Thunderbird’s varsity girl’s volleyball team ended their season with a Region Championship win (photo courtesy of GUHSD).

Glendale Union High School District

Marching band snares Fiesta Bowl honor

The Glendale High School marching band has been chosen by the Fiesta Bowl Committee to perform the National Anthem at the National Guaranteed Rate Bowl on Dec. 26.

The honor came as a surprise for the band when Spirit, the Fiesta Bowl mascot, stopped by campus on Nov. 15 to announce that the band had been chosen.

Volleyball coach Amber LeTarte (center left) and badminton coach Sarah Schlesinger (center right) will be inducted into the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame (photo courtesy of GUHSD).

Coaches selected for Hall of Fame

Sunnyslope High School volleyball coach Amber LeTarte and badminton coach Sarah Schlesinger were surprised by students, coaches, former coaches and colleagues with the announcement that they will be inducted into the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame next year.

The coaches were surprised by their teams and Arizona State Hall of Fame Members Bobbi Forner and Dan Mannix. The two coaches have 16 state championships between them and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony this spring.

The Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame honors high school coaches across the state who are the epitome of their profession. Coaches are nominated each year and honorees are selected on the basis of tenure, merit, and exemplary characteristics.

Sunnyslope basketball player Jai Anthony Bearden signed as a student athlete to Ball State University (photo courtesy of GUHSD).

Athletes sign to play collegiate sports

Sunnyslope High School seniors Jordan McMahon and basketball player Jai Anthony Bearden accepted scholarships and committed as student-athletes to Weber State University and Ball State University, respectively.

McMahon has signed to play softball for Weber State while Anthony will play basketball for Ball State.

Student earns choir’s first-chair spot

Sunnyslope High School senior Brianna Stenke scored a perfect, and very rare, score of 100/100 in her All-State Jazz Choir audition. Her performance earned her the position of first-chair soprano in the choir.

The All-State Jazz Choir, a part of the Arizona All-State Jazz/Show Choir Festival, includes two choirs, each made up of 20 high school students selected from around the state. Selection is made through an audition process in September that requires a live singing audition. Selected students learn and memorize the performance songs before attending the two-day festival, where they work with a nationally known jazz clinician.

Thunderbird volleyball wins region

The Thunderbird High School varsity girl’s volleyball team finished their season with a record of 17-2, winning the Region Championship for the second year in a row.

Team members racked up some big awards, including Naomi Walsh as Player of the Year and Alison Miller as Defensive Player of the Year.  Malia Parris, Hayven Lick, Naomi Walsh and Alison Miller were named First Team All-Region and Cecelia Bouchard and Adele Jennings were named Second Team All-Region.

Coach Carly Price earned Coach of the Year honors.

Madison School District

Academy wins PBISAz award

Madison Traditional Academy was recently named a 2022-23 PBISAz award winner. The PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) program is a framework to help teach and reinforce positive student behavior. PBIS helps schools build positive environments for all and supports students’ academic achievement. This award recognizes a school’s dedication and commitment to improving student outcomes using consistent PBIS initiatives on campus.

Madison School District has been using PBIS programs district-wide for more than 10 years, and its schools have frequently been PBISAz award winners.

Madison Traditional Academy serves preschool through eighth-grade students and features advanced language arts and accelerated math. For more information about Madison Traditional Academy and enrollment, visit

Enrollment is open for 2024-25

Madison School District open enrollment applications for the 2024-25 school year will be available online beginning Dec. 1. For more information on schools, signature programs and enrollment, visit

Park Middle School students used different materials to design and build a prosthetic leg that could be walked a short distance as part of a STEAM challenge project (photo courtesy of Madison School District).

Students join STEAM challenge

Madison Park Middle School students recently participated in a STEAM challenge project in which they used different materials to design and build a prosthetic leg that can be used to walk a short distance. Students applied their engineering, math and creativity skills along with a variety of materials such as PVC pipes, shoes, foam, and more to build their projects.

Students at Madison Park are encouraged to learn and find creative solutions to real world challenges. As a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) school, students develop a strong educational foundation, which offers an advantage when entering a STEAM high school and preparing for future careers.

Osborn School District

Event supports music at Osborn

An annual holiday event scheduled for December will not only offer family-friendly fun but also help support music programs in the Osborn School District.

