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Honors, Awards and Special Programs

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Visit Hamilton High Website Report a Problem with Item A010709 Hamilton High (2021-2022)
We the People Team
Hamilton's "We The People" team won 1st place at the state championship competition in January. We the People, sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation's upper elementary and secondary students. The curriculum is an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of the United States constitutional democratic republic. The program enjoys active support from the Arizona State Bar Association. Hamilton High School has a strong and well-established program of We the People that annually competes in regional, state, and national competitions.
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Visit Jacobson Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010717 Jacobson Elementary (2021-2022)
Running Club
Jacobson kicked off their first Running Club race at Snedigar Park this week. JETS were flying high in all the races as we competed against two other CUSD schools. Congratulations to all our runners who gave it their all and attend weekly practice with Coach Dannenfeldt and Coach Klein.
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Visit Sanborn Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010718 Sanborn Elementary (2021-2022)
Arabian Horse Show
Holly Eske's 2nd grade class learned about Arabian horses during the week of Jan 10. Student did an art lesson and submitted their artwork to receive T-shirts and tickets to the Arabian Horse Show in February!
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Visit Andersen Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A010713 Andersen Junior High (2021-2022)
Chandler Innovation Fair Preparation
Students in Radhahari Ericson's Science class teamed up with Victoria Heppler's class up to make solar cars and wind turbines for the upcoming Chandler Innovation Fair!
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Visit Arizona College Prep High School Website Report a Problem with Item A010714 Arizona College Prep High School (2021-2022)
Arizona SciTech Festival
ACP High School students Sohani Sandhu and Nevan Hanford will be hosting a panel discussion at the 2022 Arizona SciTech Festival on Jan 22 at 11.30 am at the Barrett Jackson Auto Show in Scottsdale. The 2022 Arizona SciTech Festival is celebrating STEM in the inaugural ceremony, held on Jan 22 and 23. The panel topic is "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in High Schools and its Opportunities." Panelists will include Dr. Susan Holchek and Dr. Hong Lei from ASU, Dr. Micah Mangione, President of Connect-IO, and Gale Beauchamp from the Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson. This is a huge honor as the Scitech events are national-level STEM events, and this is the second time that any high school students have hosted panel discussions with professionals in the panel. We wish them all the best!
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Visit Basha Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010702 Basha Elementary (2021-2022)
100th Day
For the 100th day of school, Basha Elementary students dressed up and showed us what they have learned!
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A010703 Chandler High (2021-2022)
Principal  Michael Franklin
Mr. Michael Franklin, Chandler High School principal, received the City of Chandler's 2022 Martin Luther King JR: Keeping the Dream Alive Award. This award is in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who exemplified community leadership and made it the cornerstone of his Civil Rights ministry. Honorees have led the Chandler community forward and have inspired others with their vision, passion, dedication, and leadership.
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A010704 Chandler High (2021-2022)
Coach Bobby Robson
Congratulations to Coach Bobby Robson, Chandler High volleyball coach, for receiving the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Volleyball 'Thirty Under 30' High School Coaching Award.
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A010716 Chandler High (2021-2022)
Chandler Tactical Competition
In January, Chandler High Air Force JROTC cadets assisted for the 4th year at the annual Chandler Tactical Competition hosted by the Chandler Police Department. Police cadets from all over the southwest compete. Chandler High cadets participated in scenario-type events where they acted as hostages, "bad guys," or other -- playing a key role in the evaluation of the police cadets.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A010712 Chandler Unified School District (2021-2022)
MLK Keeping the Dream Alive Award Winners
Three staff from CUSD were presented with the City of Chandler's 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr: Keeping the Dream Alive Award. Dr. Adama Sallu, director of equity and inclusion, Chandler High Principal Michael Franklin and Shawn Mitchell, administrator of Chandler Early College were recognized at the inaugural event. This award is in celebration Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who exemplified community leadership and made it the cornerstone of his Civil Rights ministry. In the spirit of Dr. King, Chandler MLK: Keeping the Dream Alive honors Chandler community leaders. Honorees have led the Chandler community forward and have inspired others with their vision, passion, dedication, and leadership.
