Glendale Union High School District

Sunnyslope scores on rankings lists
Sunnyslope High School has been honored by Newsweek Magazine in its annual “Beating the Odds List.” This list seeks to identify schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming obstacles present in today’s high schools.

Sunnyslope came in as ranked number 57 nationally on the list of top 500 “Beating the Odds” Schools. Newsweek used criteria such as umber of students taking the SAT and ACT tests, average SAT and ACT scores, percentage of students taking at least one advanced placement course, dual enrollment courses, graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and more.

Newsweek Magazine, in a separate ranking, named Sunnyslope High School in its top 500 high schools in excelling in preparing students for college. Sunnyslope High School was one of eight Valley high schools that made the top 500 list. SHS came in at number 282 in the nation.

Madison Elementary School District

Madison teachers are highlighted
Three teachers from Madison schools recently were recognized four their outstanding work.

Madison Park Middle School teacher Jason Bruso will receive a $2,500 Science Grant thanks to Arizona Public Service (APS) and Phoenix Suns Charities STEM Mini-Grant program. Bruso, who is the school’s Action Lab Engineering instructor, was recognized for his 3D printing from recycled plastic bottles project.

Madison Camelview Elementary Principal Hilary O’Brien was announced a Rodel Exemplary Principal Semi-Finalist out of 1,861 principals in the state. Her leadership was distinguished by her accomplishment of significantly improving student learning in a high-needs school and cultivating a culture of high expectations throughout her school community.

Madison No. 1 Middle School’s Art Teacher Michelle Lindsey recently received a national art award for her development of art programs and learning from the National Art Education Association (NAEA).

Lindsay received the Marion Quinn Dix Leadership Award for her development of specific programs, goals and activities contributing to the Art Teaching Profession. The award is presented in honor of NAEA’s third president, Marion Quinn Dix, in recognition of her pioneer work in the development of NAEA as a national professional organization.

“While each of our schools has signature programs, all Madison Schools provide a top-tier education through the dedication of our award-winning faculty and daily efforts of students and parents,” said Madison Elementary School District Superintendent Quinn Kellis. “I commend each of these stand-out teachers for their hard work to earn these awards and I am proud they are part of the Madison Elementary Schools District.”

Student honored for ELL success story
Madison Camelview Elementary student Gyselle Lopez Flores was selected as an Honorable Mention Arizona ELL Student Success Story for the 2016 OELAS Conference (Office of English Language Acquisition Services unit of the Arizona Department of Education). She was chosen from hundreds of local student submissions for her dedication to English language acquisition, academics, and personal growth.

“Gyselle is a wonderful student and shows great promise in her future,” said Melissa Brammer, Gyselle’s kindergarten teacher at Camelview. “She works hard in class and has made significant growth in English in just one year. She is gaining more confidence each day. It is very exciting to see the ‘spark’” come on when she is making a connection to something new.”

Osborn Elementary School District

OMS students picked for Honors Band
Seventeen Osborn Middle School students have been selected for the 2017-2018 Phoenix Union Honors Band. Students sent in six recordings judged by local experts on those particular instruments. Of the 237 kids that auditioned, only 103 were accepted.

The number of Osborn students accepted in to this program has gradually increased from 7 the first year to 17 this year. Osborn students will make up 17 percent of the 2017-2018 Honors Band.

Selected students include: Ana Parra, Isabel Saiz and Kaylin Stevens—flute; Sophia Page, Mark Ugalde, Aureliana Foster and Kyley Jones—clarinet; Masaran Keita, tenor sax; Sebastian Meneses, baritone sax; Quincy Robert and Xavier Cuevas, trumpet; Dulce Ramirez, horn; Angel Santay and Jennifer Garcia, trombone; and Riana Serna, Michael Thaden and Selena Gonzalez, percussion.

The Greater Phoenix Music Festival, featuring all-star musicians from junior high and high school musicians, took place Jan. 20-21, with a culminating concert Jan. 21 at Central High School. The junior high Honors Band consisted of students from 21 different schools representing eight partner districts.

A mixed (junior high and senior high) string orchestra, a high school honors band and a percussion ensemble rounded out the lineup.

Longview teacher gets Fiesta Bowl grant
The Fiesta Bowl Committee, in partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers, awarded Longview teacher Leonora Baltazar a grant for $5,000 to purchase a complete set of S.P.I.R.E. teacher and student materials for self-contained and resource students at Longview.

S.P.I.R.E. (Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence) is a multi-sensory, research-proven reading intervention program that will greatly benefit students in Special Ed, and struggling readers in the regular classroom. The Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers program granted a total of $500,000 throughout the month of December to 100 randomly selected Arizona teachers.

