North Central News

School Briefs

Glendale Union High School District

 Enrollment open for second semester

The Glendale Union High School District is offering enrollment opportunities for the second semester, which begins on Jan. 4. All nine of the district’s schools are ranked among America’s best high schools by U.S. News & World Report and provide athletics, extracurricular activities, cutting-edge STEM opportunities, career and technical education options and more.

Families outside of the district may enroll their children at any of the district’s schools under the state’s open enrollment policy, which allows Arizona students to attend public high schools that are outside of their attendance boundaries. For more information or to enroll a student, visit


Seniors advance to Flinn semifinals

Three Sunnyslope High School seniors have advanced to the semifinalist interviews for the Flinn Scholarship. Henry Calkins, Ezri Tyler and Sheena Kroodsma were among 80 semifinalists selected from a total of nearly 1,100 applications across Arizona.

Approximately 40 finalists will be selected from this group to interview in March with a selection committee that will choose the 20 students for the Flinn Scholars Class of 2022. The Flinn Scholarship, which includes funding for tuition, housing, meals, and study abroad, is valued at more than $120,000.

SHS coach

Sunnyslope badminton coach Sarah Schlesigner has been named the 2020-21 West Section Girls Other- Badminton Coach of the Year.


Sunnyslope coach earns NFHS Coaches honor

Sunnyslope  badminton coach Sarah Schlesigner has been named the 2020-21 West Section Girls Other- Badminton Coach of the Year by  the National Federation of State High School Associations National Coaches Association. Schlesinger was nominated by the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Honorees were selected based upon their performance in the 2020-2021 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement, and philosophy of coaching.

Junior Maddie Schlesinger and senior Alison Rodriquez, Sunnyslope’s number-one badminton doubles team, took the state title after defeating Chaparral in three sets at the state tournament in October.

Seniors Kaitlyn Cotter and Rebecca Rodriquez also competed at the event.


Washington High students help community at holidays

Washington High’s Interact Club made and donated 200 scarves to Andre House in December (photo courtesy of the Glendale Union High School District).

Washington High’s Interact Club made and donated 200 scarves to Andre House in December (photo courtesy of the Glendale Union High School District).

Two student organizations at Washington High School donated time and resources during the holidays to help those less fortunate.

Interact Club members volunteered their time at the Andre House by making and donating 200 scarves. The club also prepared and served more than 500 meals to guests at Andre House.

Students in the Washington High dance program organized a change war between classes. The dance program’s goal was to raise money to feed people in need during the holiday season. Each class donated every day during November and they raised over a thousand dollars. All the money was donated to St. Vincent De Paul.


Madison Elementary School District

Madison District launches THRIVE series

As the landscape of childhood continues to evolve, it is imperative that parents are steeped with resources to approach and support their child in ways that align with the students of the Alpha and IGeneration.

To help provide such support, the Madison School District this month will launch its THRIVE series of interactive online offerings for parents and community members.

Offerings will run Jan. 27 through May 12 on a variety of topics including coping and resiliency, digital wellness, vaping awareness and education and support for the unique transitions from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school.

Additional information will be provided closer to the event dates and will be found at


Phoenix Union High School District


Mia Vesely

Mia Vesely has been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania through the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship program.

North senior receives Match Scholarship

North High senior Mia Vesely has been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences through the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship program.


Vesely, who was one of 1,674 students nationwide who received a Match Scholarship, was selected on the basis of academic and personal excellence, academic commitment, tenacity, and care for others.

QuestBridge is a platform that connects the nation’s brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities. Through these exchanges, QuestBridge aims to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation’s best universities and the ranks of national leadership itself.

For more information about the scholarship program, visit


Private And Charter Schools

 Brophy athletes sign letters of intent

Brophy NLI Signing

Sixteen Brophy College Preparatory student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play NCAA sports.

Sixteen Brophy College Preparatory student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play NCAA sports. The NLI program includes 652 Division I and Division II participating institutions.

The students include Brayden Bozak (University of Las Vegas/golf), Jack Warner Brown (United States Air Force Academy/tennis), John “Jack” Brown (Davidson College/soccer), Henry Chabot (Chapman University/baseball), Ian DiMaria (Grand Canyon University/rugby), Jack Dozer (University of Denver/golf), Gage DuBois (University of Arizona, diving), Thomas Joswiak (University of Missouri/swimming), Kellen Newsome (Northwest Nazarene University/baseball), Trey Phillips (New York University/basketball), Cole Rassas (United States Air Force Academy/lacrosse), George Rubelsky (Columbia University/golf) and Jack Sorenson (Holy Cross University/swimming).

In addition, three students signed to play Division I football: Benjamin Morrison (Notre Dame University), Tyler Powell (University of Arizona) and Zach Swanson (University of Texas).


School to host first drones competition

Madison Highland Prep will host the state’s first High School REC Foundation Ariel Drones Competition (RADC) on Jan. 15.

This year’s tournament challenge is called “RADC DownDraft2,” which is a technical course that is played on a 28-by-28-foot indoor field. Two opposing alliances compete in different three-minute matches. The object of the game is earn a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring small and large balls in corner and floor goals, as well as landing drones in the designated landing zone at the end of the match. Teams also will compete in the Programming Skills Challenge, where one drone takes to the sky to try to score as many points as possible through programming.

Madison Highland Prep’s sister school, Highland Prep, as well as teams from California and New Mexico, will take part in the tournament.


Kate Blair

Xavier Senior Kate Blair won the “Teens in Action” award last summer when she represented Arizona at the Teen Miss America Pageant.

Xavier student wins Teens in Action Award

Xavier Senior Kate Blair has achieved more in her 17 years than many people do in a lifetime.

