• State and National Recognition State and National Recognition


    The Chandler Unified School District is a premier district of choice.  We are proud to celebrate and communicate the achievements of our students and staff!

    Our mission: To empower all students with the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to excel in college, career and life.

    Our vision: The Chandler Unified School District is a safe and productive environment where students and adults are engaged in meaningful learning. Our diverse population is a strength, and a spirit of equity, collaboration and respect permeates our community. 

    • Our graduates are prepared for success in the global community and thrive as responsible and ethical citizens.
    • Our families are confident in the District's commitment to their children's achievement and well-being.
    • Our employees are respected and valued for their compassion, expertise and professionalism.
    • Our community takes pride in the Chandler Unified School District as a premier District of choice.

    Scroll down to check out our BRAGS in State and National Recognition below! 

    • Click on the mascot icon for any school below to find out more about the school.
    • Click here for information about Journey 2025, our district's ten year plan.
    • Click here for information about Open Enrollment in Chandler Unified's outstanding schools.

    Our BRAGS!
    Honors, Awards and Special Programs

    Check out ALL School Brag Pages See ALL Brags | Choose a School or Brag Category | BRAG about your school!
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    Visit Chandler High Website Chandler High (2019-2020) Report a Problem with Item A008097
    Treblemakers and CHS Choir
    The Chandler High Treblemakers and Men's Choir traveled to Jacksonville, FL in January to compete at the 2020 Midwinter Youth Chorus Festival. Both choirs, directed by Ms. Lori Lyford, won their divisions! Midwinter is a prestigious event that brings thousands of Barbershoppers together from around the world.
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    Visit Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary Website Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary (2019-2020) Report a Problem with Item A008101
    Kerry Kester
    Congratulations to Hartford Sylvia Encinas Technology Teacher Kerry Kester who recieved a $2,500 STEM grant from the Phoenix Suns and APS. She was honored during a Phoenix Suns game and has already used the grant money to purchase Bee Bots to use with her kindergarten and 1st grade students. APS/Phoenix Suns Stem Grant - Photo Album
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    Rachna Nath
    Congratulations to ACP's own Rachna Nath, one of only two winners selected from North America in the Turnitin 2019 Global Innovation Awards. The Global Innovation Awards recognize institutions and educators who help students everywhere to do their best, original work. This year's global and regional winners have worked tirelessly to champion authentic learning, enhance assessment practices, help students to achieve learning objectives, and support institutional strategy. Turnitin Global Innovations Awards website
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    Miles Fawson
    Miles Fawson, a sophomore and member of the Casteel Chamber Orchestra, earned first place in the Senior Division of the Phoenix Youth Symphony Young Musician's Competition. His award is a trip and participation in the Tanglewood Music Festival.
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    Emma Francisco
    Emma Francisco, 11th grader at ACP Erie, is one of six winners of the 2019-20 Girls Rule Foundation Brilliant, Beautiful & Bold (BBB) Role Model Award. The BBB Role Model Awards & Mentoring Program is a special way that the Girls Rule Foundation celebrates and acknowledges girls who embody their principles of leadership and compassion. The six winners will receive $1,000 from the Laura Anderson Scholarship Fund to further their dreams, leadership mentoring from the Girls Rule Foundation, and many additional extraordinary opportunities throughout the year -- including being the face of Girls Rule for one year. Girls Rule Foundation website
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    CHS Football All-State athletes
    Congratulations to Tate Romney, Nehemiah Magalei, Malik Reed, Gunner Maldanado, Brandon Buckner, Dae Dae Hunter, Mikey Keene, Kyion Grayes, and Zion Magalei who were named to the Max Preps AZ All-State Football Team.
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    Rick Garretson
    Congratulations to Coach Rick Garretson who was named Max Preps Coach of the Year.
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    Congratulations to Brandon Buckner, Nehemiah Magalei, Tate Romney, Gunner Maldanado, and Dae Dae Hunter who were named to the Arizona Republic's All-Arizona Football Team.
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    CHS All-Academic Girls Volleyball Athletes
    Nine CHS student-athletes were recognized for their academic success on the @Sports360AZ All-Academic Girls Volleyball Team!
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    CHS All-Academic Girls Golf Atheltes
    Congratulations to Trysten Howard, Kayci Kilanowski, Ciana Reynoso, and Tatum Tollefson who have been recognized for their work on the course and in the classroom by being selected to the @Sports360AZ All-Academic Girls Golf Team!
