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Dysart recognizes All District Football Team
All District Football TeamThe Dysart Unified School District held their inaugural All-District Football Team Award presentation, in an effort to recognize the importance of athletics in a student’s educational experience, and honor the athletes who displayed excellence in the 2018 season.

The following athletes were chosen from Dysart, Shadow Ridge, Valley Vista, and Willow Canyon High Schools to represent the best of the best in the district in their respective categories. 

Offensive First Team 

Offensive Lineman
Tanner Jensen, Willow Canyon; Andrew Simek, Shadow Ridge; Isaiah Mercado, Shadow Ridge;  David Leasau, Dysart; Andy Rumary, Valley Vista.

Tight End
Zach Enhelder, Willow Canyon 

Kaiden Lansford, Shadow Ridge

Running Back 
Henry Brown, Valley Vista; Julian Toles, Shadow Ridge

Antonio Gomez; Valley Vista

Wide Receiver 
Darius Moore, Shadow Ridge; Liam Kelleher, Valley Vista; Ben Carter, Willow Canyon 

Defensive First Team 

Defensive Lineman
Kupa Matu, Shadow Ridge; Walter Fa’Apouli, Valley Vista; Dan Skirvin, Valley Vista; Brody Tardy, Willow Canyon

George Lamb, Shadow Ridge; Daniel Villegas, Valley Vista; Dustin Mackey, Valley Vista; Zach Enhelder, Willow Canyon

Defensive Back
Jacob Laborin, Dysart; Joseph Custodio, Shadow Ridge; Haudarie Andrews, Valley Vista; Makai Obregon, Valley Vista

Josh Cano, Shadow Ridge

Special Teams First Team
Josh Cano, Shadow Ridge (Kicker); Daniel Villegas, Valley Vista (Punter); Darius Moore, Shadow Ridge (Returner)

First Team Player of the Year
Kobe Ganados, Dysart

Offensive Second Team

Offensive Lineman 
Matt McClure, Willow Canyon; Garret Sutliffe, Valley Vista; Kelly Garcia, Willow Canyon; Israel Nolasco, Dysart; Santano Estavillo, Shadow Ridge

Tight End
Trent Hudson, Shadow Ridge

Josh Ormond, Willow Canyon

Running Back 
Zach Swinbourne, Willow Canyon; Damiano Parra, Valley Vista 

Jonathan Hagestad, Willow Canyon

Wide Receiver 
Adam Campbell, Dysart; Nate Clement, Shadow Ridge; Nygel Bridges, Valley Vista 

Defensive  Second Team

Defensive Lineman 
Jayden Jackson, Shadow Ridge; Jason Hickson, Willow Canyon; Devin Leon, Willow Canyon; Jarad Mease, Shadow Ridge

Elijah Goodloe, Dysart; Travis Pantazis, Shadow Ridge; Kody Harris, Willow Canyon; Trenton Foster, Valley Vista.

Defensive Back
Leo Morones, Shadow Ridge; Evan Valdez, Willow Canyon; Brendon Blanchard, Valley Vista; Elijah Contreras, Valley Vista. 

Brandon Cook, Willow Canyon.

Special Teams Second Team
Braylon Boysun, Willow Canyon (Kicker); Kobe Ganados, Dysart (Punter); Aidan Cunningham, Valley Vista (Returner).

Second Team Player of the Year
Alex Zacek. 

Honorable Mention

Devyn Flanagan, Shadow Ridge; Anthony Aguilar, Dysart; Josh Cortez, Valley Vista; Aiden Cunningham, Valley Vista; James Wilson Jr., Willow Canyon. 

Mikey Lyon, Shadow Ridge; Tre Hinchey, Dysart; Josiah Meek, Willow Canyon.

All-Academic Team
Makai Obregon, Valley Vista; Max Sandoval, Shadow Ridge; Rifat Daoud, Shadow Ridge; David Leasau, Dysart; Elijah Goodloe, Dysart; Brendan Blanchard, Valley Vista; Tanner Jenson, Willow Canyon; Brody Tardy, Willow Canyon.

In addition to All-District Team honors, over 20 athletes were recognized by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) as All-Region First Team for the state of Arizona for their performances in the 2018-2019 Football season. 

Photo Gallery
Posted : 12/7 | Direct Link
Dysart recognizes All District Volleyball Team
Dysart recognizes All District Volleyball TeamIn an effort to recognize and celebrate the importance of athletics in a student’s educational experience, the Dysart Unified School District held their inaugural All District District Volleyball Team Award presentation to spotlight the exceptional athletes who displayed excellence in the 2018 season.

