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  • Fireside, Sonoran Sky Gifted Students Headed to the Arizona Geography Bee

    Posted by PVSchools on 3/14/2019

     Ishayu Mondal and Jacob Angelchik Ishayu Mondal and Jacob Angelchik

    PVSchools will have two students representing the district at the 31st Annual Arizona Geography Bee on March 29th at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The two gifted students are Ishayu Mondal, a fifth-grade student at Fireside Elementary School, and Jacob Angelchik, a fifth-grade student at Sonoran Sky Elementary School.

    To prepare for the Arizona Geography Bee, Ishayu will review the basics on his atlas. Next, he’ll review specific information such as national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, etc. After that, Ishayu will ask family members to quiz him with difficult questions about geography. “I’m super excited to be representing Fireside Elementary School in the state Geography Bee for the second time. I’m looking forward to winning the bee,” said Ishayu.

    Jacob is also working hard to prepare for the Arizona Geography Bee by looking at Google maps, watching a YouTube channel called, "Geography Now," and reviewing world heritage sites on the Internet. "I am excited because I can exhibit my geography skills at the bee. I’d like to thank my mom, dad, and grandparents for all their support,” said Jacob.

    To qualify for the Arizona Geography Bee both Ishayu and Jacob had to answer the final question correctly for their individual school bee. Ishayu did not get one question wrong in the Fireside Elementary School bee until the finals round, and he won by answering the tie-breaking question – Saginaw Bay, a popular summer tourist destination in the state of Michigan, is an inlet of what lake? The correct answer was Lake Huron. Jacob’s winning question was – What is the capital of Ohio? The correct answer was Columbus.

    PVSchools congratulates and wishes both Ishayu and Jacob the best of luck in the 31st Annual Arizona Geography Bee.

    Explore Gifted programs in PVSchools. Learn more about Fireside Elementary School and Sonoran Sky Elementary School.


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  • Shea Students Win Elks Lodge Essay Contest

    Posted by PVSchools on 3/12/2019

    Andi Casteen, Azara Mick, and Conner Dial. Pictured from left to right: Andi Casteen, Azara Mick, and Conner Dial.

    The Elks Lodge held its annual essay contest with the theme of “What Makes You Proud of America?” They received 114 entries from five schools.

    Shea Middle School Division II winners are Andi Casteen, Conner Dial, and Azara Mick.

    The Elks Lodge will have an awards ceremony in May to celebrate the winners of the essay contest.

    Learn more about Shea Middle School.


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  • If Your Child Is Passionate About the Arts, Attend the NVAA Information Night

    Posted by PVSchools on 3/12/2019

    NVAA Program theater, visual arts, dance, and music technology

    If your child is passionate about dance, theater, music technology or visual arts, PVSchools provides an outlet for creative expression with the North Valley Arts Academies (NVAA). PVSchools offers a fully integrated arts education program in the Northeast Valley at Desert Cove Elementary School, Shea Middle School, and Shadow Mountain High School.

    Learn more about the NVAA program at our Information Night on Wednesday, April 3rd from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Shadow Mountain High School. (Get directions to Shadow Mountain High School.)

    During the event, Norm Pratt, director of Fine Arts, will provide an overview of the program. Additionally, NVAA teachers will give parents and students a tour of the classrooms and facilities, as well as provide detailed information about each program and answer questions. Stacey Orest, principal at Desert Cove Elementary School; Scott Lawrence, principal at Shea Middle School; and David Appleman, principal at Shadow Mountain High School; will share the unique aspects of the NVAA program as it relates to their schools.

    RSVP isn’t required to attend, and the event is open to parents residing in district and out of the district.

    Get more information about NVAA and the April 3rd Information Night.


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  • Pinnacle DECA Students Win at State Conference

    Posted by PVSchools on 3/7/2019

    Pinnacle High School DECA students 2019

    Pinnacle High School's DECA students once again excelled at the three-day Arizona DECA Career Development Conference that was held at the Arizona Grand in Phoenix on Feb 28th-March 2nd. The competition began with a 100 question comprehensive exam. Thirty-seven students qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), which will be held in Orlando from April 26th-May 1st.

    ICDC Qualifiers:


    • First Place: Aria Saisslin – Sports and Entertainment Operations Research (Seattle Sounders)
    • First Place: Tristan Redfoot – Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research (Mandalay Bay)
    • First Place: Zak Phaturos – Finance Operations Research (Wells Fargo)
    • First Place: Haley Richardson – International Business Plan (Tesla to Malaysia)
    • First Place: Jackson Cabral – Creative Marketing Project (Green Ribbon Project)
    • First Place: Michael Melosky – Integrated Marketing Campaign - Product (Guess)
    • First Place: Molly Mashal – Integrated Marketing Campaign - Event (MoPop Music Fest)
    • First Place: Akshat Rathi – Independent Business Plan (Grocery Guru)
    • Second Place: Ryan Milano – Sports and Entertainment Operations Research (Phoenix Suns)
    • Second Place: Maria DeVictor – Buying and Merchandising Operations Research (Sephora)
    • Second Place: John Rosenfeld – Integrated Marketing Campaign - Service (The Keg)
    • Third Place: Madison Rader – Creative Marketing Plan (Morphe)
    • Third Place: Nicole Bartoszek – Personal Financial Literacy Promotion Plan
    • Third Place: Joshua Saad – Integrated Marketing Campaign - Product (Puma)
    • Third Place: Maria Wagner – International Business Plan (Ulta to Israel)
    • Fourth Place: Zach Sonkin – Integrated Marketing Campaign - Service (The First Tee)
    • Fourth Place: Pavan Sathengeri – Entrepreneurship Independent Business Plan (Musiem)


