Glendale Union High School District

Sunnyslope High Henry Calkins

Henry Calkins

Sunnyslope High Ryan Cotter

Ryan Cotter

Thunderbird High Aria

Aria Gibbons

Moon Valley High Lia

Lia Arencibia

Four students chosen as National Merit Semifinalists

Four students in the Glendale Union High School District are making the grade as they have been selected as 2022 National Merit Semifinalists.

Henry Calkins and Ryan Cotter, seniors at Sunnyslope High School, Aria Gibbons, a senior at Thunderbird High School, and Lia Arencibia Rodriguez, a senior at Moon Valley High School, received this distinction. The district governing board gave them certificates of achievement.

National Merit Semifinalists are chosen every September out of 1.5 million applicants around the United States. Of the 50,000 students who score the highest on the PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index about 16,000 high school youths are notified that they have qualified to be semifinalists. Those semifinalists must meet several requirements to move forward to the finalist level of the competition. Approximately 90 percent of the semifinalists are likely to reach finalist standing and about half of them will win a National Merit Scholarship, receiving the prestigious Merit Scholar title. Winners can obtain one of three different types of National Merit Scholarships, including the one for $2,500.


Sunnyslope High to host financial aid workshop

Sunnyslope High School students can prepare for life after they graduate at an event on Thursday, Nov. 4.

The school will host a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on campus at 35 W. Dunlap Ave. Students and their parents will receive help applying for financial aid.

To learn more, visit


Eighth-graders can learn about high schools

Eighth-graders and their families can learn about academics, sports and other offerings in the Glendale Union High School District later this month.

Each campus in the district will host a Future Freshman Night at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. Students and their families also can participate online/virtually in the event. Sunnyslope High School at 35 W. Dunlap Ave.; Washington High School at 2217 W. Glendale Ave. and Thunderbird High School at 1750 W. Thunderbird Road are the district’s North Central schools.

Attendees will learn about academics, athletics, as well as fine and performing arts classes and resources for college and career opportunities, among other programs at the Future Freshman Night. To learn more, visit


Madison Elementary School District

Lavinia Bahm, a preschool teacher at Madison Rose Lane Elementary School, was recently surprised with the 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week Award (photo courtesy of Madison Rose Lane Elementary School).

Lavinia Bahm, a preschool teacher at Madison Rose Lane Elementary School, was recently surprised with the 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week Award (photo courtesy of Madison Rose Lane Elementary School).

Rose Lane teacher earns 12 News award
A preschool teacher at Madison Rose Lane Elementary School recently received the 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week Award.

Lavinia Bahm, who has been at Madison Rose Lane for four years and been teaching for more than 20 years, was surprised with the honor after the parent of a preschool girl in her classroom nominated her. The nomination described Bahm as “compassionate, creative, nurturing, and passionate not only about educating the kids, but also about keeping them safe and comfortable during this difficult time.” She added the children and employees love Bahm, who is “never too busy to hear your concerns.”

Bahm said she was surprised to receive the award and it brought tears to her eyes.

To nominate a teacher for the 12 News A+ Teacher of the Year award, email


‘Hamilton’ actress teaches Madison No. 1 students

Madison No. 1 Middle School theater students are reaping the benefits of a visit from an actress who is a star in the Angelica Cast of the award-winning musical “Hamilton.”

Zoe Jensen, who plays Eliza Hamilton in the musical, recently visited the campus to meet with the advanced theater class. Jensen provided students with an interactive acting lesson and students had the chance to ask her questions. “Hamilton” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning transformation of the biography by the same name written by Ron Chernow. The musical incorporates rap music and lyrics that take on political deal-making in the tale of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.


Open enrollment to begin for upcoming school year 

The Madison District’s open enrollment for the next academic year will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 1.

This process starts at 8 a.m. that day for families that are new to the district while existing families need to complete an Intent to Continue Form for the 2022-23 school year by 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26. New families must turn in their Open Enrollment Interest form before Jan. 26 and will be given priority according to the tiers the district has established.

The district’s elementary schools serve students in grades preschool through fourth and its middle schools educate youths in grades fifth through eighth. Madison Traditional Academy teaches students in grades preschool through eighth.

After current families finish the Intent to Continue Form it will allow the district to establish the number of open enrollment seats that will become available March 1. New families that live within the attendance boundaries of the school they want to enroll also must complete a student enrollment form that will be available to the public starting on March 1 for the next academic year.

To learn more, visit


Teachers, student earn IB honors

Two teachers and a student in the Madison Elementary School District are making the grade for their achievements through Arizona International Baccalaureate Schools (AZIBS).

AZIBS recently presented the IB AZ Teacher of the Year award to Megan Tracy, the IB Visual Art/Ceramics/ Studio Arts teacher at Madison Meadows Middle School, and Jaime Monroe, a kindergarten teacher at Madison Simis Elementary School. It also honored Kyleigh, a fifth-grader at Madison Meadows, with the Student of the Year award.

The IB curriculum in the Madison district helps students become independent learners who are capable of doing in-depth research, report writing and taking action. Youths inquire within the six IB transdisciplinary themes in order to become internally minded. The four IB programs are available to students ages 3 to 19 in 143 countries around the world. To learn more about the Madison district’s IB program, as well as its other Signature Programs, visit


Phoenix Union High School District

Explore campuses, programs during EXPO 2021

Learn about the programs and classes on campuses in the Phoenix Union High School District during the EXPO 2021 this month.

