The Shaver Learning Commons is comprised of 45,000 square feet of outdoor learning space in the center of the All Saints’ Episcopal Day School campus (submitted photo).

School celebrates school additions

All Saints’ Episcopal Day School welcomed students back Aug. 16 with the grand opening of the Shaver Learning Commons, 45,000 square feet of outdoor learning space in the center of campus, marking the conclusion of a $14 million campus improvement project spanning nearly a decade.

After purchasing land adjacent to the school in 2013, the campaign funded the development of the Shaver Learning Commons and construction of the Christopher Ray Milisci Academic Building.

The Shaver Learning Commons features outdoor classrooms, additional performance spaces, a swing arbor, an orchard with flowering and native fruit trees, and a discovery area complete with a human sundial and orbiting planets placed throughout the space to scale.

The space was made possible by a generous gift from the Shaver family.  Jos Shaver was a member of the school’s class of 1978. The family’s gift marks the largest contribution from an alumni family in the history of the school.

Construction of the Christopher Ray Milisci Academic Building was completed last August. The new building houses 26 classrooms, a 3,000 square foot library, two makerspaces, and an open-air second-floor middle school plaza. As All Saints’ parents for over 13 years, the Milisci family provided instrumental leadership in the development and planning for the campus expansion. Together, the spaces add nearly 100,000 square feet of learning space to the 15-acre campus, and blend historical elements on campus with new, flexible spaces for innovative learning practices.

As part of the Bank of America Student Leaders Program, Valley students visited Senator Mark Kelly’s D.C. office during Capitol Hill Day. Pictured, left to right, are Alexander Barrow, Blanca Arizmendi, Adrija Rukmini, Vonna Lin, Mariama Camara, Nathaniel George and Sonya Colattur (photo courtesy of Nathaniel George).

Students selected for leadership program

Brophy College Preparatory senior Nathaniel George and Xavier College Preparatory senior Sonya Colattur were selected for the 2023 Bank of America Student Leaders Program. They were among a group of 300 student leaders selected for the program nationally out of more than 5,000 applications.

The students attended a week-long Bank of America Student Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. Learning from influential Bank of America corporate leaders, as well as leaders from national nonprofit and civic organizations, they had the chance to engage in discourse surrounding youth-led change and civic engagement.

During Capitol Hill Day, the Phoenix student leaders had the chance to meet Senator Kyrsten Sinema and staff from Senator Mark Kelly’s office, to discuss issues relevant to Arizona’s political and social landscape.

Both students completed eight-week paid internships over the summer at Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley. George completed his internship at the Harry & Sandy Rosenzweig Branch, and Colattur completed her internship at the Louis & Elizabeth Sands Branch.

High school juniors and seniors interested in the 2024 Bank of America Student Leaders Program can apply in October 2023 via the Bank of America website.

The gym at Redemption Alhambra is ready for action at the new Great Hearts Christos campus (submitted photo).

Private faith-based academy opens

Great Hearts Academies is expanding its school network to include Great Hearts Christos, private faith-based academies set to open this fall in Arizona. The schools will include a Christ-based faith formation incorporated with the Great Hearts classical curriculum.

Great Hearts Christos will serve grades K-5 at schools connected to Redemption Alhambra in Phoenix (1830 W. Glenrosa Ave.) and Evident Life Church in Gilbert, with enrollment at each location expected to cap at 200 and 100 students, respectively.

Key additions to the classical curriculum include the addition of age-appropriate scripture instruction, morning prayer with the middle school history programing placing a greater focus on ancient Israel and the early church.

Families are not required to be Christian for their children to attend, though children will be instructed from a Christian perspective while actively participating in faith formation practices. Enrollment is ongoing.

Great Hearts Christos will have set tuition though through the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship program ( so that attendance will be within reach of all families. Financial aid also will be available for qualifying income levels. For more information and to join the interest list, visit


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