Akimel celebrates Patriotic Day

For 17 years, students, staff, families and community members have come together at Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School to celebrate Patriotic Day. The tradition began in 1994 when Akimel was named a World War II Commemorative School, the only middle school in Arizona to achieve this honor.

This year’s ceremony took place March 26 in the school’s gymnasium and was attended by sixth- and seventh-grade students, families, alumni, school and district staff, local military members and veterans organizations. For many years, the colors have been presented by members of the American Legion Post 64. Akimel students provided musical presentations and speeches and presented visiting veterans with American flag pins. Lagos Elementary School kindergarten students performed a medley of patriotic songs.

After the ceremony, Akimel’s Parent Teacher Student Organization hosted a breakfast for visitors, and tours were given by members of the Student Council and National Junior Honor Society.


CGCC celebrates National Poetry Month

Chandler-Gilbert Community College will be celebrate National Poetry Month in April by hosting a variety of events at the campus at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler.

The library and the college’s Creative Writing Club will host poetry readings by Maricopa Community College District creative writing and English faculty at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 1.

The annual Poetry Slam Competition gets under way at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22. Students and community members of all levels of experience are invited to share their work of personal expression through vibrant, spoken-word poetry. Entry guidelines are available by calling Kim Chuppa-Cornell at (480) 732-7022 or online at www.cgc.edu.

These events are free and open to the public and will be held on the first floor of the library.


Science Center brings programs to Monte Vista

Arizona Science Center’s “Science on Wheels” outreach programs are bringing science experiments to life in classrooms at Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School.

Science Center staff taught “Constructioneering” to kindergartners on Jan. 21 and to first-graders on March 23. Kindergartners learned the basics of construction and engineering by using straws and connectors to make a room-sized city, and first-graders combined a mix of construction and engineering basics into a fun team building project using straws and connectors.

On Feb. 4, fourth-graders learned about electricity in the “Charged Up” program. Students made the fans go, the lights shine and learned the basics in electricity with individual kits provided by the Science Center.

“Chemysteries” was the program for fifth-graders on Feb. 16. With goggles on and chemistry kits out, they learned about the scientific method and watched chemical reactions ... with an exploding conclusion outside!

Second-graders experienced “Chemysteries” on March 26, and third-graders will get to crack open and identify rocks after learning about them in the “Arizona Rocks” program on April 1.


Open house at educational center

Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, an internationally recognized leader in literacy research, remediation and professional development, will host an informational open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 7, at the Scottsdale Learning Center, 10617 N. Hayden Road, Building B, Suite 101, Scottsdale.

This free event is open to the public and will include presentations about Lindamood-Bell programs at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., student demonstrations and activities for children.

To RSVP, call (480) 922-5675 or e-mail scottsdale.center@lindamoodbell.com. More information on Lindamood-Bell is available at www.lindamoodbell.com.


SMCC presents storyteller Antonio Sacre

The South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute will present nationally renowned storyteller Antonio Sacre as the featured presenter at the 2010 SMCC Storytelling Festival taking place April 8 to 10.

Sacre, born in Boston to a Cuban father and Irish-American mother, is an internationally touring writer, storyteller, and solo performance artist based in Los Angeles.

Sacre will perform the storytelling concert “Looking for Papito” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 9, in the SMCC Performance Hall, 7050 S. 24th St. He will also conduct a storytelling workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 10, in the SMCC Studio Theatre.

The festival begins with two free Community Storytelling sessions at 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 8 in the SMCC Student Union.

General admission tickets to Friday night’s concert are $10 per person and are available online at www.showup.com and at the door. The cost for Saturday’s workshop is $25 per person ($10 for Maricopa Community College students with ID.)

For more information, visit www.smcstorytelling.com, call Liz at (602) 243-8026 or e-mail liz.warren@smcmail.maricopa.edu


Estrella offers art walk and school carnival

Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School’s art walk and carnival is set for Friday, April 9.

The art walk will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Estrella (2620 E. Liberty Lane), showcasing student artwork completed in the art masterpiece program.

The carnival will run rain or shine (indoors) at Akimel A-al Middle School (next door at 2720 E. Liberty Lane) from 6 to 9 p.m. Bring the whole family for a night of family fun with bouncers, game trucks, games, silent auction (to support the art masterpiece progam) and food. Carnival wristbands, tickets and meal pre-sales are available in advance and will be ready for pickup on the day of the event.

