North Central News

School Briefs

Glendale Union High School District

Washington High teens feed starving kids
Impoverished children in the Philippines will be able to eat nutritious food thanks to the Interact Club and dance students at Washington High School. The students at Washington packed more than 53,000 meals while volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization. In addition the meals the students packed will offer enough food to feed over 140 children for a year.

The varsity volleyball team at Sunnyslope High School celebrates winning the 2019 AIA 5A Volleyball State Championship (submitted photo).

Sunnyslope volleyball team wins state title
The varsity volleyball team at Sunnyslope High School is celebrating after winning the 2019 AIA 5A Volleyball State Championship. It is the ninth state championship title for Sunnyslope Varsity Volleyball.

The Vikings beat Millennium High School after a five-set match in the championship game. Athletes on the Sunnyslope team were proud to represent the school and take home another trophy to the campus.

Tax credit donations help schools
If you want to give a gift to keep giving students in the Glendale Union High School District educational opportunities, consider making a tax-credit donation.

When you donate to a high school or program of your choice you help students get the most out of their experiences. Rather than paying towards Arizona’s general fund, the tax-credit contribution stays in the community, helping students in the district.

State law also allows you to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for any donation you make to an Arizona public high school. You may use that as a credit against any Arizona income taxes you owe.

Married couples may contribute up to $400 when filing jointly while those who are married but filing separately may give up to $200 per person and single individuals may give up to $200.

To learn more, consult a tax professional and to obtain a form, visit guhsdaz.org or contact the school of your choice.

Madison Elementary School District

Winter break camp coming up
District students can attend a winter break recreational camp at Madison Simis Elementary School at 7302 N. 10th St. when classes are out for the holidays. Winter break runs from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3.

The camp is educational and offers fun activities including specialty classes, recreation, snacks and bi-weekly field trips. It costs $41.25 a day. To register and learn more, visit madisonaz.org/parents/pay-a-fee/registrations-payments.

Adventure Club to expand offerings
When children and teens head back to school after winter break, they will be able to learn new skills in the Madison Adventure Club. The before- and after-school program is offered at all schools in the district.

Students will have a chance to take part in new activities next semester – coding, videography, painting, sports, technology and ceramics in the Madison Adventure Club. Enrollment is open now. To register and learn more visit madisonaz.org/why-madison/before-after-school-programs or call 602-664-7956 or email ceinfo@madisoned.org.

Madison Meadows teachers seek support
Some teachers at Madison Meadows Middle School are seeking support to expand their students’ horizons.

Jennifer Mimier, a language arts teacher, has asked for help buying copies of the book “The Giver,” an American young adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. According to Mimier’s comments on the Donors Choose website, she teaches dystopian literature because it “makes [students] ask questions about the real world around us and consider events from other perspectives.” Mimier wants her students to be able to take books home to read to free up class time for more engaging talks. Currently she has only one set of books, which means students have to buy their own. Mimier’s goal is to raise $259 for the books.

Kim Lynch, also a teacher at Madison Meadows Middle School, is asking for donations to buy pan balances to help her students learn algebra in a hands-on way. Her goal is to raise $538 and so far two donors have contributed.

Lynch said that pan balance activities boost student understanding and achievement. Her students would use them in class groups of four so they can manipulate the variables and equations during lessons.

Madison Meadows teacher Noel McClure needs support to buy supplies to create puzzles for math class. She said her seventh-grade students have learned how to solve for one-step equations and next will use inverse operations to solve for two-step equations. Puzzles allow students on one side to show part of the equation and then, on the other side of the puzzle, the equivalent will show up. McClure is hoping to take in $207 and two donors have helped so far.

Teachers at other schools in the Madison Elementary School District also are seeking help for educational projects. To contribute, visit donorschoose.org.

Phoenix Union High School District

Construction careers focus of student event
Several Camelback High School students dug into construction career activities at a recent event.

Cindee Badalamente and Melissa Mendivil, counselors, and Danchi Nguyen, Montessori Program director at Camelback High, took 20 students to the 18th annual Arizona Construction Career Days last month at the Arizona Army National Guard at Papago Park. The event introduced students to career choices they might not otherwise have considered that do not necessarily require having a college degree.

