Glendale Union High School District

Honors, AP Open House on Nov. 16
Student success and achievement are priorities at the Glendale Union High School District. Students are encouraged to enroll in Honors and Advanced Placement courses and dual enrollment for college credit. Last year, GUHSD students earned more than 7,763 college credits, saving thousands on college tuition. GUHSD also offers students an option to graduate with an AP International Diploma, a great choice for students who plan to study abroad after high school.

Incoming students and their families, or those interested in enrolling in the GUHSD, are invited to Honors Curriculum & Advanced Placement Information Night on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The informational evening takes place at the Moon Valley High School Auditorium, 3625 W. Cactus Road. More information is also available by calling 623-915-8000.

Osborn Elementary School District

Aguirre receives Esperanza Award
Alexis Aguirre, who teaches second-grade Spanish Dual Language at Encanto Elementary, has been selected to receive a 2017 Esperanza Latino Teacher Award, given out annually through Chicanos Por La Causa.

“Esperanza” means “hope,” and his prestigious award celebrates outstanding educators who are the hope for future generations. The Esperanza Latino Teacher Awards is the only awards program that highlights outstanding Latino educators throughout Arizona.

Program focuses on improved reading
In the spring of 2017, Osborn elementary schools teamed up with local nonprofit Read Better Be Better, which works with schools to help third-grade students reach grade level proficiency.

Read Better Be Better’s model pairs “Bigs” (Osborn eighth graders) with “Littles” (Osborn third graders). Working twice a week after school, RBBB has seen success with this model, giving students the chance to help each other and learn together.

Phoenix Union High School District

Metro Tech teacher, alumni win Emmy
Two years ago, Natalie Torres of the Metro Tech Digital Film department and a couple of classmates submitted a video for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) contest, and in October, she won an Emmy at the National Student Production Awards for her production.

Torres, along with Cande Duran and Ashley Salazar, now alumni of Metro Tech (Class of 2016), were the only Arizonans to win the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) award in the Commercial category for “Workplace Etiquette.” The awards honor student productions from across the country.

The piece initially won a video contest and Arizona CTE teachers used the video to address the workplace and employability standards. The CTE Arizona Curriculum Consortium liked the piece so much that they hired Torres part-time.

The trio won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Student Production Award last October, and the work was nominated for the national award. More than 200 students were nominated from the 19 regional chapters of the NATAS and selected by industry professionals and university professors to advance to the national competition.

Bob Marquis, Metro Tech’s Digital Film teacher also was recognized. He watched the live streaming presentation from Los Angeles with Torres and Duran at school on Oct. 3. “Metro Tech High School (and Phoenix Union) now has an Emmy Student Production Award under our belt. Natalie, Ashley, and Cande are making us proud,” Marquis said.

Metro Tech has a flower, gift shop
A makeover of The Shop at Metro Tech took place over the summer and was unveiled Oct. 17, with the help of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

Originally the domain of the Floral Design program, The Shop allows other groups and classes on campus to sell items in a gift shop environment. The Shop is run and operated by the students in Jen Colvin’s Small Business Operations & Floral Design classes, and sells balloons, stuffed animals, gift items, plants and seeds from the Horticulture department, metal roses from the welding class, and more.

The class purchased a floral display cooler with a $5,000 grant they won from the Arizona Diamondback School Challenge last May. Members of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation were on hand for the grand reopening on Oct. 17, along with Brian Denham, owner of the Arizona Flower Market. The Floral Design program purchases flowers at wholesale prices from Denham, who also has been known to hire students who have graduated from the program.

The Shop is taking orders for your holiday flower arrangements, which not only will provide students hands-on design experience but also can be purchased at reduced retail pricing. For more information, call Jen Colvin at 602-764-8061.

Volunteers sought for Academic Decathlon
The first Academic Decathlon event of the year is the Phoenix Union Decathlon, which will be held Nov. 17-18 at Camelback High School. It is not just limited to PUHSD schools. This year, 20 teams are expected.

The decathlon organizers are looking for volunteers for this event. No experience is necessary. It starts with essay scoring, Nov. 15. Friday, Nov. 17 is when speeches and interviews take place, with training beginning at 4 p.m. Dinner is provided for volunteers.  Saturday, Nov. 18, there is a need for test proctors in the morning, and the Super Quiz in the afternoon.