For details, e-mail Susan at themommi@hotmail.


Chen receives Flinn Foundation Scholarship

Desert Vista High School senior Dominic Chen has been selected as a Flinn Foundation Scholarship award recipient. Chen is one of 23 students in the state to receive this award, valued at $50,000 including full tuition and fees, to an in-state university as well as summer travel opportunities.


More Maricopa Community College students eligible to save tuition money at ASU

A partnership program between the Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University is now available to more students majoring in more subjects than ever.

The Maricopa-ASU Pathways Program (MAPP) has been expanded from 31 to 50 of the most popular majors among Maricopa Community College students who transfer to ASU. That means Maricopa students who sign up for a MAPP can potentially save thousands of dollars in tuition throughout their student years. They can do so by taking part in a cost-saving incentive at ASU called the Tuition Commitment Program that provides predictable increases of no more than 5% on tuition during completion of their bachelor’s degree at ASU.

The MAPP is an excellent option for students who are decided on a major and plan to transfer to ASU to earn a bachelor’s degree. This program includes the specific coursework that allows students attending one of the Maricopa Community Colleges to transfer to ASU without loss of credit. Each MAPP represents the pathway a student in a specific major must take to be able to seamlessly transfer from a Maricopa Community College to ASU. Along the pathway, students will earn an Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) and a transfer associate’s degree.

To be eligible for the Tuition Commitment for the 2009-10 academic year, students must sign up for a MAPP with an academic advisor at their community college before May 14.

To get started, students should visit www.maricopa.edu/alliance and click on “Getting Started on a MAPP.”

In addition to the Tuition Commitment, Maricopa students who participate in the MAPP also are eligible for the Alliance Merit Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to Maricopa Community College students who have completed an associate’s degree with a cumulative transfer GPA of 3.75 or higher.


Former CGCC administrators endow scholarship funds

Two former Chandler-Gilbert Community College administrators are making college possible for students who may not otherwise have been able to pursue their dream of a higher education.

Former CGCC president Dr. Maria Hesse and former Vice President of Academic Affairs Lois Bartholomew endowed scholarship funds last fall, which inspired the launch of the college’s “Be the Connection Student Scholarship Campaign.” The goal of the campaign is 100 percent employee participation, along with contributions from community partners. The campaign has raised more than $80,000 to date to fund these scholarships, and the Arnette S. Ward General Scholarship fund.

The Maria L. Hesse Service and Leadership Scholarship Fund is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional leadership and service to the college and the community, and the Lois M. Bartholomew Emergency Scholarship Fund is awarded to students faced with unforeseeable emergency needs.

For more information or to donate to the Be the Connection campaign, access www.cgc.edu/betheconnection or call (480) 732-7030.


Kyrene rankings top all in classroom spending

The Auditor General’s report “Arizona Public School Districts’ Dollars Spent in the Classroom Fiscal Year 2009” has been released. This report provides a snapshot of how Arizona’s school districts are spending the funds they receive. The report categorizes dollars spent in two broad categories - “Classroom Instruction” (or “dollars spent in the classroom”) and “Non-classroom.”

This report presents statewide trends in classroom and non-classroom spending, including a preliminary analysis of the association between the percentage of dollars spent in the classroom and student achievement.

Kyrene continues to rank at the top of list for classroom spending. The report once again showed that Kyrene spends more money in the classroom than any other like-sized district. In fact, Kyrene ranked ninth highest in the state above more than 200 other school districts. The eight schools above Kyrene represent two “medium sized” districts of 600 to 1,999 students and six “very small” districts with less than 200 students.

The statewide average for instructional spending was 57.5 percent. Within the category of “large school districts” (like Kyrene) the average instructional percentage was 56.9 percent. Kyrene spends 62.9 percent of its funds in the classroom. This is a 9.4 percent higher than the state average. In the other “non-classroom categories,” Kyrene demonstrated excellence above their peers, as well: Kyrene spends 20.4 percent less in administration than its peers, 22.8 percent less in plant operations cost than its peers and 27.3 percent less in transportation than its peers.


Summit School of Ahwatukee earns national accreditation

Patrick O’Brien, head of school, has announced that Summit School of Ahwatukee has earned nationally recognized accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.