    • First Place: Liam Rexius – Marketing Communications
    • First Place: Ryan Milano – Sports and Entertainment Marketing
    • First Place: Aayush Shah – Food Marketing Series
    • First Place: Julia Chiavaroli and Samantha Ferraro – Marketing Management Team Decision Making
    • First Place: Maria DeVictor – Retail Merchandising
    • First Place: Akshat Rathi – Entrepreneurship
    • First Place: Ryan Davitt and Sultan Stipho – Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
    • First Place: Brynn Kramer – Hotel and Lodging Management
    • First Place: Andrew Holland and Matthew Holland – Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making
    • Second Place: David Fang –Business Finance Series
    • Second Place: Quinton Bryant – Principles of Marketing
    • Third Place: Zak Phaturos – Business Finance Series
    • Third Place: Allyson Smith – Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
    • Third Place: Nicole Bartoszek – Personal Financial Literacy Event
    • Third Place: Isabella Thompson – Principles of Business Management and Administration
    • Fourth Place: Ella Gallagher – Human Resources Management
    • Fourth Place: Tahlia Miller – Apparel and Accessories Marketing Series
    • Fourth Place: Taylor Ray – Food Marketing Series
    • Fourth Place: Rohan O’Malley – Automotive Services Marketing Series
    • Fourth Place: Jacob Ziff – Business Finance Series
    • Fourth Place: Tristan Smith – Principles of Marketing
    • Fourth Place: Hank Roberts – Principles of Business Administration

    Finalists who didn’t qualify for ICDC:

    • Lexington Lesser – Principles of Marketing
    • Kameron Cochrane – Principles of Marketing
    • Fawaz Stipho and Trey Mandel – Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
    • McClaren Skains and Maria Wagner – Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
    • Camden Katz (Soph) & Mohammed Sattar (Soph) Marketing Management Team Decision Making

    Jack Corben and Aakash Kakkar will be representing our chapter for the Gold Certified award-winning Student Based Enterprise (student store) competition.

    Test Medalists (Top 10 Percent in Arizona)

    • Akshat Rathi
    • John Rosenfeld
    • Maria DeVictor
    • Allyson Smith
    • Joshua Saad
    • Maria Wagner
    • Jack Corben
    • Sultan Stipho
    • Matthew Holland
    • Liam Rexius
    • Zach Sonkin
    • Aayush Shah
    • Brynn Kramer
    • David Fang
    • Rohan O’Malley
    • Hank Roberts
    • Ryan Davitt
    • Andrew Holland
    • Taylor Ray

    Role-Play Case Study Medalists

    • Fawaz Stipho
    • Maria DeVictor
    • Mohammed Sattar
    • Brynn Kramer
    • Ryan Davitt
    • Maria Wagner
    • Quinton Bryant
    • Cameron Kochrane
    • Julia Chiavaroli
    • David Fang
    • Zak Phaturos
    • Allyson Smith
    • Trey Mandel
    • Akshat Rathi
    • Camden Katz
    • Isabella Thompson
    • Sultan Stipho
    • McClaren Skains
    • Tristan Smith
    • Liam Rexius
    • Samantha Ferraro
    • Ryan Milano
    • Aayush Shah
    • Jacob Ziff

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  • PVEA Provides Free Prom Attire to PVSchools Students

    Posted by PVSchools on 3/5/2019

    racks of prom clothing and shoes

    The Paradise Valley Education Association (PVEA) will host its annual Dresses and Ties for Girls and Guys event at PVOnline (get directions to PVOnline) on the following dates and times:

    • Saturday, March 9th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    • Tuesday, March 12th from 5-7 p.m.
    • Saturday, March 30th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    • Tuesday, April 2nd from 5-7 p.m.

    The PVEA Dresses and Ties for Girls and Guys event is open PVSchools students, and all items are available free of charge with a limit of one free outfit per student. Students must bring their PVSchools Student ID. The event is organized and run by volunteer teachers who collect prom attire donations throughout the year from the PV community.

    Learn more about PVEA.


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  • Pinnacle Boys Basketball Closes Out Spectacular Season with Second Straight Title

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/28/2019 2:00:00 PM

    Pinnacle Boys Basketball Team With 6A State Championship Banner Trophy 2019

    The final score, 83-64, hides the drama that unfolded in Pinnacle High School’s victory in Tuesday night's 6A state championship game at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. With its win over rival Chaparral, Pinnacle captured its second state title in as many years.

