Glendale Union High School District

Two teachers become National Board Certified

Two teachers in the Glendale Union High School District are receiving national recognition for the impact they make in the classroom.

Leah Clark of Sunnyslope High School and Jennifer Perry of Independence High School recently became Arizona National Board Certified Teachers. National Board Certification is the highest level of certification a teacher can receive in the United States. In order to qualify for this distinction, educators must reveal advanced knowledge, practice and skills in their individual certificate areas by finishing four components: three portfolio entries and a computer-based test.

Earning National Board Certification is a rigorous process that requires teachers to demonstrate the National Board Standards in their work. Clark is a Language Arts teacher and Perry is a special education teacher. To learn more about the National Board Certification process, visit


Braeden Ferman

Teen becomes Eagle Scout after doing wildlife project

A Sunnyslope High School senior is taking his passion for community service to the next level after recently becoming an Eagle Scout in Phoenix’s Troop 329.

Braeden Ferman, 18, finished his Eagle Scout project over the summer and recently an Eagle Scout Board of Review evaluated that work, as well as his Scouting history, achievements and future ambitions. Normally the panel of adults reviews these topics in person but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it met virtually.

Ferman’s project was to remove barbed wire fencing to assist endangered pronghorn that migrate through the southern part of the Valley. The project was done with the help and support of Arizona Game and Fish and the Bureau of Land Management. Other Scouts helped him while they wore face masks due to the pandemic.

Ferman has been able to attend many camps and adventures in Arizona and became the Senior Patrol Leader of 86 boys when he was 14 years old. His father, Christopher, said his son is hardworking and “dedicated to being an example to the youth around him.” Ferman also was on the wrestling team and played in marching band and jazz band at school. In addition he has volunteered at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and Deer Valley Community Center. His volunteer work in the community led to him receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold).

Troop 329 meets at Madison Meadows Middle School.


Madison Elementary School District

Camelview teacher seeks support for chairs

A Madison Camelview Elementary School teacher is seeking support to enhance art lessons for her students.

Demetria Schweizer is asking for assistance through to purchase art supplies for the school as she said more than half of her pupils’ families do not have enough money to buy them and they live in what are considered low-income households. Her goal is to raise nearly $200 for a flexible seating project to allow her students to socially distance themselves from each other and to help with their posture.

Schweizer said her job is “to inspire the love of art and creativity to the leaders of tomorrow, as well as instill the passion for arts in all I teach.” She added among her more than 600 students, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything and most of her students had been learning online, needing flexibility in their seating.

To make a donation, visit and search under Phoenix schools.


Molly Scott, an early childhood aide with the Madison Elementary School District’s preschool program, works with students (photo courtesy of Madison Elementary School District).

Preschool program provides foundation for learning

If you are looking for an inspiring place where your young children can gain the foundation for learning, now is the time to research the Madison Elementary School District’s preschool program.

So says Molly Scott, an early childhood aide with the district’s Community Education preschool program, who said youths ages 3 to 5 develop social skills and learn through play. Scott said preschool sets up children for success in school and beyond their academic years. She added the preschool staff members help children to understand their feelings, work through emotions and learn how to play and live in a classroom community with others.

“We focus on children’s strengths and build upon their individual goals and ideas,” Scott said. “We get to know where each child is in their development and build strong relationships to help them be successful in the classroom.”

Scott works in the preschool program at Madison Simis Elementary School. The district also offers the preschool program at Madison Camelview Elementary, Madison Rose Lane Elementary, Madison Heights Elementary and Madison Traditional Academy (MTA preschool is located on the Madison Park Middle School campus). Registrations and payments for preschool are processed through the Community Education Department and are managed via the Madison Parent Portal at Or call the Madison Community Education Department at 602-664-7956 or email


Osborn Elementary School District

Solano students innovate with virtual art projects

Virtual learning is not keeping artists at Solano Elementary School from having fun and showing creativity.

Fifth and sixth-grade students at Solano have focused on shapes, lines, textures, forms, values, colors and space in their artwork. They have learned how to make one-point perspective and two-point perspective drawings, as well as how to change a 2-D shape into a 3-D form. The young artists also have created digital works of art using Google Draw and learned how to produce Stop Motion videos using Google Slides. Students learned how to make items move, as well as added music, special effects and speech bubbles to their videos.


Phoenix Union High School District

Community donations fund books for Camelback club

Students at Camelback High School will be able to read books for a club that meets online, thanks to community support.

Teacher-librarian Monica Lourenco raised about $520 through to purchase books that will be used during the school’s weekly Book Club, as well as for students to be able to keep for this project. The club meets online weekly. Recently, Lourenco asked students to bring any book they were reading to the virtual meeting, to read for 15 minutes silently and then to discuss the books. Recently she and students chose a book to read for the month.

Lourenco said her students are great people “who want to learn” and most of them have economic challenges but like to take part in experiences that promote their learning.


Washington Elementary School District

Program coach seeks funds for diverse coloring books

An employee at Richard E. Miller Elementary School is asking the public for  help in obtaining coloring books that promote diversity.

