Glendale Union High School District

Enrollment is open for the 2022–23 school year

Glendale Union High School District (GUHSD) offers nine nationally recognized high schools in the Phoenix area, which are ranked among America’s best high schools by U.S. News & World Report. GUHSD provides championship athletics, extracurricular activities, cutting-edge STEM opportunities, career and technical education options and more.

Students can enroll for the 2022–23 school year online at


WHS seniors will play junior college football

Four student-athletes at Washington High School recently signed letters of intent to play football at a local junior college. Demetrius “Meech” Harmon, Isaiah Cortez, Gilbert Calderon and Jose Contreras all signed letters of intent to Salt River Scorpions Junior College Football program.


Senior Henry Calkins was named Sunnyslope High School’s “Achievement Above All” Student of the Year (photo courtesy of Glendale Union High School District).

SHS ‘Above All’ winners honored at board meeting

Sunnyslope senior Henry Calkins, a National Merit Finalist and a member of the top 1 percent of his class, was honored as Student of the Year as part of the high school’s Achievement Above All recognition.

Calkins has taken 12 Advanced Placement high school classes during and has never earned a B. He serves as student body president, founder and president of the Mountain Bike Club, and captain of the cross country team. Calkins is involved in the Student Council, National Honor Society, Speech and Debate, Future Business Leaders of America, and Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, Calkins has earned distinction as a Boy Scout, an Irish dancer, and a bagpipe player.

His goal for the future is to study mechanical engineering in college.

Music teacher Tamara Krause was named Teacher of the Year; the boys basketball team, which won last year’s 6A State Championship title, received Student Group of the Year honors; school nurse and district alumna Josephine Sardinha was recognized as Support Staff of the Year; and Sunnyslope alumna and parent Robin Cotto was named Volunteer of the Year.

The Sunnyslope winners were honored at a Glendale Union High School Governing Board meeting in February.


Sunnyslope seniors sign letters of intent

Sunnyslope High School seniors Xander Georgoulis and Colby Raffel recently signed letters of intent to play sports at the collegiate level.

Georgoulis signed his letter of intent with Washington University in St. Louis. He will not only be furthering his academic career but also play football for the university. Raffel has signed to compete on the swim team at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.


Thunderbird students commit to collegiate sports

Two Thunderbird High School seniors have signed letters of intent to play collegiate sports. Moriah Mills has committed to Arizona Christian University to play volleyball. Kyler McConnaughy is going to Hamline Piper outside of Minneapolis to play football.


Madison Elementary School District

Madison to host job fair March 9

The Madison School District will hold its spring job fair March 9 from 4¬–6 p.m. at the Madison Center for the Arts, located at 5601 N. 16th St.

The district is hiring teachers, bus drivers, before and after school employees, food service employees, and more, with full and part-time positions available.

Benefits offered include paid time off, professional development opportunities and more. The district says that it makes a conscious effort to positively support the health and wellbeing of its employees, families and communities, and recently received the Healthy Arizona Worksite Award.

For more information, and to view current openings, visit


All-electric bus coming to Madison

Madison School District is among the first school districts in Arizona to receive a grant to purchase a 2022 zero-emissions all-electric school bus.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department 2021 State Clean Diesel Grant Program will provide Madison up to $205,886 in funds to replace one 2005 diesel school bus with one 2022 zero-emissions all-electric school bus. Matching funds of 55 percent will be provided by the district. The State Clean Diesel Grant Program is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

The district is one of three organizations in the state to receive this year’s grant and the only organization to obtain an electric vehicle with the funding.

Learn more at or


Osborn Elementary School District

Teacher residency program comes to Osborn

The Osborn Elementary School District is one of three districts to partner with Northern Arizona University and the Arizona K12 Center in the launch of the Arizona Teacher Residency Program (AZTR).

Teacher candidates will spend one year post-bachelor’s degree working in the district doing student teaching and engaging in coursework toward their certificates. Upon earning their teaching certificate, they will work for a minimum of three years in the district, while also completing their classwork for their master’s degrees.

