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CTE hosts Community Advisory Board
CTE Advisory BoardThe Dysart Unified School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department hosted the first biannual CTE Advisory Board meeting in April.  Members of the community including the City of Surprise, Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rio Salado, Ottawa University, Benevilla, parents, and students provided guidance and recommendations to gain input on the industry outlook of the Surprise/El Mirage communities.  

The next advisory meeting will be held in the Fall to continue the efforts of providing and maintaining an educated and skilled labor force in the community through our CTE programs. If you would like to be a part of a future Dysart CTE Advisory meeting, please contact Jim Grieshaber, CTE Director, at or 623-876-7991.
Posted : 5/1 | Direct Link
Valley Vista Culinary Students Win Big
November 28, 2018

Valley 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.

FCCLA students with their awards
Posted : 12/17/2018 | Direct Link
Dysart HOSA hosts blood drive
September 10, 2018

As part of the United Blood Service (USB) High School Challenge, the Dysart High School Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club hosted a blood drive on Friday, September 7.  This drive is one of four throughout the year which helps Arizona’s youngest blood donors make their mark on the community by supporting lifesaving blood donations.

Dysart HOSA takes this need seriously and has decided to host quarterly drives to support local hospital needs. The UBS High School Blood Drive Challenge emphasizes community service with a focus on lifesaving activities. Students develop leadership skills as they coordinate blood drives at their school.  Each school is assigned to one of eight divisions based on the school’s senior class size and geographic location and can earn awards based on the number of donations. In addition, students who serve on their blood drive committee can earn a $1,000 scholarship.  

HOSA has taken on this initiative since 2015 earning awards ranging from Silver to Platinum.  The students are well on their way to a successful year with 66 components collected in their first drive and a goal to win a division title this year. Additional drives held at Dysart High School  include:
  • November 3, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • January 25, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • April 19, 2019, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

HOSA is a student-led Career and Technical Student Organization whose mission 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. HOSA helps build the confidence of students by providing opportunities and responsibilities that lead to realistic choices of careers and successful employment in the healthcare field.

United Blood Services is a nonprofit community blood center, providing blood and blood products for local area hospitals throughout the United States.
Posted : 12/17/2018 | Direct Link
CTE leads the way
WCHS SkillsUSA take top spotLearning was in full swing this summer for Dysart Unified School District high school students.  Career and Technical Education (CTE) students from Dysart district high schools competed at the national level at the International Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas, and the SkillsUSA  National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Willow Canyon High School chapter earned a top recognition and was named the number one chapter at SkillsUSA for technical skills grounded in academics in the Models of Excellence program. The Models of Excellence program promotes the intentional learning of personal, workplace, and technical skills outlined in the SkillsUSA Framework for student development. Specific characteristics defined within each skill area help ensure tangible benchmarks for student achievement and chapter programming. Achievement was measured by the effectiveness of student efforts in implementing essential workplace skills including personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and organization in chapter activities. The hands-on approach of this program actualizes the SkillsUSA mission of empowering members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

Willow Canyon High School HOSA student Makaela Milanes scored a mastery level in Health Care Issues Exam. The exam requires students to analyze and apply their knowledge of current health related issues. This is the second year in a row a Willow Canyon student has earned a mastery score on the exam.

Shadow Ridge High School students competed in the DECA Virtual Business Restaurant Challenge which encouraged members to test their skills at managing a simulated restaurant. Participants designed menus, developed dining and kitchen layouts, organized staffing, purchased ingredients, and used market research.  Ty Burke placed in the top 20 and won a $200 scholarship, Brody Fussell and Zach Taylor placed eighth and won a $500 scholarship, and teammates Nathan Lundy, Martin Olloren, and Nicholas Perez received 11th place and a $250 scholarship.  

