Glendale Union High School District

Shively named an Administrator of Year

Glendale Union High School District Director of Career and Technical Education Amanda Shively is once again being recognized for her achievements.

Arizona DECA recently named her the 2019 Administrator of the Year. Shively was honored at the DECA International Career Development Conference in April.

In 2013, she was named the Region V Outstanding Career and Technical Education Administrator of the Year. The Association for Career and Technical Education of Arizona selected Shively for this award and recognized her at the ACTE Summer Conference for Career and Technical Education, held in Tucson.

She also was a finalist for that same ACTE award in 2015.

Shively previously served as treasurer of the Glendale Union Education Association (GUEA), the professional organization made up of members in the Glendale Union High School District.


Former grads can connect on online

Getting in touch with high school graduating classes and looking for information about upcoming class reunions is only a click away.

The Glendale Union High School District provides an online alumni contact form that allows graduates to get in contact with their former classmates. Personal information provided on the website will never be sold to a third party and only helps the district keep track of where its alumni go after they graduate from its schools. It also allows reunion organizers to reach out to classmates to tell them about planned events.

To fill out the online form, visit

Alumni also can stay up-to-date about what’s happening at their former alma maters by following the school on Facebook. Last year every district high  school launched its own Facebook page, including SunnyslopeHighSchoolAZ, ThunderbirdHighSchoolAZ and WashingtonHighSchoolAZ. Pages are updated regularly.


Governing Board honors employees

Glendale Union High School District honored 38 employees on May 1 at the annual 25-Year Employee and Retiree Recognition Reception. Of those recognized, 14 are current employees while 24 are retirees.

Those recognized included Michael Fenton, Lynn Murphy and Sheila Novak from Sunnyslope High School; and Dale Duncan of the district office. The 2018-2019 retirees included Rhonda Kiehn, William McClure and Lynn Murphy from Sunnyslope; Robert Falk, Chris Francis, Renee Kaye, Lauren Kelly, Anita Kratzer, Mitsuko Mehnert, Jeannie Paparella and Kim Woods from Thunderbird; Linda Dooling and Jose Romero-Lopez from Washington; and Trina Carricart, Maryellen Coburn, Brad Nassif and Lou Wiegand from the district office.

Madison Elementary School District

Madison Park receives STEAM grant from SRP

Students across Arizona will explore how to use drones, virtual reality and energy-efficient architecture to learn more about math and science, thanks to Learning Grants from SRP.

The grant program, which awarded a record $147,855 to 33 schools, provides an opportunity for schools and teachers to develop projects and programs that improve student performance objectives in math, science and engineering.

Among the grant recipients was Madison Park Elementary, which received a grant of $4,710 for the 2019-20 school year. The grant will provide the school with essential STEAM materials intended to enhance the classroom lessons, enabling students to have a more hands-on approach in their learning. The grant also will provide material for the library that will supplement science, math and technology classes.


Tutor Gayle Stuart works with fourth-grade student Kimberly Castaneda at Madison Camelview Elementary School. Stuart is one of the tutors through the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program (photo courtesy of Madison Elementary School District).

Volunteers needed to help students with reading

Volunteers are needed in the Madison School District to help children learn to read. The Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program is looking for volunteers to donate time by visiting with students once a week for an hour during the school day to help a child improve reading, writing and communication skills.

The program serves students in grades kindergarten through fourth in Heights, Camelview, Rose Lane and Simis elementary schools. A reading specialist trains tutors and the volunteers receive tutoring handbooks, supplies and other materials. Training to become an Oasis tutor takes place twice a year, with the next training events will be Sept. 23-25 from 9 a.m. to noon at Camelview Elementary School, 2002 E. Campbell Ave.

Anyone interested in becoming a literacy mentor should contact Kim Gullo at or 602-664-7285.


Osborn Elementary School DistrictPrograms target special needs students

Two new programs have come to the Osborn Elementary School District, both housed at Montecito Community School.

The SEAS Program (Social, Emotional, and Academic Support) provides services to students with profound social and emotional needs, as identified through an evaluation. Montecito provides three, multi-grade classrooms that have a maximum of 12 children in each one. The students benefit from academic instruction and personalized support to develop resilience and social capacities.

