Six southern AZ schools awarded A+ School of Excellence titles

Published: Mar. 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2015 at 4:19 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Arizona Educational Foundation announced its list of A+ School of Excellence awardees, with the honors going to 26 schools, six Southern Arizona schools made the list, two are in Tucson.

The following schools have received the honor for the 2014-2015 academic year:

-Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson (Catalina Foothills Unified School District), Dr. Angela Chomokos, Principal

-J. Robert Hendricks Elementary School, Tucson (Flowing Wells Unified School District), Peter Wells, Principal

-Anza Trail School, Sahuarita (Sahuarita Unified School District), John Fanning, Principal

-Sahuarita Primary School, Sahuarita (Sahuarita Unified School District), Tina Anderson, Principal

-Coatimundi Middle School, Rio Rico (Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District), Cesar Miranda, Principal

-San Cayetano Elementary School, Rio Rico (Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District), Berenice Rodriguez, Principal

The AEF A+ School of Excellence honors public schools pre-K through 12th grade that strive to 'create a comprehensive framework of successful programs and practices that other schools throughout the state and nation might adopt', according to a AEF release.

"The A+ School of Excellence program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona and calls attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools," said AEF Executive Director, Bobbie O'Boyle, in a recent release. "We applaud these schools for doing whatever it takes to meet their students' needs and achieving overall success despite some of the challenges that face the education community statewide."

The remaining winners are:

Barry Goldwater High School, Phoenix (Deer Valley Unified School District), Dr. Michael Andersen, Principal

Booker T. Washington Elementary, Mesa (Mesa Unified School District), Michele Grimaldi, Principal

Cactus Shadows High School, Cave Creek (Cave Creek School District), Steve Bebee, Principal

Centennial Elementary School, Gilbert (Higley Unified School District), Debbie Ybarra, Principal

Chandler Traditional Academy – Humphrey Campus, Chandler (Chandler Unified School District), Luke Hickey, Principal

Desert Sage Elementary School, Phoenix (Deer Valley Unified School District), Lisa Crain, Principal

Diamond Canyon School, Anthem (Deer Valley Unified School District), Tara LeCount, Principal

Haley Nicole Knudsen Elementary School, Chandler (Chandler Unified School District), Pamela Nephew, Principal

Highland Arts Elementary School, Mesa (Mesa Unified School District), Suzi Rollins, Principal

Highland Park Elementary, Gilbert (Gilbert Unified School District), Jason Martin, Principal

John Philip Sousa Elementary School, Mesa (Mesa Unified School District), Elizabeth Mullavey, Principal

Kyrene de la Mariposa Elementary, Tempe (Kyrene Elementary School District), Spencer Fallgatter, Principal

Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School, Chandler (Kyrene Elementary School District), Sheryl Houston, Principal

Kyrene Traditional Academy – Sureno Campus, Chandler (Kyrene Elementary School District), Dr. Marianne Lescher, Principal

Mary C. O'Brien Elementary School, Casa Grande (Mary C. O'Brien Accommodation District), Lisa Raymond, Principal

Pinnacle High School, Phoenix (Paradise Valley Unified School District), Dr. Troy Bales, Principal

Ramon S. Mendoza Elementary School, Mesa (Mesa Unified School District), Dr. Kent Ashton, Principal

Robson Elementary School, Mesa (Mesa Unified School District), Lou Perdoni, Principal

Sonoran Heights Elementary School, Surprise (Dysart Unified School District), Therese Tipton, Principal

Sonoran Sky Elementary School, Scottsdale (Paradise Valley Unified School District), Robert Dawson, Principal

Applicant schools are evaluated in the areas of student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement and assessment data.

Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence program can help increase confidence in Arizona's public schools and create greater parent and community involvement. Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence winner. All staff and faculty at the award-winning schools will be eligible for partial scholarships from Argosy University Phoenix. The award is valid for three and a half years.

A second round of winning schools will be announced in late April.

For additional information on the A+ School of Excellence program or to learn more about and support the Arizona Educational Foundation, visit  

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