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Three Educators honored by the Arizona Diamondbacks
Huda ClemonsThree Dysart Schools teachers were recently named D-backs Most Valuable Teachers in STEM by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Huda Clemens from Western Peaks Elementary School received the honor along with Canyon Ridge School teachers Stefanie Lump and Lacey Merritt.
 
This recognition supports ten outstanding educators monthly from April through August and provides an opportunity to showcase the state's teachers and acknowledge their commitment to students for going above and beyond.  
 
Below are excerpts from each nomination letter.
 
Huda Clemons was nominated by Lisa Garon. “She certainly deserves to be recognized for all her extra time, patience and desire to help students become better in the area of STEM,” shared Garon. 
 
 “Mrs. Clemens is our iExplore teacher and also runs an after-school Robotics Club.  Since she designs and records the morning announcements for our building, she engages our students in those so they can be a part of the process.” 
 
Stefanie Lump was nominated by Justean Palmer. “Mrs. Lump inspires students on a daily basis as she teaches STEM to her 5th graders,” said Palmer.

 “She supports all the teachers at Canyon Ridge with their Scientific Process, giving them ideas for STEM buckets with kindergarten classrooms and unique STEM projects with the upper grade levels. Her students build STEM projects monthly and she is our main contact for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE): A World in Motion program where retired engineers from General Motors provide valuable presentations to our students.

Lacey Merritt was nominated by Justean Palmer. “Lacey Merritt is a remarkable STEM educator and leader,” shared Palmer.  

“Being the Instructional Coach on campus, I see the dedication she has put into building our STEM program from attending workshops to teaching what STEM truly means, supporting teachers in the Engineering Design Process and challenging the students' thinking at Canyon Ridge. Her students thrive through her hands-on STEM projects that push their understanding of the human body to building structures that withstand a hurricane, all while being able to utilize the design and redesign process.”

The educators received a $1,000 classroom grant courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and Honeywell.  Additionally, the educators received tickets to a recent Diamondbacks game and on-field recognition.  They will be considered for the Most Valuable Teacher of the Year, which includes a $5,000 classroom grant and on-field recognition. 
 
Posted : 5/25 | Direct Link
CTE students earn honors at state and international competitions
Dysart High School FBLA studentsIt was a busy season for Career and Technical Education (CTE)  students throughout the district who competed at state and international level in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and SkillsUSA state conferences, and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference.

The FCCLA State Leadership Conference was held on March 28-30, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.  The competition allows students to compete in over 30 different events, meet the current State Executive Council and State Officer Candidates, qualify for the National Leadership Conference in San Diego, and network with members across Arizona.  

Valley Vista High School students received the following recognitions: Olivia Black earned a gold medal and a perfect score in Chicken Fabrication, Megan Gatz and Sierra Painter both won silver in Culinary Arts, and Joselyn Villegas won bronze in Food Innovations.

FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life - planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication - all necessary within the home and workplace. FCCLA is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members.

The FBLA State Leadership conference was held on April 4-6 in Tucson, Arizona. The event gives students the opportunity to advance to the national conference, compete in a variety of competitions, participate in workshops, and run for state office for FBLA. 

Dysart High School students Jared Wilson, Ryan Maisano, Bryan Naiuli, Damien Cordero, and Devonte Reed placed in the top five for Parliamentary Procedures. Valley High School students Lilly Smith and Raven Cardosi placed second in 3D Animation.

FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.

Students from all four district high schools competed in the SkillsUSA State Competition hosted April 19-20, 2022 in Phoenix.  This event is the premier showcase for Arizona’s trade, technology and service high school and college students. This annual championship features over 75 skills and leadership competitions that determine who will represent Arizona at the national SkillsUSA Championships.  

Gage Fuentes from Dysart High School earned the Silver medal in Auto Tech Basic.  Several students from Shadow Ridge High School earned medals including Jordyn Jones who earned a gold medal in T-Shirt Design and a Silver medal in Advertising Design.  Alysa Horton received a gold medal for Stage Coach Interview Skills.  Zachary Hampton and  Joseph Holm earned second Place Web Development & Design.  Jacob Bacome and Brian Bucsi won gold in 3D Visualization, and Tyler Winter and Tyler Cain won a bronze medal in Additive Manufacturing.  Willow Canyon High School students Allison Kotzbauer, Eli Hernandez, and Morgan West won gold in Career Pathways Showcase: Arts and Communication and the club was named a gold Chapter of Excellence.

