Glendale Union High School District

Success of school store brings honors
Thunderbird High School was one of six schools in Arizona to be named as having a Gold Certified School Store and as a result, three Thunderbird DECA students presented their Promotion plan at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) on April 26.

Dalton Baugh, Kalyn Parsons and Anna Wheeler wrote an extensive analysis of the Thundershack, Thunderbird’s school store, to receive this honor. In addition, Kaleb Robertson qualified to compete at ICDC in the Food Marketing event.

JROTC teams win several awards
Forty of Thunderbird High’s NJROTC cadets in March participated in the West Mitchell Drill Meet at the 161st Air National Guard Base. They competed against 20 JROTC units from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Thunderbird won nine group and individual trophies and also First Place Overall in the drill competition. Awards were won in the categories of Color Guard, Armed and Unarmed Regulation and Exhibition Drill.

Help fund a SHS scholarship
Three years ago, Mackay Alpert, a Sunnyslope graduate from the class of 1999, started a cash scholarship to be given to a Sunnyslope senior going on to college.

The 99 Scholarship is for SHS student with at least a 3.0 GPA, involved in extracurricular activities, a model citizen on campus, and in financial need. Previous recipients were Amanda Schwartzmeyer (2014), Reyna Castillo (2015) and Taylor Fenton (2016).

The financial burden of higher education has grown, and now the scholarship’s supporters are looking to the North Central community for help with continuing to be able to send a Sunnyslope senior on to the next level with a running start. A Go Fund Me page has been created where even the smallest donation can make a difference, if many people give. For more information, visit

Garden club cleans up senior apartments
The Sunnyslope High School Garden Club has partnered with the assisted senior living community, Sunnyslope Manor, to help revitalize unused gardens on the property.

With the help of the Sunnyslope JROTC and National Honor Society groups, weeds have been pulled, trash removed and new watering systems built for the residents to enjoy the gardens once again. Until new flowers and vegetation is planted, the students have covered the garden area up with a tarp to protect it from new weed growth and debris.

SHS musicians take honors at festival
Sunnyslope High is celebrating the recent success of its music department. Ninety instrumentalists performed at the Heritage Festival in Anaheim, Calif., with the Symphonic Band earning second place and the Chamber Orchestra earning third place.

Senior Makenna Lockwood also received the Judges Award for her solo performance.

Students surprised with full rides to GCU
Eighteen Washington High School seniors were surprised with full tuition scholarships by Grand Canyon University in March. The students received the Students Inspiring Students scholarship, which recognizes students who have earned at least a 3.5 GPA and completed a minimum of 100 hours of tutoring at the GCU Learning Lounge.

Osborn Elementary School District

Native students’ art shines at show, sale
The Student Art Show & Sale at the Heard Museum is one of the few national events celebrating the achievements of young Native artists. The event was held March 25-27 at the Heard, 2301 N. Central Ave. Students in grades 7-12 competed for ribbons and cash prizes in two divisions each with 13 categories.

A panel of esteemed judges chooses outstanding pieces in a juried competition. Students price their own artwork and receive the proceeds from the sale of their work. With the help of art teacher Anna Feria, Osborn Middle School student Kaylin submitted her work, received a second-place ribbon and her art sold the first night of the show.

Students enjoy songs, stories
Ms. Elizabeth from The Phoenix Public Library read to the developmental preschool class at Encanto School. Visiting parents learned how sharing interactive reading aloud with children helps increase language skills.

The students enjoyed songs and keeping the beat to the music by using “egg shakers” to the rhythm. Ms. Elizabeth explained that keeping time to music helps develop reading skills.  After reading and songs, the children worked on a craft with their parents.

Phoenix Union High School District

Marketing program receives more funds
The marketing program at Camelback High was awarded an additional $5,000 for the third year. Verizon gave the program $27,000 plus 40 Samsung tablets in 2014, $20,000 and eight Samsung tablets in 2015 and in 2016 they also selected teachers Maria Ciolfi-Abrams and Julia Bourdo to be “experts,” giving them a personal stipend to help new teachers receiving the 2016-17 grant.