To earn accreditation, schools must meet NCA CASI’s high standards and be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school. Accredited schools demonstrate that they have a rigorous curriculum taught through sound, research-based methods; collect, report and use performance results; provide adequate resources and support for its educational programs; have a clear vision and purpose; have effective and responsive leadership; and have a commitment to continuously improve. These standards are derived from educational research and best practices.

NCA CASI accreditation is recognized internationally, which assures parents that the school is meeting high standards for quality and successful professional practice.

Parents and interested community members may learn more about accreditation at www.advanc-ed.org.


W. P. Carey School ranks in Top 20 for business research

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University ranks among the Top 20 schools in the nation and the Top 25 schools in the world for business research productivity. The new rankings come in an annual study from the University of Texas at Dallas. The list is based on research contributions to top business journals from 2005 to 2009. The W. P. Carey School of Business ranks No. 20 in the United States and No. 23 in the world. This is the school’s second straight year in the Top 25 nationwide.

For more information, visit wpcarey.asu.edu.


‘How to Choose a Catholic School’ booklet available

A booklet entitled “How to Choose a Catholic School” is available online through the Diocesan Web site at www.diocesephoenix.org/catholicSchools/schoolchoice.htm.

A booklet can be obtained by calling (602) 354-2345.

Produced by the Diocesan Catholic Schools Office, the booklet provides a practical vehicle for interested parents to decide which of the 25 Catholic pre-schools, 29 Catholic elementary schools and six Catholic high schools are right for their families.


Ironwood Hall now open at CGCC

Chandler-Gilbert Community College is celebrating the opening of Ironwood Hall on the college’s Pecos Campus at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler. A multi-purpose classroom building, Ironwood contains physical science laboratories, general education classrooms, lecture halls and faculty offices. A new ceramics studio lies adjacent to the hall features 24 potters’ wheels, natural light and professional-grade kilns.

Just outside of the building is a two-story “Grand Canyon rock wall,” depicting the geological strata of Grand Canyon, which will be utilized as a teaching tool in the college’s geology classes.

The design and construction of LEED-certified Ironwood Hall honors the college’s commitment to environmental stewardship by incorporating sustainable materials and strategies. 


Coronado High School sets tri-class reunion

Coronado High School in Scottsdale will host its tri-class reunion for the classes of 1969, ‘70 and ‘71 on April 30 and May 1.

For details, visit www.coronadohigh.com.


Seton Catholic students present check to Shifting Gears program

Last month 549 Seton Catholic students participated in the 25th Annual Seton ‘THON, a student-led 5K walk-a-thon. The students raised almost $27,000 (a 28 percent increase over last year) and presented a check for $5,000 to St. Vincent de Paul Shifting Gears Ministry Program.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor and providing others with the opportunity to serve.


Chandler Service Club offers scholarships

Chandler Service Club, a community-based philanthropic organization, established the Chandler Service Club Community Scholarship program in 1979 to provide financial support to deserving students who are residents of the East Valley.

Applications for the Chandler Community Scholarships may include new, continuing or re-entry college students who reside in the greater Chandler community (East Valley) and who will be attending an advanced educational institution within the state of Arizona. Current year graduating high school seniors are not eligible for one year following high school graduation. Other requirements include enrollment in a minimum of six hours in an accredited program per semester, a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and U.S. citizenship.

Applications and further information are available at www.chandlerserviceclub.org or by contacting Gwen Rusk at CSCscholarship@gmail.com. The deadline for submitting an application is April 15.


Parent orientations for incoming Kyrene 6th-graders

The Kyrene School District has scheduled the following middle school orientations for parents of incoming sixth-graders:

• Altadeña Middle School, 14620 S. Desert Foothills Parkway, 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 20 (feeder elementary schools are Sierra, Monte Vista and Cerritos);

• Centennial Middle School, 13808 S. 36th St., 5:30 or 6:30 p.m. April 22 (feeder schools are Esperanza, Lomas and Colina); and

• Akimel A-al Middle School, 2720 E. Liberty Lane, 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 28 (feeder schools are Milenio, Lagos and Estrella).

For more information, visit www.kyrene.org.


SMCC presents student art show, spring play

The annual South Mountain Community College Student Art Show features works by students who have studied visual arts at the college during the 2009-10 fall and spring semesters. The exhibit will be staged in the Student Union at 7050 S. 24th St., and admission is free. An opening reception for the art show features a performance by the SMCC Jazz Ensemble and takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. The exhibit will continue through Friday, April 23.