    After a Chaparral three-point play to open the fourth quarter, Pinnacle held a slight advantage, 57-54. A quick steal by junior Marcus Libman, who located a streaking Nico Mannion and hit him in stride for a breakaway dunk, opened the floodgates. The Pinnacle boys went on another of their seemingly perfectly placed runs to close with a comfortable margin of victory.

    Mannion finished with 34 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a whopping seven steals in his final game for the Pioneers. (Read about Mannion's selection to the McDonald's All-American Game.) Libman tallied 19 points in the contest, including a strong 5-for-10 performance from behind the three-point line.

    Pinnacle took care of the ball, only turning it over seven times – compared to Chaparral's 23 giveaways. Chaparral was looking for its first state title after coming up short in the championship game on three prior occasions, but Tuesday was no exception.

    Relive the buildup to, and completion of, Pinnacle's second straight championship by watching this video:

    Pinnacle finished the season with a 28-3 record, including three unanswered wins over region-rival Chaparral. Congrats once again to Coach Charlie Wilde and the Pioneers!

    Learn more about Pinnacle athletics.


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  • PVSchools’ Showstoppers Take the Stage This Season

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/28/2019

    High school teater performance

    PVSchools theater teachers and students will bring tales to life through stage productions of musicals and plays this spring. Support Performing Arts in PVSchools by taking the entire family to one of these amazing shows.

    • March 7-9 at 7 p.m. – Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim in the Auditorium at Horizon High School (Get directions to Horizon High.)

      Into the Woods is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

      The cost to attend is $10. Tickets are available for purchase online.

    • April 4-6 at 7 p.m. – Beauty and the Beast in the Auditorium at Paradise Valley High School (Get directions to Paradise Valley High.)

      Belle, a beautiful and intelligent young woman, feels out of place in her provincial French village. When her father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, Belle’s attempt to rescue him leads to her capture by the Beast, a grisly and fearsome monster, who was long ago trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress. The only way for the Beast to become human once again is if he learns to love and be loved in return. There is a time limit, too: once a magical rose loses all of its petals, all hope will be lost and he will stay a Beast forever. The Beast’s enchanted household – populated by such beloved characters as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip – watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast grow to understand and befriend one another. Their feelings grow ever deeper as the clock ticks and petals continue to fall off the enchanted rose--will they confess their love for one another before it is too late?

      The cost to attend is $10. Tickets are available for pre-purchase in the school’s bookstore.

    • April 25-27 at 7 p.m. – Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, an adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey, in the Performing Arts Center at Shadow Mountain High School (Get directions to Shadow Mountain High.)

      Anon(ymous), Naomi Iizuka's entrancing contemporary adaption of Homer's The Odyssey, retells the classic story through the eyes of a young refugee. Separated from family and in a strange place far from a home lost forever, Anon goes on a quest for belonging, encountering a wide variety of people -- some kind, some dangerous and cruel. Guided by a goddess and the memory of a mother's warm embrace and wise voice, Anon must navigate through a chaotic, ever-changing landscape searching for somewhere to call home.

      The cost to attend is $5 students, $10 adults, and free for PVSchools employees (bring your employee badge).

    • May 2-4 at 7 p.m. –  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in the Black Box Theater at Paradise Valley High School (Get directions to Paradise Valley High.)

      When the lights come up, the dead dog is seen onstage. It is immediately assumed that 15-year old Christopher Boone is responsible. He is innocent, however, he decides to investigate. Christopher has a unique mind that is phenomenal at math, but ill-equipped to understand everyday, ordinary life. His investigation (the details of which Christopher records in a book) leads him to discover not just who killed the dog, but secrets within his own family that turn his world upside down.

      The cost to attend is $5. There is limited seating in the Black Box Theater. Tickets are available for pre-purchase in the school’s bookstore.


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  • Desert Trails Elementary Student Crowned Regional Queen Bee

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/27/2019 9:00:00 AM

    Bumblebee Swirling Around Spelling Bee

    We are happy to announce that Emily Tran, a sixth-grade student at Desert Trails Elementary School, was the winner of the Maricopa County Regional II Spelling Bee that was held on Friday, Feb. 22, at Deer Valley Unified School District.

    Emily has advanced to the Arizona Spelling Bee, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at Arizona PBS's studios.

    In all, 43 students participated in the Maricopa County Regional II Spelling Bee, which lasted 23 rounds until the winning word was spelled correctly. Emily’s final word was incarnadine.

    The Arizona Educational Foundation annually organizes and hosts the Arizona Spelling Bee. The winner of the Arizona Spelling Bee will represent our state at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., a weeklong event which begins on May 26.

    Good luck, Emily!

    See more details on the 2019 Arizona Spelling Bee.

    Learn more about Desert Trails Elementary School.

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  • Double Up: Shadow Mountain Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Win State Championships!

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/25/2019

    2018-2019 Shadow Mountain Girls Varsity Basketball Team And Coaches

    It’s a rare occurrence when a school’s boys and girls teams win state championships in the same year. That’s what happened over the weekend when the Shadow Mountain High School Boys and Girls basketball teams took home state championship trophies. The last time this happened in Arizona high school hoops was the 2003 season, with Thunderbird High School the victor.

