Glendale Union High School District

Priscilla Villalobos Ixcotoyac

Washington High grad receives Flinn Scholarship

Priscilla Villalobos Ixcotoyac, who graduated from Washington High School last month, received the Flinn Scholarship, an award supported by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation in partnership with the three state universities in Arizona. It covers the full cost of tuition, as well as mandatory fees, housing and meals, for a value of more than $120,000.

High schools hold their own on national list

Nine high schools in the Glendale Union High School District ranked among the United States’ best campuses in U.S. News and World Report’s recent Best High Schools ratings, which evaluated almost 18,000 schools based on their performance on state tests and how well they prepare their students for college.

Sunnyslope High School rated number 14 in the Phoenix metro area, 22nd in Arizona and number 1,733 in national rankings.  Washington High School was ranked 2,397 nationally and number 38 out of Arizona high schools. It was ranked 25th in the Phoenix metro list. Thunderbird High School was ranked as 2,348 nationally, number 36 in Arizona and 23rd in the Phoenix metro area.

Alexis Hatch

Alexis Hatch

Sunnyslope grad earns National Merit scholarship

Alexis Hatch, who graduated from Sunnyslope High School in May, was selected as a $2,500 National Merit Scholar from a talent pool of more than 15,000 students who were finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. The recipients were chosen based on accomplishments, skills and the potential for succeeding in rigorous college classes.

Madison Elementary School District

Summer feeding underway at two sites

Madison School District Food & Nutrition Services is providing a free summer feeding program for all children under 18 years old through July 31. The program is offered from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for lunch Mondays through Fridays. The service is being held at Madison Camelview Elementary School at 2002 E. Campbell Ave. and Madison Park Middle School at 1431 E. Campbell Ave. Youths do not have to be enrolled in a Madison district school or summer program to accept the meals.

Children will be required to eat their meals in the cafeteria during the summer feeding program. Social distancing measures will be followed with a limited capacity allowed in the cafeterias in order to try to ensure children and employees’ safety. If the cafeterias have hit capacity, participants will be asked to wait or go to an alternative feeding location.

Parents’ input sought as district plans reopening

The Madison School District recently sought feedback on plans to reopen campuses during the next academic year through a survey emailed to parents and family members to seek information to help it steer its reopening plan.

According to a letter to parents posted online by District Superintendent Kenneth Baca, district administrators and the governing board are working on a detailed plan focused on ensuring “the safety and wellbeing of students and staff without compromising the high quality of education you have come to expect.” Baca said the district is planning for the 2020-21 school year to start Tuesday, Aug. 11 but the COVID-19 crisis could delay that opening.

Osborn Elementary School District

District to offer Montessori program

The Osborn district will launch a Montessori program in the next school year, giving parents more options for young children. The program will serve children ages 3 to 5 years at Montecito Community School at 715 E. Montecito Ave.

In this self-paced, student-led program that teachers guide, students will learn responsibility, integrity and global citizenship while complying with state standards. Students follow their own curiosity, moving at their own pace and taking time needed to completely understand every concept and meet individualized learning goals.

Applications are being accepted for children who will turn 3 years old on or before Aug. 3 or turn 4 or 5 years old by Sept. 1.

To learn more about the program and apply, contact Romina Flores at 602-707-2014 or at

Phoenix Union High School District

Summer classes are available online

Incoming freshmen through seniors in the Phoenix Union High School District are still learning through the many, different summer school classes offered online.

The district offers tuition-free summer school credit recovery opportunities for existing students, as well as a free Freshman Academy for future district students. Online summer school classes are provided in math, English, history, health, science and other subjects through June 25. They are held online between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Current students may contact their school counselors to register for the classes. Future freshmen and current students may request enrollment in summer classes online at

To learn more, email or call 602-764-0020.

James Arndt

Assistant principal will take top spot at Camelback

James Arndt, who has been assistant principal of Student Opportunity at Camelback High, will take the reins at Camelback High School, starting July 1. Current principal Dana Cook is transitioning to the director of Portfolio Management position in the Phoenix Union High School District office.

Arndt plans to start a freshmen “house” system in which ninth-graders are divided into separate academies or teams and given opportunities to connect to the school and build relationships. They also will play sports, complete community service work and engage in other projects. Block scheduling, where students stay in classes that are twice as long as usual two days a week, will also begin in the next school year under Arndt’s leadership.

Washington Elementary School District

Pick up STEM kits for summer learning

The Washington Elementary School District is providing 2020 Summer Academy-To-Go STEM learning kits so that district students still can engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects from the safety of home. Kits will be distributed each Monday from June 1 to June 18. Every registered student will receive three weeks worth of hands-on STEM projects that include math, reading and social-emotional learning extension activities. District teachers will provide online support to students. Registered students can pick up a Chromebook to use for the lessons on June 1.

To learn more about the STEM learning kits, call 480-244-5455 or email Melanie Van Wagner at

Private and Charter Schools

Jamie Stelnik, a Xavier College Preparatory student, on far left, and Brophy College Preparatory students Jackson Moran and Charlie Fallon, have organized a virtual The Arizona Run for COVID-19 to raise money for The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund (submitted photo).

Xavier, Brophy students set run to help community

Xavier College Preparatory junior Jamie Stelnik and Brophy College Preparatory juniors Jackson Moran and Charlie Fallon are lacing up their tennis shoes and asking the public to do the same to help people impacted by COVID-19.

The students have organized The Arizona Run for COVID-19, which will benefit The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. It is a virtual run, meaning people can run on their own outside or on a treadmill or just make a financial donation through June 12. The donations will pay for to-go meals from St. Vincent de Paul’s charity dining rooms and food boxes for families in need. It also will help people pay their rent and utility bills if they have missed paychecks and covers telemedicine for uninsured residents, as well as hygiene kits and shelter for those struggling.

A suggested $15 donation will go to St. Vincent de Paul’s COVID-19 fund.

To learn more and make a donation, visit

Madison Highland Prep earns STEM-related honor

Madison Highland Prep was recently recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for offering broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW classes in AP computer science, introduction to engineering, digital circuits, civil engineering and architecture; aerospace engineering and cybersecurity. It is one of 143 high schools around the country to receive this distinction.

The PLTW Distinguished School label honors schools that are dedicated to boosting student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs. To learn more, visit

Anne Sanford, development director, and Ryan Watson, principal, at St. Francis Xavier School, participate in the Victory Lap Parade as the school celebrates the end of the school year (photo by Sara Hogan).

St. Francis Xavier holds social distance parade

St. Francis Xavier School held a “socially distanced” parade to celebrate the school year last month. Parents and students stayed in their vehicles and waved, yelled and cheered as they went through the parade route. Teachers and staff members kept at least six feet apart and wore face masks as they held up victory lap flags and posters.

Xavier students earn theater honors

Xavier College Prep students Tatum Allen, Maria Arvizu-Diaz, Grace Dimond, Tessa Gaynor, Nicole Goldman, Grace McGovern, Allison Tichavsky, Eden Tornquist and Sara Watson have received the highest honor from the International Thespian Society.

The distinction is equivalent to working more than 1,200 hours on theater productions. The majority of the award winners worked behind the scenes on shows.