Participants scaled a wall, welded and operated a backhoe and talked to representatives from construction companies and apprenticeship programs. Rosendin, an electrical contracting company, provided the students who took part in the event hands-on demonstrations with technology that has changed the industry. About 3,500 students and 400 teachers from 12 counties participated in the event, along with 65 companies. Most of the Camelback High students who went to the event are interested in careers in construction.

Lois Drinkwater visits Central High.

Central High teams win, Olympian alumna visits
Central High School is on a roll as its 2019 girls varsity badminton and volleyball teams each won the Metro Region title for their sports.

In other sports-related news, Lois Drinkwater, Central High class of 1969, who was inducted into the Phoenix Union High School District’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, met with the Central High cross country team that recently went to the state championship. She was a 1968 Olympian and 1968 AAU Indoors 400-meter champion in track and represented the United States in an indoor dual-meet against West Germany in 1969.

Drinkwater went on to teach and coach track for 34 years, along with her husband, Ed. She also taught math and life sciences in another school district and was inducted into the College of Wooster Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

Central High teen named Student of Month
Central High School student Ali Muhammad Lonergan Geer was chosen as the Golden Rule Student of the Month for November. AZTV-7 recently honored him and he was on the air as part of the “Daily Mix” morning show.

The segment features high school students who interview their peers, as well as experts talking about social media, mental health, civic engagement and other topics. #LiveGolden explores people showing “Golden Rule” behavior in the state, with a focus on teenagers. Each segment has a different focus but the videos always affirm the importance of civility and respect in an increasingly global yet often polarized world. On the show, it was revealed that Geer volunteers at homeless shelters, works as a lifeguard and helps generate understanding of different religions in his community.

Washington Elementary School District

Desert View grows garden for learning
Desert View Elementary School students are going green with a new garden volunteers from HonorHealth and The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation helped them plant.

The volunteers and students spent a whole day building the $30,000 learning garden for students at the school at 8621 N. 3rd St.

Almost 100 volunteers turned part of the school’s yard into an outdoor learning lab with garden beds, plants and interactive learning features. HonorHealth and Sprouts each donated $5,000 to cover the costs for the project and Sprouts pitched in an additional $20,000 to allow Out Teach to bring its modern, project-based learning model to the garden. Out Teach is a national, teacher-development, non-profit organization aimed at ensuring that all students have access to hands-on, engaging lessons. More than half of the materials for the garden came from area small businesses including Preach Landscape and Building Supply and Heldt Lumber.

Students at Desert View are already using the new learning garden and teachers and staff members are working with the nutrition outreach team at HonorHealth Desert Mission Food Bank to adopt and integrate a nutrition and garden curriculum for the classroom. HonorHealth Desert Mission Food Bank serves many children at Desert View Elementary School through its Snack Pack program, where schools receive bags of nutritious food for kids every week.

Students earn perfect test scores
Several students in the Washington Elementary School District were recognized for achieving perfect scores on the 2018-2019 AzMERIT assessments.

The district governing board at a recent meeting honored five students who earned perfect scores on the math and English Language Arts sections of the test. These students are Rubee Steward, who attends Acacia Elementary; Daniel Tang, a student at Cholla Middle School; Mert Isik, a student at Royal Palm Middle School, Owen St. Clair, who goes to Sahuaro Elementary, and Megan Dafolgueira, a student at Sunnyslope School.

In addition to these students, 163 students from 26 schools in the district received perfect scores on either the math or English Language Arts parts of the AzMERIT test.

District to hold teacher job fair
Are you interested in working with students in the Washington Elementary School District? Then plan to attend the district’s Teacher Interview Fair on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the District Administrative Center, 4650 W. Sweetwater Ave. in Glendale. Student teachers and soon-to-be-college graduates are encouraged to participate and should come ready to interview.

Interviews will be conducted for teachers in middle school (grades 7-8), math, English Language Arts, science, kindergarten through sixth grades, music, art, physical education and special education. The district offers benefits including competitive pay, discounted childcare, loan forgiveness, weekly professional development, tuition discounts, paid holidays, sick leave, vacation time, medical and dental plans with no cost premiums, and employer-matched Arizona State Retirement contributions.

Apply online before the job fair at jobs.wesdschools.org.

Tax-credit donations fund equipment, activities
During this season of giving, community members are encouraged to make a tax-credit donation to the school of their choice.

