Our BRAGS!
Honors, Awards and Special Programs

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Visit Basha Accelerated Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A008399 Basha Accelerated Middle School (2019-2020)
Skylar Kulas
Basha Accelerated Middle School eighth grader Skylar Kulas was runner-up in the regional spelling bee competition on Thursday, February 20. She will head to the state competition on Saturday, March 21, at the Arizona PBS station.
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Visit Basha Accelerated Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A008338 Basha Accelerated Middle School (2019-2020)
Skylar Kulas
Congratulations to Skylar Kulas, the District Spelling Bee champion!
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008360 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)

Student comment: "Ms. (Cynthia) Bartlett plans amazing assignments for the kids, and she shows up everyday ready to teach!"
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008375 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)
Convection Currents
Seventh grade students at Santan Junior High learned about convection currents, both in the earth and the atmosphere. To illustrate the concept, they built and launched hot air balloons to help students make connections with convection and the lift of the balloons into the sky. It was a fun day for all who participated.
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008359 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)
Daya Wilson and Aidan Doyle
Daya Wilson and Aidan Doyle, VEX Robotics teammates and students from the House of Payne Robotics Team, traveled to Whiteriver, Arizona to compete in the Last Chance Qualifier Tournament. Team 1096D, the Techno-Panther, won both the tournament championship and the Excellence Award! The Excellence Award is presented to teams at or near the top of all tournament rankings in competition, skills, design and other judged awards. They exhibited a high-quality team interview with the judges, and a student-centered robotics program that demonstrates positive team conduct, sportsmanship, and professionalism. Congratulations, Daya and Aidan!
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Visit Andersen Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008220 Andersen Junior High (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Cash Pace is an amazing student who has overcome significant personal challenges to be successful. Through all of that he has maintained a positive attitude and been extremely helpful to his teachers, friends, and classmates. He is a trustworthy campus leader.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A008222 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: In the classroom, Austin Lund understands hard work and integrity. He does his best every day, working neatly and thoroughly. Organized and efficient, he uses his time well, and is quick to help other students, explaining patiently. Outside the classroom, Austin is extremely respectful and thoughtful of others. He shows integrity in all he does without need for recognition.
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Visit Basha Accelerated Middle School Website Report a Problem with Item A008224 Basha Accelerated Middle School (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Madelyn Seal is an active member of student council, National Junior Honors Society, and drama programs in and outside of school. She also started and leads the "My Little Pony Club," focused on friendship, kindness and being true to yourself -- very important topics for her peers. Maddie is a dedicated student and an excellent representation of Basha AMS.
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Visit Bogle Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008227 Bogle Junior High (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Maria "Antonella" Cardenas consistently displays academic perseverance, leadership, maturity, sound judgment, and commitment to each task she undertakes. She comes to class ready to learn, and goes the extra mile to help those around her. An English language learner who moved from Venezuela to Arizona in January 2019, Antonella has adapted well, mastering difficult concepts through classroom participation, dedicated effort, and positive study habits.
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008257 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Will Lucas is an 8th grade student at Payne. He works incredibly hard in his classes and is often seen as a leader other students can look up to for model behavior and citizenship. Teachers on campus often comment that "they wouldn't know what to do without him" as he is so thoughtful and kind. He's always looking for a way to improve and to help those around him.
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008264 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Jake Byars excels in both academic and personal pursuits. He has a passion and desire to make change in the world. His planning and organization of first-ever school Volunteer Fair was particularly impressive. He contacted all the non-profit organizations, organized the event, contacted junior high and high schools to invite them, promoted and oversaw the event as it unfolded. More than 300 junior and high school students attended and will benefit from networking with volunteer organizations around the valley.
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Visit Willis Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008268 Willis Junior High (2019-2020)

Superintendent's Student Citizenship Award winner: Salome Sebastian Pablo came to the United States, speaking English as a third language. She demonstrates determination, grit, responsibility and nearly every positive character trait represented by the Willis Core Values. Salome is an extremely hard worker, and a great example of the power of perseverance. She is determined to be successful in school. She is not only an English Language Learner success story she is a success story, period.
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008189 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)

