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·         On 11/19/16, the MHS Junior State of America Club (JSA) attended their first ever JSA Fall State Convention.  MHS students earning special recognitions included Jasmin Dimas as a debate winner and Reina Enriquez who won a scholarship to attend JSA Summer School at Princeton University. MHS teacher and JSA Advisor Jason Goodwin commented, “We took one of the largest first time delegations with 27 students and we even had a debate winner. If you see our kids, make sure to congratulate them on their recent successes.” The District is proud of the work of Mr. Goodwin and his commitment to making civics engaging and exciting for MHS students.

·         The Ak-Chin Indian Community recently announced that the MHS band and orchestra programs have received a $100,000 grant as part of their 12% Gaming Grant Program. This grant is to build the school instrument inventory to support the growing music programs at MHS. Band and orchestra students would like to thank everyone involved in this process including Chairman Miguel and the entire Ak-Chin Council.

·         The MHS Marching Rams performed their 2016 field show, "Postcards" for the last time on 11/19/16 at the AzMBA Championships held at Perry High School in Chandler. The Rams placed 7th in class 4A, gave their best performance of the season and earned their highest score of the year. The students earned praise for their performance energy as well as for capturing the different musical styles of their show. 

·         On 11/18/16 students from the MHS Theatre Company, Thespian Troupe, and Technical Theatre classes traveled to the Phoenix Convention Center for the annual Arizona State Thespian Festival. MHS students did extremely well in this competition. Congratulations to our students on their outstanding work! Senior Mahkai Ball scored “excellent” for his solo musical presentation of "If I Can't Love Her" from Beauty and the Beast. Seniors Tyler Curtis and Carlos Venegas scored “excellent” for their vocal duet of "Something to Believe In" from Newsies. Senior Dylan Stradling scored “excellent” for his monologue presentations (selections from Much Ado About Nothing and The Philadelphia Story).

·         The Maricopa Unified School District was one of four Arizona school districts receiving national recognition for its Advanced Placement (AP) program at Maricopa High School. MUSD was named to the College Board’s seventh annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. Other Arizona school districts were Vail Unified, Tucson Unified and Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools. MUSD was among 433 districts in the United States and Canada to qualify for the honor roll. To be included on the honor roll, school districts were studied on three years of results. Schools were judged on increased participation in AP courses, increased percentage of minority students scoring at least a 3 on an AP exam and increased percentage of all students scoring a 3 or higher. The percentage of students who qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch was also considered. In MUSD 57 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch and under-represented minority students – defined as “African-American, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native” – are in the majority. MUSD has a racial/ethnic minority population of 64 percent of all students.

·         On the 11/8/16 ballot, Maricopa voters approved a 10%, seven-year budget override for the Maricopa Unified School District with a 56% “yes” vote. The override will provide additional funding beginning in the 2017-18 school year for 50 additional teachers, counselors and specialists as well as additional instructional technology for students. Governing Board President Patti Coutre’ stated: “On behalf of the Governing Board, the staff and the students of MUSD, I would like to thank the citizens of Maricopa for approving this override proposal. These override funds will greatly assist us in reaching our goal of becoming an “A” rated school district.”

·         Sophomore Evan Grace was recently appointed to Governor Ducey’s Youth Commission.

The approval letter stated, “In recognition of your outstanding achievement, we are pleased to offer you an appointment to the 2016-2017 Governor's Youth Commission.  The application process was incredibly competitive with a high volume of applicants for the number of available spaces. Given your dedication to service and demonstrated leadership skills, we are thrilled to count you among this select group."

·         On 10/28/16, Santa Rosa Elementary School’s Physical Education Teacher Marcus Whitley was recognized by the American Heart Association with an Appreciation Award for his outstanding efforts to promote the AMA’s Jump Rope for Heart. The District is proud of the exemplary efforts of Mr. Whitley and his deep commitment to the health and well-being of the children at Santa Rosa Elementary. Congratulations!

·         In October, 2016, a team of Saddleback Elementary students under the leadership of physical education instructor Marami Abbadessa competed in the Step Up 4 Kids Walk-a-Thon challenge sponsored by Healthy LifeStars.  The event’s goal is to challenge adults and kids to be active and walk. Participants track their steps for a week, raise money and compete for prizes. As a result of their fine work the Saddleback Team placed first in the competition.  On 11/9/16 former Ohio State University football star, two-time Heisman Trophy winner and former player for the Cincinnati Bengals Archie Griffin attended a ceremony at Saddleback Elementary where he presented the first place award to Team Saddleback. 

