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Valley Unified Basketball team earns state title
Members of the Valley Vista Unified Basketball team pose with members of the Dysart Unified Governing Board.The talented Valley Vista High School Unified basketball team  athletes and partners  earned the title of AIA Unified State Champions at the championship game in Prescott against Poston Butte High School.  During the 2017-2018 AIA Unified Basketball season, Valley Vista participated in eight sanctioned practices, two interscholastic games, and a sectional tournament where they earned the title of “West Valley Champions” to then advance to state.

Unified Basketball is an AIA-sanctioned sport supported by and in conjunction with Special Olympics Arizona.  The program was established to foster inclusion, camaraderie, and the development of meaningful relationships between students with intellectual disabilities (Unified Athletes) and students without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) as high school athletes, teammates, and training partners.

Both athletes and partners did an amazing job working together and supporting one another on and off the court and was an amazing experience for all involved.   The champions received gold medals and a big banner to display proudly in their gym.
Posted : 3/14 | Direct Link
Arizona Cardinals host Kids Camp at Sunset Hills
Arizona Cardinals Kids CampThe Arizona Cardinals hosted a Kids Camp for eighth grade students at Sunset Hills Elementary School on March 14, 2018.  Cardinals staff, team mascot Big Red, and former players including Ray Perkins and Rick Cunningham taught youth football related skills and conveyed a message of teamwork and reinforced the importance of education and physical activity to students.

The camp consisted of a short motivational speech and an interactive play area comprised of five stations teaching  football skills such as catching and throwing. Students received autographs from the formers players at a meet and greet station at the end of the event.  

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Posted : 3/14 | Direct Link
MVES scores with robotic basketball
Mountain View students and staff pose with student project that includes small robot and basketball hoop.Mountain View School is ready for March Madness. The Mountain Lions brought the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) to the Arizona State University Sun Devils Arena on March 1, 2018 as part of a competition highlighting student achievement. All teams were tasked with demonstrating their robotics projects that had to meet the goal of making a free throw.

The Mountain View STEAM engineers built and tested their basketball court, 3D printed basketballs, and build and programed a robotic basketball player that could meet their goal for accuracy.   The experience was a unique learning opportunity that capitalized on student in class experiences covering the topics of robotics, coding, and critical thinking.
Posted : 3/12 | Direct Link
WCHS student earns second in poetry contest
WCHS student earns second in poetry contestLuis Antonio Juarez from Willow Canyon High School won second place in the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition on March 2, 2018 hosted at the Arizona Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) studios in Phoenix.

Antonio Juarez performed "Spanglish" by Tato Laviera, "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold, and "That Everything's Inevitable" by Katy Lederer. He was scored by several judges including Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski, an inaugural Poet Laureate from Phoenix.

"Poetry Out Loud is an opportunity for the performer and audience to experience a perspective that is not their own,” Antonio Juarez said “This offers insight into the rest of the world and fosters a respect for difference and diversity. We experience these feelings through various art forms, but I've found poetry to be the most graceful and effective."

He was awarded a scholarship and $200 towards poetry resources at Willow Canyon High School. Tune in to PBS KAET-TV on April 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. to watch the full broadcast of the contest.

Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
Posted : 3/8 | Direct Link
Canyon Ridge teacher honored by SAR
Canyon Ridge teacher honored by SARChristopher Raso, a Canyon Ridge School seventh grade social studies teacher, was recently honored with two awards by the Arizona Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Saguaro Chapter. Raso received the Arizona SAR Award for his submission in the the Tom and Betty Lawrence History Teacher Award contest which recognizes educators who distinguish themselves in addressing the history of the American Revolution. His submission will be entered into the National SAR contest.
Raso was also awarded a Silver Good Citizenship Medal and certificate for his ongoing collaboration with SAR to assist with history lessons and the inclusion of the SAR and Color Guard members in school and district events throughout the year.  Mr Raso also encourages his students to participate in various SAR essay contests including the upcoming youth brochure contest in which 100 Canyon Ridge students completed submissions.

The Sons of the American Revolution is a male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the War for Independence. The Saguaro SAR Chapter is an active group serving all West Valley cities and communities.
Posted : 3/5 | Direct Link
Zora String Quartet visits Arts Academy
Members of the quartet perform in front of students at West Point Elementary.On Friday, March 2, the Zorá String Quartet performed for students at West Point Elementary School and the Arts Academy as part of the quartet's educational outreach program.  The members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University and were part of the Jacobs School of Music’s prestigious Chamber Music Performer’s Diploma from 2014-16.  The Zorá String Quartet has performed in U.S., Canada, and Europe, at venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Duke’s Hall at Royal Academy of Music in England.
Posted : 3/2 | Direct Link
WCHS Film/TV Students join MLB Spring Training Media Day
WCHS student Morgan Percy-Fine interviews Kansas City Royal Manager Ned Yost.The Willow Canyon High School Film and Television program partnered with High School Nation to cover Major League Baseball's Spring Training Media Day.  Students Isaac Barrio, Morgan Percy-Fine, Trevor Tuttle, and Lexi White interviewed Kansas City Royal’s Manager Ned Yost as part of the media briefing during the morning practice.  

Ms. Percy-Fine was surprised by the level of access provided by the Royal's organization and expressed appreciation to Major League Baseball and the Royal's communication team for providing the opportunity. 
“Everyone on our team was thrilled to be given this chance, and I don’t think anyone would’ve traded it for anything,” said Ms. Percy-Fine. “I had no idea that I would ever meet an MLB team, much less personally interview them, but I can say with certainty that it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”

Surprised by a direct question from the Royal's Manager, Ms. Percy-Fine’s training kicked in as she composed herself well, provided insightful questions about the game of baseball and how to keep Millennials interested in baseball with the latest rule changes.  The highlight though was the feedback local media outlets who expressed positivity in her ability to maintain her composure.