    The Shadow Mountain Boys team won the 4A title Saturday by dominating Deer Valley 64-38 at Gila River Arena in Glendale. On the same day and at the same venue, the Shadow Girls won the 4A championship by beating Seton Catholic, the owner of the last three state championships, 54-31. Both Shadow Mountain squads only suffered one defeat during the season.

    2018-2019 Shadow Mountain Varsity Boys Basketball Players

    The Matador Boys from Shadow Mountain won their fourth consecutive state title, and the Lady Matadors won their second title ever – their first being in 2010.

    Congratulations to Shadow Mountain for achieving a rare level of success within a single season!

    Learn more about Shadow Mountain athletics.


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  • Why Teach in PVSchools

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/25/2019

    A teacher writing on a flip board

    Do you know someone pursuing a career in K-12 education or an experienced teacher who may be relocating to Arizona? When selecting a school district to work for in the Phoenix-metro area, the Paradise Valley Unified School District should be one of the top contenders for employment opportunities.

    Innovative Learning

    For more than a century, PVSchools has created a safe and encouraging learning environment for all students – from their first step into the classroom to their final walk at graduation.

    PVSchools has invested in a wide variety of specialty programs to fit the learning needs of each student. Our Premier District Programs provide students the ability to participate in cutting-edge programs and innovative learning experiences.

    At the heart of our district is our faculty of certified, dedicated teachers who open up the world to eager minds – hungry for information and understanding. We hire only the best and brightest teachers who bring a sincere desire to see each of their students blossom to become the best they can be. PVSchools is proud to have one of the highest concentrations of National Board Certified Teachers in Arizona along with our numerous educators who are Arizona Master Teachers through the Arizona K12 Center.

    A High-Performance Culture

    At PVSchools, teachers treat each other with care and concern while holding each other accountable to high teaching standards.  Our teachers enjoy an inspiring culture of collaboration and teamwork, creating a positive environment of support and respect. Rex Morrison, a math teacher at Paradise Valley High School, says, “Our unique culture is part of what makes PVSchools a great place to teach.”

    Mentor Programs

    At PVSchools, we want our newly hired teachers to succeed professionally and to grow their career in our district. This is why all of our first-year teachers receive mentoring through our First Year New Teacher Academy, which is aimed at easing the transition from college studies to being a first-year teacher in the classroom. All new teachers at PVSchools have a dedicated senior mentor for their entire first year of teaching within the district. This mentor observes them in the classroom and provides advice, feedback, and support in their first year. In addition, all first-year teachers meet as a group once a month to discuss and overcome issues encountered in the classroom.

    Professional Development

    Investing in professional development is a priority for PVSchools. Through federal and state grants, the district is able to provide content specific professional development to teachers. Throughout the school year, teachers attend professional development training to enhance their teaching skills.

    Certified Salary and Benefits

    Our average teacher salary exceeds the average of peer districts and across Arizona. In addition to competitive pay, PVSchools also provides:

    • A full range of benefits, including:
      • Free employee-only medical benefits package
      • Dental insurance
      • Vision insurance
      • Flexible Spending Accounts
      • Childcare discounts through our
    • Community Education Department
    • Guaranteed 30-minute duty-free lunch – no required before and after school duties
    • Employer matching retirement contributions

    Arizona Certification Requirements

    If you hold a valid out-of-state teaching or administrative certificate, you may meet the reciprocal requirements for certification in Arizona. Learn more about the reciprocal requirements for certification.

    How to Apply

    We hope you’ll join the PVSchools family on our journey of excellence to provide an outstanding educational experience for all students. To apply for a position with our district, please visit https://jobs.pvschools.net/.


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  • Liberty Elementary Chorus and Musical Theater Presents 'Once Upon a Mattress'

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/22/2019

    Liberty Elementary Once Upon A Mattress Jesters Knights Student Performers

    Liberty Elementary School’s Liberty Chorus and Musical Theater students, under the direction of teacher Lori Broermann, will perform Once Upon a Mattress, a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Princess and the Pea with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.

    Performances are open to the public and are held in the multi-purpose room at Liberty Elementary School. (Get directions to Liberty Elementary.) Admission is $4 per person. Performance Schedule:

    • Friday and Saturday evenings, March 1 and 2 at 7 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday afternoons, March 2 and 3 at 2 p.m.

    The show opens to the lilting melody of the prologue, Many Moons Ago, as the Minstrel and Court Jesters, claim that they will tell the “true” story of the Princess and the Pea. No one in the Kingdom is allowed to marry until the Prince is wed, and the Queen insists on testing every eligible girl to prove whether they are a genuine Princess. Yet another girl has failed the test, and the Knights and Ladies sing, “we have an opening for a Princess.” Sir Harry requests to go in search of a true Princess, in hopes that he and Lady Larkin will finally be able to tie the knot. This time the Princess arrives soaking wet, but not as the result of being caught in a storm.