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Sharon Bernero at

North High bands capture awards
The North High Band collected several awards on Sept. 30 in what Band Director Daniel Eaton called an 18-hour day of “bando commando fun.”

The Mustang Marching Band took First Place Overall at the Tucson Sabino Mountain March Invitational, with captions in music general effect and percussion. The Mustang percussion team earned Excellent ratings at the Arizona Percussive Arts Society for snareline, tenorline and pit captions at Westwood High School the same day.

With the Sabino First Place, North qualified for the State Marching Band Championships, to be held Nov. 18 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Washington Elementary School District

Students recognized for acts of kindness
Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona rode into Desert View Elementary in September to recognize two special students as part of its Cycle for Success program.

Through a teacher-led nomination process, wherein educators are asked to submit nominations highlighting students’ good works both inside and outside of the classroom, third grader Maximiliano Rendón and fourth grader Emmanuel Ixta Parra were chosen to be surprised with bikes, helmets and locks, as well as Subway lunches for their entire classes.

The program is in partnership with Subway Restaurants of Arizona, Dasani Water, Shamrock Farms and The Be Kind People Project. The Desert View teachers were Becky Wright (fourth grade) and Roberta Dyer (third grade).

One student winner was described as being supportive of those around him and going out of his way to encourage other students, while the other winner was noted for taking a new student under his wing, helping this student with classwork and interacting with him on the playground.

The Cycle for Success program has been operating for more than a decade and focuses on increasing children’s self-esteem, encouraging the community to become involved in the lives of at-risk children and promoting random acts of kindness in local schools. Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona and The Be Kind People Project advocate for the health and safety of children, recognize random acts of kindness that may otherwise go unnoticed, and encourage community involvement in the lives of at-risk youth.

WESD hosts monthly hiring events though April
The Washington Elementary School District (WESD) will host a Teacher Interview Fair on Saturday, Nov. 4, to hire teachers for the 2018-19 school year. The fair will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the WESD Administrative Center, 4650 West Sweetwater Ave.

Contracts for the 2018-19 school year will be offered to qualified candidates. Student teachers, soon-to-be college graduates, seasoned teachers and alternative pathways are encouraged to attend.

This is the first of six scheduled Teacher Interview Fairs, including Saturdays, Dec. 16 and Jan. 20, 2018, at the same time and location.

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. Successful candidates may be recommended for a 2018-19 teaching contract.

Apply online prior to the interview fair at Select the posting titled, “Teacher –All Positions.” Human Resources will contact qualified applicants directly to preschedule an interview.

Applicants will need to bring a copy of their most recent teacher or student teacher evaluation; and a Teaching Certificate (if applicable).

For more information, contact the WESD Recruitment Office at 602-347-2622 or e-mail

Students envision their futures at event
Sunnyslope School, 245 E. Mountain View Road, hosted a Kids at Hope event on Oct. 6. Family members were invited to join students in learning about ways they can be successful in the future and the importance of building a strong and supportive home life.

Students designed their future homes and planned a budget, played games that could be used for family game night, created family quilts and more.

Private and Charter Schools

Xavier mourns loss of “Coach Mo”
Xavier College Preparatory on Sept. 25 announced the passing of the school’s varsity swim coach, Maureen Rankin, after her valiant battle with cancer. Services were held on Sept. 30.

“Coach Mo” began her Xavier coaching career in August 2016, posting outstanding results and an impressive record right away. One year later, as she commenced her second season as Xavier’s swim coach, she also joined the school’s finance office.

Rankin was a four-time high school state champion swimmer at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Ore., where she was awarded Oregon Swimming’s “Most Outstanding Female Swimmer of the Year” honors. A nine-time All-American and member of the U.S. Swimming Junior National Team, she attended the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship. She held multiple national championship titles and numerous state records as a U.S. Masters Swimmer.

Throughout her 20-year coaching career, Rankin coached developmental, age group, high school, and masters swimming levels. She was a member of the Brophy East Swim Team/Phoenix Swim Club coaching staff for 13 years, and she coached some of Arizona’s top swimmers to state championship titles, national accolades, college scholarships, and U.S. Swimming National Team berths. She also was the director of marketing for Swimming World Magazine.

