Creighton Elementary School District

School receives Check from JOANN

Larry C. Kennedy School, 2702 E. Osborn Road, was the beneficiary of a $1,500 donation as part of the Oct. 26 grand opening of a new JOANN store nearby at 30th Street and Indian School Road. As part of its mission to inspire creativity and learning and to give back to the community, JOANN officials made the donation to fund a project of the school’s choosing.

School officials at the event, including Principal Amy Burgess and Assistant Principal Katie Cartier, said the money will be used in part to stock the Dragon Den on campus, which distributes “student incentives” to promote positive behavior.


Glendale Union High School District

GUHSD to host college nights

Learn how to help your high school student build his/her pathway for acceptance to top colleges, as the Glendale Union High School District hosts the third-annual Pathway to America’s Top Colleges and University Night 6 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Moon Valley High School Auditorium, 3625 W. Cactus Road.

This informational evening will introduce 9th-11th grade students and their families to prestigious college and university opportunities. Current students and alumni from some of the country’s top schools will be onsite for families to explore higher education opportunities. The evening will also include important information on financial aid and student scholarships.

Registration will be available on the GUHSD website at beginning Dec. 21. Contact the District Office at (623) 435-6003 for more information.


Volunteering to help a children’s charity

Members of the Thunderbird High baseball team volunteered their time to support the Jaydie Lynn King Foundation’s 10th-annual Team Jaydie Golf Tournament, held Oct. 27 at Stone Creek Golf Club.

Players and coaches arrived early to help set up for the event by blowing up balloons and preparing welcome gifts for golfers.

Team Jaydie is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for organizations and individuals to be involved with and fund programs that provide comfort, hope and emotional assistance to children who suffer from tumors, cancer, and other blood disorders. Proceeds of the tournament benefitted Phoenix Children’s Hospital.


SHS Badminton brings home trophy

The badminton team at Sunnyslope High School recently won the 2018 AIA Badminton State Championship – Division II Title. The undefeated Vikings beat Ironwood High School 5-1 in the championship match.

This is Sunnyslope Badminton’s third consecutive state championship win and 11th state title overall. The Vikings were proud to bring home yet another championship trophy.


Osborn Elementary School District

Solano is part of global community

If you visit Solano School it is easy to see that “We Are Solano!” is far more than a slogan for the school. It is recognition of a community that respects and values the cultures from which the members of the school and neighborhood of Solano come.

That diversity is seen all over campus—from the large map of the world highlighting all the countries from which Solano families originate; to flags of those same countries hanging on the fence on days of celebration at Solano events; to a rack of books in multiple languages sitting outside Principal Reneè Hamill’s office.

At the time of year that many enjoy dressing up for Halloween, Solano School stops to recognize the cultures represented at the school, encouraging students to wear the traditional dress of their family’s culture.


Phoenix Union High School District

High honors earned by North JROTC

The North High School JROTC recently received the Department of the Army “Honor Unit with Distinction Award” for the ninth consecutive year. This was also the ninth consecutive year that North finished first place in the district when competing for this prestigious award that is signed by the Secretary of the Army.

To achieve the Honor Unit with Distinction, a JROTC Program has to score a 95 percent or above on all 10 inspected categories; North’s overall score this year was 98.75 percent.

This annual compliance inspection tests both the cadet battalion staff and each of the companies in the battalion. The award was presented to the Cadets of the Mustang Battalion at their monthly Battalion Award and Promotion Formation, Oct. 17.


Student artist gets help from Scottsdale gallery

Camelback High School senior Justin Dubell is in DECA, an entrepreneur and marketing club. But he is well beyond the club already with his entrepreneurial spirit.

He has opened his own design company, JDub Art Design, and has a collection of paintings he has produced. He also specializes in murals and fine art designs, and has already done work for a local restaurant—he painted a mural at the Angry Crab Shack at 2808 E. Indian School Road.

Dubell has some of his original artwork hanging in the Art One Gallery, located at 4130 N. Marshall Drive in Old Town Scottsdale. Some of his art has a water element in it, which Dubell says really speaks to him even though he is an Arizona native and has only seen the ocean once in his life.

During the gallery’s 25th anniversary on Nov. 8, Dubell chatted with guests and sold two of the four pieces on display. More of his work will be added to the gallery space shortly.

Art One Gallery has been representing students of Arizona universities, community colleges, and high schools, as well as local Arizona artists since 1993. Selected students are allowed to hang their work for free, and keep all proceeds for their sales.