The spring play, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer: Writings To Stop Violence Against Women and Girls, is a collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, including Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Anna Deveare Smith, Howard Zinn, Kathy Najimy, Susan Miller, Edward Albee and Jane Fonda, edited and collected by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, April 21 to 23, in the Performance Hall.

General admission tickets for the spring play are $10 per person and are available online at www.showup.com and at the door. 

For more information, call (602) 243-8382 or e-mail smcc@smcmail.maricopa.edu


Desert Garden Montessori Middle School to open in August

Desert Garden Montessori, 5130 E. Warner Road, will open its middle school in August, and applications are now being accepted.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call (480) 496-9833 or visit www.desertgardenmontessori.org.


MPHS offering Summer Mathematics Academy

Mountain Pointe High School will host its inaugural Summer Mathematics Academy starting June 1 for students in fourth through eighth grade looking to advance their math skills.

The academy will offer sixth-grade math, seventh-grade math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Honors Geometry for middle/high school credit. Students will be issued textbooks and given direct instruction by highly-qualified math teachers and should bring a spiral notebook, pencils and folder.

Classes will meet 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday to Friday June 1 to July 9 (no classes July 5) at the school, 4201 E. Knox Road. The cost is $270.

For more information or to register, contact Stephen Heiser, Math Department chair, at (480) 759-6122, e-mail stheiser@tuhsd.k12.az.us or visit http://staff.tuhsd.k12.az.us/mtpmath/summer.


Scholarships for single parents returning to college

A limited number of tuition scholarships are available to single parents who have returned, or will return, to college after a break of at least one year due to family demands or other commitments.

South Mountain Community College is teaming with Dorrance Scholarship Programs to establish a scholarship program designed specifically for single parents. Awards are available for as much as $4,000 annually, for a maximum of six semesters (three years), and are renewable.

Applications must be received or postmarked by May 1.

For information regarding the scholarship program requirements and application, visit www.dorrancescholarship.org or contact Christopher Erran at (602) 305-5607 or christopher.erran@smcmail.maricopa.edu


SMCC opens enrollment for Summer BioScience Camp

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual installment of South Mountain Community College’s Bioscience Summer Camp for high school students, taking place in June at the college’s main campus at 7050 S. 24th St., just north of Baseline Road. The five week camp will run from 12:30 to 4:55 p.m. Monday through Thursday afternoons June 1 through July 1.

Sponsored by SMCC and AZ Tech Prep, the camp, intended for high school juniors and seniors, includes classroom and lab work in the fields of bioscience and genetic research, as well as field trips to TGen and ASU’s Biodesign Institutes. Participating students may also earn college credits for university transfer. 

Students accepted into the program will receive a stipend that will cover all camp costs, with the exception of a $30 non-refundable participation fee.

Interested students may apply online at http://biosci.southmountaincc.edu or by calling (602) 243-8034. The deadline for application is May 11.

For more information, call the number above or e-mail smcc@smcmail.maricopa.edu


MPHS Football Golf Classic coming in May

The Mountain Pointe High School Football Golf Classic will begin with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday, May 15, at the Foothills Golf Club, 2201 E. Clubhouse Dr.

The classic features a longest drive contest, closest to the pin contest, a hole-in-one competition and a silent auction.

The cost is $125 for a single player or $400 for a foursome. All proceeds benefit the MPHS football program, and many sponsorships are available.

For more information or to sign up, visit www.mphsfootball.com.


Awaken your employment status with a career in sleep disorders technology

Are you tired of your current career or employment status? Revitalize it and train to become a Polysomnographic Technologist at GateWay Community College in just eight months. Beginning this May, GWCC will offer a new certificate program in Polysomnography Technology (PSG); the only such program in the state of Arizona. The PSG program will train students to monitor and analyze patients with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy and various parasomnias.

For details, contact an advisor at (602) 286-8183 or visit www.gatewaycc.edu/Programs/Polysomnography.


SMCC Storytelling Institute features Folktales for Grownups

The South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute is hosting its annual “Folktales for Grownups” series, featuring ensemble performances that spotlight time-honored folktales from cultures around the world.

The April 21 performance will feature tales of “Earthcare.” The performance will start at 6:30 p.m. in the SMCC Studio Theatre at 7050 S. 24th St. In courtesy to the storytellers, no one will be seated once the storytelling has begun. Admission is free.