Phoenix Union High School District

JROTC programs advance in contests
Eight Phoenix Union JROTC programs recently advanced onto the next level of the JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) competition to be conducted in this month: Camelback, Betty Fairfax, Cesar Chavez, Maryvale, South Mountain and Trevor Browne advanced in the in the Leadership Bowl category and Camelback, Central, North, South Mountain and Trevor Browne advanced in the Academic Bowl category.

JLAB is a nationally recognized academic competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The JLAB Team consists of a four-person Leadership Team and a four-person Academic Team.  Team members compete against other schools on leadership, JROTC curriculum, and academic knowledge. Many of the questions are similar to ACT math, science, and English questions.

One of the main goals of the JROTC Academic Bowl is to prepare students for state exit/graduation exams as well as college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT. There are a mix of JROTC curriculum as well as English, Math and Science in each level of the competition as well as questions about current events—focusing on national and international news, particularly international relations, politics, business and science.

The JLAB Leadership teams also are questioned on knowledge of leadership principles and classroom applications.

Cady receives ‘Wishes’ grant
Metro Tech Nursing Assistant instructor Dena Cady in December won a $5,000 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers award, in partnership with College Football Playoff Foundation Extra Yard for Teachers. She will use the funds for new mannequins for the nursing lab in order to teach the nursing skills needed for students to pass the State Board of Nursing CAN testing.

More than 2,400 teachers from Arizona submitted applications, and Cady’s wish was randomly selected to be granted. Each winning teacher also was invited to attend the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl at Chase Field on Dec. 27, where they were honored on field with fellow Wishes for Teachers recipients.

Metro Tech earns two Dbacks grants
Metro Tech has won two $5,000 Arizona Diamondbacks and University of Phoenix School Challenge grants as part of the Dbacks $100,000 School Challenge initiative. The Floral Design Small Business Operations project will use the funds to purchase a sliding glass door floral display cooler, allowing the students to showcase their work in the shop, and boast sales.  Remaining funds will purchase other displays, signage and menu boards. The grant application was submitted by Jennifer Colvin, Floral Design-Small Business Operations teacher.

Another grant went to Metro’s new program, Exploring Computer Science, which encourages urban students to either major in computer science, or become more computer literate. The funds will be used to purchase 20 of the latest laptops for the class. Students recommended a laptop that can handle podcasts, digital media projects and other innovative creations that would be accessible for students. Teacher Maria Piazza-Palotto submitted the application.

In addition to the funding, the Diamondbacks will invite the school to be honored prior to a 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field, receiving up to 450 complimentary tickets for students, teachers, families and supporters to attend this presentation.

Washington Elementary School District

District sets next teacher hiring event
WESD will host a Teacher Interview Fair on Saturday, Feb. 25, to hire teachers for the 2017-2018 school year. The fair will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the WESD Administrative Center, 4650 West Sweetwater Ave., Glendale. Contracts for the 2017-2018 school year will be offered to qualified candidates.

Interviews will be conducted for those interested in teaching: kindergarten, elementary education, special education, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, general music, art and special needs preschool.

For more information, contact the WESD Recruitment Office at 602-347-3598 or e-mail

Private and Charter Schools

Golf coach receives award for 12th time
Tui Selvaratnam, Xavier College Preparatory’s associate athletic director and co-head varsity golf coach, has been named “Player of the Year” by the Arizona Women’s Golf Association for the 12th time in her career.

An alumna of Arizona State University, Selvaratnam last won Player of the Year honors in 2011. She had played in tournaments hosted by the AWGA and performed well enough to accumulate points which, when totaled, gave her the “Player of the Year” honor for 2016. She was honored at a banquet on Jan. 26 at the Moon Valley Country Club.

Selvaratnam and Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, who is Xavier’s vice principal of Activities and athletic director, recently coached Xavier’s golf team to its sixth-consecutive state championship and 34th state title in school history.

‘Girls have IT Day’ returns to Xavier
Xavier College Preparatory will host its ninth-annual “Girls Have IT Day” on Friday, March 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Xavier’s campus, 4710 N. 5th St.

“Girls Have IT Day” promotes young women’s involvement in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). The event will be part of this year’s Arizona SciTech Festival and is made possible through the support of the Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation.

The event will include an assembly dedicated to women in STEAM, more than 80 hands-on, STEAM-focused activities hosted by members of many of Xavier’s 75-plus student clubs, and multiple other opportunities for the middle school students to fully engage in STEAM learning.

Last year, nearly 1,000 middle school girls from around the Phoenix metropolitan area registered to participate in this free event at Xavier, and approximately 400 Xavier students mentored the younger students throughout the day.  To register, visit For additional information, contact Frances McMahon Ward at or Catherine Wyman at

New athletic complex dedicated at Brophy
Father Harry T. “Dutch” Olivier, S.J., spent almost three decades teaching at Brophy College Preparatory, 4701 N. Central Ave. But his most enduring—and endearing—legacy is that of his love and stewardship of Brophy’s sports teams. On January 4, Brophy dedicated the Father Harry T. “Dutch” Olivier, S.J. Athletic Complex, a 47,400-square-foot facility that will serve Brophy students far into the future.