Dysart High School HOSA received the Outstanding Chapter Award for their scrapbook which documents the plan of work with a focus on the development of leadership skills, career opportunities, service learning among chapter members, achievements, and service to the community. In addition to the chapter award, three Dysart HOSA students received the Barbara James Service Award which honors commitment to community service in health. Saul Montenegro received the Bronze Level award for 100 hours of community service, Ashley Cruz Cabrera received the  Silver Level award for 150+ hours of service to the community and Mackenzie Mitchell was a Gold Level recipient for over 200 hours of service committed to the health industry. Advisor, Sandra Oligny received the Outstanding HOSA Advisor award for her commitment to HOSA and outstanding leadership.

Shadow Ridge High School earned ninth place in the Architectural Drafting event at the SkillsUSA National Leadership conference. The drafting competition asks  students to utilize skills to solve an architectural problem and includes a written test, hand sketch and drawings. Shadow Ridge High School Engineering  also placed eighth in the Mobile Robotics challenge that includes activities that simulate situations encountered by robotic programmers and support professionals. The Stallions placed in the top 20 nationally in the Automated Manufacturing Technology event which evaluates teams for employment in integrated manufacturing technology fields of computer aided drafting/design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer numerical controlled machining (CNC).

Dysart Unified School District CTE programs prepare students to enter the workforce with the academic and vocational skills needed to compete successfully in the job market. CTE courses typically include competency-based learning.  Students achieve academic excellence through authentic, hands-on, career focused learning. They graduate with the skills necessary for successful entry into post-secondary, career, and life opportunities. CTE programs are the backbone of a strong, well-educated workforce, which fosters productivity in business and industry and contributes to America’s leadership in the international marketplace.  To learn more about the programs, please visit and attend the CTE College and Career Expo on October 25, 2018.  
Posted : 8/23/2018 | Direct Link
CTE students win big at state conferences
Dysart High School HOSA Congratulations to the Career and Technical Education (CTE) students from all four Dysart Unified School District high schools who were honored at recent state competitions, including the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) State Career Development Conference in Phoenix, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Leadership Conference in Tucson, the Future Health Professionals (HOSA) Spring Leadership Conference in Tucson, and the SkillsUSA Arizona Championship held in Phoenix, Arizona.

The DECA State Career Development Conference competition allows students to compete in various business and marketing events and industry validated and aligned with national curriculum standards. The following students were recognized for their achievements.

Dysart High School
  • Chapter Awards: Century Club, DECA Flag Award, Platinum Chapter, and Total Participation Program Award
  • Executive Elite Members of the Year: Heidi Sanchez, Andrea Esteves, Jada Thurston, and Melanie Garcia
  • International Emerging Leaders: Heidi Sanchez, Andrea Esteves, Jada Thurston, Melanie Garcia, and Xochitl Lopez Gomez
  • International Scholarship and Aspire Academy Recognition: Andrea Esteves and Melanie Garcia
  • Fifth Place Written International Business Plan: Heidi Sanchez, Horacio Mendoza, and Vincent Randol
  • First Place Buying and Merchandising: Jada Thurston and Vanessa Lozano
  • Fifth Place Financial Services and International Qualifier: Angel Sanchez and Khaliyah Kelly
  • $1,000 DECA Scholarship Recipient: Melanie Garcia
  • Director Elite Member: Xochitl Lopez Gomez

Shadow Ridge High School
  • Chapter Awards: Bronze Diamond Club Award, International Advocacy Campaign Award, International Thrive Campaign- Promotion and Global Entrepreneurship Awards
  • Executive Elite Member: Lydia Brown, Faith Craig, Tanner Smith, and Zoe Taylor
  • First Place Overall: Ty Burke, Alyssa Cucci, Nathan Lundy, Ryan Miller, Isaiah Nguyen, Martin Olloren, Nicholas Perez, Zach Taylor, and Brody Fussell
  • First Place: Faith Craig, Alyssa Cucci, Karolina Gierlach, and Ryan Miller
  • Finalists: Lydia Brown, Logan Casey, Faith Craig, Alyssa Cucci, Karolina Gierlach, Ryan Miller, Zach Taylor, and  Zoe Taylor
  • Director Elite Member: Alyssa Cucci and Brody Fussell
  • Third Place Overall: Alyssa Cucci, Ryan Miller, Karolina Gierlach, and Ryan Miller
  • Manager Elite Member: Karolina Gierlach
  • Test Medals: Stanley Kumka and  Zoe Taylor
  • International Qualifiers: Ty Burke, Cole Callister, Faith Craig, Alyssa Cucci, Brody Fussell, Karolina Gierlach, Nathan Lundy, Ryan Miller, Martin Olloren, Nicholas Perez, Tanner Smith, Zoe Taylor, and Zach Taylor