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.

Students from Dysart High School, Shadow Ridge High School, and Willow Canyon High School competed in the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) on April 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The event allows students to compete with more than 10,000 DECA students from across the country.  Students participated in the Emerging Leaders Series in order to attain 21st Century Skills in the areas of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.  Students also network with hundreds of representatives in the college and career exhibits as they plan for their future.

Shadow Ridge High School student Jamie Springer was a top ten finalist in Project Management Community Awareness event, and Noah Axelson, Lily McDaniel, Kloey Garcia earned 6th place in the Virtual Business Restaurant. 

Irene Silva, Bethanie Lopez-Draeger and Servando Lopez from Dysart High School won a gold medal in the Small Business Enterprise Food Operations Competition.  Dysart High students Lorenzo Roman and Dawn Jones took fourth place in the Business Law and Ethics Competition. 
 
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 dysart.org/cte.
Posted : 5/19 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge High School engineering students honored for solar car
Shadow Ridge High School Engineering studentsShadow Ridge High School engineering students won top honors in the Racing the Sun  solar-powered go-kart competition hosted on April 23 at Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson.  Racing the Sun is an engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race solar-powered go-karts. 

The students were named Grand Champions in the Maker category for winning the contest and race with honors for Oral Presentation and Coach of the Year for Eric Bennett, Engineering and Physics Teacher at Shadow Ridge High School.  

Working with teachers and mentors, students spend nine months preparing for race day. Along the way, they apply physics, engineering, and energy. They solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and collaborate on ideas. They are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype, and along the way, they build leadership skills. A total of ten schools competed in the competition this year.

The Solar Stallions team consisted of nine students: Tyler Winter, Kris Castro, Kevin Marquez, Isaac Kendall, Parker Sniezek, Jaden Saggar, Bradley Blue, Ryan San Andres, all of whom are seniors this year. The team prepared for the event the entire year by gathering the materials, planning the design, building and testing the go-kart powered entirely by energy produced by the sun.

“Mr. Bennett and his students should be exceptionally proud of themselves for winning this competition and I am extremely proud! The program has excelled from struggling to put together materials to having one of the best cars in the competition this year. These students definitely exude the spirit of being Stallion Strong,” shared Michael Hawkins, Shadow Ridge High School Principal.

The event was sponsored by the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). SARSEF focuses on engaging students through exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), in order to gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are important for whatever career they choose.
Posted : 5/10 | Direct Link
Mountain View School Science Olympiad earns accolades
Science OlympiadThe Mountain View Science Olympiad team had a banner year for the 2021-2022 competition season. 

The team participated in the virtual Arizona Science Olympiad Winter Invitational on December 4th, 2021.  A team of eight students competed in different events in pairs. Events range from application of knowledge on lab stations or a test to testing student-designed and created devices in a competitive environment. The team earned recognition in  the following events: Anatomy & Physiology, 3rd; Dynamic Planet, 3rd; Food Science, 3rd, and Solar System, 1st. The Anatomy and Physiology event focused on human body systems. Dynamic Planet is about Earth and space science, specifically Earth’s fresh water systems. Food Science had students closely examining the make-up of sugars in our food, including being able to accurately measure the sugar content in food utilizing a student-made hydrometer. The Solar System event took students on a journey through space objects and space missions, allowing them to showcase their knowledge.

