Glendale Union High School District

Ten Sunnyslope seniors are ‘commended students’

Sunnyslope High Principal Jonathan Parker recently announced the names of 10 seniors who were named Commended Students in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. They are Peter Eng, Isaac Humrich, John Lemke, Dylan Lifshitz, Katelyn McCarthy, Eleanor McHugh, Colter Niezgodzki, Samantha Parker, Kylie Stenke and Lily Zello. A Letter of Commendation from the school and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which runs the program, were given to these scholastically strong seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students around the country are being honored for their excellent academic promise.


District honors outstanding WHS student, adults

The Glendale Union High School District governing board recently announced recipients of the 2019-20 Achievement Above All awards. The district regularly recognizes a teacher, student, student group, support staff employee and volunteer from each school who demonstrate excellent leadership and outstanding accomplishments and ongoing dedication to their school and the district.

The board held a virtual event in late October to honor Washington High English teacher Jessica Hewlett, senior student Devonte Rushdan, the Washington Student Council, counseling secretary Luisa Banos and volunteers Mario Estrada and Darla Rodriguez. Each honoree received an award and/or certificate.


Sunnyslope High teacher earns national honor

Sunnyslope High School science teacher Pandora Linnartz recently received the University of Chicago’s “Outstanding Educator Award,” which honors a teacher’s role in and positive impact on a student’s educational success. Sunnyslope High 2020 graduate and National Merit Scholarship recipient Alexis Hatch, who attends the University of Chicago, nominated Linnartz for this distinction.

Every year newly admitted UChicago students have the chance to nominate a teacher who played a significant part in their education, made a positive impact in their lives and whose influence led them to where they are today.

All award winners obtain a commemorative award, certificate and letter with details from the student who nominated them for the honor.


Washington High 1970 grads donate to school

It has been decades since they graduated from Washington High School, but the class of 1970 is still showing support for their campus in the form of a donation.

The class of 1970, which canceled its 50th class reunion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, donated the money that it would have used for the reunion to Washington High. The donation was presented along with a certificate of appreciation to Washington High Principal Ashley Burns.


Madison Elementary School District

Apply for open enrollment, make tax credit donation

The end of the year is fast approaching and there is time to plan your child’s education for 2021 and beyond.

Applications for open enrollment are being taken starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 for the Madison Elementary School District. If your family lives within the district’s boundaries, you should check out a school boundary map to view the elementary or middle school in your attendance area. Parents who live in the district’s boundaries who prefer to send their children to a school in the Madison district can apply online by visiting The first deadline to apply through open enrollment is Jan. 25.

Whether you have children in the district or you just want to support local education, you can make a tax-credit donation to Madison Elementary School District anytime. The Tax Credit program allows everyone who files an income tax return with the state of Arizona the chance to obtain a tax credit for donating to extracurricular activities. These tax credit contributions support extracurricular and character education programs in the Madison district.

Married couples filing their tax returns jointly can claim up to $400 when they make a tax-credit donation. Single people, heads of households and married couples filing separately are able to claim up to $200 when they give to the tax-credit program. For every dollar donated, the taxpayer will see the amount owed on annual Arizona tax filing directly decreased up to the maximum amount. If you do not owe taxes then the amount you donate can be carried forward for up to five years to offset future tax liabilities. The donations can be used for any school-sponsored activities that require students to pay a fee in order to take part in them including field trips, enrichment activities, after-school clubs and sports and fine arts programs.

To learn how to donate, visit


Students in the Madison Adventure Club (MAC) at Madison Park Middle School made “lightbulbs” decorated with stencils, stickers, glitter and other materials during the national Lights On Afterschool event. Site coordinator Ryan Escarsega (far left, front row) and club leader Gus Lopez (far right) are pictured here with several student club members (photo courtesy of Madison Elementary School District).

Students get creative in after-school program

The district’s Community Education Department celebrated Lights On Afterschool week recently in all its Madison Adventure Club (MAC) before- and after-school programs. Since March MAC has been assisting the community by offering quality, participatory experiences with enhanced health and safety measures. MAC has served 678 students on average per week since schools reopened for in-person learning Oct. 13, as of the end of November.

