Members of the Thunderbird High School NJROTC recently held a clean-up event along 19th Avenue and on campus (submitted photo).

Glendale Union High School District

Three schools earn ‘A’ rating

Three North Central schools in the Glendale Union High School District (GUHSD) earned an “A” rating from the State of Arizona: Sunnyslope, Thunderbird and Washington high schools.

An “A” rating is the highest rating a school can receive and is based on student proficiency and growth on the national ACT exam, graduation rate and the opportunities a school provides in preparing students for college and careers.

Club hosts health event

Sunnyslope High School students received their certification or recertification in BCLS with the Health Occupations Students of America Club (HOSA) and Phoenix Firefighters Association.

HOSA is a new club on campus this year. The student members also attended the Fall Leadership Conference.

NJROTC compete and clean area street

Thunderbird High School’s NJROTC participated in the John S. McCain JROTC Leadership Competition, hosted by the American Legion Post 41. Ten schools from across Arizona and representing all branches of the military service competed in athletic events, exhibition drills and a citizenship test.

Thunderbird NJROTC scored third place in the citizenship competition, second place in drill, and third place overall. The cadets received a $1,000 check.

In addition, the NJROTC conducted an Adopt A Street clean up. The cadets cleaned up 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road. They also cleaned up around the Thunderbird campus.


Madison Park Middle School students joined district staff and leadership at an October groundbreaking for its new STEAM building (submitted photo).

Madison Elementary School District

Madison breaks ground at STEAM site

In October, Madison Park Middle School held a ceremony that included students, staff, Madison Elementary District’s governing board and Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Guerin. The event was to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Madison Park STEAM building.

Park’s STEAM program provides students with a solid curriculum emphasizing math, science and engineering, giving them an advantage when entering a STEAM High School and preparing them for future careers.

“I want to thank the Madison community for their support, which allows us to provide modern facilities for our students,” Guerin said. “Madison Park originally opened its doors in 1956 and we are so excited for the new building to open in the 2023–24 school year.  The new Madison Park building will be a state-of-the-art school, enhancing Park’s STEAM signature program and supporting Madison’s vision of inspiring students to develop a passion for learning and leading in our ever-changing world.”

The 110,000-square-foot facility includes 40 classrooms, science labs, STEM action lab, maker spaces, art and music rooms. The classrooms have collaboration hallways that allow for extended classrooms where students can work in small groups. In addition, there is a media center, gym, and preschool center. Emphasis was placed on natural lighting, safety and security features, and furniture to meet the learning needs of students.

“Construction of the new, state of the art Madison Park School will significantly enhance the already strong educational cultural environment of the Park community,” said governing board vice president Scott Holcomb. “Park is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) school. The innovation, dedication, and focus of ADM Group and Chasse Building Team in working with the Madison School District to advance Park’s STEAM Signature Program has created a unique, innovative and welcoming campus to serve the Park students, educators and families far into the future.”

Madison hiring MAC leaders

The Madison Adventure Club (MAC) is the Madison School District’s before and after school program that provides Madison students safe, affordable and high-quality afterschool care by trained staff. The district takes pride in its MAC program, which it says provides a safe, positive and fun learning environment, positive peer group experiences, hands-on activities and much more.

District leadership added, “We are always looking for MAC Club Leaders to join our team! This position is perfect for anyone who is passionate about supporting and enriching students’ social and emotional skills and anyone who is looking for a flexible schedule.”

Those interested in applying should visit www.madisonaz.org/jobs.


Osborn Elementary School District

Osborn teacher receives grant

Martha Clark, a Spanish teacher at Clarendon Elementary School, part of the Osborn School District in Phoenix, was awarded a $2,500 grant through the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP.

The grant will allow Clark to provide additional Spanish resources and flexible seating for the classroom.

Fiesta Bowl Charities granted 400 teachers—including 85 Phoenix teachers—with $2,500 each through the program. Recipients included those teaching the arts to science, both gifted and special education, and languages and life skills amongst a diverse group of subjects. The 400 wishes granted will benefit teachers who will aim to enrich the lives of their students through technology improvements, addition of educational programs and fitness equipment and much more.


Camelback High School teacher Danielle Smith (pictured holding check) was awarded $2,500 through the Fiesta Bowl Charities’ Wishes for Teachers program (submitted photo).

Phoenix Union High School District

Camelback teacher granted wish

Recently, Danielle Smith from Camelback High School was awarded $2,500 from Fiesta Bowl Charities as a part of the Wishes for Teachers program. Smith’s wish that is now granted is “to purchase flags to represent Arizona tribes and create a library of Native American authors.”

