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Valley Vista raises funds for the Special Olympics
Valley Vista High School raised over $2,100 for the Special Olympics during the Minutes that Matter Campaign on Thursday, March 2.

The Minutes that Matter Campaign is a school-based fundraising and awareness effort that benefits the Special Olympics. The 60 second spare change drive allows students turn in as much change as possible with a suspenseful countdown. The theme of the campaign focuses on making a minute do more.

Beginning at 9:20 a.m., student clubs and teams joined forces to simultaneously invade each classroom as an announcer counted down and elicited excitement throughout the campus. In just 60 seconds, Valley Vista staff and students raised over $2,100 for the Special Olympics.

The mission of the Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
Posted : 3/21 | Direct Link
DECA students win big at state competition
Dysart High School DECA StateThe Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, Chapters from Dysart district high schools competed in the Arizona Career Development Conference in Tucson on February 26-28, 2017.  The competition allows students to compete in various business and marketing events.

Dysart High School received six medals.  The following students were recognized for their achievements:

Adriana Arevalo, Rebecca Carrion, Harninder Dosanjh, Skyla Eichenberg, Andrea Esteves, Melanie Garcia, Caitlin Gilmoon, Angelica Guerroro, Brandon Khamphady, Nicklaus Lewis, Xochitl Lopez, Vanessa Lozano, Rebecca Marsh, Esmeralda Martinez, Azucena Nunez, Aliyah Rivera, Heidi Sanchez, Yuritzy Sarmiento, Brianna Soto, Jada Thurston, and Jose Valero received the Chapter Activity Program Award, Gold Award, and Diamond Club Platinum Award.  
Heidi Sanchez, Brianna Soto, and Melanie Garcia (pictured) won the 5th Place Medal and Overall in the state for their Community Service Project Team Event.
Nicklaus Lewis received 1st Place Hotel/ Lodging Management, and 2nd Place Overall for the State in Hotel/Lodging Management.
Heidi, Brianna, Rebecca, Melanie, and Nicklaus will be representing the Dysart Demons at the 2017 International Career Development Conference in April.

Shadow Ridge High School brought home 18 medals.  The following students were recognized for their achievements:

Jacob Bove, 1st Place Overall Financial Consulting
Nicholas Perez, 1st Place Overall Virtual Business Restaurant
Nathan Lundy,    1st Place Overall Virtual Business Restaurant
Martin Ollero, 1st Place Overall Virtual Business Restaurant
Faith Craig, Arizona State Officer, 3rd Place Overall Business Law & Ethics, Top 10% Business Management Test Medal, Top Ten Finalist Medal Business Law/Ethics, and Executive Level Elite Member Award
Zoe Taylor received 3rd Place Overall Business Law & Ethics,Top Ten Finalist Medal Business Law/Ethics, and Executive Level Elite Member Award
Karolina Gierlach, Top Ten Finalist Medal Business Law/Ethics
Skylar Edwards-Ickes, Top Ten Finalist Medal Business Law/Ethics
Aubrey Welch, Top Ten Finalist Medal Hospitality Sales
Kiara Nelson, Top 10% Business Administration Test Medal
Jacob, Nicholas, Nathan, Martin, Faith, and Zoe will be representing the Shadow Ridge Stallions at the 2017 International Career Development Conference in April.

Willow Canyon High School received a total of six medals.  The following students were recognized for their achievements:

Amra Mostarlic,  1st Place Overall Human Resources Management
Edith Micu, 3rd Place Overall Apparel/Accessories Marketing
Haley Pope, 5th Place Overall Advertising Campaign
Alex Ferraro and Christian Whetsel, Top 10 Travel/Tourism Team Decision Making
Megan Barela, Kirsten Whigham, and Maira Zapata, Top 10 Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan
Amra, Edith, and Haley will be representing the Willow Canyon Wildcats at the 2017 International Career Development Conference in April.

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 at the Dysart Unified School District to prepare students for the academic and vocational skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce.  Learn more at
Posted : 3/20 | Direct Link
VVHS Vocal Choir scores big
Over the weekend, 144 Valley Vista students competed at the San Pasqual Golden Eagle Show Choir Festival Photo of the Avalon Choir following their competition win.and the results are stunning! The women's group Avalon, men's choir Excalibur, and Vocal Thunder all took first in their division! Ignition, the beginning show choir, brought home 3rd in their division.