The team also competed in the North Central Regional Tournament on February 19, 2022, in a satellite competition which took place virtually from the Mountain View School campus. The team of eight students competed in different events in pairs. Events ranged from application of knowledge on lab stations or a test to testing student-designed and created devices in a competitive environment, with various different goals and objectives depending on the event.  Awards included a fourth place overall team trophy, and awards for the following events: Chiropterology, 2nd; Crimebusters, 2nd; Green Generation, 2nd; Meteorology, 1st; and Sounds of Music, 1st. Chiropterology gave students an opportunity to identify bat species from across North America, utilizing their knowledge of habitats and survival mechanisms. Crimebusters gave students a scenario where they analyzed forensic evidence to solve a crime. The Green Generation event allowed students to demonstrate their understanding of ecological principles, the human impact on our environment, and how we can come up with solutions to reverse trends and sustainability concepts. Participants in the Meteorology event used scientific process skills to understand how factors influence world climate and climate change. During the Sounds of Music event, students played an instrument that they designed and built as well as took a test on the physics of sound and music concepts.  The Mountain View School Science Olympiad Team qualified for the state tournament after competing at the North Central Regional Competition. 

In the culminating event for the competition season, the Arizona Science Olympiad State Tournament was held at the Arizona State University on April 2, 2022. Mountain View placed first in the Crimebusters and Write It, Do It events and earned second place in Ornithology.  

Science Olympiad is a National Science, Technology,  Engineering, and Math program that allows students to apply what they know in a competitive setting. Students gain in-depth scientific knowledge that can be used in college and future careers. Science Olympiad functions much like a soccer or football team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching, and practice throughout the year. It allows students to meet new people and showcase their love of all things STEM by competing against other middle school students from across the state. Mountain View School has participated and competed in Science Olympiad for the past 14 years, coached by Cassie Strahota. 
Posted : 5/4 | Direct Link
HOSA students compete at State Conference 
HOSA students compete at State ConferenceHealth Occupation Students of America (HOSA) students from Dysart High School, Willow Canyon High School, and Shadow Ridge High School competed in the HOSA State Leadership Conference held in Tucson March 30 - April 1. 

HOSA is a student-led organization that seeks to empower students to become leaders in the global health community, through education, collaboration, and experience. The HOSA State Leadership conference provides students the opportunity to use the skills they have learned in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses and apply them to a competitive events program. 

Students had the opportunity to compete in multiple different events, participate in workshops, and network with current healthcare professionals as well as other students from across the state. 

Congratulations to the following students for their achievements in their respective events. 

Willow Canyon student Alyssa Morris placed second in Medical Terminology, Tyrah Davis placed fifth in Prepared Speaking, Kenna Moore placed fifth in Medical Law & Ethics, Hailey Amos placed fourth in Nursing Assisting, Kristin Anderson placed third in Human Growth & Development, and Melody Holland, Kenna Moore, Lauren Buseman, Elizabeth Wood and McKenna Moreno placed top eight in the Anatomage Competition. In addition, Kennedy Wilson and Isabella Buoscio qualified for the International Leadership Conference for their performance in the Healthcare Issues event. 

Dysart High School student Lindy Pottle placed first in Medical Reading, Maeve Shapera, Charity Sumner, Amaya Menjivar, Denice Calderon, Alyssa Blandford, and Alicia Parra placed first in MRC Partnership, Eden Mussleman, Sarah Weller, Victoria Mather, and Dora Mazariego placed third in Medical Innovations, Shayne Vasquez and Makenzie Maloof placed fourth in Medical Innovations, Abbigail Kizer and Ruben Jimenez placed fifth in Health Education, and Lane Vazquez Luna placed fifth in Epidemiology. Additionally, Marisol Trejo, Alejandro Arevalo and Briana Torres received the Barbara James Service Award, and Lane Vazquez Luna and Lindy Pottle were the recipients of HOSA scholarships in the amounts of $500 and $2,000. Overall, Dysart High School had 17 students qualify to compete in the International Conference. 

The HOSA International Leadership Conference will take place on June 22-25, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

HOSA is a student-led Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) specifically for students enrolled in CTE programs. The mission of HOSA is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary and collegiate students interested in a career in health care. 
Posted : 4/29 | Direct Link
SPED Records Available for Review
DYSART SCHOOLS - The Dysart Unified School District is preparing to destroy archived special education records from the 2017-2018 school year and will begin this process in October, 2022. Special Education records, including placement records, referrals, evaluations, testing data, etc. are maintained for four fiscal years after a student’s final enrollment in a special education program.  Final enrollment in a special education program is defined as the last day a student is enrolled in a special education program and is no longer receiving services. Parents, guardians, or eligible students have the right to review and/or receive a copy of these records before September, 2022. Individuals that would like to review records should contact [email protected] or 623-876-7198 prior to September, 2022. 
 