    This delightful comedy will draw you in as the talented 4th, 5th and 6th graders of the Liberty Elementary Chorus and Musical Theater present a Medieval fairy tale with comical twists and jazzy tunes. Songs and dances, including Shy, Swamps of Home, The Minstrel, the Jesters, and I. Prince Dauntless the Drab, Princess Winnifred the Woebegone, Queen Aggravain, the Wizard,  and the rest of the Kingdom will keep you in stitches as you wonder if the Princess will pass the test and everyone will find their happily-ever-after in the morning.

    Learn more about Liberty Elementary School.


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  • Clean Out Your Closets! PVEA Collecting Prom Attire for Girls & Guys

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/22/2019

    PVEA collecting prom attire for students

    Spring is just around the corner, and it’s a great time to clean out your closets. The Paradise Valley Education Association (PVEA) is collecting prom attire for its annual Prom Dresses & Ties for PV Girls & Guys event. PVSchools students are invited to visit the boutique prior to prom to select an outfit of his or her dreams - for free!

    PVEA is seeking the following items:

    • Dresses
    • Women’s shoes
    • Necklaces
    • Purses
    • Earrings
    • Tuxedos
    • Bowties
    • Formal vests
    • Men’s shoes

    Items may be dropped off through April 2nd at the PVSchools’ District Administrative Center, Monday- Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Get directions to PVSchools.) Prom attire will be donated to students who attend PVSchools.

    The Dresses & Ties for PV Girls & Guys event is organized and run by volunteer teachers who collect prom attire donations throughout the year from the community.


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  • Sandpiper Student’s Artwork Selected for Cybersecurity Awareness 'Kids Safe Online' Calendar

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/21/2019

    Lyric Sharpe's submission for the “Kids Safe Online” Calendar Contest

    Lyric Sharpe, a student at Sandpiper Elementary School, was the kindergarten winner in the statewide sixth annual Cybersecurity Awareness “Kids Safe Online” Calendar Contest. This year, there were more than 1,200 entries! The calendar contest is a creative way for Arizona students to illustrate the Internet, social media, and computer safety through art.

    Lyric's entry will be featured in the 2019-2020 Arizona Cyber Security Calendar. She will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 22 at the Arizona Department of Administration.

    The sixth annual Cybersecurity Awareness “Kids Safe Online” Calendar Contest is hosted by the Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology Office, the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Department of Administration, and the Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance.

    Visit Sandpiper Elementary School's website.


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  • PVSchools Governing Board Selects Jesse Welsh, Ed.D. as Next Superintendent

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/19/2019

    Dr. Jesse Welsh The PVSchools Governing Board has selected Jesse Welsh, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent of Clark County School District, to serve as Superintendent beginning July 1, 2019, and will vote to approve Dr. Welsh’s contract at its March 7th meeting.

    “The Governing Board is excited and honored to welcome Dr. Welsh as the next superintendent of PVSchools. Dr. Welsh has a proven ability to work with diverse populations and developed programming that attracted thousands of students back to district schools from charter schools within Clark County. He is thrilled to be joining the collaborative culture that is a hallmark of our school district,” said Julie Bacon, Governing Board president.

    Dr. Welsh has experience working in a large, diverse school district, is conversationally fluent in Spanish, has worked in high needs schools with at risk students, and is committed to continuing the vital work around equity in our schools.

    "I am excited for the opportunity to work with our great team of educators and professionals who serve our students in PVSchools. As superintendent, I express my commitment to begin the work by engaging and listening to stakeholders so that we can continue the many great things already going on and collaborate on how we can continue to improve. I look forward to visiting schools to connect with our administrators, teachers, staff, and students and meeting with our parents and community groups. Together, we will continue the tradition of excellence within PVSchools and build upon its success,” said Dr. Welsh.

    Dr. Welsh has more than 23 years in K-12 education serving in a wide variety of roles. Most recently, he has served as the assistant superintendent of Clark County School District in Las Vegas since 2017. During his tenure, he has held a variety of school-based and central-based administrative roles including assistant superintendent, interim assistant superintendent, academic manager, principal, assistant principal, region data coordinator, dean of students, math teacher and Spanish teacher. Dr. Welsh’s experiences include expertise in curriculum and professional development, online/digital learning, magnet programs, career and technical education, athletics, assessment, accountability, research, and school improvement.

    Dr. Welsh earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Ithaca College, New York, and a Master’s and Doctoral degree in K-12 Educational Leadership from the University of Nevada. Additionally, he holds an Executive Certificate in Educational Leadership and Management from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and attended both the Harvard Institute for Superintendents and District Leaders and the Harvard Public Education Leadership Project.

    Dr. Welsh will be succeeding Dr. James P. Lee who is retiring June 30th, 2019. Dr. Lee’s 10-year tenure as superintendent, which began in July 2009, is the longest of any superintendent in the district’s 106-year history. Dr. Welsh and Dr. Lee will work together in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.


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  • Now’s Your Chance to Audition for the NVAA Dance Track

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/19/2019

    NVAA Dance students

    The North Valley Arts Academies (NVAA) will hold dance auditions for current 6th-11th grade students on Thursday, March 14th from 3:45-7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Shadow Mountain High School. (Get directions to Shadow Mountain High School.) If you will be in 5th or 6th grade for the 2019-20 school year, you can apply to the program without auditioning.