Vocal Thunder got the highest score of any choir for the competition. The 94.5 score is five and half points shy of perfect.
Posted : 3/16 | Direct Link
AAUW Book Club donates to Canyon Ridge School
AAUW donates books to Canyon Ridge SchoolThe Arizona Association of University Women (AAUW) Northwest Valley Branch Snow Bird Book Club recently made a generous book donation to Canyon Ridge School.  The books varied in subject and grade level and will add to the variety of materials available for students in the library.

In addition to the generous donation, AAUW also supports the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs at Canyon Ridge.  The mission of AAUW is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The Northwest Valley Branch, which was started in 1980, is the second largest branch in Arizona and offers a wide range of activities and engagement opportunities for its members.
Posted : 3/15 | Direct Link
Rancho Gabriela hosts Holocaust survivor, Stephen Nasser
Stephen NasserStephen Nasser, Holocaust survivor, author, lecturer, and playwright presented to fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at Rancho Gabriela Elementary School on Monday, March 6, 2017.  Mr. Nasser shared the harrowing details of his experiences of being taken to a concentration camp at the age of 13.  

During his time in the concentration camp, Mr. Nasser kept a secret diary of what would later become the premise of his book, “My Brother’s Voice” and the follow up publication called “Journey to Freedom”.  

After the presentation, Mr. Nasser signed copies of his books and shook the hands of students who showed their appreciation and were honored to have him speak at their school.  

Stephen Nasser tours the country speaking to students and recently visited Surprise Elementary School on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 as well.  
Posted : 3/9 | Direct Link
VVHS teacher, Amy Crow named Arizona Dance Educator of the Year
Dance Educator of the Year Congratulations to Valley Vista High School teacher, Amy Crow who was a recipient of the Kathy Lindholm Lane Arizona Dance Educator of the year award from Arizona Dance Education Organization (AzDEO) at the 32nd Annual High School Dance Festival on Saturday, February 25, 2017.  

In the spirit of Katherine Lindholm Lane and her dedication and contributions to Dance Education in Arizona, the Arizona Dance Educator of the Year has been established by AzDEO, an affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization.

Ms. Crow was selected as a recipient based on her support and contribution to the larger dance education community, her inspiration to students and colleagues through example, enthusiasm and encouragement, and for being an advocate for quality dance education and the arts.  

The AzDEO supports and advances dance education centered in the arts and advocates for the interests of Arizona dance education through affiliations with local, state, and national organizations.

The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) provides professional development, networking forums, honor societies, journals, research and advocacy tools for teachers, administrators, and students in the field of dance arts education.
Posted : 3/8 | Direct Link
Dysart Unified School District hosts Fitnessgram Pacer Lap Invitational
Dysart Pacer InvitationalThe Dysart Unified School District held their first Fitnessgram Pacer Lap Invitational on March 3 at Dysart High School, to help promote physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

A Pacer lap assessment is a cardio-endurance challenge that tests the student’s ability to run back and forth to timed instructions.  The test starts slower and gets faster every 7 laps.  The students run as many laps as they can within the allotted time.  

More than 200 runners participated from 10 K-8 schools in the district.  Boys and girls in grades 4th through 8th grade were awarded medals for placing in the top three of their grade level.  Additionally, an all-school championship trophy was presented to the school with the most overall points earned by their team.

Fitnessgram is a fitness assessment and reporting program for youth, first developed in 1982 by The Cooper Institute in response to the need for a comprehensive set of assessment procedures in physical education programs. The assessment includes a variety of health-related physical fitness tests that assess aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Fitnessgram is an educational tool that helps students learn as part of a high quality, standards-based physical education curriculum.  They learn how it feels to become more physically fit and how to value a physically active lifestyle.

Listed below are the winners from each grade level.