·         On 8/24/16 the 2016 ACT scores for Maricopa High School were released. MHS students scored above the state average on all four ACT tests - English, math, reading and science. Students who are considering enrollment in higher education after high school take the ACT test as it is required by many colleges and universities as part of the admissions process. The ACT is designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college courses.

·         Maricopa High School English teacher Aidan Balt has been chosen as a Teacher Fellow for the 2016-2017 Arizona Hope Street Group Teacher Fellowship to provide leadership in education policy design and implementation.  The Arizona Hope Street Group Teacher Fellowship is a nonpartisan program that provides a group of diverse public school teachers--who are chosen through a rigorous selection process--with skills focused on peer and community relationship building, moderating peer focus groups, and communication strategies. 

·         Maricopa High School recently received results from the Preliminary SAT Test (PSAT) taken by students last school year. The PSAT tests students in English and mathematics resulting in a combined score. MHS had a record number of students taking the test – 117 sophomores and 128 juniors. Their average scores were above the national average and the Arizona state average. The PSAT is a standardized test administered by the College Board and co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Approximately 3.5 million students take the PSAT each year (about half sophomores and half juniors) and scores determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Each year, approximately 8,000 juniors in the USA achieve scores in the top 99th percentile in their state and win National Merit Scholarships. It is not yet known if any MHS students in the Class of 2017 will receive a National Merit Scholarship.  Maricopa High School has had three National Merit Scholarship winners since 2012.

·         Former Division I College Basketball Coach Tony Fuller has been hired as a teacher at Maricopa High School for 2016-17 and will also be the new boy’s basketball head coach. Coach Fuller earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1983, and his Master's Degree in 1989 from Pepperdine University.  As a player at Pepperdine, Fuller earned All-West Coast Conference honors and helped the Waves to the NCAA Tournament in 1979 and the NIT in 1980. He then played for the NBA's Detroit Pistons for one year, before entering the coaching profession. Fuller began his coaching career as men’s assistant coach at Pepperdine from 1983-88. From there, Fuller went to UCLA as men’s assistant coach for four seasons (1989-92) before obtaining his first men’s head coaching position at San Diego State (1992-94). From 1994-96 Fuller served as men’s head coach at Pepperdine. He served as men’s assistant coach at Colorado State (1996-98), Utah State (1998-99) and Stanford (1999-2006). For ten years Fuller served as a teacher at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix and was boy’s basketball head coach from 2006-2015.

·         MHS will offer an additional Central Arizona College dual enrollment class for 2016-17. These classes are taught by MHS faculty who qualify to teach college level classes. Students can take these college courses for high school credit only, or for high school and college credit. Students who choose college credit must pay tuition fees and must pass the CAC placement test. The following five CAC courses will be offered in 2016-17: Math 121 - Intermediate Algebra; Math 151 -College Algebra; Eng 101 - English Composition III; Eng 102 - English Composition IV; Bio 181 - General Biology I

·         On 3/1/16, the MHS DECA Club delivered their best performance to date at the State Career Development Conference. Competing against more than 2,600 student competitors and 90 Arizona high schools, MHS DECA brought 27 students competitors to the state conference and returned with 30 medals! MHS earned 21 first place rankings in these competitions. Four MHS students qualified for the International Career Development Conference April 22-27 in Nashville, TN.

·         Pima Butte Elementary School teams finished 3rd and 16th (tie) overall in the State Robotics Competition on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. The team from Santa Cruz Elementary finished 16th (tie) overall.

·         Future City Teams from Desert Wind Middle School won two of the five Walton Sustainable Community Awards at the Arizona Regional Future Cities Competition. With this award came the opportunity to showcase their cities at the Desert Botanical Gardens. On 2/23/16 the two teams presented their projects as part of the Sustainability Solutions Festival that was celebrated state-wide throughout the month of February. The festival was sponsored by Arizona State University’s Walton College of Sustainability. The students presented to Rob Walton, the former CEO of Walmart, as well as CEOs and university professors from around the world.

·         At the Arizona State Regional Future Competition held on 1/23/16 at Arizona State University, sixteen teams represented MUSD. A Maricopa Wells Middle School team placed second in state and a Desert Wind Middle School team placed fourth in state.

·         On 1/23/16 at the ninth annual Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Banquet MHS teacher Bernadette Russoniello was named "The 2016 Teacher of the Year" for the City of Maricopa. Jim Shoaf, MUSD Transportation Department, was named the 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Jim was nominated for his work with the Mountain View Community Church's food bank.

·         On 1/30/16, students from the MHS Theater Company competed at the Central Arizona Festival of Theater at Mesa Community College. Student Shelby Hanks was selected to compete at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, NE this summer.

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