Clarendon Elementary School are experiencing a new, mobile way of learning. Thanks to The Walking Classroom, 90 of Clarendon’s fourth-graders are learning while they walk. Lessons on everything from history to wellness to English come easier during their 20-minute walks around campus.

Material comes pre-loaded on special audio players that students began using early in 2016. The classes stride around the school while listening to the lesson, after which they return to the classroom to discuss and write about what they learned. Best of all, the material is aligned to current standards, so teachers can keep their kids moving while they’re learning critical material.

At this Title 1 school where most students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, and many are minorities that traditionally face higher rates of obesity, keeping youth physically active is especially important.

Movement also is beneficial in keeping children focused and keeping their brains active. Classes at Clarendon have been doing other short movement breaks in the classroom to help students stay focused, since research has shown a strong link between physical activity and cognitive function.

The Walking Classroom also aids teachers in developing pupils’ listening and comprehension skills, which are addressed in state standards but can be a challenge to incorporate into the classroom.

One major benefit for English language learners is that the audio players have a dial to adjust speed, which enables students to slow the diction to a pace that they can break down and better understand.

It’s too early to see measurable results, but the school will be monitoring students’ vitals, such as BMI and resting heart rate to determine whether the regular walking improved health. They’re also checking literacy scores and other academic outcomes.

From a qualitative standpoint, fourth-graders are enjoying the program and disciplinary referrals have decreased significantly.

Phoenix Union High School District

Students receive ABA scholarships
Three PUHSD students were among just 20 high-need scholars in the entire state to earn the Alliance Bank of Arizona scholarship on behalf of College Success Arizona.

Yurian Bustamante graduated from Franklin Police & Fire School and is attending Phoenix College to pursue a degree in Biology/Pediatrics. Yurian was diagnosed with Tuberculosis at 13 and was quarantined for a long period of time. She is healthier now, but the grave situation taught her a lot about herself. The trauma that she went through ignited her passion for Pediatrics and she now wants to teach kids that even though they are going through hard times it doesn’t mean they have to go through it alone.

Brianna McDonald graduated from Camelback High School and is attending Glendale Community College to obtain her Associates of Art degree. Brianna comes from a single-parent home in which her mother is the sole provider for a household of five. Her goal is to attend a university in the state of Florida to major in Journalism and eventually hopes to pursue her goal of becoming a playwright.

Jose Soto Nuñez graduated from Franklin Police & Fire High School and is attending Phoenix College. Jose’s passions are to help people and to become a Firefighter/EMT. Franklin Police and Fire High School helped Jose prepare both mentally and physically, as he will now attend Phoenix College for their Fire Science program. Not only does Jose want to be a firefighter, but he hopes to get his paramedic license too so that he can better assist people in crisis.

Last year, Alliance Bank of Arizona donated $100K in scholarships to College Success Arizona to benefit high-need, high-potential students in Phoenix-metro, Tucson and Northern Arizona enrolling in community college this fall. In addition to providing funds to these students, this program assigns each scholar a Success Adviser who provides support and encouragement to them as they navigate through the collegiate process.

Exchange students visiting Central High
Nine Japanese students and a teacher-chaperone visited Central High School and Arizona, Aug. 18-27 as part of an exchange program with the Global Studies magnet program. The group was from Kotogaoka High School in Himeji, Japan, a sister city of Phoenix. The visiting students were hosted by Central’s students and family. The group also visited Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Sedona, visited the Central Japanese and Global Perspectives classes, and the Musical Instrument Museum.

Students from Shude High School in Chengdu, China visited Arizona and Central High School, beginning Sept. 26. The visiting students and teacher-chaperones from one of Central’s sister schools were invited to a welcome reception in their honor that day, joining Central host families, students, faculty and staff.

The Central Global Studies magnet program students will visit Chengdu, as well as sister schools in Himeji, Japan, San Jose, Costa Rica and Grenoble, France during the spring. For more information on the Global Studies magnet program at Central, call 602-764-7569.

Social events replace Friday night football
Metro Tech may not have football games on Friday nights, but that doesn’t stop the school from having a safe social event for students. The school has created Metro Tech Friday KNIGHT Fun Nights. The first one was Sept. 16. It featured a car show, movie night, performances by the Knight Dancers, interactive games such as a Dunk Tank and sales by many of the school’s clubs and organizations.

The event ran from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and was capped by Student Government’s Back to School Dance. Metro’s next Friday KNIGHT Fun Night is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4 and will be in conjunction with a Dia De Los Muertos cultural celebration.

Weightlifting program at Metro is now certified
Metro Tech Weightlifting has become the only high school certified by USA Weightlifting in the state of Arizona. Currently, the Weightlifting Club supports 70 athletes at Metro Tech.

“This a great honor for the Club and this due to the hard work of many athletes and sponsors,” said founder, teacher and coach Mario Malaby said. “We are humbled to be supported by USA Weightlifting and hope that we can have long relationship and possibly produce future Olympians.”

