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DHS student selected as National Officer 
DHS student selected as National Officer Dysart High School student, Andrea Soliz, was recently named to the SkillsUSA National Officer Team as the Region 5 Vice President. Previously, Andrea served as the SkillsUSA Region 5 President for the State of Arizona. As a National Officer, Andrea is provided the opportunity to represent SkillsUSA and its members. National Officers serve as communicators, advocates and facilitators in a variety of leadership roles, helping instill skills and career-readiness to fellow members.

The newly elected officers were announced at a virtual recognition ceremony on June 26, 2020.  Before being selected, candidates went through a rigorous application process including written exams, essays, interviews, and a speech. Andrea is one of ten high school students from across the country selected to serve on the 2020-21 SkillsUSA National Officer Team. Being a national officer is one of the highest honors a student can achieve within the SkillsUSA organization.

Andrea is entering her senior year at Dysart High School, and is a dedicated leader on campus. She has worked tirelessly to be an advocate, role model, and mentor to fellow classmates, as well as the community. Through SkillsUSA, she has been provided with many opportunities and experiences that continue to prepare her for her future.  

SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Education partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development by building and reinforcing self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service (including health) occupations.
Posted : 7/8 | Direct Link
Public Hearing, Truth in Taxation

District NewsDYSART SCHOOLS — In compliance with A.R.S. 15-905.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, Dysart Unified School District No. 89 is notifying property taxpayers of Dysart Unified School District’s intention to raise its primary property taxes over the current level to pay for increased expenditures in those areas where the Governing Board has the authority to increase property taxes for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020. The Dysart Unified School District is proposing an increase in its primary property tax levy of $15,000. A public hearing is scheduled on June 24, 2020.

The amount proposed above will cause Dysart Unified School District’s primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to be $0.10. Without the tax increase, the total taxes that would be owed would have been $0.00.

These proposed amounts are above the qualifying tax levies as prescribed by state law, if applicable. The increase is also exclusive of any changes that may occur from property tax levies for voter approved bonded indebtedness or budget and tax overrides.

The Dysart Unified School District Governing Board will be enforcing the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s guidance to limit all public gatherings to ten people. As such, the June 24 public hearing will be held telephonically/remotely with no public, in-person attendance. Reference: Attorney Generals’ Opinion dated March 13, 2020 Re: Concerns Related to Arizona’s Open Meeting Law and COVID-19. This meeting is open to the public to listen and view at

All interested citizens are invited to submit public comments regarding the public hearing on the proposed tax increase scheduled to be held June 24, 2020 at 6:00 PM by emailing [email protected] prior to 5:00 PM the day of the meeting. 
Posted : 6/11 | Direct Link
A message of peace, respect, and harmony for the Dysart community
Dr. Quinn KellisI would like to express my sincere appreciation for everyone in our Dysart community who is committed to building bridges of peace, respect and harmony.

I am humbled by so many examples of courageous people doing extraordinary things to right the wrongs in our society; who advocate for, and who protect, our human rights; who open previously closed doors for civil discourse; and most of all, who ensure each and every individual can reap the full rewards of their education, hard work and talents.

I am saddened to think that even one Dysart student or employee has ever been victimized by hatred. We here in Dysart believe in, and are committed to, providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for learning and working. If there are ways we can do better, I invite you to responsibly communicate with me so that we can work together for a better future.

The Dysart District and surrounding communities of Surprise, El Mirage, Youngtown, Waddell and Luke Air Force Base are, indeed, extraordinary places to live, to learn and to work. I stand with our diverse community to say that the work of ensuring peace and togetherness is never done - rather, it is what we, collectively, must each do every hour of every day. I wish you faith, hope and love. Faith and hope for safe and healthy times ahead, and above all, love for peace in the hearts of all.