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    Kim Sanford
    Congratulations to Kim Sanford of Santan Elementary who achieved National Board Certification in December 2019. The process to earn this advanced certification beyond the Arizona state requirements is rigorous and long. Kim was required to write over 40 pages to show evidence of her teaching and take multiple assessments. She is one of four Chandler teachers to attain this certification this year. Thank you, Kim Sanford, for your dedication to your students and Santan!
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    Hamilton's Social Work team hosted their annual holiday party for homeless/underprivileged students and families. Approximately 230 people attended. In addition to a visit by Santa, the party featured family portraits, a raffle, a choir performance and presentation of Adopt-A-Family gifts. As always, the Chandler community comes together to help those in need. Thanks to everyone who worked together to make this event possible, making Christmas special for all of the children in attendance: Isagenix for sponsoring 15 families again this year; Huskies Helping Huskies club, the girls softball team, and Sun Lakes volunteers who decorated the cafeteria; an anonymous donor who surprised one Hamilton student with a $500 gift card; and CTA Independence Junior National Honor Society 6th graders who raised over $4,151 in gift card donations. Thanks also to CTA Independence counselor Michele Dussault and the CTA Independence school staff. Big hearts come in all sizes!
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    Football Champions
    The No. 1 ranked Chandler Wolves defeated the Saguaro Sabercats 42-35 to win the inaugural Open Division State Championships on Saturday. This is the Wolves' fourth straight championship and fifth in six years. Thanks to AF JROTC, Band, and Spiritline for participating in the big event, and thanks to all of the fans who made it out to ASU to cheer the Wolves on to this historic victory! Chandler High State Football Champions - Photo Album
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    Juliette Covitz
    Juliette Covitz has been selected as one of the five Arizona nominees for the 2019-2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Juliette was selected by a review team consisting of CTE Stakeholders based on evidence of academic rigor, technical competence, professional employability skills, ingenuity and creativity.
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    Symphonic Band
    Chandler High's Symphonic Band, under the direction of Mr. Carlos Aguero, earned Superior with Distinction during the ABODA Fall Concert Band Festival.
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    Visit Perry High Website Perry High (2019-2020) Report a Problem with Item A007978
    Perry Cheer
    Perry High School cheer competed at the USA Deer Valley Regional December 7. Not only did all performances qualify for nationals, but additionally the freshman, junior varisty and varsity teams all placed first. The stunt team also placed fourth out of 16 groups.
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    Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus is very proud to announce the Class of 2020 National Hispanic Scholars. These Knights scored in the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT among all Hispanic and Latino test-takers in our region. Congratulations to Julia Diaz, Octavio Diaz, Emma Fendrick, Nathaniel France, Mia Gomez, Nicholas Matthews and Damien Rivera.
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    Congratulations to Jarod Bartlett, Kiersten Dugan, Andrew Fernandez, Daniel Jimenez, Jr., Elizabeth Kaye and Nicholas Ledo who have been named National Hispanic Scholars for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT amongst Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year.
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    Congratulations to Jarod Bartlett (also enrolled at BHS), Nicholas Ledo (also enrolled at BHS) and Nicolas Gomez (also enrolled at Perry High) who have been named National Hispanic Scholars for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT amongst Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year.
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    Congratulations to our National Hispanic Scholars, recognized for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT® among Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year:
    • ACP Erie Campus: Julia Diaz, Octavio Diaz, Emma Fendrick, Nathaniel France, Mia Gomez, Nicholas Matthews and Damien Rivera
    • Basha High: Jarod Bartlett, Kiersten Dugan, Andrew Fernandez, Daniel Jimenez, Jr., Elizabeth Kaye and Nicholas Ledo.
    • Chandler High: Nina Anguis, Luke Bass, Melody Colucci, Esme Crawford-Paz Soldan, Alexis Gonzalez, Miranda Gonzalez, Jacob Pisors and Jose Segovia
    • Hamilton High: Ali Arce, Morgan Fowler, Sophia Holguin, Genesy King, Irbis Martinez Torres, Jacob Munguia, Grant Raske, Bianca Rivera, Trevor Schutes and Antonio Valdez
    • Perry High: Chaz Castillo-Wilson, Lexi Foster, Diana Garza, Ashlyn Gates, Nicolas Gomez, Alexander Gonzales, Hayden Jaramillo, Nathan Martinez, Nabor Rios and Aryzema Urrutia