The eighth annual Merriment in Melrose event will take place Saturday, Dec. 9, from 2-6 p.m. The event will take place in the heart of the Melrose District at Glenrosa Avenue and 6th Drive. The afternoon of fun will include music on two stages, Santa, kids’ activities and over 75 arts and crafts vendors. Vendor fees and raffle money raised will support Osborn music programs and help to purchase new instruments for the district’s kindergarten through eighth-grade students.

Learn more at or

Phoenix Union High School District

Central High School earns a “B”

The Phoenix Union High School District announced that Central High School has been awarded a well-deserved “B” letter grade by the Arizona Department of Education. The school said that the achievement is a testament to the unwavering dedication and exceptional work of its students and staff.

Principal Jacob Lambert expressed his pride in the school’s achievement, stating, “It’s a reflection of all the really great offerings that Central has. From our teachers to our programs, it shows that we are setting our kids up to be successful. With this achievement, the incredible work of our staff and students are both recognized.”

The “B” letter grade acknowledges the outstanding academic achievement of Central High School in recent years, and the Arizona Department of Education recognizes the school’s commitment to providing quality education and nurturing a supportive learning environment.

The district added, “As we celebrate this achievement, we invite families in the Phoenix area to consider Central High School for the 2024-25 school year. Our doors are open to students who are eager to be part of an educational community that strives for excellence, and we welcome all students to join us on this incredible journey.”

Central High School students manned a booth and had some fun sharing information about their school at the Phoenix Union High School District’s EXPO 2023 in November on the Phoenix College campus (photo courtesy of PXU).

EXPO 2023 draws crowd

More than 1,500 people stopped by PXU’s EXPO 2023 on Nov. 4 at Phoenix College. All 24 district high schools manned booths to showcase their programs and activities. Prospective students had the opportunity to learn about the wide range of choices the district offers and to apply to attend a PXU school.

In addition to offering information about the schools, the event includes performances and the chance to win prizes. District students were involved in the event, running booths and participating in various performances.

Washington Elementary School District

Superintendent celebrates Moon Mountain

The district congratulated its SUPER Kids and SUPER Staff honorees from Moon Mountain Elementary School.

These excellent students and staff members were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the WESD family. Superintendent Dr. Paul Stanton celebrated them at their schools in front of their peers and colleagues. Each student received a certificate and an award for a free pizza from Peter Piper Pizza, while each staff member earned a certificate and a $10 Amazon gift card courtesy of Veregy.

To learn more about the awards, visit

Time to consider tax credit donations

During this season of giving, residents are asked to consider making a tax credit donation to a WESD school. Donations provide WESD students with the opportunity to succeed in extracurricular activities and funds items such as uniform replacements, equipment, stipends for coaches and sponsors. By making a tax credit donation, residents also receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction on state income taxes.

To help enhance the life of a child and make a tax credit donation, visit For more information, call 602-347-2631.

Foundation celebrates min-grant awards

The Washington Education Foundation (WEF) hosted its annual mini-grant celebration in November, celebrating the award of 36 mini-grants in the amount of $51,000 that funded projects at 20 schools, the New Beginnings Academy and the Curriculum and Instruction Department. The event was attended by the awardees, their principals, and several district officials.

The WEF, which is the district’s non-profit organization, works to enhance the district’s education programs. It is composed of volunteers who actively work to fundraise throughout the year to support the WEF’s mini-grant and Helping Hands program, as well as to support other district goals. For more information about the foundation and its work, visit

The Washington Elementary School District celebrated with Royal Palm Middle School after it achieved an “A” from the Arizona Department of Education (photo courtesy of WESD).

The Washington Elementary School District celebrated with Royal Palm Middle School after it achieved an “A” grade from the Arizona Department of Education (photo courtesy of WESD).

WESD schools earn “A” grade

The 2023 A-F school letter grades were recently released by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) for all public schools statewide. WESD announced that nine schools received an “A,” including Desert View Elementary School, Moon Mountain Elementary School, Orangewood School and Royal Palm Middle School.

The purpose of the school letter grade report is to provide information about student achievement, college and career readiness, student growth, and other key areas of interest to families and the general public. The ADE describes an “A” letter grade as “distinguished performance on the statewide assessment, significant student growth, high four-year graduation rates, students on track to proficiency; overall performance is significantly higher than state average.”

Additionally, 18 WESD schools were classified as a “B” and three schools ranked as a “C.” Overall, the District received a “B” letter grade.

The district congratulated its schools for their commitment to growth and educational excellence. To view a complete list of the WESD letter grades, visit


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