Debbie Lindley and Stephanie Clay have coordinated the College Shower at South Mountain for the past several years with donations from various staff. This year, they received a little extra support from a grant from Reach Higher. South Mountain received one of 200 $500 grants intended to cover the cost of supplies for the College Signing Day event. Various local and national donors contributed $115.31 while the remaining $431.69 was paid by the grant from the College Football Playoffs Foundation and Reach Higher. Approximately 80 students participated in South’s event, May 5.
Andriana Jordan, a senior in the Visual Arts Magnet at South Mountain High School won this year’s Congressional Art Competition. She was awarded by Congressman Ruben Gallego of District 7, May 11 at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness in Phoenix. She will travel to Washington, D.C. for an annual awards ceremony, and her work will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.
Jordan was accompanied by her family, South’s Art magnet manager Erik Erspamer and art teacher Vivian Spiegelman. South’s Shanae Hollins placed third in the contest.
North’s Swimming & Diving team has four Academic All-Americans. Seniors Tracy Flores, Jellsy Gonzalez, Maryjane Macias, and Ally Lang. The award is given by NISCA (National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.) All-Americans must be on varsity swim and/or dive for a minimum of two years with one being their senior year, have a 3.75 or above on the NISCA grade scale through seven semesters, recommendations from the coach and a verified application from school officials. Only 2% of all swimmers in the nation receive this honor.
North High Swimming, under the direction of Coach David Smithers, has had 77 Academic All-Americans in its 21 year history.
Million dollar scholars are becoming more common around the District. Those are students who have been offered multiple scholarships calculated over four years. However, one North High student, Rita Anane Wae may have topped the $2 million mark. Her scholarship totals were tallied for one year, not four, and they came to over $500,000. She has decided to study biochemistry at the University of Virginia, at $65,000 for one year, but she received 18 scholarship offers, including some that will be applied to her post-secondary career. Among the schools that offered scholarships were Kenyon College, Gettysburg College, Grinnell College, Middlebury College, University of Southern California and New York Institute of Technology.
Yadira Min Reyes Garcia, a sophomore student at Metro Tech, was recently recognized and awarded by the National Center for Women & Information Technology for her achievements and pursuit in a career field in Technology. She is currently taking honors classes with a focus in Engineering or Computer & Network Technologies. A duplicate of Yadira’s award was given to Metro Tech for their efforts in inspiring and encouraging young high school females in their pursuit of STEM careers.
Goodwill and Metro Tech Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) had workshops about resume writing and interview skills all day, May 8. Over 325 students attended.
They learned many concepts such as not to put their home address on their resumes due to privacy, be sure to have a professional email address with their first and last name in it, and when using a phone number, that all the greetings are professional, all members of the family are aware you are expecting a call about a job and you are notified of any messages.
These workshops were held to help prepare students for the District Wide student Job Fair being held May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Metro Tech. There will be permanent jobs, part-time jobs and summer jobs available.
Due their efforts and achievements in the Verizon Innovative Learning Program, two Maryvale students, Hillary Camacho Ruelas and Charley Garay received a special invite to collaborate in a technology round table for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office oversees the election process for all of Maricopa County (which is the fourth largest county in the U.S. with over 4 million residents). Students received a tour of the facility and were able to learn and get a behind the scene look at the ballot and election process. The students were among the first to pilot a new technology for the early voting process which will be launching later this year. Students then met with elections staff and gave their feedback on the new technology. Students were able to ask questions and provide input regarding a new app for registering voters.
Four cadets from the Carl Hayden JROTC program, their instructor, and their school resource officer set out and completed the 21-mile south to north rim hike across the Grand Canyon, May 13. Luis Cruzes; Gabriella Mada; Osvaldo Alvarez and Omar Reyes joined JROTC instructor Sergeant 1st Class Mark Ellison and SRO Juan Poland. For the cadets, the hike culminated six months of conditioning, physical training, mental preparation, and classes on fitness and nutrition.
“The hike, while taxing on their muscles and feet, was a personally rewarding experience for the cadets and a once in a lifetime event they will never forget,” Ellison said.
A Cesar Chavez coach and athletic director captured honors at the inaugural All-Phoenix Union Sports Awards, May 9 at Central High School. Basketball coach Gary Lee was the Coach of the Year, and Stacie Porras was selected as the Athletic Director of the Year.
Lee has been the only head basketball coach at the school, finishing up his 18th year at Chavez, and 26th year in the District. His Champions were 24-5 this year, 10-0 in the Metro Region, and advanced to the Final Four of the 6A State Championship Tournament. He has had many region titles and playoff appearances, including two state runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2012.
“The best part of being associated with the program is seeing former players graduate from college. Chavez is proud to have many players continue to play basketball in college,” Lee said.
His father Jerry P. Lee, is a member of the Arizona Coaches Hall of Fame and Arizona Track Coaches Hall of Fame. He owes a lot to the examples of his father and others in his life.
“I have had many opportunities to develop has a person and a coach from my father, his peers at Benson High School and participating in sports programs at Phoenix College and ASU.”
Porras has served as an Assistant Principal for Student Opportunities overseeing athletics and activities at Cesar Chavez for the past four years. In her time at Chavez, Ms. Porras’ programs have produced numerous region champions and state qualifiers as well as many state champions in individual sports. Porras also works to instill in her coaching staff and student-athletes strong character, competitiveness and accountability. She emphasizes with her athletes that the true goal of sports is to provide them with another opportunity to reach their potential both academically and in life. Porras is an active member of the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Johnson Truong, a math teacher with Camelback Montessori was selected as one of Diamondback's Most Valuable Teacher, and was honored at the May 12 Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. F He was awarded $1,000 to use in his classroom.