Our BRAGS!
Honors, Awards and Special Programs

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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007204 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
Mrs. Rachna Nath
We are excited to announce that Mrs. Rachna Nath was selected as an Honorable Mention for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators 2019, sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 2019. Congratulations!   E.P.A. website: Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A007252 Perry High (2018-2019)
Dan Serrano
Congratulations to Principal Dan Serrano for being named the National Association of Secondary Schools Principal's Arizona Principal of the Year! He will be honored June 10 at the Arizona Association of School Administrators Conference in Tucson.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A007195 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
Paula Dalton
Our College and Career Specialist Mrs. Paula Dalton received recognition from the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education in partnership with the Governor's Office for Education and Achieve60AZ for helping to ensure our senior families completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). As a school site, ACP Erie had a 77% completion rate -- which is WAY above the state average!
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Visit Auxier Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A007150 Auxier Elementary (2018-2019)
Tony Smith
Exemplary Principal:  Congratulations to Principal Tony Smith who was surprised on May 2 with the news that he was named a 2019 Exemplary Principal by the Maricopa County School Superintendent's office. His staff pulled him outside with the ruse that there was snake needing to be chased away. Click here to watch the Facebook video.
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Visit Chandler Online Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A007185 Chandler Online Academy (2018-2019)
Elizabeth Schley
Congratulations to Elizabeth Schley, US/AZ Government & Constitution, AP US Government & Constitution, and Economics teacher, who was recently published on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.   National Board of Professional Teaching Standards website: Accomplished Teachers Help Create Informed and Engaged Citizens
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Visit Hancock Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006978 Hancock Elementary (2018-2019)
Rookie of the Year
Congratulations to Janella Flores Rodriguez, Kids Express worker at Hancock Elementary, who was named the Program Line Staff - Rookie of the Year by the Arizona Community Education Association.
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Visit Willis Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A006970 Willis Junior High (2018-2019)
Jazz Band
Willis Junior High jazz band, under the direction of John Studzinski, received the highest-ranking award for their division at the Highland Jazz Festival. This annual jazz festival has been running for the past 10 years and this year had more than 45 jazz bands performing for adjudicators from all over the United States. Willis received a Superior rating from all three judges and received the highest ranked score in the Junior High and Middle School Division.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A006874 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)

Congratulations to ACP Erie Honors Bio and Human Bio teacher Rachna Nath who was nominated for the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) Presidential Innovation Award - Environmental Educators. Joseph Shaw of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality nominated Mrs. Nath after working with her on multiple projects involving environmental issues. Her students are now ready to patent their ideas. U.S. EPA website: Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A006838 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Mrs. Melanie Mello
Mrs. Melanie Mello, Chandler High German teacher, has been selected as the Southwest Conference on Language Teaching 2019 Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Mello recently competed against twelve other candidates from other southwestern states in Fort Worth, Texas and ultimately was selected as the Southwestern States Teacher of the Year Representative. Melanie is one of five finalists who will compete for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages National Teacher of the Year Award this November in Washington, DC.
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Visit Bologna Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006736 Bologna Elementary (2018-2019)
Sundra Nickerson
Congratulations to Bologna Elementary fifth grade teacher Sundra Nickerson who was chosen as one of 15 applicants in Arizona invited to attend the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Arizona Summer Institute. Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education: We The People Summer Institute website
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Visit Basha High Website Report a Problem with Item A006722 Basha High (2018-2019)
Keith Tomaszewicz
Congratulations to Basha teacher Keith Tomaszewicz who was recognized by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) with the Aspirations in Computing Educator Award at a ceremony at ASU in March. The Aspirations in Computing Educator Award identifies outstanding educators who play a pivotal role in encouraging young women to explore their interest in computing and technology, and recognizes these educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing. Over the past four years, more than 160 educators have been recognized and have received more than $150,000 in professional development funding to improve their computing education skills. NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Educator Awards website
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Visit Sanborn Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006687 Sanborn Elementary (2018-2019)
Andrea Vanlandingham
Congratulations to Andrea Vanlandingham who was recently recognized as being in the top 5% of all educators in the world using the EasyTech curriculum and for being an outstanding digital literacy educator.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A006629 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
Mrs. Rachna Nath
The Society for Science and the Public has awarded a STEM Research Grant for 2019 to Mrs. Rachna Nath to be used on resources to inspire the next generation of scientists at ACP Erie. Mrs. Nath is one of only 35 middle and high school science teachers from 23 states across the country to receive this prestigious grant. Congratulations! News release: Society for Science & the Public Grants $120,000 to 35 STEM Research Teachers
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Visit Santan Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A006652 Santan Junior High (2018-2019)
Megan Jeffers
Santan Junior High eighth grade teacher Megan Jeffers was selected as a presenter at the National Excellence in Mathematics Conference at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on March 2. She is the only non-collegiate presenter selected. Megan will be presenting to at least 70 teachers in two different sessions on how to integrate tools/technology into lessons.
