EDUCATION NEWS BITES

Prescott is a hub of world-class education. From preschool to trade school and all the way through postsecondary school, the learning opportunities in our community are boundless. But what many people don’t know is that our local schools do so much more than solely provide amazing educations. They are among the pillars of our community – giving back, preparing the work force of the future, partnering with private enterprise, collaborating with government, contributing to technological growth and even enriching culture through providing endless arts and entertainment shows and events. 

With so much happening in Prescott’s schools and higher education institutions, we couldn’t fit all of it into our pages! So, in addition to some larger features and profiles, you’ll find a roundup of local news bites from various educational institutions throughout the Quad-City region. Here, you’ll learn about a great place to enjoy a delicious meal, meet students who are truly making a difference and explore special programs that take education far beyond just the classroom! Enjoy! 


Yavapai County
Education Service Agency

Seeking school district governing board members 

Have you ever thought about a challenging and yet highly rewarding service opportunity where you can “give back” to the community ? If so, serving on a school district governing board may be exactly what you are looking for. Yavapai County has 26 school districts, and no matter where you live, your residence is within a school district.

Qualifications include being a citizen of the United States of America, being at least 18 years of age, possessing your civil rights, being a registered voter and having continually resided within the school district for at least one year immediately preceding taking office. As well, the candidate and his or her spouse cannot be employed by the district or work under a third-party employment contract with the district.

In general, governing board members are elected to two- or four-year terms. The next election will be held in November 2018. The process of becoming a candidate will begin about April 1. When vacancies occur during a term, an appointment is made by the county school superintendent. For more information, visit the Arizona School Boards Association website at azsba.org; visit the Yavapai County Education Service Agency website at YCESA.com or call Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter at 928-925-6560.


Tri-City College Prep High School

Tri-City Prep students place in top half at international competition

Representing Arizona, a team from Prescott’s Tri-City College Prep High School recently competed at this year’s North America Envirothon Competition and placed 20th out of 54 states and provinces. Arizona won this competition in 1997 and 1998, but had not scored higher than 35th place since then.

Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America and hosted this year’s North America Envirothon Competition. This is Envirothon’s 20th anniversary, and was attended by teams from nine provinces in Canada and 50 U.S. states. The Arizona team had won the state title in the spring. Arizona’s team members, Amanda Bertsch, Kaleb Lyonnais, Brianna D’Angelo, Ethan Kraft and Kimberly Zamora Delgado, along with their teacher, Carolyn Muchna, participated in a weeklong adventure of learning and testing. Judges for the competition were environmental lawyers and other experts in environmental fields.

In preparation for the competition, each team member chose an area of specialty and took the lead at different eco stations, where the students were tested on such topics as aquatics, soil ecosystems, forestry, wildlife ecosystems and micro and macro invertebrate identification.

For the final stage of the competition, the students were presented with an environmental problem to solve, taking into account protection of the environment, community needs, sustainability and budget. They presented their solutions to a panel of judges; speaking skills and ability to respond to judges’ questions came into play.

While Bob Wilson, a USDA soil scientist, and other key Prescott community members helped the team prepare, most of the team’s training was in desert and high desert ecosystems. The estuary ecosystem where the competition took place was very different, with lots of water and salt water ecosystems. All the teams received some training the first two days of the week before the competition to help prepare them for the estuarine environment.

For the final stage of the competition, the students were presented with an environmental problem to solve, taking into account protection of the environment, community needs, sustainability and budget. They presented their solutions to a panel of judges, where speaking skills and ability to respond to judges’ questions came into play.

While Bob Wilson, a USDA soil scientist, and other key Prescott community members helped the team prepare, most of the team’s training was in desert and high desert ecosystems. The estuary ecosystem where the competition took place was very different, with lots of water and salt water ecosystems. All the teams received some training the first two days of the week before the competition to help prepare them for the estuarine environment.


Yavapai College Performing Arts Center

YCPAC offers world-class performances

In October, the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC) offers two astounding musicians at the top of their game. Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, America’s biggest-selling instrumental artist, brings his innovative sound back to Prescott on Oct. 12. Then Scotty McCreery—American Idol winner and country music’s rising star—raises the roof with his vibrant voice and heartfelt songwriting on Oct. 26.