During the event, MAC students at Madison Park Middle School decorated “Lights On” paper “lightbulbs” with stencils, stickers, glitter and glue. Club members at Madison Heights Elementary School participated in a recycled marble run activity. The students crafted their designs using cardboard tubes, Styrofoam and wooden blocks.


Osborn Elementary School District

Nutritional award tastes good for Osborn district

Students are sinking their teeth into garden-based lessons that earned the Osborn Child Nutrition Department the “Gold Watermelon” award during the Arizona Department of Education’s Farm to School Summer Challenge.

In order to be considered for the honor, contestants had to complete three components: Taste Arizona, Teach Arizona and Connect Arizona, which involved using locally sourced meal components in educational activities. The department also shared social media posts about the Farm Fresh Challenge Celebrations.


Phoenix Union High School District

Students at Camelback High School participated in a recent “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event. Pictured here are students (from left): Pictured here are students (from left): Perla Sanchez, Emma Bretado, Evalynn Chavez, Cireana Garcia and Janezah Aparicio (submitted photo).

Camelback students support Cancer Society

Camelback High School students showed their spirit of service despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presents. The school was one of many stops participants made over three hours during the “Strides Ride,” which is part of the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event that was held in October.

This American Cancer Society fundraiser is usually a walk but due to the Coronavirus crisis it was changed to a vehicle gathering, where participants drove their cars on a fixed route one morning.

Camelback High opened the south side of its school and volunteers, including the school’s girls volleyball team, greeted and cheered for cancer survivors. The survivors were given gifts and a drone was used to take a survivors’ photo to allow them to socially distance themselves from others.

The event drew just under 1,000 people, who physically traveled to the different spots and virtually participated, including 50 survivors who came to Camelback High. More than $400,000 was raised for breast cancer initiatives, including helping Arizona breast cancer survivors.


Freshmen class thrives in Camelback High ‘house’

Freshmen at Camelback High School are excelling through a new model to transition ninth-graders to high school called “The Freshman House.” Through this system, the freshmen class is divided into smaller “houses” that allow students to develop a “sense of belonging” and connection with their peers, teachers and the school as a whole.

All Camelback ninth-graders received a set of earbuds to mark their first quarter of high school. Virtual assemblies have been held and “house MVP” students have been recognized for doing exceptional work. According to Camelback principal James Arndt,  70 percent of the ninth graders are passing all their classes, as of press time. Camelback’s freshmen class has nearly 80 more students than the ninth-grade class last academic year.

Students at Camelback and the other schools in the Phoenix Union High School District have been holding classes online/virtually this semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Private And Charter Schools

Brophy to host spiritual retreat

Brophy College Preparatory students are invited to step away from their daily lives to participate in a retreat this month.

The Ignatian Spiritual Retreat will take place from 4 to 4:45 p.m. and then the Mass will be celebrated from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, in Brophy Chapel at 4701 N. Central Ave. Brophy President Adria Renke and Brother Bryce Deline, SJ, will serve as spiritual guides during the retreat, and Father George Wanser, S.J., associate pastor, will celebrate the Mass.

Students are asked to RSVP early because space is limited to 60 participants to allow for adequate social distancing. To RSVP, visit


Holiday spirit in full force at Midtown Primary School

The holiday bustle and spirit of giving are in play at Midtown Primary School, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Midtown Primary participates in a program that involves gingerbread men rather than angels on a tree to assist families that need help obtaining gifts for their children. Staff members, neighbors, friends, churches and  board members “adopt” children who need assistance. They are already lining up, planning to make sure that each child has at least one outfit and a toy under the tree this season. Parents will pick up the gifts from the school, bring them home and wrap them for their children.

Midtown will host its traditional Winter Fest with holiday games, crafts projects and other activities on Friday, Dec. 11. This gathering will be modified slightly to allow for social distancing.

The school’s Annual Christmas Performance also is being altered due to the pandemic. Each class will perform two holiday songs that will be reconfigured into a collage that will be put on CDs, which will be given to each family.

Any child in the community can obtain free food over the winter holiday break from Midtown, which will serve food boxes that include snacks and dinners for children ages 18 and younger from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and from 3 to 5 p.m. Fridays at Park Lee Apartments’ clubhouse at 1600 W. Highland Ave. Midtown sponsors these meals every week and will continue with the service through the winter vacation and afterward. The school provides a week’s worth of snacks and dinners, delivered over the two days.