Payne librarian Shannon Jacques was nominated for the American Library Association's "I Love My Librarian Award." Her nomination said: "Shannon goes above and beyond to support our students and make our library a warm and inviting place. She remains current on contemporary YA texts for our students, but also seeks out new works that students would be interested in. She takes Payne's library beyond the traditional setting, creating a Maker Space, theme days, activities for students to do at lunch such as novel-themed escape rooms, and makes less than exciting tasks such as completing library orientation fun by creating digital scavenger hunts for the students. These are all created by Shannon personally, often outside of school hours. In addition to making the library a welcoming space, she frequently steps in to assist teachers to find relevant yet engaging materials and technology to integrate into lessons. Our school is lucky to have Shannon as our librarian!"
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A008165 Casteel High (2019-2020)
STEM Lesson
Michelle Capriotti teaches a class at Casteel High School that gives students an opportunity to explore teaching as a possible career. Students in the class spend one day a week in an elementary classroom. Shown in this picture Sierra Bingham, a sophomore at Casteel, teaching a STEM lesson to third graders. Sierra planned an engaging lesson where students built a shelter for an abominable snowman.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A008202 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Feeding the Future
Congratulations to Mateline (Matty) Pace who took 1st place and a $5,000 scholarship in the statewide Feeding the Future 2020: School Lunch-Inspired Bites and Beverages competition on January 11! Students in the competition worked with a local chef to create school lunches that were appealing and desirable, while meeting nutritional and budgetary restrictions of the National School Lunch Program. Each team spent months testing and costing recipes with the help of Blue Watermelon Project chefs to better understand the challenge schools face everyday: how to provide delicious, nutritious and affordable lunches to students. The Feeding the Future competition is hosted by the Blue Watermelon project, an initiative of Slow Food Phoenix. Slow Food Phoenix - Blue Watermelon Project website
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A008152 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)
Team 7A
Santan Junior High - team 7A went to Harkins to watch "The Outsiders" after reading the novel.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007924 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Fudge
Robin Flyte's classes reviewed the chemistry of solutions by making supersaturated homogeneous solutions (AKA, "fudge") for the holidays.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007923 Casteel High (2019-2020)

Congratulations to Todd Daniels and Casteel's Economic team consisting of seniors Meyson Tyler, Nathan Mann, Caelan Russell, and Alfredo Oliver who took second in the Fall 2019 Arizona Stock Market Game. The team will split the cash prize.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007920 Casteel High (2019-2020)
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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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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007922 Casteel High (2019-2020)
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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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007919 Casteel High (2019-2020)
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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Visit Andersen Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007885 Andersen Junior High (2019-2020)
Future Jags
Andersen Junior High students in Amy Whiteley's class visited the "Future Jags" at Andersen Elementary to share their love of reading.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007880 Casteel High (2019-2020)
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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Visit Willis Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007884 Willis Junior High (2019-2020)
Showcase
Willis Junior High School hosted its annual showcase on November 7. There were displays of student work, hands-on activities for kids, live music, games, and much more. There was a tremendous community turnout and they were happy to host families from all feeder schools.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A008067 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2019-2020)

The Arizona Department of Education announced that ACP Oakland received an "A" grade for the 2018-19 school year.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007838 Casteel High (2019-2020)
COLTure Day at Casteel
The second annual diversity program was held November 1 at Casteel High. Under the direction of Bonnie McNamara, French Honors Society and French Club puts on the program for National French Week every year. This year, it was nicknamed the COLTure Day because they celebrated all the cultures of the Casteel Colts! They had Choir, Band, Project 15 dance, Asian K-Pop and Fan Dances, Folklórico and even a song in German. Exchange students from Norway, Denmark and Spain also shared their experiences.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007768 Casteel High (2019-2020)