Valley Vista High School
  • Third Place Hospitality and Tourism and International Qualifier: Danielle Diaz

Willow Canyon High School
  • Chapter Awards: Platinum Chapter Award,  Chapter Campaign Thrive Award, and School Based Enterprises Gold Certification
  • International Qualifiers: Edith Micu, Cassidy Cosgrove, Kayla Cosgrove, Lexi Bradley, Julia Stangler, Ariell Millican, and Cassidy Elinkski

The FCCLA State Leadership competition allows local chapter teams to compete in several different events representing a range of business, career, and leadership development activities. Valley Vista High School Culinary FCCLA students were presented with the recognitions below.
  • Silver Medal Job Interview: Tailynn Maldonado
  • Silver Medal Cupcake Decorating: Hailey Aegerter
  • Silver Medal Salad Preparation: Nina Rosales
  • Silver Medal Cake Decorating:  Ashley Murrell
  • Bronze Medal Salad Preparation: Erubiel Contreras
  • Bronze Medal Mystery Basket: Chris Flores
  • Bronze Medal Culinary Knife Skills : Gericho Hudson, Mak Mark, and Sabastian Nowell
  • Bronze Medal Cake Decorating: Sofia Rios
  • Bronze Medal Baking Basics:  Velia Rodriguez, and Aminah Smith
  • Bronze Medal Front of the House:  Trinnity Scott
  • Bronze Medal Chicken Fabrication: Janessa Wilhelm

The HOSA Spring Leadership Conference allows students develop leadership and technical HOSA skill competencies through a program of motivation, awareness, and recognition. The students below were honored with recognitions.

Dysart High School (pictured)
  • Chapter Awards: Outstanding Chapter Award, National Service Project, Qualified for Internationals
  • First Place Gold Medal in Community Awareness: Marcos Alcantar, Elizabeth Topete, and Callista Garcia
  • First Place Gold Medal in Life Support Skills: Leah Gill
  • Healthcare Issues Exams: Savannah Baker, Hana Ladig, and Ashley Cruz Cabrera
  • Barbara James Service Award: Ashley Cruz Cabrera, Saul Montenegro and Mackenzie Mitchell
  • International Qualifiers: Dysart Chapter, Marcos Alcantar, Elizabeth Topete, Francisco Morales, Mackenzie Mitchell, Savannah Baker, Saul Montenegro, Ashley Cruz Cabrera, Hana Ladig, and Leah Gill.

Valley Vista High School’s Garret Confer placed third in Life Support Skills and will move on to Nationals.

Willow Canyon High School
  • Fifth Place HOSA Bowl: Christina Duelka, Alex Munoz, and Lauren Elinski
  • Fifth Place Medical Terminology: Meera Gardner
  • Fifth Place Human Growth and Development: Mikaela Milanes
  • Fifth Place Health Education: Lorianna Daoud and Sirrae Heacock
  • National Qualifiers: Meera Gardner and  Milkaela Milanes
  • $500 HOSA Scholarship: Rebecca Carreto

The SkillsUSA Arizona Championships features 70 skill and leadership competitions that determine who will represent Arizona at the national SkillsUSA championships. Employers, experts from industry, and educators work together to design, judge, and recognize members for their accomplishments in competitions that have real-world challenges. Contestants use math, science, reading, and language skills in conjunction with hands-on technical skills to compete against students from Arizona.  The following students were awarded below.