Dubell has been accepted into the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, and plans to major in Entrepreneurship, with a minor in Design. He hopes to become a mentor to young artists like himself and guide them on the road to success in their creative fields.

To view some of Dubell’s work, visit his Instagram page @j_dub_3425. To inquire about his design services, e-mail


Camelback hosts overnight Hackathon

Camelback High hosted an overnight Innovation Hackathon, Nov. 17-18. The Hackathon included entrepreneurship, engineering and Montessori science students from Camelback as well as 5th-8th graders from four partner elementary schools—Madison No. 1, Pat Tillman, William T. Machan and Wilson Elementaries.

The students and teachers chose to focus the hack on four of the goals from the Global Goals Initiative campaign: Fresh Water, Education, Food/ Agriculture and Recycle & Reuse.

Several community partners, colleges and entrepreneurs helped kick off the event and the first “hack” of the evening was two Farm to Table Chefs who worked with Camelback’s advanced culinary students to prepare the evening meal.

The teams of inventors (students) came to the Hack with a problem to solve and the idea for their prototype. They had Friday evening through Saturday morning to build their prototype (in the school’s maker space) and create their pitch board. On Saturday morning, they pitched their ideas to a panel of judges to compete for awards in various categories.

The Camelback Entrepreneurship/ DECA students came up with this event. They secured the sponsors, met with the teachers, and designed the agenda.


Hollywood celebs talk politics at North

Some 30 North High students had the opportunity to talk voting and politics with two celebrities who visited the campus on Oct. 24.

Film and TV star America Ferrera and Oscar winner Natalie Portman stopped in on their Somos Más GOVT Tour, presented by Voto Latino. The organization heard about Phoenix Union’s student civic engagement and voter registration efforts and they met a group of mostly seniors who recently registered to vote and student volunteers who helped with the District-wide National Voter Registration Day. The discussion ranged from the importance of voting to issues facing the local community. Maria Teresa Kumar, a nationally recognized commentator and the president and CEO of Voto Latino, also attended.

Ferrera, who was Betty Suarez in the TV show “Ugly Betty,” and also appeared in movies such as “Real Women Have Curves” and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” is politically active. She spoke at the 2016 Democratic Convention, was the opening speaker for the Women’s March on Washington, in January 2017, took part in the #MeToo campaign and was a founding member of the Time’s Up legal defense fund. Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007.

Portman, who was in three Star Wars episodes as Padmé Amidala, as well as two Thor movies, won an Oscar for Best Actress in “Black Swan.” She has also been politically active, supporting anti-poverty initiatives, such as microlending to help finance women-owned businesses. She participated in the 2018 Women’s March in Los Angeles.


Students prepare food for charity event

Fifteen Central High students and Culinary Arts Teacher Erin Sullivan worked the Phoenix Suns Slam Dunk Charity Dinner on Nov. 3. Students each worked their own station and together prepared 2,000 dinners in 29 minutes.

The dishes of the evening were pan-seared chicken breasts with chimichurri, herb roasted purple potatoes, and honey chile roasted carrots. The vegetarian option was a portabella mushroom and zucchini napoleon with roasted red pepper coulis, herb roasted purple potatoes and honey chile-roasted potatoes.


Washington Elementary School District

Kiwanis club helps with music, books

The North Phoenix Kiwanis Club has been a valued partner of WESD for many years and has positively impacted students and the community.

Jim Day, president of the club, understands the importance of arts education and how it allows students to use their knowledge creatively in the classroom. “Taking music instruments and repairing them so that students can use them made a lot of sense,” Day said. The North Phoenix Kiwanis Club generously donated $19,549.55 to refurbish musical instruments and cases. This donation will help every child in WESD have access to an instrument as part of a new district music initiative.

Samantha Chariker, coordinator of special areas for the WESD stated, “This generous donation has completed the district’s new applied music initiative, ensuring all K-6 students have the opportunity to learn to play the violin, trumpet, trombone, flute and much more. It also ensures that our middle schools will have access to higher functioning instruments. We are grateful and look forward to putting this donation into action!”

North Phoenix Kiwanis also donated $8,250 for new library books and furniture at Washington Elementary, Maryland School and Palo Verde Middle School.


Private and Charter Schools

Sponsors sought for state robotics event

Madison Highland Prep will host the 5th-Annual VEX State Qualifier tournament on Saturday, Jan. 19. The annual state tournament will include two competition fields in the gymnasium and one practice field along with the team pits in the student commons.

MHP, a Phoenix STEM charter school, will look to recruit additional corporate sponsors along with up to 100 volunteers to conduct the event.