Applications are available at


Nominations sought for ‘Teachers of the Year’

The Osborn School District Educational Foundation supports education in the Osborn School District by providing direct funds to teachers, principals and the superintendent every year. The group also sponsors the “Teachers of the Year” awards and will begin accepting nominations for the fifth annual Celebration of Excellence March 1.

Nominations will be accepted March 1–28, and the awards ceremony will be held Saturday Oct. 22, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix North.

For additional information about the Foundation or to nominate a teacher, visit


Phoenix Union High School District

The Camelback High School cross country team, under new head coach Torunn Anderson Randich (kneeling in the front), built back from challenges in 2020, earning several medals during its 2021 season (photo courtesy of the Phoenix High School District).

Rebuilt cross country team see steady success

The new cross country coach at Camelback High School says that distance runners tend to be successful.

“If you know someone who is dogged and determined, who talks about five miles as a short distance, who can delay gratification endure pain, you probably know a distance runner,” said head coach Torunn Anderson Randich.

She added that distance runners tend to be unique and distinct, and in the high school cross country circuits, both academically high achieving, and a little intimidating.

“What teenager willingly will pry themselves out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to go on an hour run? Will glide over grass, mud, pavement, sand and concrete; through flies and trees and brush, past soaring golf balls, in wind and rain and science fiction level heat?”

These challenges were a small part of the reason that Camelback cross country ended the 2020 season with only a handful of athletes.

But in 2021, under new head coach Randich, the team rebuilt, bringing in six seniors, five freshmen and a handful of soccer players; but only five of the 17 had ever run distance before. The team has students of all grade levels, ethnicities and origins and functions as a school family: everyone looks out for and supports each other, and this has led them to slow and steady success.

Randich shared that, in the course of a season, almost all of the members won medals at their various meets, with sophomore Cadence Cachola placing third in the PXU District Championships at Varsity level, and freshmen Mario Macias fourth in JV. The girls team placed seventh overall in their section, and had two athletes qualify for state: Cachola and junior Carrie Dashee.

To help further its efforts, the Camelback cross country team received a donation from Brooks Running Company’s Booster Club Program, which provided $12,400 worth of gear and $2,000 in cash.

Newly outfitted and equipped, the team continues to recruit, train, and strengthen and is looking forward to a competitive and dynamic spring track season. Follow the team on Instagram, @camelbackxcountry, for information on meets and how to support the team.


Metro Tech recognized with ‘Excellence’ award

Last month, Metro Tech High School announced that the school has earned the 2022 A+ School of Excellence™ award.

The A+ School of Excellence Award is given by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF). The award program has been in existence since 1983 and is the highest state-level honor an Arizona public school may receive. A+ School of Excellence™ is also the only statewide school award program that identifies and recognizes schools for achieving overall excellence.

In addition to recognition of the school’s efforts, the award also includes $500, which may be used as schools deem appropriate.


Washington Elementary School District

Washington Elementary School students sent handcrafted messages of love to area senior centers this Valentine’s Day (photo courtesy of WESD via Facebook).

Students create cards for seniors, veterans

Washington Elementary School District (WESD) students used their creativity to spread some love this year on Valentine’s Day.

In partnership with Representative Greg Stanton’s office, students in the WESD KidSpace and After School Academy programs created hundreds of handmade valentines to brighten the days of older adults in the community.

Stanton and his team conducted a contactless delivery of valentines to senior centers and assisted living facilities throughout the district.

The district says that a few extra valentines were even posted throughout the WESD Administrative Center, “brightening the day for employees in the building.”


Fourth grades share love with rescue animals

A group of fourth graders at Desert View Elementary showed the animals at Foothills Animal Rescue some love on Valentine’s Day. They made valentines for the animals in the shelter and helped spread some love to the staff there, as well.


WESD names January Employees of the Month

The Washington Elementary School recognized eight individuals who exemplify the district’s mission, vision and values as January Employees of the Month.

The employees are Maricarmen Atilano Castillo, facilities manager at the Administrative Center; Blanca Hernandez, support instructor, WESD Head Start Program – Moon Mountain Elementary; James Lewis, CCB Program coach, Manzanita Elementary School; Tim McGloin, security officer, Maryland School; Suzanne Niezgodzki, school social worker, Arroyo School; Sherrie Pemberton, kindergarten teacher, Sweetwater School; Jennifer Selmo, instructional assistant, John Jacobs Elementary; and Mary Ellen Yaghmourian, resource teacher, Tumbleweed Elementary.


