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Seven Minority-Intensive, Low-Income Arizona Schools Receive Gold Awards; 9 Earn Silver and 9 Earn Bronze


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  • Debora Mitchell/Beat The Odds Institute

Apple Ed Introduced At Pendergast Elementary School District

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.

Seven Minority-Intensive, Low-Income Arizona Schools Receive Gold Awards;  9 Earn Silver and 9 Earn Bronze 480x2421Gold 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