For more information, visit www.smcstorytelling.com, call Liz at (602) 243-8026 or e-mail liz.warren@smcmail.maricopa.edu


ANF announces scholarship program

The Arizona Newspapers Foundation, Inc. is offering a scholarship available to Arizona college students majoring in journalism. This summer, ANF will award two scholarships of $1,000 each to students attending Arizona State University, University of Arizona or Northern Arizona University full time. Students must have completed at least one term and have one term remaining before graduation.

Complete scholarship information, including award criteria and an application for fall 2010 awards, are posted online at www.ananews.com/scholarship.

The deadline for applications is May 31. Winners will be chosen by a selection committee and notified by July 15.


DV marching band selected for 2011 Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship

The Desert Vista High School marching band has accepted an invitation to participate in next year’s Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship. The top two finishers in this year’s 2009 Arizona State Marching Band Championship were invited to the national championship for the 2010-11 school year. Desert Vista placed second in this year’s state competition with a score of 83.5. All members who join the 2010-11 marching band will attend the competition on Dec. 30, 2010. 

The band is currently looking for sponsors to support their extended season to participate in nationals.

For more information or to sponsor, e-mail Julie Smith at jsmith411@cox.net.


CGCC receives national recognition for community service, named to President’s Honor Roll

Chandler-Gilbert Community College has been named for the fourth year in a row to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

CGCC is located at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler. For more information, call (480) 732-7030.


$18.85M gift to transform teacher education at ASU

Arizona State University has joined forces with Teach For America (TFA) to address the most pressing educational needs of our time. Through this partnership, ASU will adapt TFA’s most successful tools in order to attract, prepare, support and retain more highly-effective teachers.

Teach For America has recruited, trained and placed more than 24,000 teachers since 1990, becoming one of the nation’s largest providers of teachers for low-income communities.

Teach For America is widely known as a non-traditional route to teaching, and most of its recruits are not graduates of schools of education. But now with a five-year, $18.85-million investment from entrepreneur and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, ASU will partner with Teach For America to bring changes to the way ASU recruits, selects and prepares future K to 12 teachers.

This program is known as the Sanford Education Project.


SMCC earns continued accreditation

As it celebrates 30 years of helping students to achieve their educational goals, South Mountain Community College has received formal notice from the Higher Learning Commission that it has been granted continued accreditation as an institution of higher education. Official notice was received by the college in a letter issued by the commission on Dec. 16, 2009.

Since the fall of 2006, college faculty and staff have been laying the groundwork for SMCC’s successful re-accreditation. Key to this effort was a two-year self-study, through which the college reviewed and assessed its performance and achievements.

For additional information about the college, visit http://southmountaincc.edu.


Creative Writing course offered at SMCC

Iliana Rocha is offering CRW 150: Introduction to Creative Writing from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays June 7 to July 29 in room AFC-102 at the South Mountain Community College Ahwatukee Foothills Center, 10429 S. 51st St., Suite 101.

Registration for summer and fall 2010 classes is now open. To review a class listing and enroll, visit http://my.maricopa.edu.


CGCC offers engineering degree

Created in partnership between Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Glendale Community College, the Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technology degree will enable students to enter the workforce as an entry-level engineering aid upon graduation from the two-year program.

CGCC and GCC worked with local industry, including Honeywell, Avnet, AeroSpec, SRP, ATL Incorporated, Medtronic and Sundt Construction to create a degree program that meets the current employment needs of the engineering industry.

CGCC is located at 2626 E. Pecos Road in Chandler.

For more information about this program, contact Bassam Matar at (480) 732-7139.


SMCC offers GED high school equivalency testing

South Mountain Community College, 7050 S. 24th St., is offering GED testing for individuals who do not have a high school diploma and are seeking to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

Candidates must be at least 16 years of age. Those under 18 must bring a notarized letter of consent from a parent or guardian, along with an official letter of withdrawal from their last school attended. The GED testing fee is $75, with a $15 re-test fee for each subject area. Testing is by appointment only, and pre-registration is required prior to testing. Pre-registration takes place on Monday afternoons between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Testing takes place on Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tests are available in English, Spanish and large-print. Special accommodations are available for examinees with documented disabilities.

For more information, call (602) 243-8188. 

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