Pictured, left to right, are Steve Forbes, Diana Diaz-Harrison, Janine Yass and Jeff Yass, at a presentation of the $1 million Yass Prize to Arizona Autism Charter Schools (submitted photo).

Charter school receives $1 million Yass Prize

Arizona Autism Charter Schools (AZACS), a public charter school for students with autism in Arizona and the first charter in the West dedicated to serving neuro-divergent learners, has been named America’s most innovative and effective educational organization winning the $1 million Yass Prize.

AZACS said in a press release that the prize recognizes its efforts to expand unique individualized learning programs and supports the creation of a national accelerator for Autism-focused charter schools, which will enable similar schools to be established in every state.

The Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education, administered by the Center for Education Reform, is awarded to the education provider whose innovative program provides students the most effective, transformational, and lasting educational experience possible with a clear, barrier-free path to success.

AZACS is a Title 1 school, with approximately 76 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch and more than half of the students identifying as Hispanic. AZACS also offers a fully accredited online school serving children with autism and other special needs across the state.

Visit www.autismcharter.org to learn more.

Xavier students attending the 27th Annual Math/Science Field Day included Shriya Tummalo, Sophia Herget, Jacquie Vogel, Norah Dentz, Ava Silvernail, Daria Turico, Nina Rawal, Tatum Zerbib, Cassara Ryan, Evelynn Papez, Alanna Knowlen, Sarah Klemmer, Cara Schillinger, Harper Hipps and Abby Pearson (submitted photo).

Xavier math students place third in competition

Math students from Xavier College Preparatory took third place in the 27th Annual Math/Science Field Day at Scottsdale Community College Jan. 12.

The Math/Science Field Day is an annual competition hosted by the college that is open to all high school students in the area. Xavier College Prep sent 15 students to compete in various math-related activities, such as problem solving, algebra 2/geometry, pre-calculus or calculus. All teams were given a task to complete in a fixed amount of time that utilized skills from mathematics and science and teamwork.

Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to win scholarships to Scottsdale Community College and other prizes by participating in a variety of competitions.

The day began with the math competition, in which senior Dario Turicothe notched the not only the high score for Xavier but the second highest overall across 14 high schools.

During the afternoon, the project team demonstrated their knowledge of keeping their heads above water. Seniors Cassara Ryan, Tatum Zerbib and Nina Rawal constructed a tin foil boat that supported more 100 nickels, almost more than anyone else. In the science portion of the competition, junior team members Cara Schillinger, Harper Hipps and Abby Pearson made the top three.

In the final round the school was up against Perry and Benjamin Franklin. The round was a nail biter. The school took an early lead being the first to answer a math question correctly. In the end, Xavier walked away with third place.

Kiernan will receive Inés Pascual Award

Brophy College Preparatory will present Jennifer Kiernan with the Inés Pascual Award for Generous Service at the Mother-Son Communion Breakfast on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Each year, Brophy recognizes a woman in the community who models the compassion and commitment of Inés Pascual, a Spanish nobelwoman, who saw that St. Ignatius received food, shelter and medical care. This year, Kiernan will be honored with the award for serving the community in extraordinary ways with her work with Saving Amy, where she is the founder and executive director. Saving Amy is a nonprofit that works to break the cycle of homelessness by providing programs to produce stability and long-term success for families.

To learn more about the Inés Pascual Award, visit www.brophyprep.org

Brophy Black Family Alliance will host festival

The Brophy Black Family Alliance will host a Black History Festival from noon until 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, on Brophy’s campus. The public is invited to attend this free event that celebrates Black history, culture, food and more. There will be vendors, music and dancing.

Brophy is located at 4701 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For more information on the Brophy Black History Festival, contact Brophy’s director of equity and inclusion, Deena Sellers, at dsellers@brophyprep.org.

Junior Elementary rocked out to “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” during the Montessori Day School Winter Program in December (submitted photo).

Holiday event helps fund future projects

Bells were ringing with children singing at the Montessori Day School Winter Program and Bazaar, which sent students, staff and families humming into the holidays. In January, the school’s Parent Committee reported a take of $866 from the event, helping to move forward the Gaga Ball Court, Greenhouse and Movie Under the Stars projects.

Meanwhile, school administration is planning for 2023–24 enrollment to begin in February.

Montessori Day School is located at 9215 N. 14th St. For additional information, call 602-943-7672 or visit www.mdpsc.org.



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