Glendale Union High School District

‘S Mountain’ gets annual makeover
In September, Sunnyslope High School freshmen continued a longstanding tradition to paint S Mountain. Located near Central Avenue and Thatcher, the mountain is adorned with a 150-foot white “S.”

The freshmen class gives the landmark “S” a fresh coat of paint each year. The “S” was first painted by the freshmen students in 1955. At the end of the Homecoming football game, the freshmen football team illuminates the “S” with red flares.

The landmark is registered with the Phoenix Historic Property Register.

Theater department presents ‘Night Watch’
The Sunnyslope High School theater department will perform its rendition of “Night Watch” by playwright Lucille Fletcher, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 25-28 in the Kenneth E. Coffin Auditorium, 35 W. Dunlap Ave.

This chilling murder mystery is a story about a young woman who insists she has seen a murder committed. The play follows the audience’s journey to discover whether or not she is telling the truth. The story ends with a shocking twist that no one will see coming!

“Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.

Washington inducts new FBLA members
Washington High School held its annual Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) induction ceremony in mid-September. The 2017-2018 officers are: Tina Ngo, webmaster; Maricela Baeza, reporter; Leslye Lopez Canales, historian; Kevin Lopez, treasurer; Kaydin Begay, secretary; Kyu Kyu, vice president; Lilianna Garcia, co-president; and Jacob Reyes, co-president.

FBLA is the premier national organization for students who are preparing for careers in business or business education. FBLA membership benefits include leadership development, career preparation, community service, networking with business and community leaders, and challenging competitions.

Osborn Elementary School District

Osborn welcomes new administrators
Felipe Carranza was welcomed last spring as principal of Encanto School by parents, students, and staff at the end-of-year Awards Assembly. Carranza lives in the Osborn neighborhood.

A former bilingual teacher, Carranza taught and mentored teachers, and also entered ASU’s iLead program for aspiring administrators. Before finding his new home in Osborn, Carranza worked as an assistant principal in the Roosevelt and Buckeye Elementary School Districts.

Shannon Mann returned to Osborn Middle School this fall as assistant principal. She has spent her entire career in the Osborn School District. Emerging through Teach for America, Mann began her career teaching at Osborn Middle School, eventually assuming a position as a Master Teacher and taught the honors geometry course for eighth graders.

Mann has also taught the mathematics teaching methods course in the Osborn iTeach Masters and Certification program. Using her skills to help students and teachers through data analysis, she became curriculum specialist for data and assessment.

Osborn congratulates Teachers of the Year
The Osborn Educational Foundation has announced the winners of its Teachers of the Year Award. Winners of the 2017 award are: Osborn Middle School (OMS) and Clarendon Elementary band teacher Julia Georges; Clarendon sixth-grade dual language teacher Ruth Ruiz; and OMS seventh-grade math teacher Sarah Saiz.

All three honorees were nominated for the AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year award as well. Clarendon teacher Ruth Ruiz has been named as a top-10 finalist and the winner will be announced in November.

Osborn Teachers of the Year will be honored at an event set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Phoenix Country Club and will feature a silent auction and dinner. Tickets are $75 and sponsorship opportunities are available. For additional information, visit

Phoenix Union High School District

Dance program hosts golf tourney
The Camelback Dance program will hold its first Spartan Scramble Golf tournament, to benefit the students of the Dance Department. Proceeds will allow the varsity dance team, Camelback Elite, to attend multiple local competitions this school year, and provide funding for costumes and other necessities for the 150-student program.

The tournament will be 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Mountain Shadows Golf Course in Paradise Valley. For player and sponsorship information, contact Camelback’s Director of Dance, Heidi Wilkes, at or 480-438-9120.

Bancroft places high in Tae Kwon-Do contests
Central High senior Matthew Bancroft represented Team USA in the International Tae Kwon-Do Federation Open World Championship in Corrientes, Argentina. He competed in the Junior Division on Aug. 12, where he placed second in Individual Sparring; third in Patterns; third in Team Patterns; and third in Team Specialty Breaking.

Bancroft’s dream of competing internationally began in 2007 at AZ Kicks, when he was first introduced to the sport. He enrolled in a class out of curiosity and then excelled, becoming increasingly focused and disciplined. He has represented Arizona in tournaments all around the southwestern region, as well as in Connecticut and London in 2015.

Smartphones given to select students
More than 5,400 Phoenix Union freshmen will receive equipment and connectivity as part of the Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project this year. The students who qualify, based on income and not currently having Internet at home, will receive either a smartphone or hot spot, and 3GB of high-speed data per month for up to four years while they are in high school.