First Team, Second Team, and All-Academic Team athletes were chosen from Dysart, Shadow Ridge, Valley Vista, and Willow Canyon High Schools to represent the best of the best in the district.

First Team
Tionna Hood, senior, Dysart; Aliyah Moore, sophomore, Valley Vista; Abigail Cullotta, senior, Willow Canyon; Abby Allen, junior, Shadow Ridge; Anna Myers, senior, Valley Vista; Kyley Pendgraft, senior, Shadow Ridge; Aryah McCoy, senior, Willow Canyon.

Second Team
Selena Resendiz, senior, Dysart; Karysa Rackley, senior, Willow Canyon; Annabelle Gregory, junior, Shadow Ridge; Raeana Collier, junior, Valley Vista; Dejah Behrend, senior, Shadow Ridge; Cassidy McCoy, senior, Willow Canyon; Mikayla Cook, junior, Shadow Ridge; Charlize Ziehmer, junior, Shadow Ridge.

All Academic
Hope Summer, Dysart; Emma Gulczynski, Dysart; Jordan Deal, Valley Vista; Aliyah Moore, Valley Vista; Kristy Salazar, Shadow Ridge; Abby Allen, Shadow Ridge; Lahayla Curiel, Willow Canyon; Abby Cullotta, Willow Canyon.

The all-district team showcases the continued athletic growth in Dysart as teams exceed expectations.  For the first time in Dysart history, all four girls volleyball teams made the state playoffs. Additionally, Shadow Ridge High School won the 6A Southwest Region and Dysart High School won the 4A Black Canyon Region.      
Posted : 12/5 | Direct Link
Kicks From Kirk
Kicks From KirkCongratulations to the Dysart Unified School District’s own Dana Kaye, the Preschool- Eighth Grade Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Administrator, for being the recipient of the “Kicks From Kirk” program hosted by Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver Christian Kirk. The “Kicks From Kirk” program encourages fans to nominate someone in their lives who is known for their genuine acts of kindness. In turn, the winner receives a free pair of Adidas shoes, provided by Christian Kirk.

Dana Kaye was nominated by Ami Grant, 21st Century Specialist, for Kaye’s continual leadership and kindness. “She has been a true mentor to me,” said Grant. “This year she has shown her amazing kindness more than I could have ever expected.”

Grant also spoke of Kaye as being a true example of success, and will go out of her way to ensure those around her achieve the same. “I will forever be grateful for her encouragement and support. Her kindness spreads over the thousands of students, teachers, and people she has impacted,” says Grant.
Posted : 11/30 | Direct Link
Valley Vista Culinary Students Win Big
Valley Vista Culinary Students Win BigValley Vista High School Culinary Arts students attended the 2018 Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Cluster Meeting held on November 16-18 in Phoenix. At the conference, students participated in workshops and competed in events. Junior Sabastian Nowell placed first in the Culinary Math Challenge and Velia Rodriguez, a sophomore, placed second in the Nutrition Challenge.

The National Cluster Meetings are organized by FCCLA and advisors from across the country who come together with the goal of expanding leadership skills, sharpening talents, and exploring career pathways.

FCCLA is a nonprofit national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA is dedicated to promoting personal growth and leadership development through the implementation of skills such as: character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge, and career preparation. FCCLA currently has more than 5,300 active chapters with 160,000 members.
Posted : 11/28 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge Thespians win gold
Shadow Ridge thespians win goldThe Shadow Ridge High School Theatre Troupe #7547 attended the Arizona Thespian Festival on November 17-18 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The Arizona State Thespian Festival features numerous productions presented by high schools throughout the state with more than 2,300 students participating in the festival over the span of two days.

The troupe was awarded the Gold Honor for the third year in a row for demonstrating excellence in high school standards for productions, thespian activities, and school and community service initiatives. The students also received a Superior State Ranking and Straight Superior Rating on the One Act Play, “The Yellow Boat.”

The troupe will perform the musical, “James and the Giant Peach” on December 7th at 7:00 pm and December 8th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  Tickets are $8.00 for students/children and $10.00 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

The Arizona Thespians are a group of teachers, students, and professionals who are dedicated to promoting theatre education in schools and the community through teamwork, diversity, gratitude, and accountability.
Posted : 11/27 | Direct Link
History Teacher of the Year
Mr. Raso honored with History Teacher of the Year awardChristopher Raso, a 7th grade social studies teacher at Canyon Ridge School, was named Arizona History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  Raso was honored for his demonstrated commitment to teaching American history (including state and local history), creativity and imagination in the classroom, and effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary sources to engage students with American history.