This event will take place at all of the high schools in the district from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6. Students can learn about the diverse programs in the district as they prepare to explore new horizons, make friends and take on new challenges in high school. Students can learn how to fly planes, as well as build robots and get on track to pursue careers in culinary arts, fashion and many other fields in the district. The program is aimed at preparing students for college, careers and life after high school.

Phoenix Union High School District has more than 500 different course titles in its catalog of classes, including many honors, advanced placement (AP) and dual enrollment offerings. To learn more, visit


Students at Camelback High School showed their campus spirit during the school’s recent Homecoming celebration, which included a parade, music, games, a tailgate and other activities (photo courtesy of Camelback High School).

Students at Camelback High School showed their campus spirit during the school’s recent Homecoming celebration, which included a parade, music, games, a tailgate and other activities (photo courtesy of Camelback High School).

Spirits high, team wins at Camelback homecoming
Camelback High School Spartans, who show their campus spirit on a regular basis, pulled out all the stops during the school’s recent Homecoming football game and festivities.

The Homecoming celebration included an alumni tailgate that drew former students who had graduated in every decade going back to the 1960s. Students in the school’s Guitar Club performed and there was a walking parade, where every club hosted a game or booth for visitors to play. Alumni were hosted by the Camelback Alumni Association.

After the tailgate, the Camelback Spartans beat the North Canyon Rattlers 53-44 during a high-scoring game. It was the fourth win in a row for the Spartan football team.


Private And Charter Schools

Brophy College Prep to host open house

Boys who are interested in attending Brophy College Preparatory can attend an open house on the campus on Sunday, Nov. 7.

This event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at the school at 4701 N. Central Ave. Participants can tour the campus, check out the information fair in Harper Great Hall and get involved in classroom demonstrations.

Parents and their sons will have the opportunity to meet students, faculty members, administrators and coaches, while learning about the academic programs, sports and co-curricular activities, financial aid and the admissions process. While Brophy is starting its admission process for the 2022-23 freshmen class, boys of all ages are welcome to attend the open house.

Interested boys and their parents need to make reservations if they want to come to the open house. To learn more, visit admissions/learn-more/open-house.


MHP students promote STEM projects

Several students at Madison Highland Prep will promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) on campus and in the community through a partnership with the SciTech Institute.

The school has teamed up with the institute to implement the Chief Science Officer Program. This program aims to develop a pipeline of STEM leaders with workforce and employability skills that prepare students for college, careers and civic engagement. Madison Highland Prep’s chief science officers for this school year are Madeline Nave, Cassandra Westwood, Jack Sanders and Ben Blundell. They will host STEM activities and spirit weeks on campus and connect with community partners to advance STEM programs. The chief science officers went to SciTech’s STEM Summit recently, where they had the chance to network with STEM professionals, take part in hands-on activities and workshops, as well as observe various “STEMonstrations.” These students also were able to talk to Arizona State University students who are majoring in science and engineering fields.

Madison Highland Prep’s chief science officers will be working with Highland Prep Surprise’s chief science officers to host a series of STEM activities at the City of Surprise SciTech Festival on Saturday, Nov. 6.


Theresa Borlongan, Aliyah Chutkan, and Helena Richardson, seniors at Xavier College Preparatory, recently were named Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program (photo by Lisa Zuba).

Theresa Borlongan, Aliyah Chutkan, and Helena Richardson, seniors at Xavier College Preparatory, recently were named Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program (photo by Lisa Zuba).

Xavier students honored in National Merit program
Three seniors at Xavier College Preparatory are receiving national recognition for their strong academic abilities and potential to succeed in rigorous college classes.

Theresa Borlongan, Aliyah Chutkan and Helena Richardson were named Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Individual students are selected for this program after they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Officials with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of about 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These high school seniors have the chance to continue in the competition for the opportunity to receive one of the 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million, which will be provided next spring. The Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors around the country and they are the highest-scoring entrants in every state.

Several Xavier students were named Commended Scholars in the national program. They are Catherine Alaimo, Mary Clare Broyles, Catherine Garrett, Erika Germinario, Calicia Gueyser, Adeline Kershner, Anna Kolbe and Anna Meaney. More than two-thirds or about 34,000 of the approximately 50,000 high-scoring students on the PSAT/NMSQT receive Letters of Commendation to recognize their academic promise. They are chosen based on a nationally applied score.

To learn more, visit


Midtown Primary School to celebrate Turkey Day

A time-honored tradition that brings families and staff members together at Midtown Primary School is returning this month.

The school will host its Harvest Fest on Wednesday, Nov. 24, an annual event that will be in its 18th year. This feast began in 2003 but was canceled last year because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. About 300 children and their families are expected to participate in this Thanksgiving celebration. Families will be seated at three different times. Third-grade students will join volunteers in delivering drinks, scooping side dishes, handing out pie and providing whipped cream. All classes at the school helped make centerpieces and decorations.

Change Your Stars Foundation, which provides role models, experiences and inspiration to children in need, is fundraising to pay for adults’ meals and sending volunteers to help serve the food. Every class at the school contributes to the meal. The school also offers several food boxes for families who are struggling financially to take home.

Anyone in the community who wants to attend the Thanksgiving feast should call Midtown Primary School at 602-265-5133 by Nov. 5.



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