Tag Archives: Student

Fun photos from school: Centennial celebrations at Gilbert Public Schools

Seventh-grade students at Desert Ridge Junior High in Mesa were given the assignment to come up with creative ways to commemorate Arizona’s 100-year birthday. Projects ranged from 100 flags in front of the school to a quilt made by students to 100 acts of kindness.

Julie Rainwater’s class re-created the Arizona state flag in a desert setting using the five C’s: cotton, copper, climate, citrus, and cattle. Another project was to complete 100 acts of kindness.

Left to right: Samantha Schuelke, Rylee May and Fatima Rahim.

Collin Coyle-Brinkmeyer stands in front of a sign labeled with the 100 good deeds students had done in the last month.

The main hallway at Carol Rae Ranch Elementary in Gilbert showcased an enormous centennial paper quilt with 702 squares designed by students and other centennial posters and projects. The PTSO provided 10 birthday cakes so everyone could have a piece.

Carol Rae Ranch Principal Geane Flournoy and fourth-graders (from left) Caitlyn Strauss, Xavier Rollier, Abrey Huso, Kent Garner and Spencer Holt.

Meridian Elementary preschool classroom kicked off its study of Arizona’s desert with a visit from Wildman Phil of Desert Wildlife Presentations. He showed the children a variety of native reptiles and desert dwellers, starting with scorpions and tarantulas and moving up to lizards, king snakes and tortoises. The children were able to hold and touch most of the animals as they learned about their habitats and diets.

The highlight came when Phil brought out a giant python named Patches. Although the python isn’t native to Arizona, the children were fascinated with her enormous size, and the fact that it took the entire class to hold her.

Students in Gwynne Fullmer’s preschool class holding Patches the python. From left: Logan Kirshman, Jazelle Leavitt, Sayanette Gomez, Annabelle Betush, Neve Portnoy, Daenon Davis, and Madisyn Davis.

All photos courtesy of Gilbert Public Schools.

Want to see your school’s FUN photos featured? Send digital images and descriptions to: editorial@raisingarizonakids.com.


Student awarded scholarship to attend Tesseract School

Freshman Ellis Green has received the first Ruth and David Learner Scholarship from Tesseract School.

The scholarship was created in August 2011 to allow talented high school students to enroll at the private school when they otherwise would not be able to afford it.

The scholarship was awarded to Ellis because he “embodies the zeal for learning and education that was envisioned when creating this scholarship,” Nathan Learner, Tesseract School parent and board member, said in a press release.

Green participated in many academic competitions throughout middle school, including spelling bees, science fairs and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth competitions. He also enjoys playing clarinet and piano, hiking, swimming and creating computer-aided design projects. In order to incorporate a challenging yet nourishing academic environment that also met Green’s other interests, his parents began looking for the right high school.

After an unsuccessful start to his freshman year, Green’s parents looked into Tesseract.

“Tesseract’s learning environment is ideal for Ellis – it is personal, creative, challenging and meaningful,” Green’s father, Tyler Green, said in a press release. “The start to his freshman year at another school was distressing to him. Now he comes home and describes his classes as ‘awesome’ and ‘fantastic’ and his teachers as ‘really, really there for me.’ This school has been miraculous for him.”

The Ruth and David Learner Scholarship made it possible for Green to experience Tesseract School.

“We hope he is the first of many students who will gain access to Tesseract education via the Learner Scholarship,” Learner said.

The school also offers other scholarships in a variety of areas. To learn about the scholarship program and how to apply contact the director of admissions and community relations, Scott Salk, at 480-385-3673. To learn more about Tesseract School visit tesseractschool.org. — Amy Vogelsang

New Vistas World’s Fair event celebrates a diverse student population


Dressed in traditional costumes, Breanna Tang, Rachel Dai and Alisha Shirodkar look forward to representing their native China. Photo: New Vistas Center for Education.

New Vistas Center for Education presents a World’s Fair each year to highlight the geography, history, culture, traditions and interests of other countries, many of which are represented by its diverse student population.

The 30th annual World’s Fair celebration will be held from 6 to 7:30pm Thursday, Dec. 15, at the private school, located in Chandler. The event is open to the public.

Because Chandler’s high-tech industries attract professionals from around the world, 70 percent of New Vistas’ student population are from nations other than the United States. This year’s student body includes children from 20 countries and four continents. Some students speak several different languages.

“With such a mixture of cultures, our children receive an education that reaches far beyond traditional subject matter,” says Carol Elias, co-director of the school.