Washington Elementary School District

WESD celebrates 125th anniversary
The Washington Elementary School District is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Watch for the district’s #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) posts every week on Facebook as facts and stories from WESD’s rich history are shared.

Since the WESD was organized by 13 farm families in a tiny farmhouse in 1891, there is much to celebrate. If you’d like to contribute to the district’s walk down memory lane, share your pictures and stories at

Private and Charter Schools

School celebrates its Founders Day
St. Francis Xavier School celebrated its Founder’s Day on Sept. 21. Eighty years ago on this date, five sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary began teaching at St. Francis Xavier School, inside Regis Hall in the present Brophy College Preparatory.

To celebrate Founder’s Day, a special Mass was held for the entire student body, followed by a reception in Anderson Hall for alumni and friends of SFX. The school has been an important part of the community, with many generations of families attending.

Janey Henze Cook, current parent of a preschool student, said, “We’ve been here for many, many years—my mom Kathleen and all of her siblings attended St. Francis, both my husband Bill and I attended St. Francis and my husband’s cousin Josh attended St. Francis Xavier. When you include our children, we’ve been here for four generations.”

Cook added, “Having gone here myself, it does feel quite familiar. Even though the school has a brand new campus (completed in 2013), the feel is the same from when I went to grade school.”

Celebrations will continue throughout the year at St. Francis Xavier, 4715 N. Central Ave. For more information, visit

SFX hosts open house for preschool, kinder
St. Francis Xavier School will host a Preschool and Kindergarten Open House 8-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25. Parent Ambassadors will give tours; parents will have the chance to visit the classrooms during the school day, followed by a presentation given by the principal and teachers.

Interested parents are asked to register for the open house by visiting the school’s website at Click on the registration icon on the main page.

St. Francis Xavier School is a Jesuit Elementary School, Preschool (3 year olds)-8th grade, at 4715 N. Central Ave.  For more information, call 602-266-5364.

AmeriSchools students get hands-on in garden
AmeriSchools students in the full day summer camp during the month of June were introduced to aquaponic gardening by local plant biologist Tristan Dunton. Three days a week students were taught the 101s of seeding, planting, water pH levels, pollination, and plant genetics using the Punnett’s Square.

Students built trellises, trimmed tomato plants, pollinated cucumber blossoms, and cloned plants from AmeriSchools and from their own homes.

AmeriSchools’ students will continue education and curriculum at the garden throughout the next school year.

Fashion show raises funds for scholarships
It’s a fun and boisterous affair—with at least a couple of hundred young men walking the runway—but its purpose is quite serious. Over the last 20 years, the Brophy Fashion Show has raised almost $6 million to fund financial aid for students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend Brophy College Preparatory.

This year’s Fashion Show is Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Brophy has partnered with Neiman Marcus, and the show will feature the designs of Badgley Mischka, with Mark Badgley and James Mischka on hand to present their clothing.

The much-anticipated event starts at 10:30 a.m. and includes a social hour, lunch, shopping, raffles, and of course, great clothing showcased by Brophy seniors, as well as professional models. For those wishing to attend, tables can be purchased, as well as individual tickets. To purchase tables, individual tickets, or raffle tickets, go to the Brophy website,

Jones a rising star in water polo
Which sport was your favorite to watch at the Olympics? For Xavier College Preparatory sophomore Maeve Jones, the answer almost certainly was water polo.

The North Central teen took up the sport about two years ago and appears to be a rising star. Jones played in the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics at Stanford this summer and was a captain of the 16 U (under) team. That team was from Utah, and she played on that team because there only are a handful of girls playing the sport in Arizona.

Back home, she trains mainly with 18-year-old boys at the Mesa Water Polo club. The sport is year-round here, taking advantage of mostly ideal weather conditions.

“The boys are strong and fast,’’ Jones said. “And they know the game well. Trying to play at their level is tough, but I think it might give me a little advantage in the girls’ competition.’’

Jones is a center, or set, on offense, and a set guarder on defense. Players more or less “tread water’’ in the four-quarter games and therefore must have good endurance. But Jones said there also is an element of speed involved.

“Speed is important because you have to maintain it to get your shots off,’’ She said. “You have to swim up and down the pool with your head up and protect the ball. Your stroke is tighter and more choppy.’’

She will continue to refine her skills over the next three years with the hopes of landing a scholarship to play in college. College water polo is heavily weighted toward western schools, including Arizona State.

Football coach lauded for career
Bourgade Catholic High School is hosting “Pat Lavin Night” on Friday, Oct. 14 to thank Varsity Football Coach Pat Lavin for his years of service to the Golden Eagles.

Lavin is certainly no stranger to valley football fans. His 45-year coaching career has taken him to St. Mary’s, Northern Arizona University, University of Minnesota, Agua Fria High School, Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix College, Independence High School, and Bourgade Catholic High School. During his 14 seasons at BCHS, Lavin has compiled a 76-57 record.