    The NVAA Dance Track provides the essential skills and techniques for your child to become a successful dancer. In the early years of the program, students will learn the methodology for popular dance styles such as ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance and learn about choreography and creativity. In later years, students will progress to advanced and complex dance techniques, production, the history of dance and more. If your child possesses a love of movement, the NVAA Dance track is ideal for honing their skills and propelling him or her on to a successful dance career.

    All students applying for the program need to complete the online application. (Get the online application.) If you have any questions, please contact Emily Spranger, NVAA dance teacher, at espranger@pvschools.net.

    Learn more about NVAA.


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  • 4 PV Students Named as 2019 National Merit® Finalists

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/15/2019

    PVSchools Students Harrison Lisk, Alyssa Unell, Alexander Schmelzeis and Supriya WeissPictured from left to right: PVSchools students Harrison Lisk, Alyssa Unell, Alexander Schmelzeis, and Supriya Weiss

    PVSchools is proud to announce that four high school seniors from Horizon High School, Paradise Valley High School, and Shadow Mountain High School recently were named National Merit® Finalists.

    PVSchools National Merit® Finalists are from:

    Horizon High School

    Alyssa Unell

    Paradise Valley High School

    Harrison Lisk

    Alexander Schmelzeis

    Shadow Mountain High School

    Supriya Weiss

    The Path to a Merit Scholarship Award

    Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, National Merit® Scholarship Corporation will notify finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Merit Scholarship awards are of three types: National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships, Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. Learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

    Background on the Program

    The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.

    Learn more about college entrance exam preparation at PVSchools


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  • 2 PV Students Place First in State InvestWrite Essay Contest

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/15/2019

    Riya Bhakta andJimmy Washburn Pictured from left to right: Riya Bhakta and Jimmy Washburn

    PVSchools had two students win first place in the Arizona InvestWrite essay contest – Riya Bhakta, a 5th-grade student at Fireside Elementary School, and Jimmy Washburn, a 6th-grade student at Hidden Hills Elementary School. Their essays will now be submitted for consideration to win the national prize for their age group. The Arizona Council on Economic Education will recognize all state winners at an awards ceremony on May 10th.

    After participating in the Stock Market Game for a semester, the students were then given a writing prompt. The scenario was to research an entrepreneur and their company and then use that information to make an informed financial plan for this entrepreneur to invest their profits for short and long term. Depending on the entrepreneur, the advice could vary based on the needs and goals for the company.

    “The students in my class were able to choose freely which entrepreneur they wanted to research. This was interesting because several of the girls were fascinated by the early women who overcame gender bias to become successful, as well as several of the students looking for the founders of businesses that they just loved the product and wanted to know more about the background of it. Jimmy showed a thoughtful consideration between keeping some money free for every day needs but also using short and long term investments to grow some of the original profit to keep for a rainy day. Creating a diversified portfolio was a concept that he understood and applied in this writing assignment,” said Peggy Woodard, 4th-6th grade gifted teacher.

    InvestWrite is an essay writing contest, which is part of The Stock Market Game. Every student currently registered with the Stock Market Game is eligible to participate in the InvestWrite.

    Visit Fireside's website.

    Visit Hidden Hill's website.


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  • 2 PV Student-Athletes Win AIA State Wrestling Championships

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/14/2019

    Coach Chris Hawes, Scott Kellenberger and Julia Lundberg Pictured from left to right: Coach Chris Hawes, Scott Kellenberger, and Julia Lundberg

    PVSchools is excited to announce that two high school student-athletes have won Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), Division II and Division 5A State Championships that were held on Feb. 8th-9th in Prescott.

    • Julia Lundberg, a student-athlete at North Canyon High School, dominated her female season and the AIA tournament by earning the first-ever 5A Northeast Valley Girls 135 lbs. State Championship. Lundberg finished the season undefeated with an impressive record of 20-0. She is coached by Christopher Sisson.

    • Scott Kellenberger, a student at Horizon High School, won the Division II State Wrestling Championship 160 lbs. Kellenberger finished the season with a record of 42-2. He is coached by Chris Hawes.

    Learn more about Athletics in PVSchools.


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  • Horizon, Paradise Valley High Students Selected as Candidates for the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/14/2019

    Mac McGraw and Tania Domenzain-Vera Pictured from left to right: Tania Domenzain-Vera and Mac McGraw

    Tania Domenzain-Vera, a senior at Horizon High School, and Mac McGraw, a senior at Paradise Valley High School, have been selected as candidates for the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

    Students from across the United States are selected by invitation based only on their SAT or ACT exam scores to apply for the U.S. Presidential Scholars. Students have the opportunity to become Presidential Scholars based on three paths of accomplishments - General, Arts, and Career and Technical Education (CTE).

    “I am honored and humbled to be a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, an opportunity that will enable me to continue my education with the desire to apply the knowledge and skills I acquire for the betterment of society,” said Domenzain-Vera.

    McGraw is one of five Arizona students nominated for the CTE Presidential Scholars Award.