Donations help provide Washington Elementary School District students with the chance to succeed in extracurricular activities by providing funding for uniforms and equipment, stipends for coaches and sponsors and other items. Beginning this year, donations also can pay for risers, scoreboards, soccer goals, marquees, playground equipment, 3-D printers, library books, classroom furniture and other materials.

Taxpayers who file jointly may receive up to a $400 state income tax credit or $200 if they are filing as a single taxpayer when they contribute. To donate, visit wesdschools.org/taxcredit.

Private and Charter Schools

Gateway Academy sees enrollment increase
Gateway Academy has reached its highest enrollment numbers to date.

The school, which serves Twice Exceptional students with high functioning autism has reached an enrollment of 110 students in grades third through 12. Enrollment has increased every year since the school opened in 2005.

Gateway provides students open enrollment throughout the school year to accommodate students who want to transfer in the middle of the year. Often parents and students are seeking a safe environment for their children after they have suffered from extreme bullying or not receiving the service they want in traditional schools.

One such student is Hannah Vasquez, who was diagnosed with autism in fifth grade. She was often bullied and ridiculed for being different and did not want to go to school. Now, four years later, Hannah is a sophomore at Gateway, earning straight As and enjoys going to school. She also recently created a logo for the Gateway Parent Organization, which the school printed on a banner and uses for events.

Student-athletes sign Letters of Intent
Ten Xavier College Preparatory student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent for athletic scholarships were recognized recently for their hard work and commitment to their sports.

The student-athletes who were recruited and accepted offers are: Katie Donahey, softball, Yale University; Taylor Killoren, Crew, University of San Diego; Jasmine Knight, volleyball, Virginia Commonwealth University; Clara Lynch, soccer, Southern Methodist University; Breyana Matthews, golf, Arizona State University; Bri McNight, volleyball, University of California at Santa Barbara; Ashley Menne, golf, Arizona State University; Mia Olsen, cross country/track, Southern Methodist University; Megan Onofrei, soccer, Roanoke College and Olivia Petrine, crew, San Diego State University.

Madison Highland Prep to host robotics qualifier
Madison Highland Prep, a STEM charter high school, will host the VEX Robotics state qualifier on Jan. 18.

Twenty-four teams of middle- and high-school students froms around the state will compete in three robotics competition fields in the gymnasium and two practice fields, and in the pits in the student commons.

The robotics competition season culminates every spring with the VEX Robotics World Championship, which brings together top qualifying teams from local, state and international VEX Robotics events.

Madison Highland Prep is seeking corporate sponsors and up to 100 volunteers to support the tournament. The event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 18 at the school at 1431 E. Campbell Ave. It is free an open to the public. For more information, call 602-745-3800.

St. Francis Xavier SchoolPerforms ‘Willy Wonka, Jr.’
Eighth-graders at St. Francis Xavier School recently took audiences on a world of “pure imagination” as they performed “Willy Wonka, Jr.”

All eighth-graders at the private school produce and act in a play every year and this year’s production last month was directed by Mary Robinson. She was helped by St. Francis Xavier School teachers Anne Sanford and Ashley Ezell. Robinson is a contracted director.

Willy Wonka, Jr.” is the tale based on the book by Roald Dahl, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” about an eccentric candy man and his search for an heir.

Fashion show raises money for financial aid
Brophy College Preparatory is going to be able to help more young men receive an education after raising almost $1 million at its 36th annual Brophy Fashion Show at the Camelback Inn.

Nearly 250 seniors at the school participated and a crowd of 1,200 guests came to watch the Brophy students walk a runway wearing sports apparel. The money will support Brophy’s Financial Aid Fund.

The fashion show opened with models wearing clothes from Neiman Marcus in Scottsdale. Then the Brophy seniors strutted their stuff wearing fashions from 20 Valley retailers along with Brophy Bronco athletic wear and spirit clothes from Brophy’s Varsity Shop. The students expressed their creativity as they took the spotlight.

Event chairwomen Leslee Allen and Michelle Roe expressed gratitude to the community for its support, as well as to Neiman Marcus, Prada and other retailers who supported the event. Brophy’s president Adria Renke said the “energy, passion and enthusiasm at this event continues to amaze me, as does the generosity of our community, and the end results that so spectacularly support our Jesuit mission.”

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