“Coach Mo excelled in every aspect of her life,” said Sister Lynn Winsor, BVM, vice principal for Activities and Athletic Director at Xavier College Preparatory, “and the Xavier community is most grateful for all that she did for Xavier. She was a fabulous swimming coach and a wonderful person. Her two favorite things in life were her family and her swimmers, and she was deeply proud of all of them. She will be missed tremendously.”

Rankin is survived by her husband, Mark, and her two children, Mia (a Xavier freshman) and Luke.

Helping to celebrate new garden next door
Keep Phoenix Beautiful’s Pierson Street Garden is directly across the street from Midtown Primary School, located at 4735 N. 19th Ave. Midtown’s staff and families were invited to the dedication of the garden’s new fence, held on Sept. 11.

Mary Lu Nunley, garden project manager from Keep Phoenix Beautiful;   David Longoria, chief of staff to Vice Mayor Laura Pastor; and volunteers from Lowes attended the event.

Tom Waldeck, president and CEO of Keep Phoenix Beautiful commented, “We have been active in Phoenix since 1982 to involve and educate residents about recycling management and beautification practices.”

Midtown has since increased its recycling efforts and been accepted into the cities “Zero Waste” program. Midtown’s students are excited to tour ASU’s solar house when it is installed on the property. In the meantime, students decorated the ribbon that was used in the garden’s Grand Opening on Oct. 28.

Fashion Show spotlights Brophy Prep seniors
The Brophy College Preparatory Mothers’ Guild and Neiman Marcus will host the annual Brophy Fashion Show on Friday, Nov. 3, with proceeds benefiting the Brophy Financial Aid Fund.

This year’s event, “Set the World on Fire,” will take place at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel, and feature the fashions of Monique Lhuillier, presented by Neiman Marcus and the designer herself. Lhuillier is internationally recognized as one of America’s foremost designers and has donated a ball gown to be raffled at the event.

More than 200 members of Brophy’s senior class will be dressed in fashions from Biltmore Fashion Park, Scottsdale Fashion Square, other fine Phoenix retailers, the Brophy Varsity Shop and its many clubs and sports teams.

While the fun and lively event is an annual crowd pleaser, the Brophy Fashion Show’s fundraising purpose is to change the lives of deserving young men thorough contributions to the Brophy College Preparatory Financial Aid Fund.

Since 1984, the Brophy Fashion Show has raised more than $6 million for scholarships awarded to academically qualified students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Brophy.

The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and includes a social hour, lunch, shopping, raffles, and spectacular fashions showcased by professional models and Brophy seniors. To purchase tables, individual tickets, centerpieces, commemorative shirts or raffle tickets, go to

Brophy hosts annual Open House Nov. 12
Brophy College Preparatory will host its once-a-year Open House event on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 12:30-3 p.m. Parents and prospective students can gather information about academics, sports, student life, parent organizations, the admissions process, tuition, and financial aid

Brophy students will conduct campus tours that provide the opportunity not only to get acquainted with the campus and its facilities, but also to speak to faculty members in the classrooms.

Brophy College Preparatory, the only Catholic, Jesuit high school in Arizona, was established in 1928. It is located at 4701 N. Central Ave. Enter at the light at Central and Highland avenues. Volunteers will be on hand directing parking. No reservations are necessary and all ages are welcome.

Annual holiday pageant has free admission
Xavier College Preparatory presents its 15th Annual Christmas Pageant at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3 in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center on Xavier’s campus, 4710 N. 5th St.

The pageant is the traditional story of the birth of Christ as told through reverent music and dance. The performance is Xavier’s gift to the community, so there will not be a charge for admission.

Heekin makes list of Commended
Noah Heekin, a senior at Madison Highland Prep, was named a Commended Student in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, was presented by Kerry Clark, principal of MHP to Heekin.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the 2016 PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).

Xavier rowers earn three Gold Medals
Xavier College Preparatory’s crew team opened its season on Oct. 7 in the 2017 Okie O’Connor Hot Head Regatta on Tempe Town Lake.

The defending state champion Gators rowed their way to three gold medals in the varsity 4x, varsity 4+, and varsity 8+ races; two silver medals in the novice 8+ and varsity 4+ races; a bronze medal in the varsity 4+ race; and fourth and sixth place finishes in the varsity 2x race.


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