Each classroom incorporates the study of several countries throughout the year, culminating in the World’s Fair. During the event, children, their parents and extended families visit classrooms decorated to represent the countries studied. They are able to “travel” from the African continent to Asia, Europe and Central and South America, immersed in the music and traditions of each nation, especially those surrounding unique holiday celebrations.

The United States also takes a prominent position as a nation made up of immigrants from around the globe.

To cap off the evening, students and families visit a map room and note their home countries with pins bearing flags. The interactive, wall-to-wall map is a permanent and ongoing tribute to the school’s growing student population.

Founded in 1979, New Vistas operates as a private preschool through sixth grade from August through May and a private preschool through high school from June to August. It is located at 670 N. Arizona Ave. #35i in Chandler. 480-963-2313 or newvistasaz.com.

Friday FUN photos from school: How about those strings?

Bicentennial South Elementary School had a special visit recently from members of the strings section for the Phoenix Symphony. As these pictures clearly show, even classical musicians can be rock stars in a child’s eyes.

Bicentennial South is located at 7301 N. 58th Ave. in Glendale, and is part of the Glendale Elementary School District, which shared the pictures. The Phoenix Symphony offers a number of educational outreach programs for students. Learn more.

Want to see your school featured next Friday? Send your FUN photos to: editorial@raisingarizonakids.com.

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Friday FUN photos from school: A lesson in keeping promises

First the cute little baby pig...

Finley Farms Elementary Principal John Maas is a man of his word. He challenged his students to sell more than 650 Entertainment Books at $30 each during a recent fundraiser for the school’s parent-teacher organization (PTO). He promised that if they reached their goal, he would kiss a pig.

The students topped out at 730 coupon books, raising more than $10,000, which will be used for technology at the 950-student school.

Maas kissed two pigs at each of three assemblies, proving to his students that promises made, are promises kept.

Finley Farms, part of the Gilbert Public Schools district, is located at 375 S. Columbus Dr. in Gilbert.

...then the real porker!

From the looks on their faces, it seems the students may not have believed that Maas would actually do it. All photos courtesy of Gilbert Public Schools.

Want to see your school featured next Friday? Send your FUN photos to: editorial@raisingarizonakids.com.

New curriculum at Liberty High gets down to business

Peoria Unified School District’s Liberty High School has partnered with the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University to provide students with a college preparatory program with a specialized business curriculum.

The College Prep Business Academy at Liberty High School will offer freshmen through seniors a comprehensive business program that mentors students and prepares them for college. Liberty students also will have the opportunity to take community-college courses at a discounted rate to get ahead in their university studies. The dual-enrollment courses will focus on classes most beneficial for eventual credit transfer to ASU.

“We surveyed our graduating seniors and found that many plan to major in business and eventually obtain a career within the business field,” says Liberty High School Principal Ali Bridgewater. “By partnering with the W. P. Carey School of Business, we believe we can provide specialized assistance to our students to prepare them for success after graduation.”

W. P. Carey School faculty members are consulting with Liberty teachers to assist in developing a comprehensive business curriculum. Students will focus on core business fields such as accounting, management and marketing. Students will also have access to seminars, guest speakers and student mentors from the business school, which is ranked among the Top 30 business schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

“The students will be put on a path that gives them a great head start for business school in college,” says Tim Desch, assistant dean for undergraduate admissions. “In addition to the business-oriented courses offered at Liberty, students will also participate in a Capstone College Readiness Program offered by the W. P. Carey School at ASU’s West campus. This is a location near Liberty High that also may be ideal for these students to eventually attend college. By then, they will have met professors, advisers and W. P. Carey School students, and they will have a real advantage in adapting to college life.”

To learn more information about enrolling a student in the College Prep Business Academy at Liberty High School, call 623-773-6525or visit peoriaud.k12.az.us.

BASIS opens Chandler campus

BASIS Schools will celebrate the opening of a new campus in Chandler tomorrow with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at which Gov. Jan Brewer will speak.

The BASIS Chandler campus will offer a rigorous curriculum for fifth through 10th grade students this August, expanding to fifth through 12th grades by the fall of 2013.

BASIS has been operating charter schools in Arizona for a decade. The school’s first two campuses opened in Tucson and Scottsdale, and both have received top national rankings by such publications as Newsweek, BusinessWeek, US News and World Report, and the Washington Post. A third campus in Oro Valley opened last year.

The ceremony commences at 9 a.m., and will take place at the new campus, located at 1800 E. Chandler Boulevard.

Seating is limited, so RSVPs are required for the event. To reserve a seat, call 480-289-2088 or email arwynn.gilroy@basiseducation.net. — Sadie Smeck