Alhambra Elementary School District

Students go green in garden built by volunteers

Students at Westwood Elementary School will go green in a garden created by Grand Canyon University student volunteers and Habitat for Humanity on the school campus.

Hundreds of GCU students, Westwood parents and teachers and volunteers from Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona teamed up to enhance the school grounds as part of GCU’s semiannual Serve the City last month. They created the first phase of a sustainable community garden project and also refreshed paint on building trim and playground equipment.

Westwood students will explore and learn in the garden and the school also plans to add food grown there to the healthy snacks it provides. A grand opening for the garden will be held next month.

Students in GCU’s College of Education teach every week in Westwood classrooms and an after-school program, in which GCU students offer free tutoring.

Glendale Union High School District

Cole Chilen

Sunnyslope High senior accepts Air Force scholarship

The sky is no limit for Sunnyslope High School senior Cole Chilen, who has accepted an Air Force scholarship.

Cole will use the funding to attend an accredited aviation university of his choice to participate in a private pilot license-training program. He, along with more than 2,500 ROTC cadets from across the world, applied for this scholarship and only 200 were selected to receive it. The scholarship is valued at $22,500 and it covers academics, flight hours, transportation and room and board while he is in a university.

Madison Elementary School District

Kayla Phan

Student honored as ‘Youth of the Year’

Washington High School senior Kayla Phan recently was named one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix’s Youths of the Year, representing the Harry & Sandy Rosenzweig Branch.

Kayla, 17, joined the Boys & Girls Club four years ago. A shy, introverted teenager who has blossomed into a confident leader, she was among 12 teens who attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix who received the honor at the annual Celebrating Youth Event last month in Scottsdale.

Kayla is president of the Rosenzweig Branch’s Keystone Club . She plans to attend Arizona State University and major in pharmaceutical sciences.

Kayla and the other branch winners each received $1,500. Club employees select club members for Youth of the Year based on academic excellence, living a healthy lifestyle, strong public speaking skills and poise, and embodying the qualities of leadership and service.


Rose Devine

Long-time educator chosen as Rose Lane principal

The Madison School District Governing Board approved the hiring of Rose Devine, an experienced educator who has worked in the professional arts industry, as the new principal of Rose Lane Elementary School. Devine has been an educator for more than 19 years and served as interim principal at Rose Lane for the last year. She also served as assistant principal at Madison #1 Middle School for one year and assistant principal at Madison Camelview Elementary School for two years.

Her education and experience in the professional arts field make her a natural match for Madison Rose Lane, which has a performing fine arts focus and signature program of visual and performing arts. Devine has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in choreography/performance from the California Institute of the Arts.

Osborn Elementary School District

Twenty Osborn Middle School band students were recently selected to perform in the Greater Phoenix Honor Band (photo courtesy of Osborn School District).

Middle school students perform in honor band

Several Osborn Middle School students are showing they have the keys to success when it comes to playing their instruments and banding together.

Twenty Osborn Middle School students recently were selected to perform in the Greater Phoenix Honor Band at Camelback High School, under the direction of Antonio Lozano. The Osborn students demonstrated their leadership by arriving prepared, staying focused during long rehearsals and introducing themselves to other students and the band directors in the Phoenix Union High School District.

The Greater Phoenix Honor Band features middle school students who have excelled at their craft and auditioned to display their talents.

Longview Elementary kids hone baking skills

Longview Elementary School fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders recently learned how to use flour to make bread, cinnamon rolls and pizza dough in partnership with King Arthur Flour and Bake for Good Kids recently. The  Bake for Good Kids program teaches children to make bread from scratch as a way to combine math, science, reading and baking knowledge.

Kids learn how to create with flour, bake a loaf of bread for their families and bake another loaf to donate to an area food bank. Every child received two bags of flour and yeast, a dough scraper and recipe book to make their own culinary treats at home.

Phoenix Union High School District

Central High Bobcats score big in academics, sports

The Central High Bobcat Academic Decathlon team took sixth place out of 26 schools at the recent Academic Decathlon Regional Competition, its best showing since the 1990s.