Lavin has been selected “Division Coach of the Year” nine times. He was most recently recognized as a recipient of The National Football Foundation Frank Kush Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award. Former players, coaches and fans are invited to the Oct. 14 game and post-game reception in the Eagle’s Nest on campus, 4602 N. 31st Ave. Contact Shawn Gatson at or 602-973-4000, ext. 125 for additional information.

AP Program participation rises
For the 2016-17 school year, Madison Highland Prep has enrolled 83 percent of seniors, an increase of 29 percent from last year’s junior class, and 41 percent of juniors, an increase of 12 percent from last year’s sophomore class, in one or more Advanced Placement courses. MHP has 31 percent of sophomores enrolled in one or more Advanced Placement courses. Additionally, one freshman is enrolled in AP Calculus.

Seniors may enroll in up to four AP courses per school year. Juniors who have completed the required prerequisites as sophomores may enroll in up to three AP courses. Sophomores who have completed the required two years of Spanish during their freshman year may enroll in AP Spanish. Sophomores who have completed chemistry honors and biology honors during their freshman year may enroll in AP Biology. Freshman may enroll in AP courses based on prior coursework in middle school or placement test proficiency.

MHP, located at 1431 E. Campbell Ave., offers AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus AB, and AP Spanish, and AP English Literature and Composition.

Renowned drummer hosts master class
Xavier College Preparatory welcomed renowned drummer, educator, and recording engineer Dan Tomlinson to campus on Sept. 21 to teach a drum master class. Invited by Xavier’s Classical Music Club, Tomlinson shared his talents and insights with the school’s students and faculty members.

Tomlinson has toured and recorded with many world-renowned musicians, most notably Acoustic Alchemy and Lyle Lovett. He has performed on numerous television shows such as The Tonight Show (17 times), David Letterman, The Grammy Awards, Austin City Limits, Good Morning America, and Regis and Kathy Lee. He has also played at the White House twice, along with all of the major venues in the United States and Europe.

With Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Tomlinson played with guest artists Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, Bela Fleck, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, George Duke, Leo Kottke, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson and many more.

Xavier hosts two welcoming events
Xavier College Preparatory will host its annual 8th Grade Day 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, and its Open House 12-3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. Both events are free and will take place on Xavier’s campus, 4710 N. 5th St.

Eighth Grade Day is an opportunity for eighth-grade students to experience Xavier on a school day. Scheduled activities will include a welcome assembly, student-led classroom visits, an all-school pep rally, and lunch. Participation is free, but interested students are asked to register online by visiting, clicking “Admissions,” then “8th Grade Day.” Please note that this is a student event, so there will not be any planned activities for parents.

Open House is an opportunity for students of all ages and their parents to attend a Xavier information session, tour the school, and meet the faculty and coaches. Information sessions begin at 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center, and student-led campus tours will be available throughout the day. Registration is not necessary.

School gardens benefit from coffee grounds
With school back in session, Arizona McDonald’s restaurants are again signing up schools to participate in “McCafé School Gardens Grow!” program. Schools recycle their local McDonald’s used coffee grounds to help their gardens grow and teach students about the importance of recycling and reuse.

Launched in January, the initiative is part of McDonald’s “Good Neighbor Good Grounds” recycling program, designed to divert used coffee grounds from the waste stream by promoting the reuse of coffee grounds to add nutrients to soil or compost.

According to Phoenix McDonald’s owner Dorothy Stingley, the program has reached a new milestone with 150 schools in the Arizona Dept. of Education School Garden Program now recycling their coffee grounds.

Schools pick up the grounds weekly from their local McDonald’s restaurant. McDonald’s also is providing schools with a classroom poster that explains the coffee grounds recycling program.

“I am excited that the Arizona Department of Education has been able to continue its partnership with the McDonald’s Good Neighbor, Good Grounds program,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. “Helping our School Garden Programs using resources that would otherwise have gone to waste is the ultimate win-win, especially for the students who will have the opportunity to enjoy the gardens that thrive as a result.”

Stingley stated that Arizona restaurants and schools in the coffee grounds recycling program are diverting thousands of pounds of waste from going into the waste stream. According to a recent waste assessment audit by Waste Management, a McDonald’s restaurant has 29.5 pounds of coffee grounds waste each day, or 11,000 pounds a year.

“Our McDonald’s restaurants serve a lot of coffee,” said Stingley. “Partnering with our local schools to reduce our coffee grounds waste is beneficial for everyone. Concern for the environment is important to us as well as our customers. We practice responsible coffee sourcing with the majority of our certified coffee purchases from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, including 100-percent of our espresso in the United States.

“Our restaurants work hard to reuse, reduce and recycle,” Stingley continued. “We also currently recycle used cooking oil in nearly all of our restaurants. Our napkins are made out of 100-percent recycled content and we are the first in the industry to have the ‘How2Recycle’ label on many of our recyclable packages, bags and clear cups. We’ve also set a time-bound goal to achieve 100-percent of our packaging from certified or recycled sources by the year 2020.”

Schools or community gardens interested in participating in the coffee grounds recycling program can call Rhonda Grundemann at 602-739-8810 to be assigned to a local McDonald’s restaurant.


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