Thunderbird High School’s NJROTC cadets participated in the inaugural district drone competition (submitted photo).

Glendale Union High School District

Cadets win drone competition

Thunderbird High School’s NJROTC cadets have won the first ever drone competition for Glendale Union High School District schools. The first competition event was a detailed obstacle course where drone pilots had to navigate through a series of hoops. The second event was a speed slalom between two concrete pillars led by the team’s top pilot, Cadet Lieutenant Commander Tre “The Red Barron” Harvell. Thunderbird took home the coveted “scorpion” medals.

Presentation will address fentanyl

Families are invited to join the Glendale Union High School District for a series of in-depth discussion about fentanyl in Maricopa County. Learn how the community can work together to keep families safe.

The events will be held at 5 p.m., at Thunderbird High School, April 11; at Washington High School, April 13, as well as other GUHSD schools.

For additional information, visit or follow the schools on Facebook.

Sunnyslope’s DECA students will participate in the International Finals (submitted photo).

Governing board honors WHS recipients

Glendale Union High School District’s (GUHSD) Achievement Above All events highlight the excellence within the district and schools. Most recently, the GUHSD Governing Board honored Washington High School’s 2022-23 teacher, student, student group, support staff member and volunteer of the year during a governing board meeting.

The recipients included teacher Jessica Carroll, senior student Christopher Perez Castillo, Girls’ Badminton, support staff LeAnn Ré, and volunteer Frederick Moor. In honor of their achievement, each recipient received an award or certificate for their dedication to the school and community.

Sunnyslope’s DECA students will participate in the International Finals (submitted photo).

DECA students qualify for finals

Sunnyslope High School’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students are Orlando-bound for International Finals. Sophomore Emma Elsey is the state champion for professional selling. Senior Jacob Coe placed third in Personal Financial Literacy, and Senior Jason Leff placed third in Food Marketing. Audrey Gaffney, Rashaad Razack, and Luke Reeve will present the success of the student-run school snack vendor, Victor’s Place, at Internationals as well.

Club encounters exotic lizards, more

The Outdoors Club at Thunderbird High School recently visited the Phoenix Herpetological Society. The Phoenix Herp is a nonprofit sanctuary for amphibians and reptiles. During the club’s hands-on tour, students encountered exotic lizards, alligators, crocodiles, tortoises and snakes.

Washington High School receives ‘A+’

Washington High School received the prestigious A+ School of Excellence Award. Arizona schools that earn the distinguished award go above and beyond the everyday practices that all schools are expected to implement.

Schools that ultimately earn the designation consistently share numerous traits. They model quality and equity; demonstrate a strong commitment to academic excellence; respond successfully to the changing environment of education; cultivate learning-centered, safe school environments; encourage innovative instruction by supporting teachers; actively address students’ social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs; and demonstrate superior ability to go above and beyond the norm in providing services to children, families and the local community.

Madison School District

Social worker receives award

Adriana Lopez

Adriana López, a social worker at Madison Park Middle School, was recently named the 2023 School Social Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of Arizona.

According to the School Social Work Association of Arizona, “the School Social Worker of the Year Award is presented to a social worker who has provided exemplary service to students and their families, while also modeling teamwork and innovation in the school setting. Furthermore, this individual has provided leadership and collaboration within their school community.”

The district says that López builds strong relationships and works together with students, families and staff to collaboratively support and help students to grow and be successful.

Fourth graders at Madison Traditional Academy were asked to imagine their future careers through art (submitted photo).

Imagining careers through art

In late February, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee visited Madison Traditional Academy (MTA) to invite elementary students to participate in the second-annual AZ529 Future Career Art Contest. Yee shared about the contest and led fourth-grade students in an art project.

AZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan, together with the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office asked Arizona kindergarten through sixth-grade students to picture their future careers and the education they need to achieve their dreams. For the contest, students were asked to draw, paint or find a creative way to make an art piece representing their dream job. A total of 14 winners will be selected across the state and receive $529 toward opening a new or existing AZ529 Education Savings Plan account.

Osborn School District

Superintendent visits Encanto’s garden

During a recent visit to Encanto Elementary School, Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson got a firsthand look at the Encanto School gardens. In addition to being outdoors, students are learning from PE teacher Mark Deyette the benefits of gardening.

Finding time during the pandemic to take his love of gardening to the next level, Deyette used the extra time to learn and become a master gardener. He now oversees the gardening project that brings together students from Encanto, neighboring Phoenix Community College, teachers and volunteers who plant, water and maintain the gardens that produce flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruit to enjoy while contributing to the beauty of the campus.

An Encanto student preps a pot for planting during a recent visit by the county school superintendent (photo courtesy Maricopa County Superintendent’s office).

Washington Elementary School District

Schools win sports championships

Royal Palm region schools recently won multiple winter sports championships.

The Royal Palm Middle School eighth-grade girls’ basketball team won the eighth-grade middle school championship match against Mountain Sky Jr. High School. Members of the Desert View Elementary School girls’ basketball team also were also crowned champions after they won division II in the Cholla Charger Classic tournament. Orangewood School took home the trophy for the k-8 girls’ basketball championship after defeating Sweetwater School and Mountain View School earned the title of k-8 co-ed soccer champion.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego read to Mountain View School students during a Read Across America celebration (submitted photo).

Mayor reads to students

In celebration of Read Across America week, the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) hosted Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego as she read to students at Mountain View School. Read Across America is an annual celebration of reading and serves as a time to inspire students to read all year long.

Tax credit donations support local schools

The district reminds residents that there is still time to reduce their state tax liability (up to $200 filing single or $400 filing jointly) by donating to a local school. This year, Tax Day is Tuesday, April 18, which means residents have until then to make a tax credit donation that is eligible for 2022 or 2023 tax filings.

A tax credit donation to a WESD school puts tax dollars back into the community where they will make a difference for students. In WESD, residents may donate to Royal Palm region schools including Royal Palm, Desert View, Maryland, Mountain View, Orangewood, Richard E. Miller and Sunnyslope. To make an online donation, visit For more information, call the WESD finance department at 602-347-2631.



Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.