The other new program is the Changemakers Alternative Education Program.  The program educates students who have shown a need for intensive behavioral support. Changemakers is designed as an alternative to the suspension program and offers personalized instruction and support to students until they are able to safely and successfully reintegrate into their home campus.


iTeachAZ Program expanding around Valley

An innovative professional program started in Osborn School District has expanded to many other districts in the Valley.

The Osborn district was the original home of the iTeachAZ Program for imbedded teacher certification. Arizona State University has taken the iTeach model to its next form, moving away from the traditional 1:1 pairing of a lead teacher and student teacher in one classroom, to three student teachers working with a lead teacher in two classes. This decreases the student-to-teacher ratio and increases the amount of contact time students have with adults.

Begun last year in Pendergast and Avondale, ASU has reached out to many school districts in the Valley to continue the partnership in developing a strong cadre of future teachers for the state. Osborn has six Professional Pathways models in action this year at Encanto, Longiew, and Solano elementary schools and Osborn Middle School, as well as two models at Clarendon Elementary School.


Safety, technological upgrades made

It is easy to see the face changes and improvements in safety and security around the Osborn School District that came about through voter approval of  $50 million dollar bond.

Just 18 months after the bond election, a redesigned and reconfigured Firehawk Park opened at Osborn Middle School. Permanent shade structures will finish the project and are expected to be installed over winter break. The school also has a new gym floor.

Solano Elementary School will get a full-size gym while Longview Elementary School received the first installation of 50 Sharp TVs (interactive boards and monitors). The school will get 100 more over the next year to replace the SmartBoards being used over the last decade. By the 2020-21 school year all district classrooms will have Sharp TVs.

The bond also provided funds to redesign schools’ front offices to enhance safety and utility. Principals and the design team together created safety features to control access into the schools while still preserving a welcoming space for the community. Solar shading offered at all Osborn campuses will provided more than $500,000 in budgetary savings per year when fully operational in October.

Phoenix Union High School District

New handbooks set standards

PUHSD has a brand new Phoenix Union Handbook for students and their families this school year.

The new handbook takes the place of the Student Procedures Handbook. The book provides not only discipline procedures and policy but also introduces parents to programs and services, including ELL, ESS, as well as Food and Nutrition, Student and Family Services, School Safety and Transportation. It also presents a districtwide dress code, along with attendance requirements, student expectations and restorative practices provided at school and at home.

Handbooks are available at, under the “Students” tab.


Bus drivers seeing pay raise

Phoenix Union bus drivers will see a significant raise this school year.

The drivers will receive at least $18.47 an hour, with more for some bus drivers, depending on experience. The increase reflects the major shortage and demand for drivers in the district and around the state. The position comes with a 30-hour guarantee per week, as well as full benefits and the opportunity for extra hours.

For more information, contact Transportation Director Bryan Henderson at 602-764-1612.


Educator earns Master Teacher certification

Monique Mogro, the professional development specialist at Metro Tech, is the newest Arizona Master Teacher in the Phoenix Union district. Mogro is in her 20th year with the district where she began as a student teacher in the communications department at South Mountain.

She was hired at Metro Tech in 1999, taught social studies for 14 years, served as the instructional leader of the department and has been the professional development specialist there for six years. Her principal, Bryan Reynoso, who is also a Master Teacher and a mentor, suggested she pursue the distinction.

The Master Teacher Program is an effort to place outstanding and experienced teachers into leadership roles to provide mentoring to new teachers or coaching English or math content teachers.

Washington Elementary School District

Teachers graduate from training program

Dozens of Washington Elementary School District teachers are embarking on this new school year on a high note.

Just before the end of last school year, the WESD honored 64 teachers who graduated from BEGIN III (Beginning Educators Growing in Knowledge), the district’s teacher induction program.

The BEGIN program focuses on providing peer support and training opportunities to teachers new to the profession. It enhances new teachers’ abilities to provide education that prepares students for the challenges of an increasingly diverse community and changing society. It is one of the longest running “teacher/mentor” programs in the state.

