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Students celebrate Women’s Suffrage
Students celebrate Women’s Suffrage In celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, district students recently participated in a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Open House hosted at the Surprise City Hall on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The event featured a performance by the Willow Canyon High School Choir, book displays, a traveling exhibit, and suffragist reenactors from Canyon Ridge School.

The Roving Suffragist reenactment featured nine middle level students from Canyon Ridge, performing as “roaming suffragists,” dressed in costume and greeting guests in the City Hall Courtyard. The students shared experiences from their lives in the early twentieth century and elaborated in the historical contributions they made in securing the right to vote for American women. The students portrayed a wide range of suffragists from Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Frederick Douglass and Alice Paul. In addition to presenting information based on research and primary documents, the students also fielded a number of detailed questions from members of the public. Some of these inquiries came from local leaders such as City of Surprise Mayor Skip Hall and members of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and League of Women Voters. 

The event also featured a multi-panel traveling exhibit created by the nonprofit organization, Arizona Questers. The purpose of the exhibit is to trace the historical and cultural realities that shaped the struggle of women’s civil rights, and to highlight the civic involvement of women throughout American history. 

Continuing in the celebration, the exhibit also made a stop at Canyon Ridge School where students of all grade levels were able to experience the exhibit and learn the importance of Women’s Suffrage. Students had the opportunity to serve as tour guides, presenters, as well as create bulletin boards featuring letters to the editor in support of suffrage, drawings, buttons and sashes, which were displayed and offered as keepsakes for visitors. 

In celebration of the 100th anniversary, the exhibit will continue its tour with stops at several libraries, museums, schools, cities, and events around the state, some of which include Sunset Hills Elementary School, the Dysart District Office, Shadow Ridge High School, and Surprise Elementary School. 

The Questers Organization seeks to keep history alive by supporting preservation, restoration and education. There are currently 28 Questers chapters in Arizona, and over 600 across the country. 

Photo Gallery 

Posted : 3/12 | Direct Link
City of Surprise Public Works presents to SRHS
City of Surprise presents to SRHS engineering studentsThe City of Surprise Public Works Department presented to Shadow Ridge High School Engineering students this past week.  The presentation included information about the city’s Municipal Engineering Department, case studies, and tour of the Master Planned Community of Marley Park. The field trip concluded with a tour of the Water Management South Plant.

Kristin Tytler, Assistant Director and City Engineer for the City of Surprise and representatives from the engineering department shared the real world challenges they face while designing a master planned community, the structure of the Surprise Public Works and Water Resource Management and the coordination it takes between departments and staff when planning.

Students were then given real world scenarios posed by city engineers to take back to the classroom to solve and submit back as proposals for a practical application.

Engineering is one of the many Career and Technical Education opportunities offered at Shadow Ridge High School.  Students in this field of study will explore careers in technology, industry and engineering. Students will explore entry, semi professional and professional levels of careers through hands-on projects in the area of engineering. They will also participate in class activities and projects and hear speakers in the areas of engineering technology and industrial careers.
Posted : 3/11 | Direct Link
CTE students excel at state conferences 
CTE students excel at state conferences Career and Technical Education (CTE) students from Dysart Unified School District high schools recently competed in state competitions including the SkillsUSA Regional Conference hosted in Phoenix, and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) State Career Development Conference also hosted in Phoenix. 

The following students competed in the Region 5 SkillsUSA Arizona Conference and received honors in their respective categories. The students' achievements have qualified them for the SkillsUSA Arizona Championships taking place in April. 

Shadow Ridge High School

Gold Medal Architectural Drafting: Jordan Johansen
Gold Medal 3D Visualization and Animation: Andrew Valdez and Sean Enouen
Gold Medal Advertising Design: Ryan Enouen
Gold Medal American Sign Language: Madeline Deffinbaugh
Silver Medal 3D Visualization and Animation: Krystine Poore and Makayla Schuler
Silver Medal Advertising Design: Anna Schneider
Silver Medal Job Interview: Alysa Horton
Bronze Medal 3D Visualization and Animation: Anthony Salamanca and Dawson Zaucha
Fourth Place Advertising Design: Micah Fischer 
Fifth Place Advertising Design: Riley Janovsky
Seventh Place Advertising Design: Cassidy Dato

Willow Canyon High School

Silver Medal American Sign Language: Markus Alvarado 
Silver Medal Chapter Display: Ariana Peterson and Isaac Barrio
Silver Medal Opening and Closing: Zydes Diggs, Ekemini MbekAnako, Joshua Dethlefsen, Malachi Delgado, Jessany Bramblett, Eyani Watkins, and Jaxon Magee 
Silver Medal Audio Radio: Sarah Tuttle and Tyler Tuttle
The following students receive honors at the DECA State Career Development Conference, where they competed against over 2000 high school students from across the state. 
Valley Vista High School 
Elite Member Executive Awards: Caroline Dors and Angel Cabrera
Elite Member Director Awards: Jordan DeLaro, Audrey Jimenez and Hailey Amos
Chapter Awards: Elite Chapter Award, Diamond Society Gold, Century Chapter, Membership Campaign - Thrive Level, and Promotional and Community Service Campaigns - Thrive Level  
The Membership Campaign, and Promotional and Community Service campaigns have earned Valley Vista four spots for students to attend the International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in April. 
Shadow Ridge High School