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Visit Sanborn Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010711 Sanborn Elementary (2021-2022)
ABC Program
Sanborn students Elijah Gonzalez and Lorenzo Violette were introduced to 2-year-old Angus, the 130-pound Leonberger therapy dog through Gabriel's Angels. Gabriel's Angels will be coming to Sanborn weekly as part of the ABC program to support students with their reading. Elijah and Lorenzo learned that Angus likes to eat hard-boiled eggs and chicken. His favorite sport is playing with his sister and his favorite skill is laying down. Angus also has a book written about him that during the next visit the students will be able to read.
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Visit Tarwater Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010715 Tarwater Elementary (2021-2022)
Dragon Dance
Tarwater 6th graders performed a dragon dance at the Chandler Multicultural festival on Saturday, January 15.
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Visit Tarwater Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010707 Tarwater Elementary (2021-2022)
Alexandra Gabriel
Congratulations to Alexandra Gabriel in Amanda Yang's 4th grade class who won 3rd place (Visual: 4th - 8th Grade) in Chandler's Creative Expression Competition. This year's theme was: Connected Through Diversity: Finding commonalities and connections in our diverse community. City of Chandler's Creative Expression Competition website
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Visit Arizona College Prep High School Website Report a Problem with Item A010708 Arizona College Prep High School (2021-2022)
Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Haley Hughes
ACP High School junior and Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Haley Hughes was selected for the Air Force Chief of Staff Private Pilot Scholarship Program, identified in the December 2021 announcement from Headquarters Air Force JROTC. The program, also known as the AFJROTC Flight Academy, is an Air Force initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address a national pilot shortage. This highly competitive scholarship, valued at over $22,500, is an all-expense-paid flight training and college course credit program conducted during the summer at 25 select partner universities across the country. 250 AFJROTC cadets were competitively selected from a pool of 125,000+ cadets attending 900 high schools across the country and at Department of Defense installations worldwide. Cadet Hughes will receive comprehensive, FAA-certified ground instruction and over 40 hours of flight instruction, giving her the opportunity to earn an FAA Private Pilot Certificate.
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Visit Arizona College Prep Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A010692 Arizona College Prep Middle School (2021-2022)
Aadi Rao
Congratulations to ACP Middle School spelling bee champion 6th grader Aadi Rao who won runner-up in the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Aadi now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Basha Accelerated Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A010687 Basha Accelerated Middle School (2021-2022)
Allison Ekren
Congratulations to Basha Accelerated Middle School teacher Allison Ekren who earned National Board Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Basha Accelerated Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A010691 Basha Accelerated Middle School (2021-2022)
Nethra Chintaboina
Congratulations to Basha AMS school spelling bee champion 8th grader Nethra Chintaboina who won 1st place in the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Nethra now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Basha Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010695 Basha Elementary (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Basha Elementary school spelling bee champion 6th grader Josh Ronsayro who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Josh now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Basha High Website Report a Problem with Item A010688 Basha High (2021-2022)
Katie Nall
Congratulations to Basha High teacher Katie Nall who earned National Board Re-Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Bogle Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A010701 Bogle Junior High (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Bogle Junior High school spelling bee champion 7th grader Owen Leo who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Owen now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Carlson Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010694 Carlson Elementary (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Carlson school spelling bee champion 6th grader Maria Parada Ortega who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Maria now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A010696 Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to CTA Independence school spelling bee champion 5th grader Shree Thallikar who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Shree now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Chandler Traditional Academy - Liberty Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A010693 Chandler Traditional Academy - Liberty Campus (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to CTA Liberty school spelling bee champion 6th grader Raania Khan who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Raania now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A010684 Chandler Unified School District (2021-2022)
National Board Re-Certified Staff and Teachers
Four CUSD teachers earned their National Board Re-Certification in December: Jolene Gallup (San Marcos Elementary), Katie Nall (Basha High), Lily Chen (Hamilton High), and Dr. Amy Spilde (Instructional Resource Center). Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A010681 Chandler Unified School District (2021-2022)
National Board Certified Staff and Teachers
Four CUSD teachers earned their National Board Certification in December: Courtney Cook (Rice Elementary), Wendy Dafoe (Riggs Elementary), Allison Ekren (Basha Accelerated Middle School) and Cristy Wellik (Ryan Elementary). This brings the total number of CUSD Nationally Board-Certified teachers and staff to 62. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Frye Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010710 Frye Elementary (2021-2022)
Angelica Abbey
Congratulations to Frye 6th grade teacher Angelica Abbey who was named a winner in the Walt Disney World Resort 50th anniversary celebration! From their website: "To recognize exceptional teachers who are passionate about using the tool of imagination in their classroom, we're inviting 50 deserving teachers who reflect the creativity and imagination of Walt Disney to attend a one-of-a-kind teacher event. Winners will participate in a half-day inspiration session with Disney leaders and storytellers, gaining key insights and ideas that can be taken back to the classroom. They will also receive an exclusive inside look at the reimagined Disney Imagination Campus workshops reflecting curriculum in Science & Technology, Arts & Humanities, Leadership & Innovation, and Performing Arts. And, of course, they will experience all the magic of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration!"