Posted : 4/15 | Direct Link
Willow Canyon Key Club honored for service
Willow Canyon Key ClubCongratulations to the Willow Canyon High School Key Club students who were honored at the Southwest District Convention for Kiwanis/Key Club. 
 
The Key Club earned first place Platinum in the Single Service Project category this year for their Veterans Project entered by Mairin McCormack. 
 
The Veterans Project was a group-wide effort of more than 90 Key Club members.  Students collected non-perishable food items, personal care items, toys, magazines, board games, blankets, clothing, and dog food for active military serving overseas, homeless Veterans, Veterans in transition, and K9 Veterans.  In addition, more than 1,700 letters of encouragement and support were written by the Willow Canyon student body to accompany the donated items to the service men and women.
 
The Key Club also earned two second place recognitions for the Platinum Club Achievement Award entered by Savannah Bowen and the Traditional Scrapbook Award entered by Sydney Lunzer.
 
Additionally, students earned special recognition for completing hours of service. Savannah Bowen, Sydney Lunzer, Matthew Guardion, and Kaitlyn Shiffer were honored for clocking in 150 hours this year. Mairin McCormack, Cheyenne Shiffer, Regan Wasmund, and Madison Wood volunteered more than 100 hours of service this school year.
 
“I am beyond proud of all the hard work and dedication our 99 club members achieved this year with helping our school, district, and Surprise community,” shared Willow Canyon Key Club Sponsor Kimberly Warnas-Maust.
 
The first and second place honors qualifies the Willow Canyon Key Club to attend the Key Club International Convention hosted in Washington, D.C. in July to compete against other clubs from all over the world.

Key Club is a student-led organization that provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership. The Willow Canyon Key Club is part of the Estrella Division which aims to cooperate with administrators and teachers to provide high school students with invaluable experience in living and working together and to prepare them for useful citizenship.  Members develop initiative and leadership skills by serving their schools and communities.
Posted : 4/12 | Direct Link
Students recognized by Friends of the Surprise Libraries 
 Students recognized by Friends of the Surprise Libraries Students from West Point Elementary School and Sunset Hills Elementary School were recently recognized for being named finalists in the annual Friends of the Surprise Libraries Bookmark Contest. Each year, Friends of the Surprise Libraries invites local sixth through eighth grade students to participate and create bookmarks depicting reading and literacy.  First place, honorable mention, and a Mayor’s Choice Award are selected in each grade category. The following Dysart students were selected as finalists: 

First Place - Grace Luu (6th grade, Sunset Hills) and Layla Calico (8th grade, West Point). 
 
Honorable Mention - Kayla Krise (6th grade, West Point), Isabella Jordan (7th grade, West Point), and Kayla Patnod (8th grade, West Point). 
 
Mayor's Choice Award - Audrey Howat (8th grade, West Point)

Each student was recognized and presented a plaque with their winning bookmark, as well as a monetary award at the April 5, 2022 Surprise City Council Meeting. 

Friends of the Surprise Libraries is a non-profit organization supported by local citizens who volunteer their time to promote local Libraries, literacy and reading programs. They are dedicated to supporting the local community by sponsoring various programs, school grants, and providing gifts and donations to public libraries and literacy organizations.
Posted : 4/8 | Direct Link
Educators Rising students place in state competition
Educators RisingCongratulations to the Shadow Ridge High School Educators Rising students who participated at the Educators Rising State Leadership conference hosted in Tucson March 28-30th. 

Ten Shadow Ridge students attended the event and competed in a variety of competitions related to teaching. Halle Feltner took third place in Lesson Planning and Delivery with her 5E STEM Lesson. Rhys Davis also placed in the top ten for Researching Non-Traditional Teaching Careers. Both have earned a place in the National competition this June in Washington D.C. 