The following students received honors in their respective categories, and have qualified to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Nashville, TN. 
First Place Overall: Emma Belanger, William Fussell, Austen Cucci, and Shane Rath
Third Place Overall: Paige Kelly and Zoe Classen
Fourth Place Overall: Mercedes Joyce 
Elite Member Award: Serenity Senft, William Fussell, Ryan McDaniel, Shane Rath, Bryson Fussell, Cole Summers, Cole Callister,  Katelyn Smith, Zoe Classen, Meghan Crisan, Julianne Meyer, and Stephen MacKellar 
Finalist: Austen Cucci
International Competition Qualifier: Bryson Fussell, Cody Kobus, and Nicole Glaba
Posted : 3/6 | Direct Link
Important Health Message
Health UpdateDysart Parents and Guardians,

We understand that there is much concern regarding the Coronavirus and its potential impact on schools. Please be assured that the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. 

The Dysart Unified School District and each of our schools work closely with the Maricopa County Health Department regarding all potential health issues on a regular basis. Dysart takes direction from the Maricopa County Health Department on any public health issues that impact our schools and community. At this time there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our district. Should any concerns arise regarding the Coronavirus, or any other community health issue, we would take immediate action to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  

Because protection from all respiratory viruses is similar, this is a good time to review strategies we can all use to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the flu:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, and keep sick children home as well.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze, then immediately discard any tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces such as keyboards, phones, or door knobs.

Dysart Unified School District staff take these precautions at our schools in order to ensure a healthy learning environment for students.
We continue to work closely with public health officials and will keep you updated with any developments that could impact our schools. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure the health and safety of our students and campuses.
Posted : 2/27 | Direct Link
DECA chapters excel at Region 8 Conference 
DECA chapters excel at Region 8 Conference The Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) chapters from Dysart Unified School District’s four high schools competed in the Region 8 Career Development Competition in Phoenix this past month. The competition allows students to compete in various business and marketing events and are aligned with national curriculum standards and industry validated.

Shadow Ridge High School found success in several events and took home a total of 33 medals including 15 test medals, 13 first place medals, and five overall first place recognitions. “It is a great opportunity for students to practice or experience competing for the first time before the state conference,” says Shadow Ridge advisor, Ms. Fussell. 

Willow Canyon High School received  their best test scores in recent years, with eight test medals, six role play medals, and three overall medals. 

Dysart High School received nine  medals. Dysart High School DECA advisor Ms. Palombo says of the event, “This event is great for new members as this is the only time they get to really identify how a role play event functions and to experience it for the first time.”

Valley Vista High School received six  medals total, including two role play medals and three  overall medals. “This is usually the first competition of the season and for our new members this event gives them an idea of what competition is like, what to expect, and how to prepare,” says Valley Vista advisor, Ms. Urban. 

The students will represent their school at the DECA State Career Development Competition later this month and compete against over 2,000 students from across the valley.

DECA is a premier student organization that supports the development of marketing and management skills in career areas such as hospitality, finance, sales and service, business administration, and entrepreneurship.  DECA is one of the many Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities offered to prepare students for the academic and vocational skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce. Learn more at
Posted : 2/11 | Direct Link
Spiritline teams qualify for Nationals
Spiritline teams qualify for NationalsAll four Dysart Unified School District cheer and pom teams competed at the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Spiritline State Championships on February 1, 2020 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Willow Canyon High School received first place in Division II Pom, and third place in Division II All Girl Group Stunt. 

Shadow Ridge High School received second place in Division I-III Small Coed Cheer.

Valley Vista High School  took second place in Division I-III Partner Stunt, and fourth place in Division I-III Small Coed Cheer. 

Dysart High School received second place in Division I-III Large Coed Cheer. 

The talented student athletes from all four schools will compete on the national stage February 14-16, 2020, in Anaheim, California at the USA Spirit Nationals. 
Posted : 2/7 | Direct Link
SRO Klarkowski named Difference Maker
SRO KlarkowskiWendy Klarkowski, Shadow Ridge High School, School Resource Officer (SRO) was honored with the Difference Maker Award at the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Conference hosted at Grand Canyon University on January 21st .  Officer Klarkowski was recognized for her invaluable impact on youth in the City of Surprise and surrounding communities.  