Now in its seventh year, Fiesta Bowl Charities in partnership with Palo Verde, are granting $2,500 classroom wishes to 400 teachers across the state of Arizona for a total of $1,000,000. The Fiesta Bowl organization saw that many teachers spent their own money to enhance their classroom experience and in 2016 developed this program to aid teachers in that effort. As a way to support, celebrate and honor Arizona educators, teachers were invited to fill out an online application detailing their school and classroom wish. Wishes are randomly selected to receive a grant and teachers are notified and surprised in a Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP event.

Over the past 6 years, Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers has granted $4.7 million to Arizona teachers, impacting more than 500,000 students across the state.

Learn more at www.fiestabowl.org/sports/wishes-for-teachers. Learn more about Phoenix Union High School District at www.pxu.org.


Washington Elementary School District

District awards mini-grants for 29 projects

The Washington Education Foundation (WEF) awarded $37,000 in mini-grants, which funded 29 projects at 16 WESD locations during a celebration in November. WEF’s first in-person celebration in more than two years included opening remarks from WEF President and retired WESD principal Luanne Herman and Superintendent Dr. Paul Stanton, as well as congratulatory wishes from Governing Board members Bill Adams and Lindsey Peterson.

Each year, the WEF awards $500 mini-grants to teachers and staff to enhance the learning, as well as learning environments, for students. Funded projects included materials for gardens and an Egyptian mummification lesson, as well as books, adaptive seating and supplemental learning materials for the classrooms.

City departments support Sunnyslope families

The Washington Elementary School District (WESD) recently thanked the Phoenix Police Department, Phoenix Fire Department and the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department for collecting and donating supplies for the Sunnyslope Elementary School families and children who were affected by an apartment fire in October.

Families gathered at Sunnyslope Elementary School where they were greeted by several police officers who provided them with a variety of toys and games.

Moon Mountain Perfect Score students pose with WESD assistant superintendent Dr. Lyn Bailey and WESD governing board president Tee Lambert.

A Moon Mountain perfect score student poses with WESD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lyn Bailey, WESD Governing Board Member Jenni Abbott-Bayardi and WESD governing board president Tee Lambert.

Students earn perfect assessment scores

WESD congratulated its perfect score students from Moon Mountain Elementary School. At a recent WESD Governing Board meeting, these students were celebrated for receiving perfect scores on either the English Language Arts or Math portions of the 2022 Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessment (AASA).

Moon Mountain earns ‘A’

Moon Mountain Elementary School was designated as an “A” school from the Arizona Department of Education. Over the last few years, Moon Mountain has increased from a “C” to a “B” and now to an “A” school.

On the achievement, WESD said, “We are so proud of Moon Mountain for earning this incredible achievement and admire their ongoing commitment to improvement and growth!”


Charter and Private Schools

Mathletes compete in Caribou Cup

This school year Madison Highland Prep (MHP) introduced a new competitive club to its extracurricular lineup, Mathletes.

Mathletes is a competitive math club where solving math problems is fun, challenging, and engaging. This year, members are competing in the Caribou Cup Math contest. Thursday, Oct. 20, MHP Mathletes competed in their first contest of the year. Over 6,630 participants competed and MHP students went up against competitors from around the world and in the U.S.

After their first competition, MHP’s Mathletes two teams are ranked 2nd and 10th in Arizona and 30th and 77th in the World. Liam Steindler, Casey Deng and Isaac Lewis placed in the top 20 percent, and Harrison Communale placed in the top 25 percent. The second competition for MHP’s Mathletes club was Nov. 23–24. There will be subsequent competitions in January, February, April and May. The addition of the club has enriched the school’s mathematics program and added new competitive opportunities to students who love math.

Learn more at www.madisonhighlandprep.com.

Xavier Christmas pageant welcomes public

The community is invited to join Xavier staff and students at the school’s 20th Annual Christmas Pageant, “The Work of Christmas,” to be held at the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center at Xavier, Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. Prior to the pageant, an Alumnae Reception will be held in the Alumnae Courtyard at 1 p.m.

The performance is being provided as a gift to the community. No tickets are necessary. Xavier College Preparatory is located at 4710 N. 5th St., Phoenix. Learn more at www.xcp.org or by calling 602-277-3772.

Pictured, L–R: Jaida Dalton (AHH) joined Brophy students and founders of Soles 2 Souls Jake Krotonsky and Alec Bansal, as well as Brophy teacher Bryce Deline, at a shoe giveaway day (submitted photo).