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A006349 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Jim Culver
Congratulations to Mr. Jim Culver who was selected as the Premier Region Athletic Director of the Year.
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A006632 Perry High (2018-2019)
Lerina Johnson
Lerina Johnson of Perry High School is a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year. She is one of eight finalists from across the nation. Lerina was nominated by her state peers.
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Visit Carlson Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006248 Carlson Elementary (2018-2019)
Leo Schlueter
The Arizona Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), gave Carlson Elementary Principal Leo Schlueter the 2019 AZCASE Outstanding Leadership Award. This award is given to a person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in supporting special education and/or inclusive programming. It is intended for an individual who has demonstrated leadership qualities and who has accomplished something of significance making a difference for students with disabilities. Congratulations Leo!
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Visit Fulton Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006249 Fulton Elementary (2018-2019)
Sarah McGinnis
Congratulations to Fulton Elementary 6th grade teacher Sarah McGinnis who recently earned her National Board recertification, the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. The process was rigorous, but worthwhile. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Created by teachers, for teachers, the National Board Standards represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Basha High Website Report a Problem with Item A006235 Basha High (2018-2019)
Elizabeth Schley
Congratulations to Basha High teacher Elizabeth Schley who recently earned her National Board recertification, the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. The process was rigorous, but worthwhile. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Created by teachers, for teachers, the National Board Standards represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Hancock Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A006236 Hancock Elementary (2018-2019)
Juei Ping Chiu
Congratulations to Hancock Elementary teacher Juei Ping "Tina" Chiu who recently earned her National Board recertification, the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. The process was rigorous, but worthwhile. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Created by teachers, for teachers, the National Board Standards represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Knox Gifted Academy Website Report a Problem with Item A006234 Knox Gifted Academy (2018-2019)
Rebecca Coplan
Congratulations to Knox Gifted Academy teacher Rebecca Coplan who recently earned her National Board recertification, the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education. The process was rigorous, but worthwhile. National Board Certification was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Created by teachers, for teachers, the National Board Standards represent a consensus among educators about what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A006184 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Ms. Lori Lyford
Congratulations to Ms. Lori Lyford, director of Chandler High's award-winning choirs, who was named the 2019 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Music Educator of the Year. Joe Cerutti of NAfME flew in from Washington D.C. on December 20 to surprise Ms. Lyford and present the award personally. Lori Lyford is a sought-after coach, clinician, and chorus director, well known in barbershop circles for her passion and enthusiasm for singers of all ages. Her leadership with Chandler High choral groups is legendary. The school's Trebelmakers were critical in pulling off the surprise! Video: Surprising Lori Lyford!
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Visit Basha High Website Report a Problem with Item A006148 Basha High (2018-2019)
Erica Davis
Basha High teacher Erica Davis recently earned her National Board Certification. The process is rigorous, exhausting and overwhelming but worthwhile. Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. Congratulations, Erica! National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A006147 Chandler Unified School District (2018-2019)
CUSD teachers who recently earned their National Board Certification
These CUSD teachers recently earned their National Board Certification (NBC). The process was rigorous, but worthwhile for these teachers. The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to establish benchmarks for the teaching profession and certify that teachers meet those standards. Applying for NBC is an exhausting, overwhelming process, though it's also very rewarding. Applicants select subject and development areas and then are sent a large box of materials with instructions and portfolio requirements for that certificate. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Payne Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A006149 Payne Junior High (2018-2019)
Lindsie Spengler
Payne Junior High teacher Lindsie Spengler recently earned her National Board Certification. The process is rigorous, exhausting and overwhelming but worthwhile. Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. Congratulations, Lindsie! National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A006150 Perry High (2018-2019)
Cynthia Hindelang
Perry High teacher Cynthia Hindelang recently earned her National Board Certification. The process is rigorous, exhausting and overwhelming but worthwhile. Recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students. Congratulations, Cynthia! National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A006026 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Melanie Mello
The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) recognized Chandler High School's German teacher, Melanie Mello, with the Goethe Institut / AATG Certificate of Merit for her outstanding contributions to the teaching and learning of German in the United States.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A006064 Chandler Unified School District (2018-2019)
Meg Gianesello named National Administrator of the Year
Meg Gianesello, retired CUSD Executive Director of Educational Programs, was honored as the 2019 Association for Career and Technical Education National Administrator of the Year on Wednesday, December 5 in San Antonio, Texas. This award recognizes administrators who have made significant contribution toward innovative, unique and effective CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs.
