School briefs: 'Hats On Day’ helps fight cancer - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

School briefs: 'Hats On Day’ helps fight cancer

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Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 12:47 pm | Updated: 1:47 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Gilbert’s Finley Farms Elementary School raised $719 for the Foundation for Children With Cancer by hosting a “Hats On Day” Sept. 18.

'Hats On Day’ helps fight cancer

Gilbert’s Finley Farms Elementary School raised $719 for the Foundation for Children With Cancer by hosting a “Hats On Day” Sept. 18.

Students wore a hat of their choice to school for a nominal donation and showed their support for children stricken with cancer. Children with cancer often wear hats to school to hide hair loss because of chemotherapy or radiation treatments, and this event allowed all students to show support for them.

Information: Call Foundation for Children With Cancer at (314) 843-9300.

Students perform at sheriff’s tourney

Students from Gilbert’s Sonoma Ranch Elementary School performed the national anthem for the fifth annual Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Benefit Dodgeball Tournament on Sept. 26 in Phoenix.

The tournament raised more than $6,300 to help an MCSO detention officer battling cancer. The event featured 32 teams from various Valley law enforcement agencies.

The Sonoma Singers from Sonoma Ranch Elementary performed the national anthem led by choir director Patti Munley.

The singers included Shannon Bell, Lauren Ciolli, Kaylee Dietrich, Sweets Guerrero, Will Guthrie, Emma Lovato, Caroline McGlasson, Ashley Mendoza, Abigail Price and Madison Ruiz.

Teacher wins $400 for classroom books

Kristen Rogers, a first-grade teacher at Gilbert’s Spectrum Elementary School, was awarded a $400 grant from Sonic to buy literature books for her classroom. Rogers’ project was posted on the Sonic Web site for public votes, among other local school projects.

Rogers’ project received the most votes, and everyone in her class received Sonic limeades on Oct. 2.

Businesses help school start garden

Li’l Sprouts raised garden beds are popping up near the intermediate playground at Gilbert’s Settler’s Point Elementary School.

Parents, students and volunteers from the Gilbert business community joined together on Oct. 3 to build several raised beds that will be used to provide students with hands-on experience in planting, growing and harvesting produce while learning science, math and literacy concepts.

Dean Fence and Gate donated the materials for fencing and gates. A-Z Rentals donated the use of a Ditch Witch for the day to use in digging out the irrigation system.

Jim’s Irrigation donated three valves and a timer for the irrigation system. Lowe’s in Chandler reduced pricing for materials, and the Settler’s Point Parent Teacher Student Organization gave $3,500 to start up the garden.

First-grade teacher Jennifer Smith is the key organizer.

Teacher awarded $2K for biotech lab

Shiloh Carroll, a science teacher at Gilbert’s Highland High School, was chosen as one of 100 winners of a $2,000 award to help fund his “Biotechnology in the Classroom” idea and bring it to life in the classroom. Carroll received his award on Tuesday.

Students will gain hands-on experience with new technologies. Carroll will essentially set up a small-scale biotech lab in his classroom.

The “ING Unsung Heroes” awards program recognizes kindergarten through 12th-grade educators nationwide for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects and ability to positively influence the children they teach.

3 districts on fall break

Higley and Gilbert unified school districts will be on fall break Monday through Friday. Higley students will also be out on Oct. 19 for a teacher professional development day.

The Queen Creek Unified School District is on its two-week fall break through Friday.

Higley to host Fall Break camp

The Higley Unified School District Kids Club will host a Fall Break Camp from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at Higley Elementary and Middle School, 3391 E. Vest Ave., Gilbert. Campers will go bowling, visit the Phoenix Zoo and play sports.

The camp costs $30 a day, or $140 for the week. There is a 15 percent sibling discount, and Higley district employees receive a 15 percent employee discount.


Q.C. district board to meet Tuesday

The Queen Creek Unified School District governing board will meet 6 p.m. Tuesday at the district office, 20740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek.

For agenda information, call (480) 987-5935 or visit

Jazz festival sponsorships sought

Gilbert’s Highland High School and Arizona State University will present the first Highland Jazz Festival on March 26-27. The school is looking for sponsorships to help raise $30,000 for the event.

Grammy award-winning saxophonist Bob Mintzer and Wycliffe Gordon, ASCAP Foundation Vanguard-winning trombonist, will headline the weekend of jazz education. This jazz festival will span the Southwest, reaching more than 1,800 students, music educators and the general public throughout Arizona, Southern California, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico.

The festival will host 40 student bands the first year, and grow eventually to include as many as 100 jazz bands.