    “Getting nominated as a Presidential Scholarship Candidate on behalf of my state is extraordinary. I am grateful for Arizona and everything this state has given me. This is my opportunity to return the favor,” said McGraw.

    Applications must be submitted by Feb. 26, 2019. Semifinalists are notified in mid-April. Scholars are notified in May.

    The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Learn more about the Presidential Scholar Program.

    Learn more about Horizon High School. Learn more about Paradise Valley High School.


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  • PVSchools' Janice Mak Participates in a U.S. Department of Education Roundtable Discussion

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/13/2019

    Janice Mak Janice Mak, K-12 science curriculum specialist for PVSchools, was one of nine educators selected to participate in a U.S. Department of Education Roundtable Discussion with Secretary Betsy DeVos; Ebony Lee, deputy chief of staff for policy; and Jim Blew, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development; that was held in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 28th.

    Teachers were selected based on having received national recognition for teaching. For example, there was a National Teacher of the Year, Apple Distinguished Educator, Hope Street Fellow, an ASCS Emerging Leader. “I was there because of my Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching,” said Mak.

    The topics discussed during the roundtable included ways to elevate and recognize teachers and the teaching profession, ways to support teachers in the workplace, meaningful professional development - describing what it was and what made it meaningful, as well as how teachers found these opportunities.

    “There is a very similar set of challenges that we face in education across our states, no matter where we live. It was encouraging that the U.S. Department of Education called on us to gain insight into our experiences and to ask for ideas to address these challenges while also seeking ideas on how to innovate in the areas of teacher recognition and professional development,” added Mak.

    The nine educators selected represented California, Utah, Arizona, Iowa, and Virginia with diverse educational backgrounds ranging from large public school districts, a charter school, and an independent school.


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  • Recap: PVSchools 5k Community Fun Run

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/11/2019

    Jordan Black This year, 689 runners of all ages gathered early Saturday morning eager to hit the track at Horizon High School. From moms and dads with strollers to teachers and students of all ages, this year's run was a good time for all involved.

    Community runner, Jordan Black (pictured above) finished first for the second year in a row with an impressive time of 16 minutes, 21 seconds. View the complete list of finish times.

    The team award, based on participation was Sonoran Sky Elementary School with 65 race participants; Desert Cove Elementary School claimed second place with 50 participants, and Copper Canyon Elementary School received third place with 40 race participants.  

    This event would not have been possible without the support of the many volunteers who pitched in to make sure everyone had a good time.


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  • PVSchools Hosts Its 9th Annual Fine Arts Festival: The Sights & Sounds of PVSchools

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/8/2019

    2018 Sights & Sounds of PVSchools Fine Arts Festival

    Join PVSchools for its 9th Annual Fine Arts Festival: The Sights & Sounds of PVSchools on Saturday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 3 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Paradise Valley Mall. (Get directions to PV Mall.) There is something for everyone to enjoy, with more than 70 student performances and thousands of student pieces of artwork on display.

    At the event, K-12 student 2D and 3D artwork will be on display, in the following formats:

    • Pencil
    • Colored pencil
    • Pastels
    • Charcoal
    • Watercolor
    • Acrylic
    • Oil
    • Ceramic objects

    Additionally, there will be more than 70 student performances, including Band, Strings, Choir, Theater and Dance, on Saturday only. All schools will be represented in this two-day event.

    Student performances will be held in the following areas of the mall on Saturday:

    • Centre Court
    • Dillard's Court
    • Sears Court
    • Costco Court

    See the live performance schedule for Saturday, March 2.

    Attendees can expect a huge celebration of the arts in PVSchools with amazing student performances, as well as incredible artwork on display. There is no cost to attend, and the entire community is invited to attend this spectacular event.

    Learn more about Fine Arts in PVSchools.


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  • Whispering Wind Academy Hosts Mandarin Information Night

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/7/2019

    Students writing in Mandarin Learning a foreign language such as Mandarin at a young age has many benefits. Children who learn a second or even third language are academically prepared with the 21st century skill set to compete and succeed in a global marketplace.

    You can learn more about the benefits of learning a second language at the Mandarin Information Night on Thursday, March 7th at 6 p.m. in the Library. (Get directions to Whispering Wind Academy.) During the event, there will be a short presentation, a Mandarin demonstration with a teacher, and a question and answer session with a parent panel. Reserve your seat, and register to attend the event.

    Why consider an immersion program for your child?

    Research shows that the best time for a child to learn a second language is from birth to 12 years old, while a child’s brain is still developing language skills. There are many long-term benefits for a child to learn a second language, including performing better than monolingual students on tasks that involve divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.

    A Snapshot of the Mandarin Immersion Program at Whispering Wind Academy

    From the moment students step into one of the Mandarin Immersion classrooms, they are fully immersed in the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. The Mandarin classrooms are decorated with purpose and are stocked with instructional materials to help support each child’s learning in the classroom.

    In kindergarten through 5th grade, students are learning to talk about themselves – their name, age, family, hobbies, and community. Students are also learning to ask and answer questions relating to thematic units examples such as numbers, colors, food, school, clothing, hobbies, and occupations. They are also learning to read, write, and present their work in Mandarin.