At the Glendale Civic Center, fellow Wildcat Isaac Barrio participated in the Major League Media Day.  Mr. Barrio conducted an interview with current Major League Baseball Executive and former General Manager for the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, Joe Torre.  Additionally, Mr. Barrio was able to interview  Los Angeles Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, Seattle Mariners Manager Scott Servais, and Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister, about how baseball is working to appeal to a younger audience.

Mr. Barrio shared, "Not only was it amazingly fun, but it was one of the best broadcasting experiences I or any students could ever hope for."

The Willow Canyon High School Film and TV program is lead by Jacob Kindschy and is designed to prepare students for employment in various positions within radio, television, and film industries.  Working with groups like High School Nation for real-world opportunities is key component to Career and Technical Education because students gain authentic experience in their chosen field.  For more information regarding opportunities in Career and Technical Education, please visit
Posted : 3/1 | Direct Link
DECA chapters win big at Region 8 Conference
DECA students win big at Region 8 ConferenceThe 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.

Dysart High School received a total of 21 medals. The following students were recognized for their efforts: Adriana Arevalo, Edith Ayala, Janelle Jones, Andrea Esteves, Khaliyah Kelly, Melanie Garcia, Heidi Sanchez, Caitlin Gilmoon, Mercy Martinez, Horacio Mendoza, Alejandra Miranda, Nicklaus Lewis, Jada Thurston, Xochitl Lopez, Matthew Montejano, Vanessa Lozano, Suzy Nunez, Maurice Policarpio, Vincent Randol, Angel Sanchez, and Alyssa Seaton.

Shadow Ridge High School students found success in several events and took home 42 medals. Please congratulate the following students: Natalie Bourgeouos, Lydia Brown, Ty Burke, Faith Craig, Alyssa Cucci, Skylar Edwards, Kaiden Furtado, Brody Fussell, Karolina Gierlach, Andrew Gonzales, Micah Hawkins, Nathan Lundy, Kiara Nelson, Martin Olloren, Nicholas Perez, Nick Riley, Jake Siatta, Tanner Smith, Zach Taylor, Zoe Taylor, and Paige White.

Valley Vista High School received seven medals between the following four students: Danielle Diaz, Chris Garcia, Iyanna Lee, and Caroline Dors.  

The following Willow Canyon High School students received recognitions during the competition: Cassidy Cosgrove, Kayla Cosgrove, Edith Micu, Julia Stangler, Lexi Bradley, Josh Tunac, Peyton Thalman, Alexis Bellfy , Yasmine Blaylock, Savannah Vasquez, Roberto Cerrillo, Igor Orlov, Ariel Vagotis, Giovanni Miranda, Christina Dumitru, Cassidy Elinski, George Silvas, Corey Smith, and Katarina Englund.

The students will represent their school at the DECA State Career Development Competition in March 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 : 2/26 | Direct Link
Valley Vista choir honored at NAU Festival
Valley Vista choir wins big at NAU festivalValley Vista High School choir groups participated in the Northern Arizona University Jazz Madrigal Festival hosted in Flagstaff on February 8, 2018.  Kairos received the honor of Superior. This is the third year in a row the group was honored with the highest recognition at the festival.   First time attendees, Infieri were rated excellent. Students Todd Horne and Isabelle Hunsaker were selected as Arizona All-Region Choir.

The annual Northern Arizona University Jazz Madrigal Festival, one of the largest festivals of its kind in the Southwestern United States, features special guest clinicians and over 140 high school ensembles from Arizona and nearby states. The festival is hosted by the Student Chapter of The American Choral Directors Association who sponsors a number of awards and competitions throughout the year designed to celebrate the highest levels of achievement in various areas of the choral art.
Posted : 2/23 | Direct Link
WCHS DECA now gold certified
Edith Micu, Cassidy Cosgrove, Jada Giles, Julia Stangler, Alexis Bellfy, Ariell Millican, and George Silvas pose in the Wildcat Den student store.The School-Based Enterprise at Willow Canyon High School was among 391 school-based enterprises in the United States achieving Gold Level Certification this year and will be recognized at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The students who worked on the certification were Edith Micu, Cassidy Cosgrove, Jada Giles, Julia Stangler, Alexis Bellfy, Ariell Millican, and George Silvas with the assistance of their advisor, Justin Stangler. The school-based enterprise at Willow Canyon has operated for twelve years and is now one of four Arizona schools reaching the Gold Level Certification.

A school-based enterprise (SBE) is an entrepreneurial operation in a school setting that provides goods and services to meet the needs of the market. SBEs are managed and operated by students as hands-on learning laboratories that integrate National Curriculum Standards in Marketing, Finance, Hospitality and Management. Marketing educators and DECA advisors have utilized this effective educational tool for over four decades to provide their students with realistic and practical learning experiences that reinforce classroom instruction, enhance 21 st century skill development, and prepare students for college and careers.

DECA’s School-based Enterprise Certification Program was developed to provide recognition for outstanding achievement by school-based enterprises and to motivate SBEs to strive for excellence and growth. SBEs can be certified at three levels: Bronze, Silver or Gold. In order to apply for the certification, SBEs must submit extensive documentation that demonstrates their adherence to various marketing and retail standards. After the documentation is submitted, a review committee evaluates the documentation to determine which level of certification has been achieved.
Posted : 2/19 | Direct Link
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