4th grade Girls
1st place  Jayla Phillips  (Ashton Ranch)
2nd place  Andrea Bolanos Rivera   (Rancho Gabriela)
3rd place  Gianna Clark  (Marley Park)

4th grade Boys
1st place  Marquez Tigue  (Surprise)
2nd place  Cree Thomas  (Rancho Gabriela)
3rd place   Bryce Comer  (Surprise)

5th grade Girls
1st place   Savannah Bell (Ashton Ranch)
2nd place   Juliana Cozma  (Dysart)
3rd place    Reese Tornberg  (Rancho Gabriela)

5th grade Boys
1st place   Angel Rocha  (Luke)
2nd place  Owen House  (Ashton Ranch)
3rd place   Narva Tigue  (Surprise)

6th grade Girls
1st place   Leslie Duarte (Luke)
2nd place   Kimberly Yanez  (Luke)
3rd place   Michaela Liddicoat  (Ashton Ranch)

6th grade Boys
1st place   Immanuel Gonzalez (Luke)
2nd place   Jackson Servais  (Marley Park)
3rd place    Wes Wunderlich   (Marley Park)

7th grade Girls
1st place   Alexis Martinez  (Ashton Ranch)
2nd place   Cara Braswell  (Rancho Gabriela)
3rd place   Abby O'Conor  (Marley Park)

7th grade Boys
1st place   Mason Kearly  (Ashton Ranch)
2nd place   Francisco Flores  (Luke)
3rd place   Miguel Strayer  (Kingswood)

8th grade Girls
1st place   Olivia Cano  (Luke)
2nd place   Jazminn Soliz  (Dysart)
3rd place    Danielle Cook (Marley Park)

8th grade Boys
1st place   Jose Arellano  (Thompson Ranch)
2nd place   Mateo Portillo-Rodriguez  (Surprise)
3rd place   Nathan Ferguson (Ashton Ranch)

All-School Championship Winner - LUKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

**All-School Championship Trophy goes to school with most points earned by team.  Athletes score points for their team by placing in each grade level event (first place receiving the most points, and so on). Respectively eight athletes will be given points in each grade level event.  

First place: 10 points
Second place: 8 points
Third place: 6 points
Fourth place: 5 points
Fifth place: 4 points
Sixth place: 3 points
Seventh place: 2 points
Eighth place: 1 point

Photo Gallery
Posted : 3/6 | Direct Link
Luke Elementary School hosts Tuskegee Airmen and RISE ABOVE exhibit
Tuskegee Airmen PresentationLuke Elementary School hosted members of the Tuskegee Airmen – America’s first black military pilots, and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit for students, staff, news outlets, and representatives from Luke Air Force Base on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.  The purpose of the event was to educate and inspire people of all ages with the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.  

These war heroes broke down barriers with their courage and determination to serve the United States during World War II, and their ability to triumph over adversity remains a compelling and inspirational example.  

The Tuskegee Airmen shared their experiences of courage and strength over adversity with the school and community members.  Tuskegee Airman, Colonel Charles McGee (Ret.), lead students through the exhibit and highlighted key leadership concepts to students who are preparing for their future through the “Leader in Me” program. The Leader in Me is a whole school transformation process that teaches 21st Century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.

The RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit is a fully functional mobile movie theater that tours the country nine months out of the year.  Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, the traveling exhibit creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds in a P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen.  The exhibit features the original film “Rise Above” created by Emmy award-winning filmmaker and aviation cinema specialist Adam White of Hemlock Films. The film highlights the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen and features spectacular footage of the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen, taking viewers on a trip through time, then through the air.

Photo Gallery

Posted : 3/3 | Direct Link
WCHS shares 'Poetry Out Loud'
Willow Canyon's Tillie Jones is one of the top three Photo of Poetry Out Loud participantsPoetry Out Loud performers for the Arizona Central Region and will perform at state on March 11.  Winners at the state level will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete for a $20,000 scholarship at the George Washington University April 25th and 26th.

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.
Since 2005, Poetry Out Loud has grown to reach more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from 10,000 school in every state, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Posted : 2/22 | Direct Link
February Student Athletes of the Month
Congratulations to the February Student Athletes of the Month.February 2017 Student Athletes of the Month with their trophy.
  • Matthew Salazar (Shadow Ridge)
  • Jordan Lafferty (Shadow Ridge)
  • Juan Valles Romero (Dysart)
  • Callista Garcia (Dysart)
  • DeAnna Simmons (Willow Canyon)
  • Michael Elosegui (Willow Canyon)
  • Drew Theobald (Valley Vista)
  • Gabriel Vigilant (Valley Vista)
Posted : 2/15 | Direct Link
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