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    Congratulations to Ali Arce, Morgan Fowler, Sophia Holguin, Genesy King, Irbis Martinez Torres, Jacob Munguia, Grant Raske, Bianca Rivera, Trevor Schutes and Antonio Valdez who have been named National Hispanic Scholars for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT amongst Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year.
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    Congratulations to Hamilton senior Nivea Krishnan who was named the Distinguished Young Woman of Arizona for 2020. Distinguished Young Women of Arizona is part of a national scholarship program that promotes and rewards scholarship, leadership and talent in young women. Nivea was awarded $3,700 in scholarships. She will go on now to compete for the national title. Distinguished Young Women of Arizona website: Nivea Krishnan, Current Representative
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    Kathryn MacNabb
    Hancock teacher Kathryn MacNabb was honored December 5 as the grade 6-9 Teacher of the Year by the Chandler chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 7401. This award is given to teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism. Kathryn coordinates the school's flag detail program with Hancock 5th and 6th graders each year, and works to bring in members of the National Guard, local veterans, Boy Scouts and nearby ROTC groups to teach the team about flag history, etiquette and civic responsibility. She is a dedicated teacher who instills respect and love for the American flag. Thank you, Kathryn, for all you do for Hancock students!
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    Congratulations to Chaz Castillo-Wilson, Lexi Foster, Diana Garza, Ashlyn Gates, Nicolas Gomez, Alexander Gonzales, Hayden Jaramillo, Nathan Martinez, Nabor Rios and Aryzema Urrutia who have been named National Hispanic Scholars for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT amongst Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year.
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    Congratulations to Elaina Ashton who has been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Congratulations to Sadie DeShon and Morgan Minnis who have been selected as semifinalists for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Alicia Cox
    Congratulations to Casteel Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Alicia Cox who was honored as the 2019 CareerSafe Safety Educator of the Year. She was recognized during the Association for Career and Technical Education® (ACTE®) National Visions Award Gala in Anaheim, California on December 4. Alicia received an all expense paid trip to the conference and $5,000 cash prize. During the gala they featured a wonderful video showcasing Alicia and her students. CareerSafe website: Congratulations, 2019 Safety Educator of the Year, Alicia Cox!
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    Congratulations to Katherine Chou who has been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Ten CUSD students have been selected as semifinalists for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars.
    CUSD Coca-Cola Scholarship Semifinalists:
    • ACP Erie - Elaina Ashton
    • Hamilton High - Saloni Biyani, Nivea Krishnan, Abby Liu, Thalia Liu and Daniel Shih
    • Chandler High - Katherine Chou
    • Casteel High - Sadie DeShon and Morgan Minnis
    • Perry High - Christopher Ning
    Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Congratulations to Saloni Biyani, Nivea Krishnan, Abby Liu, Thalia Liu and Daniel Shih who have been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Congratulations to Christopher Ning who has been selected as a semifinalist for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website
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    Visit Riggs Elementary Website Riggs Elementary (2019-2020) Report a Problem with Item A007980
    Eliza Schwitzer
    Congratulations to Eliza Schwitzer of Riggs Elementary whose Peace Poster Contest entry was selected as the club level winner by the Sun Lakes Lions Club. Her poster now proceeds to the state level. For over 30 years, Lions clubs around the globe have sponsored this international art contest to give children everywhere the chance to express their visions of peace and inspire the world through art and creativity. Eliza was also awarded a certificate and cash prize from the Sun Lakes Lion's Club, sponsored by Intel.
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    SJHS Cheer Champions
    Santan Junior High cheer placed first in the USA National Qualifier and will represent CUSD at the National Cheer Competition in Anaheim, California in February. They are defending last year's title.
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    Visit Casteel High Website Casteel High (2019-2020) Report a Problem with Item A007919
    Suzanne Buffington
    Congratulations to Casteel social studies teacher Suzanne Buffington who was honored to present ELL (English Language Learner) strategies at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Austin, Texas in November. Her presentation was titled "Secret Cities of the Manhattan Project" - GeoHistory Strategies Supporting ELs. National Council for the Social Studies website
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    Nicole Witte
    Ryan 5th grade teacher Nicole Witte was honored by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts 7401 and 8053 as K-5 Teacher of the Year! She was recognized for her work over more than a decade organizing her team to create an annual Wall of Gratitude and Remembrance to honor American veterans, a project designed to align with Social Studies, Writing, and Speaking & Listening curriculum. Students create a poster for the Wall containing a narrative, photos, decorations and honors about a veteran -- often a family member or friend. They work with their teacher to prepare appropriate interview questions, set up a time and interview the honoree, and prepare a speech presented by each student during a Wall of Gratitude and Remembrance pie party -- a celebration attended by parents, veterans, and friends where many laughs, tears, and hugs are shared. Through her efforts, children gain a strong appreciation for sacrifices made by their parents, family members, friends and past US heroes.
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    FALL SPORTS WRAP UP:  Congratulations to Perry Swim and Dive, finishing the season with the following honors:
    • Alexia Jackson - State Champion (Dive)
    • Kalli Fama - State Champion (Swim 100 Free and 100 Backstroke)
    • Swim Girls - 6th at State (Perry Girls Divers finished: 1st - Alexia Jackson; 4th - Brooklyn Larsen; 7th - Amayah Wiley, and 18th - Mackenzie Wager)
    • Swim Boys - 12th at State
    • Keddi Murrish was named AIA Division 1 Coach of the Year.

