Glendale Union High School District

Save the dates for GUHSD graduations

Glendale Union High School District (GUHSD) will celebrate the Class of 2023 with graduation ceremonies held at Desert Diamond Arena, located at 9400 W. Maryland Ave. in Glendale.

Dates and times for North Central area schools include May 22, Thunderbird High School (12:30 p.m.) and Sunnyslope High School (8 p.m.), and May 23, Washington High School (1 p.m.). For a complete list of GUHSD school graduations, visit

District offers summer opportunities

Glendale Union High School District’s signature summer opportunities are free and available once again for eighth-grade students and current GUHSD students. GUHSD’s summer opportunities include Summer School and Summer Academies, which will provide students with opportunities to expand their skills and knowledge and prepare them for the important next step.

More than a dozen Thunderbird students were accepted into one of West-MEC’s career and technical programs and will begin their participation next year (submitted photo).

Students enter West-MEC programs

Thunderbird High School students were accepted into one of West-MEC’s 30 career and technical programs. They will begin their program next year while they also attend Thunderbird.

Upon graduation, each of these students will have the opportunity to sit for industry certifications, which will allow them to work in their chosen career path and/or further their education and build upon their knowledge.

Junior earns KEYS internship

Sunnyslope High School junior George Diaz earned the University of Arizona KEYS Research Internship.

KEYS interns will contribute to interdisciplinary bioscience research using biotechnology and data analysis techniques while contributing to the development of new scientific knowledge. Interns will also develop science literacy skills and learn how to communicate their research to a varied audience.

Washington High School staff were all smiles as they accepted the A+ School of Excellence® Award banner (submitted photo).

Washington receives AEF A+ banner

The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) presented Washington High School with a banner for their 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.

Madison School District

Madison Rose Lane students learned about abstract expressionism during a recent art class (photo courtesy of Madison School District.)

Students create expressionist art

Local Arizona artist Julie Tarsha recently visited Madison Rose Lane to host a masterclass for Rose Lane students. Students were able to create their very own masterpiece with instruction from Tarsha in abstract expressionism.

Abstract expressionism focuses on the process of creating rather than a specific plan for a final product. Students used different materials to create the artwork such as foam brushes, flat brushes, toilet paper rolls, droppers with watered down paint, graphite pencils, spray bottles, and paper. Exploration with materials and tools gives students a great foundation for future creation and helps develop their skills and abilities in the arts.

Madison Rose Lane Elementary School’s signature program is visual and performing arts, which allows students to take two different electives, including theater, dance, music, physical education and art. With these programs, students have unique opportunities to be able to connect with and learn from professional artists, actors, and dancers.

Madison District is hiring

Madison School District is currently hiring staff for both its before and after school programs.

The Madison Adventure Club (MAC) provides safe, high-quality care for students. MAC Club Leaders work with groups of students to do activities, work on homework, play games, make arts and crafts, supervise play time and more. After school programs can help students continue to learn and grow beyond the end of the school day and develop a stronger connection with their school community.

Both part-time and flexible schedule MAC Club Leader positions are currently available. Additional information can be found at

Osborn School District

Preschool offers new dual-language program

The Osborn School District will expand its preschool program beginning fall 2023. Currently, the district serves students in three distinct preschool programs: developmental delay preschool, Montessori Primary Preschool and Dual Language community preschool for 4-year-olds. Next fall, that will be expanding to include 3-year-olds as well.

Encanto School, located at 1420 W. Osborn Ave., will open its doors to a new dual-language community preschool for children who turn 3 years old by September 1. Instruction will be done in a 50/50 Spanish/English model, so children will experience learning in both languages each day.

While this is a tuition-based program, financial assistance is available for families who qualify. This full-day program joins the other brand-new dual-language program in the Osborn School District located within the Montessori Learning Program at Montecito Community School.

Osborn has a rich history of success in bilingual education at each of its schools, which helps support a child as they grow to become biliterate, bilingual and multicultural. Interested families can call the Osborn District office at 602-707-2000 for more information or register directly on the Osborn School District website,, under the “Parents and Community” heading.

Phoenix Union High School District

Central High senior Victoria Claro (right) poses with another student during the Business and Marketing “promotion day” event (photo courtesy of Phoenix Union High School District).

CTE helps students discover skills

Students across the Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) can explore their passions and discover professional skills prior to graduating high school through Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

Victoria Claro, a senior at Central High School excelled in two CTE programs, Sports Medicine, and Business Marketing during her high school experience.