For more information, call Lewis Nelson, Highland High’s assistant band director, at (480) 813-0051, ext. 4421, or visit

Mesa schools on break

The Mesa Unified School District is on fall break. Classes resume Monday, Oct. 19.

When classes resume Oct. 19 in the Mesa Unified School District, students will be reminded about bus safety because it is National School Bus Safety Week. Mesa drivers log an average 34,500 miles a day, for a total of more than 6,210,000 miles a year. A few reminders for drivers: Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop.

Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm mean the bus has stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing and the extended stop sign is withdrawn before they start driving again. Information:

Free parenting workshops

Free parent workshops are available through the Mesa Unified School District. Parents do not need to be Mesa residents to attend. Upcoming topics include: Building Success for Kids With ADHD, Oct. 22; Modern Dads: How Men’s Lives Are Changing and Why It Matters to Families, Nov. 19; The Significant Seven, Oct. 8-Nov. 12; Child Care: Is This the Right Place for My Child, Oct. 26-Nov. 2; and Becoming a Love and Logic Parent, Oct. 20-Nov. 10.

Information: or (480) 472-7278

Mesa teacher up for presidential award

Colette Bos, an instructor at Mesa Unified’s Smith Junior High School, is one of two Arizona finalists in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The Arizona Department of Education honored her at a State Board of Education meeting this fall. The award is the highest recognition a kindergarten through 12th-grade math or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.

In late spring or early summer, the National Science Foundation, which administers the program for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will convene a national selection committee to choose winners from all 50 states and four U.S jurisdictions. Winners will travel to Washington, D.C., receive a presidential citation, gifts from national program sponsors and $10,000 from the foundation.

Marching band holding restaurant fund raiser

Mesa’s Mountain View High School marching band is raising funds to participate in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl National Band Competition and Fiesta Bowl Parade in January.

On Nov. 10, Outback Steakhouse is hosting a fundraiser dinner from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Up to 1,000 steak dinners will be served in the school’s cafeteria. Tickets cost $20. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased until Oct. 27 through, from any current band member, or by calling Susan Olson, band booster, at (480) 241 1783.

Chorus groups to perform at Mesa Arts Center

The Mesa Unified choral groups will perform 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Mesa Arts Center’s Ikeda Theater, One E. Main St. This districtwide event showcases all of the district’s junior and senior high school choirs. Jeff Harris, Westwood High School choral director and director of the Sonoran Desert Chorale, organizes the festival each year. The MAC Foundation donates the use of the facilities.

2 EVIT students headed to NYC for fashion seminar

Two fashion students at Mesa’s East Valley Institute of Technology have been chosen to attend the Teen Vogue Fashion University in New York City later this month.

Marissa Chvarak, a senior at Mesa’s Dobson High, and Kelsey Hoyer, a senior at Gilbert’s Highland High, are both second-year students in Kristen Johnson’s fashion merchandising class. The three-day seminar starts Oct. 23.

The students will attend classes with top designers, stylists and industry experts, including Derek Lam, Serena Giovi of Maybelline New York, Kimora Lee Simmons, and Diane Von Furstenberg.

Flu shot available for kids

Flu shots will be available in the next few weeks for children. Clinics will be held 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 17 at Chandler Kid Care, Morrison Building 1875 W. Frye Road; 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20 at Chandler Fashion Mall’s community room; and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, at San Marcos Elementary School 451 W. Frye Road, Chandler.

Information: (480) 728-3777.

Marching bands to strut their stuff

Basha High School will host the Chandler Sounds Along the San Tans Marching Invitational Oct. 17. Seventeen of the best high school marching bands in Arizona will perform. The competition is judged by the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association. An estimated 2,800 spectators and 1,350 participants will be in Chandler for all the activity.

Outstanding band performances at the competition earn performers their entry to the Arizona State Marching Band Festival in November. The event starts at 3 p.m. at Jim Wall Football Stadium on the Basha High School campus, Val Vista and Riggs in Chandler. Tickets cost $7.

Pinal County taxes recalculated

Homeowners in Pinal County, which includes the Apache Junction Unified School District, are receiving a new tax bill because of a miscalculation, according to Pinal County treasurer Dodie Doolittle.

A press release last week said the original bills were calculated with the state homeowner reduction rate on both the primary and secondary tax rates. Only the primary rate should have been impacted. Pinal county schools superintendent Orlenda Roberts and Doolittle are sending new tax statements along with letters apologizing for the error.

Information, call (888) 431-1311.

Education briefs run on Sunday. To submit an item for Gilbert and Queen Creek schools, send information to Hayley Ringle at

Apache Junction, Chandler and Mesa school briefs are compiled by education reporter Michelle Reese. Contact her at or (480) 898-6549.

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