Glendale Union High School District

Future freshmen visit campuses
Thousands of families filled the Sunnyslope, Washington and Thunderbird high school campuses on Jan. 19 for Future Freshmen Night. The annual event is an opportunity for new families to learn about the traditions, values and programs offered at Glendale Union High School District.

Schools feature options for students to receive an Advanced Placement International Diploma as well as Advanced Placement classes and Dual Credit opportunities. Students can participate in championship athletics programs, more than 40 different extracurricular options, fine and performing arts studies, Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses and online learning opportunities.

During Future Freshman Night, the student clubs and programs are on display to share information with new students and their families. Many schools highlight choir, dance, theater and more demonstrations throughout the evening to show the variety of opportunities available to the future students.

WHS football hosts car show, music fest
The Washington High School football team is holding its first charity car show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 1. The First Annual Touchdown Car Show will feature live bands, food vendors and military vehicles. Admission is $3, children 10 and under admitted for free. All proceeds benefit Rams Football Team.

There is a flat fee of $20 for cars to be entered in the show, which features a number of categories in which owners can win special helmet car awards. The car show entry fee will include a swag bag, T-shirt, a one-of–kind dash plaque, and free donuts and coffee.

To enter, become a business sponsor or for more information, e-mail or visit

Madison Elementary School District

Principal wins Rodel honor
Madison Camelview Elementary Principal Hilary O’Brien was surprised on Feb. 22 at a ceremony with her students, husband, teachers, and Madison District board members, with the Rodel Exemplary Principal Award from the Rodel Foundation of Arizona.

One of eight principals selected out of more than 1,860 across the sate, O’Brien choked up as she entered the room to rousing cheers from her students and colleagues.

A Rodel Exemplary Principal represents the best in the state and is selected through a rigorous nomination process for their demonstrated ability to inspire their staff to contribute to schoolwide success and the development of a campus that is high achieving, safe and welcoming.

Madison Elementary District Superintendent Quinn Kellis said the district is extremely proud of O’Brien and honored by the award.

“I can’t think of a more deserving principal for this prestigious award,” Kellis said. “Principal O’Brien inspires her staff day in and day out with her dedication to the highest standards and willingness to mentor other educators.”

O’Brien received an award with her name on it and an honorarium from the Rodel Foundation of Arizona.

Each year Rodel identifies a few of Arizona’s best principals for their achievements in high-needs schools and asks them to “give back” by serving as mentors for future school leaders.

Event highlights student art, music
The Madison Bash is an annual celebration of music and arts in the Madison schools and surrounding community. The free event, set for 12-4 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at Madison No. 1 Middle School, showcases artists and musicians from all eight Madison schools, while raising much needed funds for the Madison Education Foundation.

Attendees will have the opportunity to: Feast on goodies served by gourmet food trucks; purchase unique and local products from a wide variety of vendors; win great prizes from the Madison Bash Raffle; and participate in art demonstrations facilitated by Madison students, parents and teachers.

In addition, Madison Highland Prep will display the Madison ESD Archives. Managed by Madison Highland Prep students, the Madison ESD Archives website allows alumni to view and comment on pictures, audio interviews and videos. Students at the MHP booth will seek interviews, photos and documents from alumni, faculty and staff. Visit the Madison ESD Archives website at

All proceeds from the raffle and sponsorships will benefit the Madison Education Foundation, which enhances arts opportunities for students in the Madison Elementary School District.

Madison No. 1 Middle School is located at 5525 N. 16th St. For more information, visit

Phoenix Union High School District

Students excel again in ‘new app’ contest
For the second year in a row, Camelback entrepreneurship students have won “Best in State” in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The app, called XChange, makes it easier for foreign exchange students to find a location, school and host family matching personal characteristics.

Inspired by Svea Boelchl, an exchange student from Germany, she and teammates Andrea Gonzalez, Tasneem Al-Sabbry, Ismael Roman and Daniel Cortez won tablets and $5,000 for the school from Verizon.

Last year, four Camelback girls won Best of State, developing an app called SHOPEASY that works as an indoor GPS for grocery shopping.

Football players help clean up community
The Camelback football team served the surrounding community Feb. 11 by cleaning up yards, raking leaves, pulling weeds, picking up trash, and most importantly, building relationships with the school’s neighbors.