Private and Charter Schools

Five Xavier students signed national letters of intent to play collegiate sports, including (L–R) Jayme Brown, Ansley Burns, Tatum Goforth, Tiffany Tellez and Clair Douglas (photo courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory).

Five student-athletes sign letters of intent

In the culmination of many years of hard work and commitment to their respective sports, five Xavier student-athletes signed national letters of intent at a February ceremony.

This was the 21st year that the ceremony was held for student-athletes, and Xavier was the first school in Arizona to hold the event for girls’ sports.

Xavier seniors signing letters of intent on Feb. 9 include Jayme Brown, Soccer, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts; Ansley Burns, Soccer, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Tatum Goforth, Cross Country/Track & Field, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; Tiffany Tellez, Volleyball, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Clair Douglas, Water Polo, St. Francis University, Loretto, Pennsylvania.


Brophy presents ‘Generous Service’ award

In February, Brophy College Preparatory honored the leadership team at Xavier College Preparatory, Sister Joan Fitzgerald, BVM, President, Sister Joan Nuckols, BVM, Principal, and Sister Lynn Winsor, BWM, Director of Student Activities and Athletic Director, with The Inés Pascual Award for Generous Service.

Brophy established the award in 2017 and it is presented annually at the Mother-Son Communion Breakfast. The award recognizes a woman in Brophy’s community who models the compassion and commitment of Inés Pascual, a Spanish noblewoman, who saw that St. Ignatius received food, shelter and medical care. The recipient of the Inés Pascual Award for Generous Service is recognized for the generous ways she works to animate the values and ideals of St. Ignatius.

This year’s award recognizes the years of collaboration, partnership and support between Brophy and Xavier, the all-girls school next door.

Brophy’s president, Adria Renke, said, “The friendships and relationships that have formed between the schools and their students have enriched us for generations, and for generations to come.”


Xavier senior Marissa White is the only girl playing on the Brophy ice hockey team (photo courtesy of XPress).

Xavier student plays on Brophy ice hockey team

A figure skater since she was seven years old, Xavier College Prep senior Marissa White is now playing forward for the Brophy College Preparatory Bronco Hockey team.

White says that during the last few years, while things slowed down, she yearned to do something different. That thing ended up being ice hockey.

Just one year ago she learned how to skate, handle a stick and play the game of ice hockey.

“I loved it the first time I was on the ice with a puck” Marissa said.

The hockey skates took some getting used to — Marissa found herself face-first on the ice a few times. Shortly after that, though, she joined the Kachinas, an all-girls club ice hockey team. And since her school does not have an ice hockey team, Xavier’s Athletic Director, Sr. Lynn Winsor, got Marissa in contact with Brophy.

She went to Brophy’s practice, and they offered her a spot on their team right away. She plays forward, both left and right wing. As of press time, their team is number one.

Asked if she felt different being the only girl on the team, Marissa said, “Everyone has been great. There hasn’t been any pushback, and I’m having fun.”

She’s been hit hard a few times, some games are more physical than others, but they all wear protective gear. Her only regret is not joining the team earlier — since she graduates this May, this will be her last year on the team.

Marissa’s advice for other girls: “Don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s better to take a risk and find something you love.”


Xavier recognized for female representation

Xavier College Preparatory has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A (CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) for the fifth year in a row.

Schools honored with this award have expanded girls’ access to AP computer science courses.

In 2021, Xavier College Prep was one of only 61 schools nationwide recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses.

“We’re thrilled to congratulate our female AP computer science students and their teachers on this step toward gender parity in computer science education,” said Xavier principal, Sister Joanie Nuckols, BVM. “We’re honored that our school earned this distinction and look forward to seeing these young women pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers.”

A analysis of 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds women represent just 24 percent of the five million people in computing occupations. Computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S., although 67 percent of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, only 11 percent of STEM bachelor’s degrees are in computer science.

All of Xavier’s students take Computer Science Essentials, which is an introduction to Java. Many go on and to take AP Computer Science classes.



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