Sign up now for summer school
Phoenix Union will offer summer school for continuing students and a Freshman Academy for incoming ninth graders. Most schools will start May 30 and run until June 29, with morning and afternoon classes Monday through Thursday. Alhambra’s summer schools run June 5-June 29, Monday through Friday. Due to building maintenance projects this summer, Camelback students will attend at Linda Abril Educational Academy.

For more information and course listings, visit

Students perform with country music artist
Twenty-four Camelback students performed with GRAMMY nominated country recording artist Eric Church on March 28 during his tour stop at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. Church is a strong supporter of public music education and is inviting a local high school choir on each tour stop to join him.

The GRAMMY Foundation contacted band director Jaime Johnston, who had been nominated by the organization a few years ago as a Music Instructor of the Year.

The students, selected from members of the performing arts department—band, choir, and guitar—had a dress rehearsal with Church on stage to learn what to do in the performance. They had a catered dinner and enjoyed the back stage experience and a dressing room just for them, and performed the opening song, “A Mistress Named Music.”

Studying earns students scholarships to GCU
Eight Central High students in March were awarded Students Inspiring Students Scholarships to Grand Canyon University. The students had to complete 100 hours of study time in the GCU Learning Lounge.

The students are Angel Lopez, Kiara Greenfield, Christina Olivas, Edgar Arellano, Keilen Costilla, Marixa Hernandez, Edward Arellano and Adrian Dominguez.

These students will serve as tutors to future high school students looking to earn a Students Inspiring Students scholarship. Other criteria for the scholarship were demonstration of financial need, university admissible, and demonstrate university preparedness. This is a neighborhood scholarship given to community schools in the GCU vicinity.

Archers show stuff at state tournament
The Central High School JROTC Archery team competed at the State Archery Tournament at Ben Avery Range on March 4, and the top-ranked female archer in Arizona, Cadet Amelia Bingochea, didn’t disappoint. She placed first, scoring 284 out of 300 possible points.

Her teammate, Cadet Vy Lam placed fourth overall, scoring 280 of 300. Both young women qualified for the Nationals, to be held in Louisville, Ky., May 11-13. Bignochea not only bested 85 high school girls, but she placed first among the 212 female competitors.

Art students win awards
Several students in Julie Peter’s Advanced Art classes at North High School submitted artwork to the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing competition. The four Gold Key regional winners went on to compete at the National Level, where Christian Lopez earned a Silver Medal for his painting, “The End.”

Jacob Derbyshire, Joan Huai and Andres Varela also were Gold Key regional winners. Derbyshire also won a Silver Key and Honorable Mention, Huai won a Silver Key, Mia Ledesma took three Honorable Mentions. In all, there were eight Silver Key winners and nine Honorable mentions.

Culinary students receive cash prizes
Thirty-eight outstanding culinary students from public high schools throughout Arizona were awarded scholarships to continue their culinary studies at the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Arizona 25th Anniversary Awards Breakfast.

C-CAP awarded more than $435,000 in scholarships and opportunities. Among the winners were Juan Salgado Castro of Camelback High School, who received an Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia Industry Scholarship.

Metro Tech student Daylon Bennett won a cash award from C-CAP as well an industry award, which means he has a job upon graduation. He received a Desert Peak Marketing Scholarship, and the Nine Degrees North Catering Industry Scholarship.

Scholarships to attend local culinary schools and some of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country ranged in value from $1,000 to more than $121,000. Some students also received C-CAP Education Scholarships and cash awards to help defray the costs of books, supplies, housing, and other expenses while attending community college or another culinary school.

Schools participate in Dragon Boat races
It’s not an AIA sport, but two Phoenix Union schools raced in the 14th-Annual Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Town Lake, March 25.