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Visit Haley Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010698 Haley Elementary (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Haley school spelling bee champion 5th grader Chloe Passno who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Chloe now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Hamilton High Website Report a Problem with Item A010705 Hamilton High (2021-2022)
Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Dylan Franklin
Hamilton junior and Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Dylan Franklin was recently selected for the Air Force Chief of Staff Private Pilot Scholarship Program, identified in the December 2021 announcement from Headquarters Air Force JROTC. The program, also known as the AFJROTC Flight Academy, is an Air Force initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address a national pilot shortage. This highly competitive scholarship, valued at over $22,500, is an all-expense-paid flight training and college course credit program conducted during the summer at 25 select partner universities across the country. 250 AFJROTC cadets were competitively selected from a pool of 125,000+ cadets attending 900 high schools across the country and at Department of Defense installations worldwide. Cadet Franklin will receive comprehensive, FAA-certified ground instruction and over 40 hours of flight instruction, giving him the opportunity to earn an FAA Private Pilot Certificate.
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Visit Hamilton High Website Report a Problem with Item A010706 Hamilton High (2021-2022)
JROTC seniors Landry Howard and Viet Zaengle
Hamilton High School JROTC seniors Landry Howard and Viet Zaengle recently earned a total of seven nominations to three U.S. military service academies. To be considered for admission to the US Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, or the U.S. Air Force Academy, applicants must be extremely well-rounded students with exceptional academic, leadership, and athletic abilities. They face a rigorous application process and are required to earn nominations from one or more sources, including: Presidential, Vice Presidential, Members of Congress, and high-performing JROTC programs designated as Distinguished Units (Hamilton AFJROTC is a perennial Distinguished Unit).
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Visit Hamilton High Website Report a Problem with Item A010690 Hamilton High (2021-2022)
Lily Chen
Congratulations to Hamilton High teacher Lily Chen who earned National Board Re-Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Hancock Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010697 Hancock Elementary (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Hancock school spelling bee champion 6th grader Zoya Siddiqui who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Zoya now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Instructional Resource Center Website Report a Problem with Item A010683 Instructional Resource Center (2021-2022)
Amy Spilde
Congratulations to Dr. Amy Spilde of the Melinda Romero Instructional Resource Center who earned National Board Re-Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Knox Gifted Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A010699 Knox Gifted Academy (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Knox Gifted Academy school spelling bee champion 5th grader Manha Hossain who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Manha now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Rice Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010685 Rice Elementary (2021-2022)
Courtney Cook
Congratulations to Rice Elementary teacher Courtney Cook who earned National Board Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Riggs Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010686 Riggs Elementary (2021-2022)
Wendy Dafoe
Congratulations to Riggs Elementary teacher Wendy Dafoe who earned National Board Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Ryan Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010682 Ryan Elementary (2021-2022)
Cristy Wellik
Congratulations to Ryan Elementary teacher Cristy Wellik who earned National Board Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit San Marcos Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010689 San Marcos Elementary (2021-2022)
Jolene Gallup
Congratulations to San Marcos Elementary teacher Jolene Gallup who earned National Board Re-Certification in December. Achieving National Board Certification is a rigorous process, and was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. It is the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website: Mission and History
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Visit Weinberg Gifted Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A010700 Weinberg Gifted Academy (2021-2022)
Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Weinberg Gifted Academy school spelling bee champion 6th grader Everett Casper who placed in the top eleven at the district spelling bee, held on January 13 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Everett now moves on to compete in the regional spelling bee on February 8 in Queen Creek.
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A010660 Perry High (2021-2022)
City of Chandler Teen Talent Show
On Friday January 7, select Perry advanced dancers performed in the City of Chandler Teen Talent Show at Chandler Center for the Arts. They competed against other dancers, musicians and teen talent, including Perry's own rock band, Navagon. Our dancers took 2nd place and were awarded $50 towards our dance program. The performed dance was student choreographed by sophomore Zoe Matalon.
