First-graders at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School enjoyed a virtual visit with children’s author Jennifer Ward (submitted photo).

Students enjoy virtual author visit

First-graders at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School enjoyed a virtual visit April 21 with award-winning children’s author Jennifer Ward.

Ward explained how she began writing stories in first grade. She shared her writing and illustrations throughout grade school and high school. The children were amazed when she showed pictures of the animals of the desert near her Tucson home that inspired her first published book. She explained her writing process and then read her newest book, “How to Find a Bird,” and did a draw-along of a bird with the students.

Montessori offers summer programs

Montessori Day School will offer summer enrichment programs, which will focus on science and the arts. Four two-week sessions will be offered — June 5–16 (Nature/Science); June 19–30 (Experiments, Games & Riddles/Cooking); July 3–14 Art History/Traditional Arts); and July 17–28 (Music & Theatre/Free Fun Week).

Students will enjoy games with sounds and symbols, decode words and blends, and read with the school’s vast collection of language materials and books and more.

A non-refundable new student registration fee of $20 will apply to all enrolling students who are new to the school and not enrolled for the upcoming academic year.  Full payment for the first session must be submitted at registration. There are no refunds or credits for missed days due to illness, vacation or change of plans.

Ben Stryczek

Montessori Day School is located at 9215 N. 14th St., To learn more, call 602-943-7672 or visit

School welcomes new athletic director

Phoenix Christian Preparatory School (PC) has announced the appointment of a new Athletics director, Ben Stryczek, who will take on the role effective June 2023.

Stryczek is a graduate of California State University and has spent the last three years as the men’s varsity basketball coach at PC, where he led the varsity team to back-to-back final four play-offs. His combined 15 years of athletic leadership includes coaching, camp and tournament directing and previous athletic director work.

Sixteen Brophy students were honored as spring Distinguished Students in late April (photo by Steve Shaff).

Brophy honors graduating seniors

Brophy College Preparatory honored 16 seniors as Distinguished Students for the spring at a ceremony in April. Distinguished Students are chosen based on their service and academic records, contributing to community life in exceptional ways.

DSA recipients included Cole Basco, Nico Cevallos, Enzo Gonzales, William Johnson, Max Kandas, Ryan Kennedy, Frank Lomax, Matthew Maledon, Brennen McHenry, Bobby Munhall, Cort Ostendorf, Scott Roof, Dalton Shapiro, Nathan Tu, Matthew White and Holden White.

Brophy also presented its annual senior awards at an assembly in April to seniors who were the standout academic, spiritual and student life leaders in the class of 2023.

Seniors who were recognized with academic awards included Robert Munhall, Cole Basco, Yorick Lazcano Ramirez, Paul Olson, Nathan Tu, Quinn Dorward, Joseph Aguilar, Carson Lauer, Sam Troester, Dominic Bullicer, Jesus Ruiz Suarez and Christian Chun.

Seniors who were recognized with Magis awards included Christopher Melchor, Sergio Arvizu Rivera, Savier Rascon Meza, Thomas Liddy, Quinn Dorward, Aidan Lin, Daniel Martinez Romero, Daniel Robaina, Cesar Yanez, Cooper Pitts, Strider Aston, Charles Palmer, Robert Simpson and James Craig.

Opening delayed to fall 2024

Phoenix Friends School (PFS), a new independent school in midtown Phoenix, has rescheduled its grand opening to fall 2024 due to delays in its renovation schedule. The new schedule enables PFS to expand the middle school to include seventh and eighth grades in its first year. The new opening date also allows for the Arizona Department of Education to iron out its issues with the new school voucher program for eligible families.

The school’s learning model combines classical education and hands-on experience.

For additional information, visit or call 602-562-2662.


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