The robotics competition game for this season is “Turning Point.” The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by high or low scoring caps, toggling flags, and alliance or center parking on the platforms.

Matches consist of two periods, a 15-second autonomous period and a 1 minute and 45 second driver controlled period. MHP VEX Robotics looks to earn its third consecutive berth to the AIA state championships in March. The team is coached by Terri Lake, engineering teacher.

For information about becoming a business sponsor or volunteer for the event, visit the MHP office, 1431 E. Campbell Ave., or call 602-745-3800.


Athletics going strong at Phoenix Christian

Phoenix Christian Preparatory School offers 16 conference high school sport opportunities and eight at the middle school level as part of the Cactus Christian Schools League. The PC Cougars completed fall sports competitions in November and have commenced practice opportunities for winter sports.

During the recently completed fall sports season, nearly 50 percent of the PC student population participated in athletics-related extra-curricular activities. The interscholastic athletics teams at Phoenix Christian play an important role in helping to develop PC’s four pillars of Faith, Citizenship, Academic Success and Physical Fitness in the lives of each student.

PC programs are designed to work in conjunction with the spiritual, academic and social pillars of the school to encourage student-athletes to be young men and women of strong moral character and strong work ethic. For more information about Phoenix Christian or its athletics programs, contact Keith Baker, VP of Athletics & Activities, at


Holidays in full swing at Midtown Primary

Midtown Primary School recently hosted its 16th Harvest Fest on campus, open to all family members of staff and students. In Pilgrim tradition, each class brings a contribution to the meal—green beans, rolls, pies, etc. The school provides turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Students create turkey bread baskets, beaded pumpkins, an assortment of turkeys creations, and pumpkin placemats to decorate the hall in celebration of all the things they are thankful for.

Many of Midtown’s graduates return for the day to help on the serving line. The older students deliver pieces of pie. There are usually 300 meals served.

This month, there will be a Winter Fest, a Gingerbread Brunch, and an evening of holiday songs. On Dec. 13, Midtown Primary will present its Holiday Performance beginning at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4735 N 19th Ave. The performance is free and open to the public.


Volleyball players recognized for skill

Xavier College Prep Volleyball had seven members honored by the 6A Premier Region for outstanding contributions to high school volleyball this past season.

Top honors went to Coach Lamar-Renee Bryant as Coach of the Year and Senior Setter Shannon Shields as Player of the Year. First Team honors were given out to Junior Outside Hitter Bri McKnight and Junior Middle Blocker Jasmine Knight. Second Team honors went to Sophomore Outside Hitter Serena Turner.

Senior Libero Ashley Yeung and Senior Middle Blocker Hayley Nash received Honorable Mentions.

Xavier, with a record of 33-9, won the 6A State Championship this, year defeating Corona del Sol in straight sets. This is Xavier’s second title in a row.


Ditching their skirts for a good cause

Xavier College Prep, ever proud of its Catholic tradition of a plaid uniform skirt, “canned” the skirt to raise cash and cans for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Coordinated by the members of the National Honor Society (NHS), the entire Xavier community participated in providing meals for the hungry.

Being allowed to not wear the skirt on Wednesdays if you brought in cash or cans of food was the fun part of this fundraiser.

“This drive is a true testament to what Xavier is all about,” said NHS Advisor Tara Metzger. “The coming together of our faculty, staff, students, parents and friends to assist the hungry in our local community is something we appreciate doing during this special time of year.”

A total of 4,856 cans were brought to campus. In addition, $18,446 dollars was donated to the cause. For each dollar donated, the St. Vincent de Paul Society can purchase ten cans of food. The total number of “cans” donated through cash and cans was 189,316.


Student learn musical skills

Edwin Cortez, a junior at Empower College Prep High School, wants everyone to have the opportunity to make their own music. Cortez is one of 53 students learning guitar and piano this year at Empower. His teacher, Will Sawyer, also has 41 choir students and has started a ukulele band and symphonic band at the elementary school.

“He’s not just teaching us how to play the guitar,” Cortez said. “He is teaching us the music theory behind it so we can be smarter artists.”

Sawyer’s dream is to build a program that features several ensembles, including a jazz band and rock band, in addition to a drama production and students auditioning for all-state choir.

Sawyer is also exploring the possibility of launching an AP Music Theory course for students who want to get a jump-start on a Music Major.

On Dec. 14, Sawyer’s choirs will perform in the Pakis Playhouse on the campus at 2411 W. Colter St.. The concert open to family, prospective students and families, and community supporters. For more information, visit


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