Several Central High team members won individual honors. Amanda York won the gold medal for Interview and received the “Outstanding Interview” award. Rachel Lanier Arozarena earned a silver medal for Economics and Speech. Sean Donahue took home the silver medal in Mathematics and Janette Lim won the silver medal in speech for her division.

The Academic Decathlon Regional Competition tests high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors in several subjects and awards points in prepared and impromptu speeches, oral interviews, essay writing and a public Super Quiz Relay

Alex Sosa

North High teen earns Boys & Girls Club honor

North High School senior Alex Sosa was recently selected as one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix’s Youths of the Year, representing the Warner & Shirley Gabel Branch. Alex, 17, has been involved with the club for the last eleven years, where he has participated in almost every program and club offered.

Alex serves as president of the Gabel Branch’s Keystone Club. He also served as manager for the L.I.T. (Leaders in Training) program. After first taking classes at Phoenix College, he hopes to attend the University of Arizona where he plans to major in criminal law.

Washington Elementary School District

Job fair to seek district teachers

Teachers interested in positions in the Washington Elementary School District are urged to attend a Teacher Interview Fair on Saturday, March 7, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the District Administrative Center at 4650 W. Sweetwater Ave. Student teachers, soon-to-be college graduates, experienced educators and other qualified applicants are urged to participate and should arrive ready to be interviewed.

The district offers benefits including teacher support, competitive pay, discounted childcare, loan forgiveness, weekly professional development, tuition discounts, paid holidays, sick leave and vacation time, medical and dental plans, employer-matched Arizona State Retirement contributions and other benefits.

Participants are encouraged to apply online at prior to attending the job fair. Preschedule an interview prior to the event by calling 602-347-2622.

WESD offers spring break camp at three sites

The Washington Elementary School District will offer KidSpace Spring Fling at three locations over spring break .

The daycare program will run from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, March 16, to Friday, March 20, at Orangewood School at 7337 N. 19th Ave.; Lookout Mountain Elementary School at 15 W. Coral Gables; and Sunburst Elementary School at 245 E. Mountain View Road.

Half-day and full-day options are available. To register your child and learn more, visit

Private And Charter Schools

Brophy seniors named as National Merit finalists

All 15 of Brophy College Preparatory seniors who earned 2020 National Merit semifinalists status have been named as 2020 National Merit finalists. These students are eligible to compete for about $33,000 in scholarships. The recipients will be announced this spring.

Brophy’s National Merit finalists are Aman Agarwal, Wyatt Ashton, Connor Camunez, Nick Hulston, Dean Kobs, Ari Mehta, Jack Munhall, Kris Noori, Liam Richardson, Diego Rivera, Aarin Shah, Justin Smith, Lukas Villalba, Zeyn Waheed and Kevin Yin.

In addition, 16 Brophy seniors were distinguished as 2020 National Merit Commended Scholars. Those students are Zack Amstutz, Ryan Coury, Gray Cuevas, Thomas Derr, Daniel Donahue, Christopher Dorado, Graham Earnest, Hunter Gruler, Alex Izmailov, Dylan Krueger, Sebastian Magri, Tony Mattalino, Daniel Noon, Patrick Nowlen, Jake Powers and Calvin Tyler.

Students’ films picked as festival finalists

Five students from Brophy’s advanced video production class are  finalists in the 2020 Arizona Student Film Festival. These finalists will compete for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship from the Phoenix Film Foundation, as part of the 2020 Phoenix Film Festival, which will take place April 4 in Scottsdale.

The Brophy and Xavier students are senior Spencer Blanchard, whose video is titled “742.7,” senior Cooper Brown, who produced “Breaking Through the Box,” junior Jane Farmer, who made “Serving Reality,” junior Logan Logg, who created “Gone” and senior Billy Meaney, who produced “How to Stay a Kid Forever.”

For more about the festival, visit

Freshmen bond with Special Olympic students

Special Olympic students from schools around the Valley came to Brophy’s campus for a day of friendship and fun last month. Brophy Student Council and the Brophy Best Buddies Club facilitated this gathering.

Every guest was paired with a Brophy freshman. Students played games in the gym and on the baseball field, danced at a party in the plaza and played board games in Harper Great Hall. There were lots of conversations and snacks in between all the activities.

Game Day is part of the school’s outreach and immersion programs that provide students a chance to grow as “Men for Others.”