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Visit Perry High Website Report a Problem with Item A005977 Perry High (2018-2019)
Soccer Coach John Roberts
Perry High girls soccer coach, John Roberts, was awarded the U.S. Coaches Arizona Large Schools Coach of the Year.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A006002 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
Mrs. Rachna Nath at Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Rachna Nath, ACP-Erie science teacher, was selected to be part of the Research Teachers Conference in Washington D.C. This is a conference held by Society for Science and the Public who runs Intel ISEF, Regeneron Talent Search and other science events nationally. Groups of teachers nationally pool their ideas and resources at the conference. Mrs. Nath also got a chance to meet with Senator Jeff Flake's office and also with Arizona State Representative Andy Biggs to pitch the incredible work being done at CUSD and ACP Erie.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A005944 Chandler Unified School District (2018-2019)

Congratulations to eight CUSD teachers who were surprised Thursday, October 25 with 2018 Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers grants. Chandler High Koury's wish is to purchase flexible seating and new worktables. Casteel High School: Cami Clausen's wish is to take her concert choir, invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, to New York City in April 2019. Arizona College Prep - Erie: Joycelyn Craft's wish is to purchase a set of 30 CX calculators with charging stations and a Vernier CBR 2 Motion detector. Frye Elementary: Kandace Jilek's wish is to create a comfortable and fun learning environment by purchasing flexible seating options for her class. Fulton Elementary: Sarah McGinnis' wish is to purchase tablets. Andersen Elementary: Jessica Rudloff's wish is to purchase iPads. Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary: Kym Vierthaler's wish is to provide field trips and guest speakers for the children. Weinberg Elementary: Nasreen Wahid's wish is to purchase iPads. Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers website
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Visit Galveston Elementary Website Report a Problem with Item A005959 Galveston Elementary (2018-2019)
Jill Burnley
Congratulations to Galveston Elementary PE teacher Jill Burnley who was one of four CUSD teachers who presented at the Arizona Health and Physical Education State Convention during the week of October 22. Their session was titled "CUSD PE TEACHERS are OPEN to Fitness!"
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Visit Bogle Junior High Website Report a Problem with Item A005857 Bogle Junior High (2018-2019)
Travis Anderson
P.E. Teacher of the Year hails from Bogle! Arizona Health and Physical Education named Travis Anderson of Bogle Junior High the 2018 Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year. He will be honored at an awards dinner on October 23rd.
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Visit Casteel High Website Report a Problem with Item A005859 Casteel High (2018-2019)
Michelle Capriotti
Casteel High special education teacher Michelle Capriotti has been selected for a national teaching fellowship from Understood.org. Over the next year, she'll collaborate with teachers across the country to create free tools and resources to support students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other learning differences.
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Visit Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A005860 Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus (2018-2019)
Frank Hendricsen
Principal Dr. Frank Hendricesen was recognized at the Capitol over break for his NAESP (National Association of Elementary School Principals) National Distinguished Principal status.
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Visit Chandler Unified School District Website Report a Problem with Item A005855 Chandler Unified School District (2018-2019)
Meg Gianesello
Meg Gianesello, retired CUSD Executive Director of Educational Programs, was named by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) as the 2018 ACTE Region V Administrator of the Year. This award recognizes administrative CTE professionals at the school, district, county, state or federal level who have demonstrated leadership in ensuring teacher and student success and have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and effective career and technical education programs. Meg retired in May of this year. ACTE Announces Arizona Retired Executive Director of Educational Programs as National Award Finalist
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A005770 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Ms. Amy Komitzky, CHS English and AVID Teacher
The Arizona Educational Foundation announced the five Ambassadors for Excellence and five semifinalists of the Arizona Teacher of the Year program Friday. Amy Komitzky Henning,Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) and English Language Arts Teacher at Chandler High School, was named as a semifinalist. She will be honored during the awards luncheon onOctober 25 at the Arizona Biltmore.
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A005767 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Coach Shaun Aguano
Coach Shaun Aguano was named one of MaxPreps Top 10 High School Football Coaches with less than 10 years experience. Aguano, Wolves Head Coach since 2011, has led Chandler to three state championships in the past four years and two year-end bowl games. MaxPreps Website
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Visit Chandler High Website Report a Problem with Item A005717 Chandler High (2018-2019)
Mrs. Courtney Kemp
Mrs. Courtney Kemp has been named the Arizona IB (International Baccalaureate) Schools Career Program Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Kemp works tirelessly to promote the IB Career Program, and her enthusiasm helps create a very inclusive, active learning environment. She teaches the core course for IB CP, Personal and Professional Skills, as well as IB Diploma Psychology.
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Visit Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus Website Report a Problem with Item A005635 Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus (2018-2019)
Mrs. Rachna Nath, Honors Biology Teacher
Congratulations to ACP Erie science teacher Rachna Nath who was named a Lemelson-MIT Excite Award winner and InvenTeam grant finalist. As one of a select group of educators from across the country, she participated in invention education learning opportunities on a 5-day all-expense paid trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June, training to lead a year-long, open-ended invention project with students at ACP Erie. Rachna hopes to make the final application to attend EurekaFest in 2019 where she'll meet and be inspired by current InvenTeams -- teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that received grants of up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative website
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