Klarkowski became the Shadow Ridge High School SRO in 2012. Since that time she has been impacting the lives of the youth in the City of Surprise and around the entire Valley. In 2018, Officer Klarkowski partnered with her fellow SRO’s to create a juvenile diversion program in the City of Surprise. This program is intended to keep low-level juvenile offenders out of the criminal justice system, but still hold them accountable for their offenses. In 2018, following the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life Conference, Officer Klarkowski partnered with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to educate youth and parents around the Valley about the dangers associated with Vaping. Officer Klarkowski attended safety events throughout the Valley, including an Escape the Vape event at Valley Vista High School, putting her vaping device display out for all attendees to see and educating  them regarding the inherent risks and dangers of vaping. Since then, Officer Klarkowski has attended national and state conferences to educate her law enforcement partners about the dangers and trends associated with youth vaping.  

“We are deeply grateful to you, Officer Klarkowski, for all you are doing to Speak Up, Stand Up and Save Lives,” said a spokesperson from the event.

More than 3,500 Valley youth including students from Dysart, Shadow Ridge, Valley Vista and Willow Canyon high schools, came together for the fourth year in a row at the "Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life” event to empower youth.  
Posted : 1/28 | Direct Link
Governing Board recognized by ASBA
ASBA AwardThe Dysart Unified School District Governing Board has been recognized for earning the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Total Board Boardsmanship Award. The award is granted to a board when at least a quorum of members has attained the level of a Certificate of Boardsmanship, with the remainder of the board having earned the Certificate of Orientation to Boardsmanship following the attendance of ASBA’s New Board Member Orientation. The following Governing Board members were recognized: Dawn Densmore, Jay Leonard, Christine A.K. Pritchard, Traci Sawyer-Sinkbeil, and Jennifer Tanner.
Posted : 1/10 | Direct Link
WCHS students excel on Cambridge exams
WCHS Cambridge awardsFour students from Willow Canyon High School received Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards from the Cambridge Program for their performance on the exams. Orion Evans earned the Top in Country award for earning the highest score in the United States for Literature. Tristan Alvarado, Orion Evans, Augusto Palo, and Emily Poling received the Cambridge Scholar Award with Merit for earning high marks on exams from June 2019.  The Merit award recognizes the extraordinary performance of students who excelled on the international examinations by earning a “B” or higher in at least three separate subjects. 

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards are a group of awards issued by Cambridge Assessment International Education who recognize exceptional learner achievement in Cambridge examinations around the world. “These awards also recognize the exceptional commitment your larger school community and parents place on quality education,” said Mark Cavone, North America Regional Director at Cambridge Assessment International. 

“We are very proud of the hard work that our students and our teachers have put forth to earn such recognition,” said Dr. Adam Schwartz, principal at Willow Canyon High School.
The Cambridge program encourages student-centered learning and hands-on application of skills. Students who complete the lower division, 9th-10th grade, Cambridge Curriculum are set for success in a dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Career and Technical Education pathways for college and career advancements. 

By passing the Cambridge Board Examinations, students are eligible for the Grand Canyon Diploma that allows students early entry into college courses and can be used for admission to select colleges and universities. The Cambridge program is offered at Dysart and Willow Canyon High Schools and at Marley Park Elementary School
Posted : 12/18/2019 | Direct Link
Canyon Ridge student hosts blanket drive
Canyon Ridge student hosts blanket driveFor the past four years, Canyon Ridge School student Ollie McNeil has coordinated Buddy Blankets, an effort to collect blankets for those in need.  This school year, with support from both the Canyon Ridge and Kingswood Elementary School communities, Ollie collected more than 550 blankets and exceeded the initial goal of 500.
Ollie was struck by the idea when his mom was tucking him into bed at night. “I was originally inspired to start Buddy Blankets after talking to my mom and learning that some people don’t have a home to sleep in at night, or even one blanket to keep them warm.”   He thought he could provide a gift of comfort and warmth to those in need.  The inaugural drive provided 150 blankets and the effort has grown each and every year. “To see how it’s grown with the support and encouragement of the adults Ollie has reached out to is just amazing,” said Ollie’s mom and Canyon Ridge teacher, Brooke McNeil.
To drum up support, a friendly competition was proposed this year. The school that collected the most blankets provided school spirit gear to the losing principal to wear on spirit Friday. Kingswood collected 358 blankets and Canyon Ridge came in at 297 total. Jill Hoppe, Canyon Ridge principal, and Ollie had to represent the Kingswood Knights donned in purple at morning drop off on December 13.  
Ollie was recognized for his selfless efforts with a Dysart Extraordinary pin presented by Dr. Quinn Kellis, Dysart Unified School District superintendent on Friday, December 13. Superintendent Kellis honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary acts of kindness to others by passing out the pins. “Hundreds of people will be warmer this holiday season because of Ollie’s work,” said Kellis. 
With additional community support through donations bins at the City of Surprise Police Department and AZ Ice Peoria, where Ollie plays hockey, a total of 875 blankets were collected this year. The blankets were distributed among local charities that work with the Surprise Police Department.  “Each year, I am inspired to start another blanket drive knowing that each blanket we collect keeps one more person warm at night,” said Ollie.
Posted : 12/17/2019 | Direct Link
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