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52 Arizona public schools earn Arizona Educational Foundation’s A+ School of Excellence™ Award


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  • Dan Allen/ Arizona Educational Foundation

Ms. Priscilla Andrade Checks On Her Fifth-grade Students Work On A Math Building And Teamwork Activity On Monday, May 21, 2018 At Acacia Elementary School. Photo By Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced the names of 52 Arizona public schools receiving the coveted A+ School of Excellence™ award.

AEF has identified and honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona since 1983.

52 Arizona public schools earn Arizona Educational Foundation's A+ School of Excellence™ Award Arizona-Educational-Foundation-Logo

The 2019 A+ School of Excellence winning schools and principals are:

  • Anthem School, Deer Valley Unified School District, Debra Roets
  • Aprende Middle School, Kyrene School District, Renee Kory
  • Arizona Charter Academy, Success School, Jordan Beckman
  • Arizona College Prep Erie, Chandler Unified School District, Robert Bickes
  • Arredondo Elementary School, Tempe Elementary School District, Alison Bruening-Hamati
  • Arrowhead Elementary School, Deer Valley Unified School District, Vivian Hunt
  • Audrey and Robert Ryan Elementary School, Chandler Unified School District, Diane Wells
  • Basha Elementary School, Chandler Unified School District #80, Jessica Edgar
  • Booker T. Washington Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools, Michele Grimaldi
  • Carrillo K-5 Communication and Creative Arts, Tucson Unified School District, Lori Conner
  • Centennial Elementary School, Flowing Wells School District, Kristine Dale
  • Chandler High School, Chandler Unified School District, Larry Rother
  • Chandler Traditional Academy – Freedom, Chandler Unified School District, Abby Druck
  • Chandler Traditional Academy- Independence, Chandler Unified School District, Frank Hendricsen
  • CI Waggoner Elementary School, Kyrene School District, Lisa Gibson
  • Cienega High School, Vail School District, Nemer Hassey
  • Circle Cross Ranch K-8 STEM Academy, Florence Unified School District, Holly Dalby
  • Copper Creek Elementary School, Deer Valley Unified School District, Kathy McNeill
  • Desert Shadows Elementary School, Paradise Valley Unified School District, Chad Caudle
  • Desert Willow Elementary School, Vail School District, Kendra Forgacs
  • Diamond Canyon School, Deer Valley Unified School District, Tara LeCount
  • Emerson Elementary, Mesa Public Schools, Christel Swinehart-Arbogast
  • Empire High School, Vail School District, Matt Donaldson
  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School, Nogales Unified School District, Sandra Jimenez
  • Gateway Pointe, Higley Unified School District, Tim Fountain
  • Gowan Science Academy, Crane Elementary School District, Jamie Haines
  • Kyrene de la Mariposa, Kyrene School District, Spencer Fallgatter
  • Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School, Kyrene School District, Suzanne Ramundo
  • Kyrene Traditional Academy, Kyrene Elementary District, Marianne Lescher
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools, Joshua Henderson
  • Litchfield Elementary School, Litchfield Elementary School District, Sabine Hopper
  • Longview Elementary School, Osborn School District, Benjamin Smith
  • Mary C. O’Brien Elementary School, Mary C. O’Brien Accommodation District, Lisa Raymond
  • McDowell Mountain Elementary School, Fountain Hills Unified School District, Valerie Dehombreux
  • Mesquite Elementary School, Vail Unified School District, Diane Vargo
  • Palm Valley Elementary School, Litchfield Elementary School District, Jennifer Benjamin
  • Pantano High School, Vail Unified School District, Monica Wright
  • Park Meadows Elementary School, Deer Valley Unified School District, Joan Wick
  • Pima Butte Elementary School, Maricopa Unified School District, Randy Lazar
  • Playa del Rey Elementary, Gilbert Public Schools, Darrin Praska
  • Ramon S. Mendoza Elementary, Mesa Public Schools, Deb Lynch
  • Rogers Ranch School, Laveen School District, Tim Thomas
  • Sequoya Elementary School, Scottsdale Unified, Veronica Leiper
  • Shadow Ridge High School, Dysart Unified School District, Michael Hawkins
  • Shumway Leadership Academy, Chandler Unified School District, Korry Brenner
  • Sirrine Elementary, Mesa Public Schools, Renee Parker
  • Sonoran Sky Elementary School, Paradise Valley Unified School District # 69, Robert Dawson
  • Towne Meadows Elementary, Gilbert Unified School District, Chip Pettit
  • Valley Vista High School, Dysart Unified School District, Roberta Lockhart
  • Ward Traditional Academy, Tempe Elementary School District, Taime Bengochea
  • Wildflower School, Avondale Elementary School District #44, Araceli Montoya
  • Zedo Ishikawa Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools, David Shill

“The A+ School of Excellence™ program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona, calling attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” said AEF Executive Director, Kim Graham. “The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for exceeding expectations to meet their students’ needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide.”

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.

Applications are made available to Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide. Evaluation of schools is based on a lengthy written application submitted by the school and a rigorous site visit conducted by a team of trained judges.

In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and the school community’s commitment to excellence, equity, service and sustained high achievement.

Preparation of each school’s application involves collaboration among all stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence™ winner. The award is valid for three and a half years. Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence™ program can help increase confidence in Arizona’s public schools and create greater parent and community support.

Click here for additional information about the A+ School of Excellence program.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Dan Allen, Director of Programs and Partnerships by email at dan@azedfoundation.org or phone at 928.600.7092.