Congratulations to Casteel High teacher, Joshua Miller, who was one of five CUSD teachers surprised Thursday, October 31 with a 2019 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers grant.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007737 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Cytosis
Ms. Yard's AP Biology Students are playing "Cytosis," a biology board game where students model key cellular processes that keep each cell functioning properly within the body thanks to the Chandler Education Foundation Classroom Education Enrichment Grant.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007739 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Tempe Camera Visit
The digital photography students visited Tempe Camera on Wednesday, October 30. This industry visit allowed students a first hand look at the sales, rental and repair shop and also the printing area. The tour included a behind the scenes look into a dark room along with witnessing how slides are scanned.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007724 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Sadie DeShon
Casteel High School senior Sadie DeShon was named a Samsung American Legion Scholar national finalist from Girls State. She will receive a $10,000 award. Samsung American Legion Scholarship website
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007720 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)
Ana Abbott
Congratulations to Ana Abbott, Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award Recipient and Teacher of the Year for 2019. The Esperanza award recognizes outstanding Latino teachers who have distinquished themselves through their extraordinary achievements. Chicanos Por La Causa website
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007697 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)
Ana Abbott
Santan Junior High Spanish teacher Ana Abbott was one of four educators across Arizona to be named by Chicanos Por La Causa as an Esperanza Latino Teacher of the Year. She will be recognized at an awards event at ASU Gammage Auditorium. Additionally, the Santan Junior High Jazz band will be performing that evening.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007598 Casteel High (2019-2020)
Veterans Heritage Project
Casteel High teacher Christopher James was interviewed by his U.S. Military students (class) about his experiences serving in Iraq. The Veterans Heritage Project was on campus to record the interview and discuss the upcoming publication of the interview. Casteel sophomore, Sydnee Watkins will write the story to be published in the Library of Congress and the Veterans Heritage Project Book. Furthermore, James encouraged other students, including sophomore Hope Henry, to interview and write a story about a family member who served and can share their experiences as well. Hope is interviewing her grandfather about his experiences in the Vietnam War and will have the interview and story published.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007559 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2019-2020)
Top 300 MASTERS
A HUGE congratulations to J.T. Mulvihill! J.T. was named one of the Top 300 MASTERS (out of 2,348 nominees from across the U.S.) in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science & the Public. He and his science fair project, The Impact of Football Helmet Lining or Coating on Impact Force Reduction to the Head, will now compete to become one of 30 national finalists in the Broadcom competition. Press Release: Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition
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Visit Bogle Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007589 Bogle Junior High (2019-2020)
Leela Raj-Sankar
Congratulations to Leela Raj-Sankar who was named one of the Top 300 MASTERS (out of 2,348 nominees from across the U.S.) in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science & the Public. She and her science fair project, Shining a Light on Osmosis, will now compete to become one of 30 national finalists in the Broadcom competition. Press Release: Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007590 Casteel High (2019-2020)

Congratulations to Ashlyn Drew who was named one of the Top 300 MASTERS (out of 2,348 nominees from across the U.S.) in the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science & the Public. She and her science fair project, Heightened Hydroponics, will now compete to become one of 30 national finalists in the Broadcom competition. Press Release: Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007533 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)

Our incredible Santan Junior High Booster's donated a brand new COW (computer "Cart On Wheels") to our school. The COW includes charging cart and 30 laptops for student use. These funds were collected by generous donations from our parents in 2018-19, and our incredible Boosters will continue the vision this year for another COW to serve our students!
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007540 Santan Junior High (2019-2020)
Heather Yordy
Congratulations to Santan Junior High teacher Heather Yordy who won $250 dollars worth of Scholastic Books for her classroom recently. She was selected from more than 124,000 teachers in the James Patterson and Scholastic Book Clubs Giveaway!
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Visit Bogle Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007480 Bogle Junior High (2019-2020)
Amazon Wish List
THANK YOU to Bogle families who supported the Bogle library by purchasing over 35 books from our Amazon wish list!
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Visit Andersen Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007462 Andersen Junior High (2019-2020)
Dry Ice Experiment
Andersen Junior High is focusing on equity with more inclusive activities for all students. Andersen all-stars participated with Heather Henrichs eighth grade science class to complete a dry ice experiment last week.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007353 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2019-2020)
Jacob Paton
Congratulations to ACP Oakland student Jacob Paton-Lloyd who was selected for and attended Arizona State University's Barrett Summer Scholars Program. This residential progam selects academically talented students from across the state to engage in college-level coursework under the supervision of ASU professors. Jacob focussed his work on forensic entomology and critical thinking. ASU Barrett Summer Scholars
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007379 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)
Original Payne Staff
Our original Payne Staff from 2005 recently celebrated their longevity and commitment! These are the people who are still at Payne Junior High since the school's inception in 2005. Dr. Craig Gilbert, who was the Principal at the time, made the trek out here for his shirt and this picture! Thank you Dr. Gilbert!
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007378 Payne Junior High (2019-2020)

