• Celebrations

  • Laguna and Navajo Elementary Schools Achieve Cognia STEM Certification

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Laguna Achieves Cognia STEM CertificationSUSD is incredibly proud to recognize the impressive accomplishments of Navajo Elementary school and Laguna Elementary school. They have both been awarded the very prestigious title of Cognia STEM Certified School. During the month of May, both schools underwent a rigorous review of their schools and were scored in 4 domains.

    • STEM Community
    • STEM Learning Culture
    • STEM Student Experiences
    • STEM Outcomes

    These reviews were the culmination of many years of hard work. Over the past 3 years, the Laguna and Navajo teachers engaged in hours of STEM focused professional development, organized and attended school STEM events, collaboratively planed and created interdisciplinary STEM learning experiences, both during and beyond the school day, engaged in hours of peer observations and compiled hundreds of artifacts that demonstrate their proficiency in the 16 Cognia STEM Standards. The teachers of these two schools have expanded their teaching practices and committed themselves to creating learning experiences for students that are future-focused. Students have experienced interdisciplinary units rich in real world problem solving.Navajo Achieves Cognia STEM Certification

    The principals of these two schools, Dr. Brooke Willimas of Laguna and Mr. Matt Patzlaff of Navajo, navigated their school communities through this 3-year journey. They engaged their parents and community partners in the process and truly created STEM Learning Communities in their school neighborhoods.

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  • Elementary Students Shine in Zaner-Bloser’s Handwriting contest

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Award RecipientsIn this day and age of computers, laptops and cell phones, it can be understood if the art of penmanship and handwriting are slowly dwindling away.

    But there is a national organization, Zaner-Bloser that is dedicated to ensuring that despite our many advanced technologies, handwriting remains a relevant means of communication. 

    All of us probably have received a handwritten letter or note in our lives that made an impact on us – because the sender took the time to express themselves to us in pen, on paper.

    But being able to write neatly and legibly is not just about handwriting; writing is part of being literate and proficient in reading and writing. 

    Add to that spelling, vocabulary, word choice, and more, and you begin to see how handwriting is grounded in all of those basic, complementary communication skills that empower us.

    At our Anasazi and Cochise Elementary schools, handwriting skills are emphasized and celebrated.  And we would like to celebrate the handwriting development of three students.

    Anasazi Elementary students Braeden Fehl and Mckenna Vick, along with Cochise Elementary student Kennedy Nolan have been named grade-level handwriting winners for Arizona in Zaner-Bloser’s annual, national handwriting contest.  They were chosen to represent their grades – 3rd for Braedyn, 4th for Mckenna and 5th for Kennedy – from among nearly 80,000 public and private school students who participate each year.

    We also want to thank long-time volunteer and retired educator Marilyn Harrer for her continued dedication to Anasazi and Cochise students’ handwriting instruction.

    Congratulations, and keep writing!

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  • Tonalea Tigers Take Top Awards in Founding Documents Design and Writing Contest

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Tonalea Tigers SAR Award RecipientsWe have known for some time of the existence of the Daughters of the American Revolution organization, but we have learned recently that there is a companion organization called the Sons of the America Revolution, as well.

    Annually, it sponsors local, state and national “Sergeant Moses Adams Memorial Middle School Founding Documents Brochure design and writing contest for middle school students.  Sgt. Adams fought in the Revolutionary War and was killed at Valley Forge in 1778.

    The SAR Middle School Contest requires students to design and create a tri-fold brochure that explains and illustrates one of the six U.S. foundational documents of the United States – the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers or the Articles of Association of 1774.

    Brochure designs are judged on their content, creativity and correctness.

    Three Tonalea 8th graders – Thalia Campos, Kyla Guzman and Isabella Miranda– ran the table on the SAR Barry Goldwater chapter’s brochure contest this year, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively!  They each received awards and cash prizes for their finely illustrated and written brochures, and Thalia’s brochure has been entered in the state SAR competition.

    Congratulations on your success, Tonalea Tigers!

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  • Arcadia's Chase An ‘Shipping Off’ to Annapolis

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    U.S. Military Academy Appointee Chase AnMeet Arcadia High School’s Chase An, SUSD’s sole U.S. military academy appointee from the Class of 2022. 

    Chase is originally a Kiva Cougar, having attended kindergarten and 1st grade there.  When he returned to SUSD as an Arcadia High School freshman, he plunged into Honors, Art and Latin classes.  Advanced Placement classes started his sophomore year and have continued each year.  In fact, during this, his senior year, Chase has successfully managed taking no fewer than FIVE AP classes, not to mention Calculus 3 with Differential Equations, and Drawing & Painting 4.

    And he has taken on these classes while being a key member of the Arcadia boys swim and dive team.  In November, Chase contributed key performances in the 200-yard medley, 200-yard I-M and 100-yard breast stroke events, helping the Titans to a number 12 finish in the Division 2 AIA championships.

    At Arcadia’s Senior Honors and Awards program last week, Chase received the school’s Ryan Kloos Swim and Dive Award, was recognized for graduating in the Top 5% of his graduating class, received an award for his participation in Arcadia’s National Biology Honors Society and was a nominee for the “Mr. Olympian” award.