North High, under the direction of teacher Rita Lopez, has been doing this for seven years. Maryvale, coached by science teacher Jennifer Cho, joined in the fun this year in the first-ever high school division.

Battling a strong headwind and current, Maryvale came in second, a half second ahead of North. Both teams practiced two times prior to racing, and lost to a California team that trains year-round.

The Arizona Dragon Boat Association waived the race fee of $300 to help promote the high school division.

Private and Charter Schools

MHP offers new courses, STEM Night event
Madison Highland Prep (MHP), a STEM charter high school in Phoenix, will offer the following new courses during the 2017-18 school year: psychology, environmental science, engineering design and development (capstone course), college algebra and college pre-calculus. MHP also will offer several Advanced Placement courses.

MHP also will host a STEM (science, technology engineering and math) night for the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 11. Students, parents and guests will tour the campus and view or participate in chemistry, biology, digital media, math and engineering demonstrations. Visitors will also have opportunities to speak with teachers about courses. The adjacent Madison Park Middle School will concurrently host its STEAM night.

MHP is located at 1431 E Campbell Ave. For information, call 602-745-3800 or visit

Bourgade mourns loss of coach, friend
Bourgade Catholic High School is feeling the effects of a recent tragedy—the sudden loss of Greg Henke, counselor and coach. It is a tremendous loss that has rocked the Bourgade Catholic community.

Although Henke will be well remembered for the huge impact he made as the head coach for the Bourgade Catholic High School baseball team, Henke greatly impacted the lives of students on a daily basis in his role as a counselor.

Fellow counselor and coach JinHee Huff reflected on the impact that he made at Bourgade Catholic,

“In our counselor programs, active listening is taught, but I do not think I fully grasped it until I began working with Greg. Greg was very good at listening and was present with you; he genuinely cared and believed that if someone is sharing something with him, it deserved his time, patience, and complete attention.”

Even in this time of sadness and grief, the support and love for Henke at Bourgade Catholic has been overwhelming. Henke, who first joined the Bourgade Catholic family in 1988, left behind a legacy at the school that is sure to be remembered for generations.

Bourgade Catholic established a scholarship in his name to honor Henke’s devotion to the school. For more information, contact JinHee Huff at

Packing boxes for hungry children
Christ Church School (CCS) elementary students and chaperones visited Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on March 9, working together to assemble 26,352 meals to feed hungry children in Cambodia. Their efforts provided 72 children with food for an entire year. FMSC is a nonprofit Christian organization committed to feeding children hungry in body and spirit.

The CCS volunteers labeled packages, scooped a mix of vitamins, dried vegetables, soy, and rice into bags, weighed and sealed each bag, and packed the bags into 122 boxes. At the end of the session, everyone prayed over the packed boxes of food and volunteers tasted a sample of the bagged meal.

CCS families and staff members also collected quarters in candy tubes, donating more than $1,400 to FMSC, which will provide materials for about 6,000 additional meals. Many students worked to earn their donations by helping at home, being kind to others, or doing additional chores.

Xavier women collect accolades
Xavier sophomore Leilani McIntosh and junior Montana Oltrogge were both selected for the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s 2016-2017 6-A Basketball All-Region first team. In addition, junior Katie Hassett and sophomore Paris Moore were named to the All-Region Second Team.

In equestrian news, Xavier freshman Isabella Risser won three jumping blue ribbons at a recent competition in Thermal, Calif., while freshwoman Kenzie Riddell captured the top junior varsity award in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s Zone 8 Hunt Seat Finals competition in Colorado Springs on March 4.

Xavier’s cheer squad captured the national championship title at the USA Spirit Cheerleading and Dance Nationals in Anaheim on March 26. They competed for three days and came home with second place in Pom and first place in Cheer in the most advanced divisions. More than 45 parents made the trip with their daughters, providing a great cheering section.


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