Quinn R. Kellis, Ed.D.
Superintendent Dysart Unified School District

Posted : 6/10 | Direct Link
Scholarship Opportunity for Preschool Students
Growing MindsThe Dysart Unified School District is excited to announce that Growing Minds Preschool received a 3-star rating from First Things First, and attending families are now eligible to apply for the Quality First Scholarships Program. The deadline to apply is June 22, 2020.
The purpose of the Quality First Scholarships Program is to ensure that families earning 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and below have access to quality early child care and education. Interested families may obtain the application online here.  Completed applications should be turned in at the main Growing Minds Preschool campus at 17999 W. Surprise Farms Loop S. Surprise, AZ 85388.  

Scholarship availability is limited. In order to be considered, the application and supporting documentation is due prior to June 22nd.  Families selected to receive the scholarship will be notified prior to July 1.  Those who do not receive a scholarship, but are eligible based on First Things First standards will be placed on a waiting list.
Growing Minds Preschool Summer Camp is open through July 24, and the 20-21 school year session begins July 29, 2020 and runs through May 28, 2021. Registration applications are accepted at Space is limited. For questions about enrollment call 623-876-7350 or email [email protected].
Posted : 6/10 | Direct Link
District administrators honored
District administrators honoredMichael Hawkins, Shadow Ridge High School Principal, and Jim Dean, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, have recently been awarded the Arizona School Administrators (ASA) Distinguished Administrator Award. This award is presented to exceptional Arizona administrators who have exemplified dedication and leadership towards their students, staff, and colleagues. 

Mr. Hawkins was named by the ASA as a Distinguished Administrator for the Secondary Division. Mr. Hawkins has been the principal at Shadow Ridge High School for 12 years. He has helped make Shadow Ridge a home to a community of learners that inspire student excellence. From the very beginning, this has been the foundation that served to help the school articulate their mission. He has helped lead Shadow Ridge to earning an “A” rating, as well as being named an A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Education Foundation (AEF). Mr. Hawkins is involved in the Dysart Grading Committee, Multi Tiered Support Committee, High School Innovation Committee, Algebra Task Force, and the Dysart Site Administrators Association. He is admired on campus by both students and staff for his visibility, unwavering support, and direct association. 

Mr. Dean was named by the ASA as a Distinguished Administrator for the Education Services Division. Mr. Dean exemplifies what it means to be a dedicated, loyal, honest, and positive leader. He fully grasps the simple Dysart focus of Academics, Arts and Athletics. He also understands the full scope of public education thanks to his experience as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and now as an assistant superintendent which he has served for 10 years. He has filled his plate with strategic solutions to make Dysart the destination district for high school students. His leadership contributes to a positive student and employee climate, high morale among students, staff and colleagues, and improved educational programs. 

The mission of Arizona School Administrators is to promote and support educational excellence in school leadership. Arizona School Administrators seeks to honor outstanding Arizona administrators for their professionalism, dedication, leadership, and exemplary contributions to education in Arizona.
Posted : 6/2 | Direct Link
Dysart teacher selected to advisory team
Dysart teacher selected to advisory teamElizabeth Moreno-Perla, Dysart Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher, was recently selected for the 2020-21 Maricopa County Superintendent Teacher Advisory Team (STAT). STAT consists of a diverse range of teachers representing 14 public school districts across Maricopa County. As a member of this team, Ms. Perla will meet quarterly with these fellow educators to provide valuable feedback, expertise, and insight into current issues and challenges. She will also have the opportunity to share ideas that will produce sufficient outcomes for students.

STAT is an initiative created by the office of the Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson, with the purpose of increasing teacher voice by including classroom practitioners in discussions around education practice and policy. Teacher representatives were chosen through an application and interview process and represent a diverse cross section of school settings, geographic locations, content specialties and experience levels.
Posted : 5/13 | Direct Link
Share your good news and celebrations!
Good News and CelebrationsThe Dysart Unified School District would like to celebrate students, staff and community members who are contributing to the greater good during this unprecedented time. Do you have a teacher or staff member who is going above and beyond in assisting a student in remote learning?  Is your student/club working on a community service project or spreading cheer through a positive action? Did a community group or organization donate time or goods to your school? We want to hear from you. Please fill out the form below with the information and share a photo of the kind act so we can share these #DysartExtraordinary actions with our community.

Good News and Celebrations Form
Posted : 4/14 | Direct Link
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
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