Dysart High School
  • Bronze Medal-Quiz Bowl: Luis Brito, Brenden Brinkman, Krenar Hoxha, Patrick Ahlberg, and Trey Taylor
  • Bronze Medal-Career Pathways: Jazmine Rocha, Alexis Henry, Evelin Rosales,Florissa Ledesma, Ma Zermeno, and Bailey Wise
  • Bronze Medal- Employment Application Process: Alex Alvarado Ochoa

Shadow Ridge High School
  • Gold Medal 2018 Architectural Drafting: Sean Morey
  • Gold Medal Automated Manufacturing Technology: Dawson Clifton, Anthony Tong, and Eduardo Alcantar
  • Gold Medal Mobile Robotics: Patrick Fox and Alan Winter
  • Silver Medal 3D Visualization and Animation: Isabelle Singleton and
  • Ray Armijo
  • Silver Medal Advertising Design: Kaitlyn Smalley
  • Silver Medal Mobile Robotics: Logan King and Darek Sikorski
  • Bronze Medal Architecture Drafting: Rei Karki
  • Bronze Medal Advertising Design: Jamie Palacios
  • National Qualifiers: Sean Morey, Dawson Clifton, Anthony Tong, Eduardo Alcantar,
  • Patrick Fox, Alan Winter, Logan King, and Darek Sikorski

Valley Vista High School
  • Silver Medal Career Pathways Showcase-Information Technology Competition: Ashton Anderson, Warren Hodgson, and Michael Rocha

Willow Canyon High School
  • Chapter Awards: Gold Chapter of Distinction and Model of Excellence Awards
  • Gold Medal Quiz Bowl: Mitchell Zimmermann, Desiree Nelson, Melanie Wigner, Kai Sanford, and  Nicole Gutierrez
  • Gold Medal Extemporaneous Speaking: Jacob Eslick
  • Gold Medal Chapter Display: Justin Angel, Hunter Skoro, and Alexia White
  • Silver Medal Career Pathways Showcase, Arts and Communication: Percy Humphrey, Alexis Covarrubio, and Sinatala Tupua
  • Silver Medal Interactive Application and Game Design: Aiden Giles and Orion Evans
  • Silver Medal Photography Basic: Diannie Chavez
  • Bronze Medal Opening and Closing Ceremonies: Andrew Heinrich, Hannahlise Diggs, Trevor Tuttle, Cassidy Johnston, Megan Hutflesz, Morgan Percy-Fine, and Patty Arban
  • Bronze Medal Entrepreneurship: Bernard Angelo Ramos, Chad Corbett, Tim Russell, and Lacie Dickey
  • Bronze Medal Web Design: Percy Humphrey and Kai Sanford
  • Bronze Medal Action Skills: Malachi Delgado
  • Bronze Medal Promotional Bulletin Board: Diannie Chavez, Kaylee Gordon, and Ariana Peterson
  • National Representatives: Patty Arban, Jacob Eslick, Aiden Giles, Orion Evans, Trevor Tuttle, and Morgan Percy-Fine, Justin Angel, Hunter Skoro, Alexia White, Mitchell Zimmermann, Desiree Nelson, Melanie Wigner, Kai Sanford, and Nicole Gutierrez.

DECA, HOSA, FCCLA, and SkillsUSA are a few of the many Career and Technical Education opportunities offered to prepare students for the academic and vocational skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce.  Learn more at
Posted : 6/1/2018 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge TheRIOT wins honors
October 27, 2017

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Shadow Ridge High School TheRIOT Yearbook staff members as they took home six awards from the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association Fall Conference.   

Students submitted work from all sections of the 2016-2017 yearbook and were awarded based on journalistic integrity, coverage, photography, graphic design, writing style and content. Students walked away with ratings of Superior and Excellent in categories such Sports Action Photos, Index, Senior Superlatives, Student Life Photos, and Overall Spread Design.
Posted : 12/13/2017 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge counselor receives ACTE Career Guidance Award
October 9, 2017

Congratulations to Jan Fellow, counselor from Shadow Ridge High School.  Ms. Fellow received the Arizona Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Region Five Career Guidance Award.  This award recognizes school counselors who made significant contributions to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in his/her communities and/or state.