Midtown Primary School to hold talent show

From left: Paul, Angle, Jade, Sarae, Noel and Bethany performed at a previous Midtown Primary School talent show. This year’s talent show will take place March 20 (photo courtesy of Midtown Primary School).

Midtown Primary School’s 14th Annual Talent Show will feature students displaying their diverse skills and abilities to shine on Friday, March 20.

All students, in grades kindergarten through fourth, will perform with their classes in the show at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church at 4735 N. 19th Ave. Each class will select and perform a song, dance, skit or other talent. Additional individual and group performers will deliver songs, dances, poems, hula-hooping, magic acts and comedy. Each student had to “audition” for these performances by demonstrating commitment.

Admission is free and open to the public. To learn more, call 602-265-5133.

Xavier College Prep earns computer science honor

Xavier College Preparatory recently earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for having a high number of young women represented in AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles classes. Schools recognized with this distinction have expanded girls’ access to AP computer science classes. Students are introduced to computer science via programming in AP Computer Science A. In AP Computer Science Principles, an introductory college-level computing class, students cultivate their understanding of computer science by working with data, collaborating to solve problems and developing computer pogroms.

Out of the 20,000 institutions that provide AP classes, 818 received the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award during the 2018-19 school year. In 2019 Xavier College Preparatory was one of only 36 schools recognized for closing the gender gap in both those AP computer science courses. The campuses that received the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have had either 50 percent or higher female representation in either or both of the AP computer science classes or seen the percentage of female computer science examinees meet or exceed that of the school’s total female population.

Brophy hosts Black History Month Festival

Brophy College Preparatory brought cultural diversity to life when it hosted its first Black History Month Festival.

The school’s Brophy Black Family Alliance, in association with Archwood Exchange, held the event last month that featured music, art, food, vendors and other activities. It provided a way to demonstrate the many ways in which the Brophy community and Phoenix as a whole are enriched by black history and culture.


Empower College Prep to add K through 2nd grade

Empower College Prep hosted a K-2 Round Up late last month as it prepares to open its doors to kindergarten, first and second-graders starting in the 2020-21 academic year. Families of existing third through 12th graders, along with others in the community, visited to tour the brand new facilities that will house the K-2 grade students to get their children on the list for K-2 classes.

Anyone interested in registering their child in grades K-12 for next school year should contact the school at 602-283-5720.

Madison Highland Prep recently inducted 34 students into the National Honor Society. Students must attain a GPA of at least 3.5 to be eligible (submitted photo).

Madison Highland Prep adds Honor Society members

Madison Highland Prep recently inducted 34 new National Honor Society members. Students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and be approved by a faculty committee in order to be accepted into the National Honor Society. The growing chapter, which has students in grades 10th through 12th, now has 167 members.

National Honor Society members are required to volunteer 20 hours a semester in order to maintain membership. They regularly volunteer as tutors at the adjacent Madison Park Middle School and Madison Traditional Academy Preschool, as well as at Valley food banks and Faith North Elementary School for its annual field day in April.

Four Xavier students sign Letters of Intent

Four Xavier College Preparatory student-athletes recently signed National Letters of Intent to play college sports. The students Madeleine Wright, who will swim at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Lorelei Glidden, who will play tennis at Hamilton College; Taylor Garman, who will play soccer at California Lutheran University and Victoria Dow, who will swim at Colorado Mesa University.

Xavier officials anticipate that by the end of this school year, 30 of the school’s student-athletes will have signed National Letters of Intent.

Abby Converse

Xavier senior wins essay contest

Xavier senior Abby Converse, an indoor volleyball and beach volleyball player, recently won the Arizona competition for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Scholar Essay Contest.

Every State Athletic Administrators Association holds a contest in which high school students submit essays describing dealing with life principles learned in sports. Abby’s essay is now entered into competition with four other female students’ essays from the NIAAA’s Section VII. After that competition, seven winners’ essays will be submitted to a national review board and the winner will be announced in the fall.

Abby is involved in student government and took part in Model Legislature at the Arizona state Capitol. She also is part of the AIA Student Leadership Advisory Committee, which aims to increase sportsmanship throughout Arizona by starting microcosms of the committee on school campuses.