Ahwatukee residents show off creations in Phoenix Pond Tour this weekend - Ahwatukee Foothills News: School Highlight

Ahwatukee residents show off creations in Phoenix Pond Tour this weekend

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Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:49 pm | Updated: 10:10 pm, Fri May 9, 2014.

The Greater Phoenix Pond Society is bringing its Phoenix Pond Tour to the Valley, highlighting a couple of homes in Ahwatukee Foothills this weekend.

The free, self-guided tour will be hosted at pond society members’ homes tomorrow, May 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ahwatukee residents Rod and Pamela Brooks have one of the biggest ponds on the tour with a 12,000-gallon pool remodeled into a pond at their home near 34th Street and Chandler Boulevard.

It took Brooks nearly a year to complete the revamping of his swimming pool that sits on the side of his home. Going with a “Mediterranean” feel, Brooks has nearly 60 koi fish and about 20 large goldfish in the pond surrounded by plants.

Brooks also has a 10-foot dock expanding out onto the pond, a fountain, small waterfall, and canopies providing shade.

In their second year of participating in the tour, Brooks said having a pond like that has always been an interest of his.

“It’s a lot of work, but we’re anticipating a lot of people, it’s pretty cool,” he said.

Fellow Ahwatukee residents, Tom and Carla Briggs, are another stop on the tour near 40th Street and Pecos Road. The Briggs’ pond is nearly 5,200 gallons and features about 20 koi fish among 10 Mesquite trees, nine citrus trees, and an array of plants and flowers that attract butterflies and dragon flies. The yard also has a large tree house.

Vice president of the society, Ria Karsten, has been a member for about 10 years, and said the event is a great way to get inspired.

“A lot of people are interested in building ponds and attend to get new ideas,” she said. “It’s just great fun to see the backyards and landscaping.”

For more information about the Greater Phoenix Pond Society, or for a map of the tour, visit phoenixponds.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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School highlight: Ambassador Academy

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Dr. Elba Iris Reyes, principal at Ambassador Academy, poses with her students at Ambassador Academy Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

For the past five years, Ambassador Academy in Ahwatukee has been offering its students a small-classroom setting.

Each class has no more than 15 students, which Dr. Elba Iris Reyes, Ambassador Academy’s principal, said is what sets it apart from other charter schools.

The school’s current enrollment stands at 47 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We have academic excellence in teaching and learning, we have high expectations for our teachers and their practices, and we have high expectations for our students,” Reyes said. “We also focus on leadership and character development.”

Ambassador Academy’s Parent Teacher Organization is devising fundraising opportunities to raise money for the school’s playground facility.

For additional information about Ambassador Academy, visit www.ambassadoracademy.us.

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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