Sprint and the Phoenix Union District kicked off the project Sept. 13 at Central High School, 4525 N. Central Ave., with selected students from 17 schools, joined by Sprint executives, Superintendent Chad Gestson and Mayor Greg Stanton. The students received their devices and had them activated during the event. Each campus has, or will facilitate its own large-scale distribution and activation plan for its freshmen.

Phoenix Union is one of only three school districts in Arizona to take part in this project, which will impact more than 180,000 students in 1,300 schools across 30 states. The project will continue for five years.

The donation to PUHSD students is valued at $3.7 million in the first year alone.

Brazier honored for leadership
Metro Tech Assistant Principal for Student Success Keith Brazier will be honored with the JV Educational Leadership Award for providing outstanding leadership in Student Support Services in Academics for 2017.

His nomination focused on educational and enthusiastic technique, contribution to student retention, and dedication to his discipline through scholarly advancements.

He will receive his honor at the 15th Annual Male of Color Empowerment and Retention Conference on Oct. 26.

Washington Elementary School District

Gifted students get added programming
This year, the WESD is placing a renewed emphasis on gifted programing. Jason McIntosh has joined the district as the new coordinator of Gifted Services and brings with him 16 years of experience in gifted education.

This year he will work to expand the gifted learning opportunities into the regular classroom, place a new focus on problem-based learning and identify underserved populations across the district. For more information, call 602-347-2651.

Students volunteer as Anti-Bully Ambassadors
Twenty Sunnyslope Elementary students have become Anti-Bully Ambassadors for the Arizona Cardinals and the Run Through Bullying with David Johnson program. Students attended Cardinals training camp, had lunch, and heard Johnson’s message about bullying and how it has shaped his life.

Students were selected by writing a one-page essay about how bullying has touched their lives.

Private and Charter Schools

Three MHP robotics teams to compete
The Madison Highland Prep VEX Robotics team will open the 2017-2018 competition season at the Campo Verde High School VRC qualifier on Nov. 18. MHP VEX Robotics will field three teams competing at seven state qualifying competitions, including the 4th annual MHP state qualifying event on Jan. 13.
The team is looking to earn its second consecutive berth to the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) state championships in the spring. The team is coached by Nick Bonds, an engineering teacher at MHP.
The competition game for this season is VRC In the Zone. The object of the game is to obtain points by stacking cones on goals, moving mobile goals into goal zones, having the highest stack on goals, and parking robots in goal zones. Matches consist of two periods, a 15- second autonomous period and a one minute and 45-second driver controlled period.

For more information, visit

Tiedra receives grant to build class library
Midtown Primary School teacher Tiedra Vargas was chosen from 82,000 applicants to receive $500 for a classroom library from New York Times-bestselling author James Patterson’s $1.75 Million Giveaway, administered through the Scholastic Book Club.

Having forgotten that she applied, Vargas was happily surprised to be notified by the 2017 Patterson Partnership that she had been chosen.

Midtown Principal Judy White recalls when last year, while waiting for her to finish up a task, a “kindie” looking over her shoulder started reading out loud—from her open e-mail on her computer. “Those weren’t little words or sight words, that was excellent reading skill,” White said. “Their kindergarten class produces amazing readers, and I am so proud of them.”

Open House, Eighth Grade Day set
Xavier College Preparatory will host its annual Eighth Grade Day on Friday, Oct. 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and its Open House from 12-3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. 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. Activities include a welcome assembly, student-led classroom visits, an all-school pep rally, and lunch. Participation is free, but students must register online by visiting, clicking “Admissions,” then “Campus Visits.”

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. and student-led campus tours will be available throughout the afternoon. Registration is not necessary.

Xavier partners with PBS NewsHour
Xavier College Preparatory announced its participation in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) program, a national journalism initiative by the PBS NewsHour to connect middle and high school students with public media stations to produce original, youth-focused news reports.

Students at the all-female Phoenix high school will have the opportunity to create content for the national NewsHour site and the nightly broadcast, which reaches over 1 million viewers each night.

“Because so many teenagers underestimate the power behind their own words and perspectives, student reporting is an opportunity for teenagers to present topics, events, and people to the public in way that represents their experience,” said Xavier senior and North Central resident Madison Kloeber.

Xavier faculty members Frances McMahon Ward and Corinne Cosic will help program leaders develop curriculum to engage young people in news and public affairs, and ensure that the youth voice is active in the conversations about the critical issues facing the nation.

FX hosts an Open House
St. Francis Xavier School will host a Preschool and Kindergarten Open House on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. 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 Find the registration link under the admissions tab on the school website.
For more information, call 602-266-5364.


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