`During the summer of 2021, Blair represented Arizona at the Teen Miss America Pageant where, out of 51 competitors, she won the “Teens in Action” award. She spoke about her social impact initiative, “raise a voice for childhood cancer” during a three-minute interview.

Influenced by Blair’s younger sister who was stricken with cancer and now recovered, Blair took action early on by first selling candy in her yard to support children with cancer. She went on to raise $200,000 for a variety of childhood cancer charities and has addressed members of Congress on several occasions in Washington, DC.

Blair was recently selected as a semifinalist out of over 68,000 applicants to The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, which recognizes and awards a $20,000 scholarship to 150 students nationally who make a significant impact on their schools and communities.

At Xavier, Blair is part of Gatorline, Xavier’s performance dance company, Political Action Club, Key Club and three Honor Societies.


MHP student lands engineering internship

Madison Highland Prep senior John Baricza has been selected for an internship with Squickmon’s Engineering and Automation, a manufacturing and design firm in Phoenix. The internship will afford Baricza the opportunity to learn about many areas of the design and manufacturing process, including work with electrical system design, sheet metal fabrication, CNC machine programming, quality control processes, and more.

Although Baricza plans to pursue astronautical engineering as a career, he says he is excited about this opportunity because with this internship “I will be able to further develop and take away applicable skills in engineering.”


Tyler Ross led a peanut-butter-and-jelly drive by two youth hockey teams to help support the Midtown Primary School’s new food pantry (photo courtesty of Lindy Ross).

Tyler Ross led a peanut-butter-and-jelly drive by two youth hockey teams to help support the Midtown Primary School’s new food pantry (photo courtesty of Lindy Ross).

Primary school launches family food panty

A local primary school is seeking donations for a new quarterly food pantry for families. What began as a one-time event at Midtown Primary School has blossomed into a quarterly event for families who need some extra help.

Families can come and “shop” for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack supplies and also find toiletries, dish soap, paper towels and toilet paper. They also can provide feedback and share what they really need and what would be helpful for the pantry to provide. The Midtown Primary School pantry is by invitation only.

“There is power in choice and the pantry allows families to get exactly what they need,” says Lindy Ross of the Midtown Staff. The food pantry is a way for families to stock up for the weeks during break when kids are home. Midtown Students receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks at school, so there is a gap for parents to provide that when students are at home over break. The next pantry will be prior to spring break.

Two donors, Auto Glass Inspection Services and Revolution Church, have donated both food and time to the event. In addition, two youth hockey teams, the Chandler Ice Den’s Squirt Black Bears and PeeWee Bruins, sponsored a peanut-butter-and-jelly drive to support the pantry.  Tyler Ross started the drive after hearing about the pantry. He decided to do a peanut-butter-and-jelly drive because kids can make sandwiches themselves without an adult to help. Many times, that is exactly what is needed, according to Ross.

To donate food to the pantry, bring items to the Midtown Primary School in the educational wings behind the church at 4735 N. 19th Ave.


Phoenix Christian Prep to host open house

Phoenix Christian Preparatory School will host “Launch Life,” an open house and live tour of the campus, on Saturday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event includes the opportunity to meet members of the administration, faculty and staff along with students, parents and coaches. Lunch will be provided for all guests.

Those who attend will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship for the 2022-23 school year and for those families who are new to the school, the application fee will be waived.

Phoenix Christian Preparatory School is located at 1751 W. Indian School Road and is open to children from preschool through high school. For more information or to register, visit


Boxing club helps kids build confidence

A group of students are building interpersonal skills through a unique club at AmeriSchools Academy Phoenix Camelback Charter School. The school’s boxing club, led by teacher Sheryl Bristow, offers students the opportunity to work with a boxing coach through meetings at school and training sessions at the Old School Boxing Gym. Bristow says boxing is an activity that helps build confidence and communication skills.

“I think children need to learn these skills,” Bowden said. “I feel like social media and lack of personal communication has deprived them of the ability to truly connect with each other. Boxing forces you to connect with others, even though it might seem to do the opposite.”

The club meets every Tuesday at school and then travels to the gym every Thursday, where kids are given access to the boxing ring and get to spar with more experienced boxers and work with a professional coach and gym owner, Heath Kerley. The club had a mixture of fifth-through-eighth grade girls and boys during the fall and will expand its membership to include grades one through four beginning this month.


Xavier Tennis Courtyard

The new Stark Tennis Center Courts and Xavier West Courtyard were opened on Saturday, Nov. 20, at a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Xavier dedicates new tennis center, courtyard

Since their construction in the 1950s, the tennis courts at Xavier College Prep have been host to many matches and even a student who used the fence to tie up her horse while she was inside attending classes. The asphalt courts also were used for basketball and volleyball.

However, thanks to the generosity of the William and Judy Stark family, who helped with the initial renovation in the 1980s, Xavier’s courts endured, hosting many years of great matches.

After multiple renovations, it was determined that the damage from water and the roots of nearby ash trees had rendered the courts not only unplayable but also unsafe. Work began in April with demolition and construction of post-tension courts. The trees were repurposed into six picnic tables and benches, which would be placed all around the courtyard. The new Stark Tennis Center Courts and Xavier West Courtyard were opened on Saturday, Nov. 20, at a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new courts will benefit many, including Xavier’s “no-cut” freshman tennis team, varsity and junior varsity teams, Brophy’s tennis teams, and St. Francis Elementary School students. In addition to tennis, the courts will host Xavier’s first pickleball matches and pickleball P.E. class unit. Alumnae and parents also will use the courts to play pickleball. Lights were added, so Xavier will host its first night matches.


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