“Mr. Raso is so worthy of being recognized as Arizona's History Teacher of the Year,” said Jill Hoppe, principal at Canyon Ridge.  “He brings history to life on a daily basis for his students. He is an expert storyteller, and he leverages his many community partnerships to bring outside presenters into his classroom.  We are so proud of Mr. Raso and feel honored to work alongside such an extraordinary educator.”

As part of the recognition, Raso received a certificate from Diane Douglas, Arizona State Superintendent for Public Instruction, at the school’s recent Veterans Day commemoration.  Additionally, Raso will receive a $1,000 award, a collection of classroom resources to be presented in his name to the school library, and an invitation to participate in a Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar.

Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and US Territories.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. whose mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources.
Posted : 11/14 | Direct Link
Wishes come true
Jeff Braun, Physical Education teacher at Cimarron Springs Elementary School and Roxanne Lopez, iExplore teacher at Mountain View School were both named recipients of the 2018 Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers grant.  

Each fall, teachers are invited to complete an online application detailing their school and classroom wish.  Recipients are selected by a random drawing to receive a $5,000 grant. All wish recipients are invited to walk in the Fiesta Bowl Parade and will be recognized on-field at the Cheez-It Bowl on December 26, 2018 in Phoenix.

Mr. Braun will utilize the funds towards physical education equipment. Mrs. Lopez plans on putting the grant towards additional STEAM resources and technologies for the iExplore Lab.  

Created in 2016, this award grants classroom wishes to teachers across the state of Arizona. The Fiesta Bowl organization developed this program to aid teachers in enhancing their classroom experience, as a way to thank and honor Arizona educators. Fiesta Bowl Charities strives to enhance organizations that contribute to the success of their communities through youth, sports and education and charitable giving..

Cimarron Springs teacher receives grantMountain View teacher receives grant

Posted : 11/2 | Direct Link
Lights on After School
Lights on Afterschool at Canyon RidgeDen Clubs across the Dysart Unified School District participated in "Lights on Afterschool" on October 25th as part of a nationwide rally in support of after school programs.  At Canyon Ridge, students invited Dr. Quinn Kellis, Superintendent, to make Halloween cookies with them.    

Lights on Afterschool is in it's 19th year, with more than 8,300 events held across the country to help bring awareness to the importance of the program. 

In the Dysart District Den Club program, students aged 5-14 are able to learn and interact in a safe, caring environment.  Under the supervision of trained adults, the children engage in a variety of activities specifically designed to improve their social interaction skills and promote cognitive and emotional development.  Please visit for additional information including registration and Den Club locations. 

Photo Gallery

Posted : 10/29 | Direct Link
Stop the Bleed
Dysart district staff Stop the Bleed trainingBanner Health personnel recently trained district staff and nurses on Stop the Bleed, a national awareness campaign that encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before first responders arrive.

Dysart District staff were taught about the ABC's of Bleeding, including how to use C.A.T. Tourniquets and hemostatic dressings in the event of an emergency situation.  

No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care.  The Dysart School District hopes this training will allow staff to be prepared for any situation and be able to quickly care for those in need.

Photo Gallery
Posted : 10/24 | Direct Link
DUSD Cross Country Meet
Cross country runners from Shadow Ridge and Willow Canyon sprint towards the finishline.Shadow Ridge stampeded out of the gate and took first place in both the boys and girls divisions of the annual Dysart Unified School District Cross Country Meet on October 22 at the Asante Community Park.  With the lowest point total being the winner, Shadow Ridge boys took first with 25 points, Valley Vista came in second with 71, Dysart High was third with 86 points, and Willow Canyon was fourth with 97 points.  The Shadow Ridge girl runners took first with 21 points, Dysart High came in second with 46 points, Willow Canyon came in third with 124 points, and Valley Vista came in fourth with 204 points.

In the boys division, Joe Riddle from Shadow Ridge took first place with a time of 17:04:83.  Gretchen Kuffel took first for the girls with a time of 21:21:66.  More than 150 athletes from all four high schools competed in the meet.

Photo Gallery
Posted : 10/23 | Direct Link
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