When Claro first entered high school, she described herself as quiet and reserved. With school being completely virtual her sophomore year, Claro knew she needed to push herself outside of her comfort zone when classes began in-person again the following year.

“It was like starting from scratch,” Claro said. “I hadn’t seen friends in two years.”

During her sophomore year, Claro joined the Sports Medicine program. By junior year, she found herself providing real care to real clients. Despite her success in sports medicine, Claro was still itching to be more involved on campus.

“My counselor pushed me to join the Business Marketing CTE program,” the student added.

In just a year, she became the chief executive officer of the program, overseeing a staff filled with her peers. The business marketing class operates just like a real-world agency.  Students must interview for positions, meet with clients, create and achieve business goals, manage processes, and plan, design and execute events.

Christopher Rooney, the business marketing teacher at Central, bragged, “When my students have meetings with staff, they are always taken back by how professional and adult-like they are.”

Claro said the most rewarding part of her position as CEO is planning and executing Central’s annual Culture Day, an outdoor festival that involves several different initiatives, clubs, and student organizations. The event is student executed and supported by Central’s own student creations including graphic design, culinary and dance performances.

“Everyone in Phoenix Union should have an opportunity to come to Central and see what marketing can do for a community,” said Claro, who plans to attend Northern Arizona University next fall, double majoring in Pre-Med and Business Management.

PXU superintendent to step down

Superintendent Chad Gestson, Ed.D.

In a March 30 letter to the community, Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) Superintendent Chad Gestson, Ed.D., announced that he would be stepping down from the role he has served in for the past eight years, effective June 30.

Gestson stated, “I have spent 22 years working ‘in’ the system. It is now time for me to step ‘out’ of the system in order to work more effectively, aggressively, and unapologetically ‘on’ the system, locally and nationally.”

He will serve as the founding executive director of the new Arizona Institute for Education and the Economy, which will launch at Northern Arizona University and be located in the Phoenix Metro area.

Gestson, who spent 14 years in PXU, first as principal of Camelback High School, then as the district’s director of School Leadership said in a released statement, “Bittersweet. I can’t think of a better way to describe my emotions. PXU is my family. I love this place. I love our people. I have deep, life-long relationships here.”

In April, PXU’s governing board began the selection process for an interim superintendent and anticipates announcing their selection at its regular meeting May 4. After contract negotiations, the board’s goal is to approve the contract June 1, with a start date of June 2, allowing for a one-month overlap with Gestson.

Washington Elementary School District

Sunnyslope School teacher Patricia Wharton’s Ballet Folklorico dancers performed for the community at Slope Fest (submitted photo).

District participates in Slope Fest 2023

The WESD joined the East Sunnyslope Neighborhood Association & Block Watch (ESNABW) at Slope Fest 2023 in April, engaging with students, families, neighbors, community partners and resources, as well as elected officials at the event.

Each of the schools located in the Sunnyslope community, including Desert View Elementary, Mountain View School and Sunnyslope School, were also present to share information about their schools. There was also a performance from Sunnyslope School teacher Patricia Wharton and her Ballet Folklorico dancers.

Employees receive ‘Lamp’ award

Once each year, the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) recognizes the unique, exemplary contributions of special members of the WESD family by honoring them with the Lamp of Learning Award. This award provides the district with the opportunity to thank staff and community and members for their support. It is the highest recognition given in the WESD.

This year, the district congratulated Darcy Estrada, Royal Palm Middle School; Marlee Korishev, Orangewood School; Megan Nash, Desert View Elementary School; Emily Paterson, Orangewood School; Jeni Vargas, Sunnyslope School; and Dr. Steven West, Mountain View School. They were just six of 19 individuals who were honored.

Get ready for kindergarten

Future kindergartners and families are invited to check out the free, four-week, half-day kindergarten readiness program offered this summer, from May 30 to June 22. Geared toward children who are starting kindergarten in the fall, the program is available at 27 locations in the district and includes breakfast and lunch.

Participating children will learn kindergarten routines, practice kindergarten readiness skills, make friends and more. To participate, children must be registered in the district’s kindergarten program for the 2023–24 school year. Families can enroll at the WESD Welcome and Registration Center, located at 3200 W. Cholla Ave., or online at

For questions and more information regarding the Jumpstart Kindergarten Readiness Program, call 602-347-2641 or email



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