“We had 20 football players in the community giving back,” Coach Joseph Brissette said. “We cleaned a number of yards, spoke with a lot of people about the team and how they could support us through tax credit and simply attending games.”

Central student competes for culinary arts scholarship
Central High Culinary Arts student Liliana Flores Hernandez competed in the C-CAP (Careers in Culinary Arts Program) Scholarship Competition on Feb. 4. She had to make a French omelet and a cucumber/jicama salad in 50 minutes.

Hernandez, who was competing as a junior with about 90 other juniors from across Arizona, made the Top 10 Juniors. She will have the opportunity to cater an awards breakfast with chefs at the Valley Ho Hotel in Scottsdale. She also will earn a spot to compete next year as a senior to potentially earn a scholarship to culinary school.

Lecture series looks at anatomy of the ‘N-Word’
The Central High School Multicultural Committee’s Bobcat Talk monthly speaker series presented “The Anatomy of the N-Word” by ASU professor Neal Lester Feb. 13. Lester provided a brief overview of his research addressing issues of racism, linguistics and culture to the Central student body.

Lester traced the history of the word back to the 16th century, its negative connotation and its use in literature, music and film, up its almost colloquial presence in today’s rap music and culture. His message to the students, “words do matter.”

Lester is a professor of English at ASU who specializes in African American literary and cultural studies.

Bobcat Talk addresses topics related to the promotion of respect for all cultures, dignity for all communities and justice for all people.

Construction contest hosted by Metro Tech
Metro Tech hosted the Arizona Construction Championship, Feb. 17. Some 120 students from 12 schools throughout the state showcased their construction skills in electrical, carpentry and masonry projects while industry judges look on.

Metro Tech winners were Jesus Dorme took first in carpentry; Briana Contreras took second in electrical wiring; Ana Dominguez took third in masonry, and Irvin Huerta and Cristian Rueda took second in construction tech.

Students and staff also participated in a nailing contest, hammering as many nails into a block of wood in 30 seconds.

Bingochea excels in archery skills
Central High JROTC Cadet Amelia Bingochea is the No. 1 ranked female high school archer in Arizona. She scored a 290 out of 300 possible points at the Arizona/New Mexico Regional Tournament in Wilcox, Ariz., on Jan. 21.

Other Central High JROTC team members include: Antonio Juarez with a score of 250/300; David Guzman with a score of 255/300; Christopher Damien with a score of 257/300; and Vy Lam with a score 260/300. All five cadets will complete in the Arizona State Archery Championship in March.

Washington Elementary School District

Math students head to championship
The Washington Elementary School District will be represented at the Arizona State Elementary Math Championships thanks to MATHletes from Moon Mountain Elementary.

Sixteen sixth-grade MATHletes and their “coach,” Geisa Flores, participated in the Valley Math Championships for Elementary Schools sponsored by and the Balsz School District on Jan. 27. Two MATHletes, Luis Parra Cruz and Eric Mejia Perez, will compete in the state math competition in May.

The students competed on four different tests: Number Sense Round, which consisted of 80 problems to be done mentally in 10 minutes; Target Round, which involved four sets of two questions – six minutes for each pair (calculators allowed); Sprint Round, which consisted of 30 questions in 40 minutes (no calculators); and the Team Round, in which four team members worked together to solve 10 problems in 20 minutes (calculators allowed).

A big turnout for 19 North event
Students, parents and staff from the Washington Elementary School District took part in the inaugural Love Our Community Day organized by 19 North on Feb. 11. The event brought together local businesses, faith organizations, community leaders and schools to clean up 19th Avenue and celebrate the vibrant community.

Orangewood, Maryland, Royal Palm/Cardinals Academy and Richard E. Miller Schools are members of 19 North. Students provided music and robotic demonstrations, as well as booths that showcased student art, after-school academy programs and parent organizations.

Superintendent Dr. Paul Stanton and members of the WESD Safety and Mentoring team worked together to clean up an alley near Royal Palm and Governing Board President Bill Adams was on hand for the celebration.

Private and Charter Schools

Shields in running for player of the year
Xavier College Preparatory sophomore Shannon Shields is one of 30 finalists nationwide for the 2016 “National High School Sophomore of the Year” accolade.

