Seven schools with minority-intensive, low-income student populations received gold awards and have been named “Beat the Odds Schools” by Beat the Odds, an initiative of the Center for the Future of Arizona.
Nine schools earned silver and 9 earned bronze awards.
Based upon methodology from best-selling author Jim Collins, Beat the Odds is a rigorous, multi-year school improvement program providing mentoring and training for principals. It focuses on K-12 schools where at least 50 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch and at least 50 percent are minority, primarily Latino.
Gold award winners for the 2014-2015 school year are Holaway Elementary in Tucson; North Canyon High, Sheely Farms Elementary and Sun Canyon Elementary in Phoenix; Sunset Vista Elementary in Glendale; WestPark Elementary in Buckeye; and Westview High School in Avondale.
Only schools that attain gold-medal status — the highest level of achievement in the Beat the Odds program — are conferred the title of a Beat the Odds School.
“Our award winners demonstrate that demography is not destiny. They have overcome obstacles and improved academic performance through their commitment to Beat the Odds’ Six Keys to Success,” Amanda Burke, Center for the Future of Arizona senior director, education, said.
Based upon research, the six keys are: a strong and steady principal, a clear bottom line, ongoing assessment, collaborative solutions, customized instruction to fit each student’s needs and a commitment to stick with the program.
Participation in Beat the Odds, now in its ninth year, is open to K-12 public, charter and tribal schools throughout the state. Additional information is available at www.BeatTheOddsInstitute.org.
Gold Award Level – Beat the Odds Schools and Principals
Beat the Odds Gold Level schools must have three years of participation in the program, formative assessment data demonstrating academic progress across the majority of grade levels, the superintendent’s recommendation, plus other criteria.
Amphitheater Public Schools – Tucson
Holaway Elementary/Principal Chris Gutierrez
Buckeye Elementary School District – Buckeye
WestPark Elementary/Principal Nick Forgette
Fowler Elementary School District – Phoenix
Sun Canyon Elementary/Principal Jonathan Rohloff
Glendale Elementary School District – Glendale
Sunset Vista Elementary/Principal Dr. Bryan Richman
Paradise Valley Unified School District – Phoenix
North Canyon High School/Principal Elaine Jacobs
Tolleson Elementary School District – Phoenix
Sheely Farms Elementary/Principal Melissa Marze
Tolleson Union High School District – Avondale
Westview High School/Principal Michele Wilson
Silver Award Level – Beat the Odds Schools and Principals
Beat the Odds Silver Level schools must have two years of participation in the program, formative assessment data demonstrating academic progress across the majority of grade levels, plus other criteria.
Edkey Schools – Tempe
Children First Academy/Principal Jevon Lewis
Espiritu Charter Schools – Phoenix
NFL-YET Academy/Principal Arlahee Ruiz
Isaac School District – Phoenix
Isaac Middle School/Principal Bree Honeycutt
Joseph Zito Elementary/Principal Gerard Hernandez
Mesa Unified School District – Mesa
Ida Redbird Elementary/Principal Nick Parker
Peoria Unified School District – Peoria
Desert Palms Elementary/Principal Richard Troy
Phoenix Union High School District – Phoenix
Alhambra High School/Principal Claudio Coria
Pima Prevention Partnership – Arizona Collegiate is located in Phoenix
Arizona Collegiate High School/Principal Mike Dunbar
Scottsdale Unified School District- Scottsdale
Tonalea Elementary/Principal Lori Pizzo
Bronze Award Level – Beat the Odds Schools and Principals
Beat the Odds Bronze Level schools must demonstrate implementation of the six keys to success, the principal’s participation in meetings and mentoring, a mentor recommendation, plus other criteria.
Buckeye Elementary School District – Buckeye
Sundance Elementary/Principal Neva Burlingame
Isaac Elementary School District – Phoenix
Esperanza Elementary/Principal Dr. Kristen Robertson
P.T. Coe Elementary/Principal Alexis Christensen
J.O. Combs Unified School District – San Tan Valley
J.O. Combs Middle School/Principal Mark Mauro
Ranch Elementary/Principal Sue Kruse
Littleton Elementary School District – Avondale
Quentin Elementary/Principal Eric Atuhene
Mesa Public Schools – Mesa
Rhodes Jr. High/Principal Kirk Thomas
Stevenson Elementary/Principal Kathy Ray
Tolleson Union High School District – Glendale
Copper Canyon High School/Principal Mindy Marsit