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A010661 Perry High (2021-2022)
Arizona Dance Education Essay Contest Winners
Congratulations to advanced dance seniors, Annie Morrill, for winning first place, and Ashley Day, for taking second place, in a dance essay contest held by the Arizona Dance Education Organization. Way to represent Perry Dance, Annie and Ashley!
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Visit Jacobson Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010662 Jacobson Elementary (2021-2022)
Kindergarten Authors
Jacobson kindergarten students are authors! Students work on shared writing to create a class story before writing their own piece. This week, students are writing about the upcoming 100th day of school!
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Visit Basha Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010653 Basha Elementary (2021-2022)
Taking Over the School
Our Bobcats are taking over Basha Elementary today! Our new principal and dean are busy conducting observations, announcements, and duty! PHOTO ALBUM: Basha Bobcats Take Over the School
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A010674 Casteel High (2021-2022)
Animal Rescue Donation Drive
Casteel High School math club held an animal rescue donation drive during the month of December. They had so much support from Casteel families that they were able to donate more than 650 lbs of dry food, 83 collars, 41 leashes, 35 bags of treats, 191 toys and more! Great job!
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Visit Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A010668 Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus (2021-2022)
Holiday Drive
Hamilton High School families, the Sun Lakes community, Safeway grocery stores and other Chandler businesses came together to help homeless and underprivileged students. More than 120 families were adopted from Hamilton, Bogle, Hill Learning Academy and other CUSD schools. They distributed more than 100 Thanksgiving Meals sponsored by the Sun Lakes Methodist Church and Safeway grocery stores. The social work team distributed more than $50,000 in gift cards, food, clothing, and other holiday items for CUSD families in need. Additionally, CTA Independence National Junior Honor Society raised $3,960 for the Hamilton homeless and underprivileged students with the help of counselor Michele Dussault and her team.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A010675 Chandler Unified School District (2021-2022)
The Nutcracker
Four current CUSD music educators kicked off the holiday season performing in the pit for The Nutcracker. The production was put on by Southwest Youth Ballet and the Chandler Symphony Orchestra. Pictured from left to right: Angela Storey, Caroline Broomfield, Howard McPhail, and Danelle Kennedy.
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Visit Chief Hill Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A010673 Chief Hill Academy (2021-2022)
Spirit Day
On Hill Learning Academy spirit day prior to winter break, principal Dave Constance went the extra mile and shaved his head with the HLA logo. At the Hill Edge program, students completed all their work and were able to have a little fun "acting like students" prior to break.
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Visit Haley Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010677 Haley Elementary (2021-2022)
Rep. Jennifer Pawlik Visits
Rep. Jennifer Pawlik visited Rice Elementary and Haley Elementary recently. She shared with students some of her responsibilities in the legislature. We are grateful for her advocacy for students and schools.
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Visit Hamilton High Website Report a Problem with Item A010667 Hamilton High (2021-2022)
Holiday Drive
Hamilton High School families, the Sun Lakes community, Safeway grocery stores and other Chandler businesses came together to help homeless and underprivileged students. More than 120 families were adopted from Hamilton, Bogle, Hill Learning Academy and other CUSD schools. They distributed more than 100 Thanksgiving Meals sponsored by the Sun Lakes Methodist Church and Safeway grocery stores. The social work team distributed more than $50,000 in gift cards, food, clothing, and other holiday items for CUSD families in need. Additionally, CTA Independence National Junior Honor Society raised $3,960 for the Hamilton homeless and underprivileged students with the help of their counselor, Michele Dussault and her team.
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Visit Hull Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A010672 Hull Elementary (2021-2022)
STEM Project
Hull Elementary second graders in Heidi Raaf's class read the story, Olive, the Other Reindeer then were challenged with a STEM project. The kids had to create a flying "contraption" with one piece of paper and attach Olive (the dog) to see whose "reindeer" would fly the farthest. They could also use tape, 1 piece of yarn, and one paperclip, if needed.
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Visit Knox Gifted Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A010665 Knox Gifted Academy (2021-2022)
Lynn Weed
Maricopa County School Superintendent recently recognized Knox Gifted Academy principal Lynn Weed as a semifinalist for the Maricopa County Exemplary Principal Award. She was selected from more than 1,200 principals in Maricopa County. Congratulations!
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