Lindsay Bohland, a program coach, is asking for financial contributions of $545.94 through to purchase 50 copies of the “I Can Be Anything” coloring books that two refugee siblings from South Africa, who now live in Phoenix, wrote. These books are inspired by one of the author’s experiences drawing, when she would immediately create white princesses with straight hair. The coloring book aims to show children that “brown is a beautiful color” for pictures of people in coloring books.

The school’s librarian will use the coloring books to celebrate diversity through a school diversity challenge. To make a donation, visit and search under the Washington Elementary School District.


Private And Charter Schools

Students at Midtown Parimary School write “Tootles” praising their peers’ good behavior as part of the PAX Good Behavior Game (photo courtesy of Midtown Primary School).

‘Tootles’ praise good behavior among peers

Midtown Primary School students are winning at the game of good behavior.

They use the PAX Good Behavior Game, a strategy that builds self-regulation in youths by reinforcing desirable behaviors and inhibiting behaviors that are unwanted. Self-regulation means they have the ability to monitor and manage behaviors based on the demands of a situation and how they fit into the group. Children develop control over their actions and learn how to delay gratification and decrease impulsivity.

One of the ways students obtain positive reinforcement in the game is through Tootles, which are positive notes that let recipients know someone saw their good behavior. They are written notes of praises or thanks for doing a good job. These notes allow students to focus on observing the good in others. PAX stands for peace, productivity, health and happiness. Students give Tootles to each other and teachers give them, too.


Bid on prizes to support Brophy

You can support Brophy College Preparatory when you bid in a raffle online.

The 2021 Brophy Fashion Show and Auction general raffle are live with five prizes being offered. You can buy tickets for $20 each or five for $100. Those buying tickets should specify which prize they hope to win: a Peloton bike, a reserved student parking space for this school year, a Louis Vuitton bag or a $2,000 gift certificate to Restoration Hardware.

There also were some tickets left, as of press time, for a chance to win a 2021 BMW that was donated by Chapman BMW Chandler and the O’Hanrahan family. Tickets are $250 each to enter for the opportunity to win that vehicle. The car is valued at more than $47,000 and it comes with a four-year warranty, three-year basic maintenance plan and sales tax and first-year registration fees covered. To learn more, visit For more information about the general raffle, visit


Natalie Para, a senior at Xavier, sparked the school’s Computer Science Honor Society writing letters to alumnae who graduated between 1943 and 1963 (photo courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory).

Xavier science club writes letters to alumnae

Xavier College Preparatory’s Computer Science Honor Society is making connections with alumnae.

This group wrote letters to people who graduated from Xavier between 1943 and 1963. They asked the alumnae about their lives today and if they needed any technical help or clarification on how to use programs, apps or devices.

Xavier senior Natalie Para spearheaded the Elder Outreach Program, saying as of press time the club had written to 435 alumnae and heard back from many of those residents. Natalie said there are 140 members of the Computer Science Honor Society and more than half of them hand-wrote cards.

Maureen Ewan, a 1956 Xavier graduate, who received a note, said it was “so sweet,” adding the student wanted to know all about her and what Phoenix was “like back then.” Ewan said it has been a little lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Xavier students made her “feel relevant and important.”

This outreach program is part of Xavier’s communal approach to the greater good via its Christian Service program. Xavier Gators on average spend 30,000 hours a year giving back.


Physician earns honor for assistance during pandemic

A local infectious disease specialist who played a key role in helping Brophy College Preparatory respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is receiving a prestigious honor.

Dr. Ana Moran has been selected for the 2021 Inés Pascual Award and she will be recognized at Brophy’s Mother-Son Mass on Feb. 20 in St. Francis Xavier Church. Besides helping Brophy, she also has provided care to COVID-19 patients who do not have health insurance. Moran also supports many of the state’s Native American communities as a volunteer. She has helped many other schools and school districts. She serves as a clinical associate professor at Barrow Neurological Institute and at Creighton University’s Department of Medicine and also is vice chief of Medical Staff at Select Specialty Hospital. As a volunteer physician, Moran offers infectious disease care to the Gila River Indian Reservation and the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

The Inés Pascual Award is named after a Spanish noblewoman who supported St. Ignatius of Loyola on his literal and metaphorical journey that led to the founding of the Society of Jesus — the Jesuits, the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church.


Meseret Berhane, a senior at Madison Highland Prep, recently received a prestigious 2020 National College Scholarship to Stanford University from the non-profit QuestBridge (photo courtesy of Madison Highland Prep).

Madison Highland Prep senior earns scholarship

A senior at Madison Highland Prep is on a roll after having received the QuestBridge scholarship.

Meseret Berhane recently learned she will receive this four-year academic scholarship. She plans to attend Stanford University in the fall. QuestBridge links the country’s brightest students to leading higher education institutions. Meseret is one of 34 seniors around the United States to earn this prestigious 2020 National College Scholarship to Stanford University. She has decided to major in psychology after taking psychology classes at Madison Highland Prep.

Meseret is an excellent student and leader, who has been serving on Student Council since her freshman year. She also is president of Madison Highland Prep’s National Honor Society and has been on the principal’s list for four years.

QuestBridge is a national non-profit organization that connects the most exceptional, low-income youth in the United States with strong colleges and opportunities. The organization works with students from high school through college and during their first job. It aims to boost the percentage of talented, low-income students attending the best colleges in the country and to support them to achieve success in their careers and communities.



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.