Student-run nonprofit helps local children

Soles 2 Souls, a local nonprofit launched in 2021 by two high school students, partnered with Arizona Helping Hands to help children in foster care recently.

Alec Bansal and Jake Krotonsky, juniors at Brophy College Preparatory, created the nonprofit and decided to host a basketball event with families from Arizona Helping Hands.

The students started the nonprofit after seeing a person experiencing homelessness on the side of the street with run down, holey shoes. The pair wanted to provide bare essentials to people in the community in need and began a grassroots campaign, then after being introduced to Brophy teacher Bryce Deline, they started thinking bigger. The teacher suggested that they partner with Arizona Helping Hands.

Fifty children in foster care were invited to an Oct. 16 event to play basketball, soccer and dodgeball, and Soles 2 Souls was able to provide everyone with a new pair of Nike shoes. The games took place at Brophy College Prep gym and the school reported that everyone had a great time.

To date, Soles 2 Souls has raised over $6,000 and donated more than 100 pairs of shoes to people in the community. Learn more at www.soles2souls.shop.

The Xavier community came to gather a record-breaking 603,499 cans for St. Vincent de Paul (submitted photo).

Xavier community donates over half-million cans

Giving back to the community is a way of life for students at Xavier College Preparatory. Each year, students give over 30,000 hours doing volunteer work and community service as part of Xavier’s Christian Service Program. Many activities are designed by students where they see a need to fulfill.

Xavier’s National Honor Society (NHS) started its Canned Food Drive to benefit St. Vincent de Paul in the 1990s. The initial goal was 10,000 cans. Each year, Xavier breaks the record of food collected. This year, the Xavier community broke another record and donated 603,499 cans for St. Vincent de Paul and raised more than $60,000 in cash donations alone.

Xavier junior Sejal Patel walked the red carpet at the Young Artist Academy Awards in October.

Junior nominated for Best Director

Sejal Patel, a junior at Xavier, was recently nominated for Best Director by the Young Artist Academy for her short film, “Life with the Patels.”

The 43rd Young Artist Academy Awards was held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles in October. Patel attended the awards ceremony with her entire family

Patel hopes to attend USC Film School after she graduates Xavier in 2024.

Eight Brophy students, four Xavier College Preparatory students, two faculty moderators and a Brophy/BNAC alumnus were part of the Oak Flat Unity Summit in Washington, D.C. (submitted photo).

Native American Club travels to D.C.

Relentless. Fearless. Committed. It would be hard to find a group of young people who demonstrate these qualities as well or as effectively as the Brophy Native American Club (BNAC), Brophy administration says.

Like the Indigenous tribes they count as their ancestors, they have roamed miles of Arizona trails and terrain. But these recent wanderings — including a 230-mile run in February from Arizona’s northern mountains to the central high deserts — have a specific purpose — to advocate for environmental justice and the right to keep the sacred sites of their people inviolate.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, these students took their efforts 2,300 miles further as they boarded a plane for Washington D.C. with a packed agenda that included meeting with the secretary of the Interior, the secretary of Agriculture and many members of Congress, including all of Arizona’s delegation.

For the past two years, BNAC members have been activists in defense of Oak Flat, a Native American sacred site that is vulnerable to mining exploitation. In 2015, Resolution Copper received federal permission for a land transfer that would give it ownership of a 3,000-acre site that includes Oak Flat. Thanks to the work of Apache Stronghold, supported by Earthworks, the Sierra Club, the National Congress of American Indians and efforts such as those of the BNAC, the land transfer is now on hold until there can be additional tribal input.

Brophy was recognized by Saving Amy’s Kids Go program as a Community Partner of the Year.

Brophy receives community partner award

The sixth annual Saving Amy Celebration took place Oct. 22 at the Heard Museum where Brophy College Preparatory was recognized with the Community Partner of the Year award for Brophy’s work with Saving Amy’s Kids Go program.

Saving Amy is a local nonprofit that works with families transitioning from homelessness. Brophy students act as big brothers to the younger students in the Kids Go program where they help them with their homework, take them on outings and encourage them to work hard and do well in school.

Brophy senior Peter Calihan, who spoke about his experience as a tutor and mentor, noted that after he reassured a student that it was cool to make good grades, the younger boy’s grades went from average to straight As.

Brophy students also volunteered at the event, which honored Saving Amy’s graduating families, covering the live and silent auction, checking people in and out and selling raffle tickets.

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