Parent comment: "My son took a pretest based on the ACT in his AP English class as a junior. He scored a 74 out of 75, which would have been a 34 on the ACT test. Kids in his class actually asked him if he cheated. He was worried his English teacher might think so too, but when she found out he had Mr. David Giaramita (Mr. G) for two years, she said she wasn't surprised. What she doesn't know is in 6th grade he barely scraped by with a D in English. Mr. G is an amazing teacher. He made my son work for every grade he received and taught him how to think critically about everything."
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007346 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2019-2020)
Project Lead the Way
Students in Mrs. Filiere's Project Lead the Way classes worked together to create models of a foot orthosis for children with cerebral palsy. We have so many creative Knights!
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007333 Casteel High (2019-2020)
HOSA Competition
Alexis Ngo and Quincy Lee, upcoming seniors in our CTE Sports Medicine Program, competed at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference (ILC) during the summer of 2019. This is the first time Casteel High has ever attended the highest competition for HOSA. Both ladies faced tough competition from around the country and world including China, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Quincy fell short to the fierce competitors in her event for Medical Terminology while Alexis place 2nd overall in her event, Extemporaneous Health Poster! We're SO PROUD! HOSA International Leadership Conference - Summer 2019, Photo Album
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007297 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
ACP Erie Graduates
OUR GRADUATES:
We are proud to report that ACP Erie 2018-19 graduates earned:
  • A whopping $20,177,868 in scholarships!
  • 3,826 hours of college credit (Dual Credit), and
  • 828 hours of service learning

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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A007302 Casteel High (2018-2019)
Casteel High Scholarships
OUR GRADUATES:
We are proud to report that during the 2018-19 school year, Casteel High students earned:
  • A whopping $11,320,621 in scholarships!
  • 1,826 hours of college credit (Dual Credit), and
  • 11,381 hours of service learning

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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007285 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2018-2019)

Congratulations to ACP Oakland 6th, 7th and 8th grade winners in the Grand Canyon Essay Contest! We had winners in each grade and SWEPT the 7th/8th grade category winning Gold, Silver and Bronze! Winners were:
  • Marissa Ruiz - 6th grade Silver medal
  • Zachery Tullo - 6th grade Bronze medal
  • Merissa Wongso - 6th grade Honorable Mention
  • Alison Alfredo - 8th grade Gold medal
  • Grace Burns - 7th grade Silver medal
  • Faith Hsia - 7th grade Bronze medal
  • Carter Smith - 8th grade Honorable mention

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Visit Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007274 Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus (2018-2019)

Several Spanish students from ACP Oakland attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2018 National Spanish Examinations. They earned a total of 37 gold (must have scored in the 95th percentile or higher in nation), 50 silver (must have scored between the 94th -85th percentile in nation) and 76 bronze medals (must have scored between 84th -75th percentile in nation) along with over 50 percent of the students earning honorable mentions. "Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious," said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, "because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 146,000 students participating in 2019." Spanish teachers, Jennifer Betlach, Timothy Cox, Diane Loff, Dana Olidan, and Heather Orr taught these students. American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese website: National Spanish Examinations
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A007262 Santan Junior High (2018-2019)
Donna Gustafson
Arizona Diamondbacks and Breyer Law Group awarded Santan Junior High and teacher Donna Gustafson a $2,500 "Game Changer" grant. Additionally, the school was provided 150 tickets to the game against the Pirates where they will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony.
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