    The school day is structured so that students spend 50 percent of the day learning subjects in English, and the other half of the instructional day learning subjects in Mandarin. Students in kindergarten through 5th grade are taught Math and Science, with a heavy emphasis on literacy in Mandarin. Reading, Writing, and Social Studies are taught in English. Starting in 5th grade, students learn Science and Social Studies with an emphasis on literacy in Mandarin, and Math will be taught in English.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the Dual Language Mandarin Immersion Program, attend one of the Mandarin Information Nights or schedule a tour of the school by calling 602-449-7300.

    Related content:


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  • PVSchools Governing Board Announces Finalists for Next Superintendent

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/6/2019

    The PVSchools Superintendent, Dr. James P. Lee, is retiring June 30th, 2019. Dr. Lee was named superintendent in July of 2009 and his 10-year tenure as superintendent is the longest of any superintendent in the district’s 106-year history.

    The PVSchools Governing Board is pleased to announce the finalists for the position of superintendent. After completing an extensive search conducted by Ray & Associates, along with PVSchools Governing Board, the nationwide search has been narrowed down to four finalists.

    The four finalists selected are:

    Paul Gordon, Ed.D.
    Paul Gordon, Ed.D., has served as the superintendent of Glen Ellyn School District 41 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois since 2013. Prior to joining Glen Ellyn School District 41, he was employed at Adams 12 School District in Denver and served in the following roles: chief academic officer, executive director of middle schools and professional development, principal, and literacy teacher. Dr. Gordon is a member of Learning Forward, the National Education Publication, the National Association of School Superintendents, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

    Kimberly Guerin, Ed.D.
    Kimberly Guerin, Ed.D., has served as assistant superintendent of leadership - elementary for PVSchools since 2016. Prior to her current position, Dr. Guerin served as the director of elementary education, assistant director of curriculum, and principal. She began her career in PVSchools as a teacher in 1994. Dr. Guerin is actively involved in the community and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Desert Ridge, the School Superintendents Association (AASA), the AASA Women in School Leadership, the Cape Girl League, the Palomino Neighborhood Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League Education Committee, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Arizona School Administrators, the Paradise Valley Principals Association, and the Paradise Valley Education Association.

    Jason Reynolds, Ed.D.
    Jason Reynolds, Ed.D., has served as assistant superintendent of leadership - secondary for PVSchools since 2015. Prior to his current position, he served as the director of curriculum and instruction, and principal. He began his career in PVSchools in 1997 as a teacher. Dr. Reynolds is active in the community and is a member of the Parents of Pinnacle, Fireside Parent-Teacher Organization, Arizona School Administrators - president-elect, Educational Services Division 2019, the North Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Desert Ridge, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

    Jesse Welsh, Ed.D.
    Jesse Welsh, Ed.D., has served as the assistant superintendent of Clark County School District in Las Vegas since 2017. During his tenure at Clark County School District, Dr. Welsh has served as the academic manager, innovating learning environments; acting assistant superintendent - assessment, accountability, research, and school improvement; and principal. Dr. Welsh is a member of the Nevada Public Education Foundation Executive Leadership Academy Alumni Board of Directors and the Engage 150.


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  • Take a Break: Unplug and Play

    Posted by PVSchools on 2/4/2019

    Family laughing with a graphic ofUnplug & Play

    At PVSchools, we value the health and wellness of our students, staff, and community. We are dedicating the weekend of Feb. 9th-10th for you to carve out time to unplug, unwind, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with family and friends. Students will not be assigned homework, no tests will be given on Monday, Feb. 11th for students to study for, and we are encouraging all staff to enjoy the weekend free from school-related work.

    There are many fun activities that your family can do together, including:

    • Play Board Games
      Who doesn’t have Clue or Monopoly stashed away in a closet? Dust off a board game and make it a family game night.

    • Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle
      Turn off the TV and try to complete a jigsaw puzzle. With each family member taking a section, you’ll finish it no time. Plus, working on puzzles helps with your abilities to reason, analyze, sequence, deduce, and increases logical thought processes and problem-solving skills.

    • Cook a Meal Together
      Make a pizza from scratch with the whole family helping. From making the pizza dough to marinara sauce to chopping up the veggies, there is a job for everyone.

    • Visit a Museum
      Spend a day visiting an art museum, natural history museum or a science center. After your visit, discuss as a family what you saw and liked.

    • Take Fido to a Dog Park
      Don’t forget to include your furry family members when planning events. Always take extra water for every family member, including Fido.

    • Movie Night
      Rent a movie or see a movie that the entire family can enjoy together. Don’t forget the popcorn.

    • Share Family Stories/Memories
      Take out old photo albums to share memorable stories with your children. Share stories of family members who inspired and influenced you as a child.

    • Build a Fort Indoors
      Gather up your sheets, blankets and pillows to build an indoor fort or tent. Need inspiration? Pinterest will have ideas and step-by-step directions for any indoor fort or tent.

    • Put on a Talent Show
      Whether it’s singing, dancing, playing an instrument or acting, each family member can showcase his or her individual talents.


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