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    FALL SPORTS WRAP UP:  Congratulations to Perry Cross Country, finishing the season with the following honors:
    • Cross Country Girls - 5th at State (Also, Taylor Lovell finished as the 3rd individual, which is the highest finish ever for a girl cross country runner)
    • Cross Country Boys - 8th at State
    • Taylor Lovell up for AZ Central Cross Country Runner of the Year. She finished as the 3rd individual at the State Meet, which is the highest finish ever for a girl cross country runner from Perry.

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    FALL SPORTS WRAP UP:  Congratulations to Perry Football, finishing the season with the following honors:
    • State Quarterfinalists
    • Chubba Purdy - Danny White Top Quarterback in Arizona award for the AZ Chapter of the National Football Foundation; named AZ Cardinals Offensive Player of the Year

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    FALL SPORTS WRAP UP:  Congratulations to Perry Badminton, finishing the season with the following honors:
    • State Badminton Champions
    • Nikhita Jayaraj and Ashley Rodarte - Badminton Doubles State Champions
    • Megan Dye and Sophie Jex - Badminton Doubles State Runners Up
    • Ashley Rodarte up for AZ Central Badminton Player of the Year
    • Lerina Johnson named AIA Division 1 Coach of the Year, received her second CUSD Milestone Victory Award, and named AZ Central Coach of the Year