    With his background in nautical pursuits, perhaps we should not be surprised that the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis has been on his “sonar” for some time.  Earlier this spring, he received an appointment to the Academy from the office of Arizona Congressman David Schweikert and will be ‘shipping off’ to Maryland this summer.

    Part of accepting a military academy appointment is a commitment to serve the nation following graduation.  Congratulations, Chase, and thank you, in advance, for your service to the United States.

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  • Desert Mountain High School's Ayva Kacir named U.S. Presidential Scholar

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    U.S. Presidential Scholar Ayva Kacir As we make our way through each school year, we become familiar with certain outstanding students. For the second time in three months, we celebrate Ayva Kacir from Desert Mountain High School’s Class of 2022. 

    Back in February, she was named one of five Arizona students by state school superintendent, Kathy Hoffman, to represent the state for U.S. Presidential Scholar program recognition for her achievements in Career and Technical Education. She has since been recognized as one of just 20 distinguished high school seniors in the entire nation in CTE!

    Application for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive a Presidential medallion and are invited to take part in the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C. in June.  But even more significantly, Ayva will have the opportunity to make lifelong connections with some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

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  • 2022 Coronado Promise Scholarships

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    You may already be familiar with the collaborative work of the Coronado for the Future Foundation, SUSD, the Scottsdale Charros and their foundation, Coronado graduate Robert Flick and his family’s foundation and the Coronado Promise. 

    Coronado Promise Scholarship Recipients The work of this unique combination of local entities is founded on the premise of providing an initial investment and support for Coronado High School graduates to pursue a college education.

    This month, the Coronado Promise is granting scholarships to 25 graduating Dons.  Students, when you officially move on from SUSD on graduation night, please know that you take with you the full backing of not only the Coronado Learning Community, but also the Scottsdale Unified School District community.  Go do great things!

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  • Recognition for Coronado's Outstanding JAG Program

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Coronado's JAG ProgramJAG – or Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates – is a non-profit 501(c)3 that partners with school districts, the business community, the public sector, and other non-profits to support and assure the success of young people to stay in school and to acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills they will need to be successful upon graduation.

    This college and career preparation program has a 40-year history at Coronado, the state’s longest standing JAG program, and was recently named Arizona’s First Runner-up Program of the Year.  Congratulations to the staff and students that make up the Coronado JAG Program for all of your hard work!


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  • 2022 National Merit Scholarships

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Every year, the National Merit Scholarship Foundation, through nationally recognized colleges, universities and major U.S. corporations provides scholarships to outstanding graduating seniors nationwide.  These students, selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. 

    Please meet SUSD’s 2022 National Merit Scholarship winners. 2022 National Merit Scholars

    • William Logue, Arcadia High School
    • Grace Dunn, Chaparral High School
    • Bella Agarwal, Desert Mountain High School
    • Eric Amkraut, Desert Mountain High School
    • Rakshak Shah, Desert Mountain High School
    • Colin Hutton, Saguaro High School

    While initially identified by their scores on the Preliminary SAT National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test when they were juniors, to continue in the competition they had to complete an application that included identifying the difficulty of the subjects they studied while in high school, their academic record, their contributions to school leadership activities and community contributions and an essay.

    They are among 7,500 students named National Merit Scholars nationwide and will share in $28 million in scholarship awards.

    Congratulations, SUSD Scholars!

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  • Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen of the Year Award

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/24/2022

    Chaparral's Das PaiChaparral Senior Dashram Pai – or Dash, as he’s known on campus – is the winner of the local chapter, state and district Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen of the Year Award.  He will represent Arizona in the DAR’s national Good Citizen competition.

    This award has been handed out for 85 years to graduating seniors who have undertaken activities in their schools and their communities that exemplify outstanding citizenship. 

    At the Governing Board meeting on May 24, Pai had an opportunity to share an excerpt from,“Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It”, an essay he wrote as part of the contest.

    We certainly think the Daughters of the American Revolution made the right choice for its Good Citizen Award!

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  • Echo Canyon Preschool Program Earns Impressive 5-star rating from Quality First

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/26/2022

    Echo Canyon's early learning classrooms, with teachers Marrin Velarde and Kellan Velarde along with assistants and child care providers, Morgan Kane, Anna Reilly and Paige Johnston recently earned a coveted 5-star rating through Quality First. 1.	Echo Canyon Preschool Program Recognized at Board Meeting

    Quality First - the signature program of First Things First - partners with early learning centers to improve the quality of early learning across Arizona.

    The Quality First star rating system is a voluntary quality rating system that helps families in the state of Arizona find quality early learning classrooms. Quality star ratings are an important indicator of early learning quality. A quality rating system also helps early learning providers improve the quality of their programs.

    The quality of each early learning program is assessed using valid and reliable tools that focus on what research shows are the key components of quality early learning including adult and child interactions, learning environments and staff qualifications.

    Based on these assessments each program is given a quality for star rating ranging from one to five stars.

    Five stars, the platinum standard of the early learning rating is the result of the highest quality early learning environment and far exceeds quality standards.

    We are proud of the five-star rating that Echo Canyon's early learning program has received, and we recognize the early learning staff for their commitment to our children!

    Quality First logo

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