She was honored based on her efforts to raise retention and graduation rates through promoting CTE programs.  Jan expanded participation in both the Business and Marketing and Medical programs through classroom visits and Freshman Family Night.  Ms. Fellow will advance to the national level for the opportunity to receive the ACTE Excellence Award of the Year in December.

The ACTE is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, guidance, and career development professionals and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.
Posted : 12/13/2017 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge Architecture students host YouthBuild/Friendly House
September 14, 2017

Shadow Ridge High School architecture students recently hosted YouthBuild/Friendly House students and faculty members for training on design and drafting skills through Softplan 2018 Pro architectural design software. The Shadow Ridge students served as "company trainers' and the YouthBuild students took on the role of "new company trainees" as they designed and drafted residential floor plans. This community service effort provided authentic workplace skills to both groups of students.

YouthBuild/Friendly House of Phoenix, is a national community service and education non-profit organization that provides youths with academic education, construction and occupational skills, leadership training, and community service learning. With the guidance and benefits provided by this program, youths will obtain their GED/HSE (High School Equivalency), construction certification, and move on to college, an apprenticeship or a career, making them independent, successful individuals.

The award winning Signature Architecture Program at Shadow Ridge High School is one of the many Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities at the Dysart Unified School District that allows students to achieve academic excellence through authentic, hands-on, career focused learning.
Posted : 12/13/2017 | Direct Link
Valley Vista High School student elected as National FCCLA Officer
July 18, 2017

Stephen Goodman, a senior at Valley Vista High School, has been elected the 2017-2018 National Vice President of Membership of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Stephen was one of ten officers elected during the 2017 FCCLA National Leadership Conference, held July 2nd-6th in Nashville.

The election took place during a five day leadership event centered on the theme, “Unlimited Possibilities.” During the week, more than 7,000 FCCLA members, advisers, alumni, and guests attended workshops and sessions on relevant youth issues such as career preparation, financial literacy, environmental education, traffic safety, community service, and leadership development.

Along with nine other members of the National Executive Council, Stephen will travel to FCCLA national headquarters in Virginia during the year to attend training and program planning sessions. He will also help set policies, develop future goals, and will represent the organization by leading workshops and giving speeches locally and nationally for the organization as a committee member of the FCCLA National Board of Directors.

FCCLA is a Career and Technical Student Organizations specifically for students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs within the Dysart Unified School District. These organizations engage students through focus on CTE application activities such as developing and practicing leadership roles and applying specific occupational and academic content knowledge as an integral part of the instructional program.

FCCLA helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has more than 160,000 members and more than 5,400 chapters.
Posted : 8/28/2017 | Direct Link
WCHS and DHS students earn high marks on HOSA Exam
July 13, 2017

Congratulations to Jacob Masny, Willow Canyon High School student and Mohammed Karimi, from Dysart High School who earned high marks on the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Health Care Issues Exam at the HOSA International Leadership Conference June 23, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Both Jacob and Mohammed achieved the mastery level on the exam and were recognized on stage in front of more than 10,000 HOSA members.

HOSA is a Career and Technical Student Organizations specifically for students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs within the Dysart Unified School District. These organizations engage students through focus on CTE application activities such as developing and practicing leadership roles and applying specific occupational and academic content knowledge as an integral part of the instructional program.

The mission of HOSA is to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality healthcare by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science education students, therefore, helping the student meet the needs of the healthcare community. The purpose of the HOSA organization is to develop leadership and technical HOSA skill competencies through a program of motivation, awareness and recognition, which is an integral part of the Health Science Education instructional program.

 HOSA students at the HOSA International Leadership Conference
Posted : 8/28/2017 | Direct Link
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