The Dutch, as it will be called, includes a gymnasium, indoor running track, wrestling gym, a 10,000-square-foot weight room, a fitness area with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, two golf simulators, locker rooms, classrooms, and student lounges. It connects to Brophy’s Robson Gymnasium, creating a mammoth sports complex that will serve both the serious and casual athlete, as well as students working on their own fitness goals or simply looking for a place to connect with friends.

The completion of The Dutch wraps up almost two decades of campus additions and improvements that include Harper Great Hall, Virginia Piper Center for Math & Science, Innovation Commons, Eller Fine Arts Center, the Father Edward A. Reese Aquatic Center, the Brophy Sports Campus, and Opus Baseball Field.

Lopez takes charge of Bourgade football
Bourgade Catholic High School, 4602 N. 31st Ave., has selected Marcel Lopez to be the head coach for the 2017-18 BCHS Varsity Football program. Lopez brings 10 years of experience as a head varsity football coach at a college prep charter school. While there he inaugurated and built a varsity football program and led his team to five state championship appearances. He was also named Coach of the Year in 2007, 2009, and in 2013.

Lopez has been involved with Catholic education for most of his life. He attended St. Agnes Catholic School and graduated from St. Mary’s High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Arizona and is currently enrolled in an education program through the University of Mary. In his latest role, he has been a co-offensive coordinator for the varsity football program at St. Mary’s High School.

Bourgade Catholic will host a Meet and Greet with Lopez at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The formal introduction of Lopez will take place at 6:30 p.m.  Students, parents, alumni, and Golden Eagle fans are encouraged to attend.

Hebrew academy honors students
A total of 65 Phoenix Hebrew Academy students from kindergarten through eighth grade and their parents were invited to attend a breakfast on Dec. 22 in the Phoenix Hebrew Academy auditorium, which recognized those students for their achievement of excellence in the school year’s first trimester.

The breakfast, which is held each year after the completion of the school’s trimester, honors students who met and surpassed expectations in any one of three categories: Academic Excellence, Excellence in Personal Growth and Perfect Attendance.

Each student who had achieved excellence in any of the three aforementioned categories was recognized with a certificate and decorated “dog-tag” to wear. Additionally, each student in attendance received a ticket toward a raffle held at the end of the event in which five separate large backpacks, each filled to the brim with school supplies, were raffled off.

Phoenix Hebrew Academy is an Orthodox Jewish day school. For more information, call 602-277-7479 or visit

MHP now registering students for fall 2017
Madison Highland Prep will hold a course registration event for freshmen interested in enrolling in the 2017-2018 school year.

Course registration for incoming students will take place 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 on campus, 1431 E. Campbell Ave. Students and parents will have opportunities to gather information on classes, sports and other extracurricular activities from existing students, teachers, coaches and administrators.

Madison Highland Prep, a STEM charter high school serving grades 9 through 12, is located adjacent to Madison Park Middle School. For more information, contact the school between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 602-745-3800.

Students perform madcap comedy
Xavier/Brophy Theatre will present four performances of “Once in a Lifetime” Thursday, March 2, through Saturday, March 4, with show times at 7 p.m. and one matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Considered one of the great “madcap” comedies, “Once in a Lifetime” tells the tale of three struggling Vaudeville artists who decide to try their luck in Hollywood where the “talkies” have just hit.  With a little bit of luck, conniving, unwitting successes, and hilarious blunders, the three find fame, fortune, and failure all at the same time.

All performances will be held in the Kemper and Ethel Marley Theater in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center on Xavier College Preparatory’s campus, 4710 N. 5th St. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at or at the door. There will be general seating only. For additional information, e-mail or call the box office at 602-240-3161.

Xavier to launch AP Capstone in fall
In the fall, Xavier College Preparatory will become one of more than 600 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone—an innovative diploma program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills requisite for their future college and career success.

The program includes a two-course sequence: AP Seminar and AP Research. Developed by The College Board in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone will complement the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of the 27 Advanced Placement courses and exams that Xavier currently offers.

Xavier will implement AP Seminar—the first of the two AP Capstone courses—in the 2017-18 academic year.

Students who complete AP Seminar and AP Research with scores of 3 or higher, and receive scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams in subjects of their choosing, will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

World Series trophy makes a visit to SFX
The 2015 World Series Trophy made a stop at St. Francis Xavier School on Dec. 15, much to the delight of students and faculty members alike.

Pedro Grifol, the catching coach for the Kansas City Royals, brought the trophy as he visited the St. Francis Xavier campus and spoke with students about his experience coaching for the Kansas City Royals. Grifol spent the day on campus, visiting with all grade levels.

St. Francis Xavier School is a Jesuit Elementary School for preschool through eighth grade. For more information, call, 602-266-5364 or visit


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