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    FALL SPORTS WRAP UP:  Congratulations to Perry Volleyball, finishing the season with the following honors:
    • State Runner Up - Girls Volleyball
    • Tatum Stall up for Volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year and AZ Central Player of the Year

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    Adelina Cetaj
    Congratulations to Adelina Cetaj who won the state playwriting competition in November. She had her play directed by a professional director and performed for the 90 other schools present at the competition. In addition, Hamilton Theatre seniors Raven Harris, Reily Neimyer, and Xavier Valdez auditioned and received offers from colleges and universities across the nation.
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    Debbie Fast
    Congratulations to Debbie Fast of Basha Elementary who earned her National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) status for the second time. Thirty-eight teachers in CUSD have the NBCT status, and only three percent of certified K-12 teachers teaching in the United States have voluntarily worked towards and ultimately earned the rank of the NBCT title.
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    State Volleyball Champs
    Basha High won the 6A girls volleyball state championship in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The Bears came from behind to defeat Perry High 14-25, 21-25, 32-30, 25-23, 15-10 to win their first-ever title. Congratulations to both teams on an incredible season!
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    Sylvia Grace
    Sylvia Grace, Career and Technical Education teacher from Casteel High School, received the highest honor given to Project Lead the Way teachers, "PLTW Outstanding Teacher," at the Project Lead The Way national conference in San Antonio. Project Lead the Way recognized Sylvia in front of hundreds of attendees, including teachers from across the United States.
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    State Thespian Conference
    Chandler High's Theatre Troupe attended the two-day Arizona State Thespian Conference in downtown Phoenix featuring a main stage production, dozens of one-act performances, and attend workshops geared toward honing their craft. Students were able to meet and collaborate with students from all over the state. CHS's APAC (Advanced Pantomime and Characterization) students took home a Superior Rating for their One Act titled, "Hammered: A Thor and Loki Play," one of our tech teams came home with 2nd place in one of the Tech Challenges, and 2 of our seniors took home 2 of 6 available scholarships. Nainoa Aguano won a $1,500 scholarship for his monologue/song audition, and Theo McEntire won a $1,500 scholarship for an essay he wrote about why he wants to be a theatre teacher. Additionally, EJ Newton, along with Nainoa Aguano and Theo McEntire, auditioned for college scholarships and were called back by several colleges who are interested in having them attend their schools.
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    Signing Day
    Twelve student-athletes signed NCAA Letters of Intent to participate in athletics at the collegiate level next year during Chandler High's Fall Athletic Signing Day. Congratulations and good luck to the following: Victoria Mason, Mykah Anderson, Ashlyn Reidhead, Gabriel Garcia, Gunner Garcia, Efrain Manzo, Joseph DiCarlo, Nicole Lunsford, and Cierra Bevilockway.
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    Debbie Fast and Kristine McGettigan
    Debbie Fast of Basha Elementary (pictured left) and Kristine McGettigan (pictured right) of Hamilton High earned their National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) status for the second time. Thirty-eight teachers in CUSD have the NBCT status, and only three percent of certified K-12 teachers teaching in the United States have voluntarily worked towards and ultimately earned the rank of the NBCT title.
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    Kristine McGettigan
    Congratulations to Kristine McGettigan of Hamilton High who earned her National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) status for the second time. Thirty-eight teachers in CUSD have the NBCT status, and only three percent of certified K-12 teachers teaching in the United States have voluntarily worked towards and ultimately earned the rank of the NBCT title.
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    State Runners Up
    Congratulations to Perry High girls volleyball on an incredible season, runners up after a dramatic contest with Basha High for the 6A girls volleyball state championship on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
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    Willis Jazz Band
    Willis Jazz Band was selected to perform at this year's Arizona Music Educators Conference in Mesa, Arizona during the weekend of January 31, 2020. In addition to performing, the Willis Band has been selected to present a clinic to state educators on: "What it Takes to Build a Successful Jazz Program." They will then perform for the music educators as an Honorary Ensemble representing the best of the state.
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