Educators Rising Arizona is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for students participating in Education Professions that is dedicated to ensuring that the future is full of high quality educators starting in high school. Educators Rising Arizona provides students with the opportunities to take what they learn in their Early Childhood Education and Education Professions classes and apply them in relevant, scenario-based competitions at the annual State Leadership Conference. Educators Rising Arizona also offers professional development opportunities and practical applications for students who aspire to enter the teaching profession by providing them with engaging breakout sessions centered around best practices and leadership development. 

Education Professions is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program offered at Shadow Ridge High School that prepares students for employment or post secondary opportunities in the education field. The program provides instruction in education career choices, education structure and systems, theory, pedagogy, developmental stages, learning styles and methodology. The program also provides interactive experiences with students at different age levels, in a variety of content areas in educational environments.
 
Posted : 4/6 | Direct Link
All District Boys and Girls Soccer Team
All District SoccerDysart Schools held their annual All District Boys and Girls Soccer Team Award presentation to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary student athletes who displayed excellence in the 2021-2022 season. First Team, Second Team, and All Academic Team athletes were selected from Valley Vista, Shadow Ridge, Dysart, and Willow Canyon High Schools, as well as a Player of the Year.

All District Girls Soccer

1st Team 
  • Kiara Sanchez- DHS
  • Brooke Williams- DHS
  • Estrella Chavez- DHS
  • Mia Lohr- SRHS
  • Kayleen Laramee- SRHS
  • Sophia Konieczny- SRHS
  • Logan White-SRHS
  • Kambria Steele- VVHS
  • Ellie Silva- VVHS
  • Lauryn Rodgers- VVHS
  • Isabella Pineda- WCHS
  • Grace Brown-WCHS
  • Katelyn Nylen- WCHS

2nd Team 
  • Briana Arellano- DHS
  • Karolina Quinonez- DHS
  • Jennifer Rocha- DHS
  • Ajaless Blackman-DHS
  • Alanna Zepeda- DHS
  • Olivia Arratia Rivera-SRHS
  • Mikayla James- SRHS
  • Izzy Blaco- SRHS
  • Sophia Bohon- SRHS
  • Kendyl Lopez- WCHS
  • Katzibe Villalobos-WCHS
  • Lexi Williams- WCHS
  • Olivia O’Neal-Kervick- WCHS

All Academic Team
  • Danielle LeMoine- DHS
  • Lesli Arredondo- DHS
  • Sophie Konieczny- SRHS
  • Izzy Blanco- SRHS
  • Madisyn Yazzie- VVHS
  • Kambrie Steele- VVHS
  • Kendyl Lopez- WCHS
  • Madeline Buoscio- WCHS

Player of the Year:  Paige Garcia- WCHS 

All District Boys Soccer

1st Team 
  • Mauri Ortiz- DHS
  • Caden White- DHS
  • Ethan Clark- SRHS
  • Dominic Calandra- SRHS
  • Jacob Engwall- SRHS
  • David Flores- DHS
  • Gabriel Engwall- SRHS
  • Aidan Murray- SRHS
  • Daniel Benitez- VVHS
  • Aldhair Valenzuela Rodriguez- WCHS
  • Oscar Mendez- DHS
  • German Cervantes- DHS

2nd Team 
  • Kaeden Skawski- VVHS
  • Luis Esparza- VVHS
  • Bryson Wilke- WCHS 
  • Caden Bott- SRHS
  • Eric Orozco-Zavala- DHS
  • Jackson Servais- VVHS
  • Camden Fleming- SRHS
  • Justin Suarez- VVHS
  • Macuna Patterson- WCHS
  • Tiesen Cudmore- SRHS
  • Domink Bormann- VVHS
  • Dezmon Valdivia- DHS
  • Eli Anderson - SRHS

All Academic Team
  • Caden White- DHS
  • Angel Rocha- DHS
  • Abdullah Hasan- VVHS
  • Daniel Benitez- VVHS
  • Bryson Wilke- WCHS 
  • Devin Seay- WCHS
  • Dominic Calandra- SRHS
  • Aidan Murray- SRHS

Player of the Year:  Agustin Orozco, Jr.-DHS

Photo Gallery
Posted : 4/1 | Direct Link
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