Graduates were honored at a special reception that included speeches from Governing Board Vice President Tee Lambert, Superintendent Paul Stanton and Director of Professional Development, Maggie Westhoff. Each graduate was presented with a special award. Among the honorees were  Shayna Adams, Megan Knowles, Ylicia Ramirez and Amber Walker of Royal Palm Middle School; Megan Allen and Martin Brown of Sunnyslope School; Dominic Colonero of Orangewood School; Rachel Dean, Claudia Gallardo and Anne Marie Kessler of Mountain View School; Chanel Turner of Maryland School; and Taylor Roseberry of Desert View School.

Private and Charter Schools

MHP students recognized for language skills

The Arizona Department of Education and Madison Highland Prep recently recognized graduating students who demonstrated proficiency in English and at least one other language, as shown by their performance on a state board approved assessment, with the Arizona Seal of Biliteracy on their high school diploma and transcript. In order to be eligible for the diploma distinction, graduating students must complete all English Language Arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale; pass all English Language Arts end of course examinations; and demonstrate proficiency in a second language by attaining the required score on a language assessment the Arizona State Board of Education adopted.

MHP, a STEM charter high school in Phoenix, congratulates the following students who were awarded the 2019 Arizona Seal of Bi-literacy diploma distinctions in Spanish: Jacqueline Chilel, Andy Padilla and Manuel Sotelo. Also the following students demonstrated proficiency and are eligible for the diploma distinction in Spanish, pending completion of English Language Arts requirements: Michelle Almeida, Geovanny Brambila, Annalise Calleja, Corina Cervantes Moran and Jose Guevara.


Brophy forms archery team

Brophy College Preparatory has registered with the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) and now offers archery as a club sport. The Broncos will join the Xavier Hotshots archery team in practices and will share coaching staffs.

An introduction, orientation and initial tryout/practice is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Ben Avery Archery Range. The season begins in late September and wraps up at the end of February with the state tournament. The Brophy team needs at least 12 participants and will cap the roster at 24. Athletes can earn varsity and junior varsity letters at the end of the year.

Lisa Fischer, who also coaches at Xavier, will lead the program as head coach. She is a certified NASP basic archery instructor and a certified level 2 USA archery instructor.


Xavier teacher creates custom texts for students

Xavier College Preparatory teacher Nicole Mabante has introduced a “working text” for instruction in her honors and AP Chemistry classes. After years of making up her own handouts for student instruction that would allow the concepts of chemistry to be more understandable and approachable, Mabante teamed up with Edvantage Interactive to customize working texts for her Xavier classes.

An example of the customization that Mabante is incorporating is QR codes that link to videos of her teaching a lesson.

“If students miss class for any reason, they will be able to access the lesson being taught so work can be made up and they don’t fall behind,” Mabante said.

Xavier Principal Sr. Joan Nuckols said the school is “blessed to have Ms. Mabante as a member of our faculty.”

“The innovation that she has brought to our science curriculum is exactly what we strive for in all of our classes—innovative teaching that forms our students for excellence in learning,” Nuckols added.

With AP textbooks changing every few years per the College Board, these customized books serve as textbooks and workbooks generating a cost savings of more than 50 percent per student.

“The cost savings is great for the student,” Mabante shared, “But as a teacher, customizing the concepts and problems for maximum learning potential for the students is what I appreciate most.”


Academy welcomes new Rabbi principal

Menachem Mendel Academy (MMA) in Phoenix has named Rabbi Yoseph Wernick asiprincipal. Born and raised in Australia, Wernick learned in Yeshivot and graduate programs in Australia and New York and he earned an MBA after returning to Australia.

MMA opened in August 2018 for boys in grades 1-6, with an integrated curriculum of Torah and English studies, built around customized learning for each child. This fall it will expand through grade 8 for boys and will add a separate girls’ division, grades 1-6, to its Central Phoenix campus, which is located inside the synagogue facility at 6516 N. 7th St. The school is in the process of securing its own building.

Wernick has nearly 25 years of experience as a teacher and principal in both traditional and innovative settings. with limited facilities and students of diverse ages.

Registration information is available at or by calling 480-909-6942.


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.