The only athlete selected from Arizona, Shields, a North Central resident, recently was named First Team All-State by the Arizona Interscholastic Association and Second Team All-State by The Arizona Republic. According to, the 5-foot 9-inch Shields is a “dynamic left-handed setter who paced one of the best teams in the country. Just a couple of months removed from leading AZ Storm to a USAV 15 Open national title, Shields amassed 1,077 assists (9.4 per set), 269 digs and 68 aces for the  team.

Shields was a key member of the Xavier College Prep team that competed in the finals of the Durango Fall Classic and made the All-Tournament team there. She also was a First Team All-Region pick.

Fashion show event returns on April 1
The Xavier College Preparatory Mothers’ Guild and Dillard’s Scottsdale Fashion Square present this year’s Xavier Scholarship Fashion Show at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort on Saturday, April 1.

The event will begin with a reception at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon and fashion show at 12 p.m. Dillard’s models and Xavier/Brophy students from the Class of 2017 will walk the runway to raise scholarship funds for the more than 40 percent of Xavier students who receive financial assistance.

This year’s theme is “The X Club: A Legacy of Sisterhood.” Parents Kathy Prebil and Anna Zale will chair the event. For more information, visit the Xavier Mothers’ Guild website at

MHP inducts NHS members
Madison Highland Prep, a STEM charter high school, will induct 30 new National Honor Society members at 5 p.m. Friday, March 10. The ceremony will be held in the recently built campus commons at 1431 E. Campbell Ave.

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher and participate in volunteer activities in the Valley to maintain membership in the MHP chapter of NHS. The chapter is expected to grow to about 90 members this spring.

MHP NHS students will travel to the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix, ICM Food and Clothing Bank and Faith North Elementary School for various volunteer activities in coming weeks.

Xavier teams rack up the victories
Xavier College Preparatory’s cheer team won the 2016 Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Division 1 state championship on Jan. 14 at Gilbert High School. The team’s 25 members are coached by Monica Gaspar and Danielle Behrens. Several Xavier Spirit Line alumnae attended the competition.

In addition, Xavier’s soccer team captured the 6A Conference state championship title on Feb. 11 by defeating defending champion Desert Vista High School by a score of 2-0 in the final round of the state tournament at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert.

Renke takes the helm at Brophy
Brophy College Preparatory announced that after an eight-month, nationwide search, its Board of Trustees has named Adria Renke as its 11th president since the founding of Brophy in 1928.

Renke has been the school’s acting president since Edward Reese, S.J. stepped down in May 2016. Prior to that position, Renke had been the school’s vice president for the past 19 years.

Renke has been instrumental in helping Brophy achieve its goals in the areas of technology, the arts, math and science, athletics, social justice and educating young men in the Jesuit tradition.

In addition to her responsibilities at Brophy, Renke currently is a board member of the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University and a past board member of the National Jesuit Secondary Education Association.

SFX Wolves win CYAA softball title
The St. Francis Xavier Varsity Softball Team won the large school Catholic Youth Athletic Association (CYAA) Junior High Tournament at the end of January.

In the championship game, St. Francis faced its closest rival St. Thomas the Apostle. Many of the girls from t­he two teams played with and against each other growing up. Earlier in the tournament, the teams played a close defensive game that ended in an extra-inning 2-1 victory for St. Francis.

In the championship game rematch, St. Francis had to battle back from a four-run deficit in the first inning. In the following innings, the St. Francis defense tightened and eight St. Francis players got hits contributing to the team victory. St. Francis won 10-8.

It was a hard fought game and an exciting end to a successful season (11-2 record). Spencer Kamps, Brad Petersen and Wayne Fuchs coached the girls throughout the season.

AmeriSchools sets open houses in March
AmeriSchools Academy, a tuition free public charter school (K-8) located at 1333 W. Camelback Road, currently is accepting new enrollment applications for the 2017-18 school year. Open House tours will take place 4-6 p.m. March 14, 2-5 p.m. March 29 and 3-6 p.m. March 30.

The Academy, going into its 20th year, serves a diverse student population from 10 different school districts and 33 zip codes. AmeriSchools has been designated an “A” rated school in an “A” rated district per the Arizona Department of Education.

AmeriSchools offers before and after school programs, a lunch program, tutoring and a variety of co-curricular activities.

For more information, call 602-532-0100 or visit


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.