In addition to its mainstage season, YCPAC will also bring back its critically acclaimed Cabaret series, featuring unique performers in an intimate club-style setting. This year’s Cabaret includes folk/bluegrass songstress Dana Louise & the Glorious Birds on Nov. 17.

As the holidays near, YCPAC will celebrate with a fresh take on an honored classic and a cool new way to deck the halls. In The Hot Sardines’ Holiday Stomp, (Dec. 5), the brassy jazz combo leads you on a refreshing riff through a holiday songbook you only thought you knew. Then, in “White Christmas, The Musical” (Dec. 14 – 17) YC Performing Arts delivers a vivid live-telling of the story sprung from Irving Berlin’s classic holiday tune.

Tickets for Yavapai College Performing Arts Center’s 2017-18 season are now on sale. For reservations, or more information, please contact the YCPAC box office, 1100 E. Sheldon St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call 928-776-2000 (or 877-928-4253 toll free) or visit ycpac.com.


Prescott College

Crossroads Café hosts weekly tradition

Community lunch is a proud tradition at Prescott College. Our community joins together each Wednesday for free soup and bread provided by the Crossroads Cafe. It’s a chance to connect over a warm meal and share information about what’s happening at the school.

Just like the Crossroads Café itself, community lunch is open to the public and typically runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters.

Crossroads is not like a cafeteria at a big college, where you grab a tray and have a bunch of different setups. It’s a small café and seats maybe 75 people, where most of the food is made from scratch and sustainably/locally sourced, and each meal is made to order – like a restaurant.

Based on national surveys, SpoonUniversity.com has ranked Crossroads Café in the top three for “dining hall food” in Arizona. The Café operates year-round and is always open to the public, typically from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. most of the year. prescott.edu for more information.


NAU Prescott Valley

NAU Prescott Valley student and alumni profiles

As a small community campus of Northern Arizona University, the campus in Prescott Valley has been able to attract a diverse traditional and nontraditional student body. Not only do students come directly from the county’s high schools and charter schools, but some students come from as far away as Nebraska to pursue one of the four degree programs offered at the Prescott Valley campus. Meet some of our featured students on page 94 of this issue of Prescott LIVING Magazine. 


Prescott Unified School District

School to incorporate program helping youth learn and grow

Prescott Mile High Middle School will be supporting Capturing Kids Hearts for its learning community in the upcoming school year.

The program – a creation of the Flippen Group, a leadership consulting group based in College Station, Texas – pushes several simple, but purposeful directives. Teachers are expected to be outside their doors during class switches and to give handshakes, fist pumps and/or audible greetings as students enter class. A few times a week as class begins, teachers ask students to volunteer “something good” that is happening in their lives – a step instructors say has prompted students to open up beyond what they could ever have expected.

Mile High Middle School leaders and staff dedicated a considerable amount of time researching institutions that have been successful in improving attendance, decreasing discipline referrals, remaining focused on academics and providing a positive culture focused on children. It was discovered that many are Capturing Kids Hearts schools that unify their efforts to provide a safe environment where all have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Mile High is excited to provide Capturing Kids Hearts, as it has always been dedicated to supporting the district mission of “Every Kid, Every Day,” but having a unified process – made possible through the extremely generous financial support provided by the James Family Foundation and Kiwanis Club of Prescott – will assure that children have the chance to flourish in a community grounded in love and respect for all.


Humboldt Unified School District

Who is the Humboldt Unified School District?

In 1906, the Humboldt School District opened with 43 children in a one-room schoolhouse near the Iron King Mine in Humboldt. Fast forward to today, the Humboldt Unified School District serves approximately 5,800 students pre-K through high school and is the largest school district in Yavapai County. With 700 employees, including 290 teachers, HUSD is the largest employer in the Prescott Valley/Dewey-Humboldt area.

Today, we have many things to celebrate:

  • Our partnership with Arizona State University extending from preschool to the Barrett’s Summer Scholars Program,
  • Being featured on George Lucas’ Documentary, “Schools That Work,”
  • Winning the Golden Bell Award,
  • Being recognized by U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek as a top school.

We are committed to providing a comprehensive, world-class education for all students. This includes high standards for academics, expansive opportunities for co-curricular activities and individualized programs that offer a variety of unique experiences for our students.


Trinity Christian School

Trinity Christian is flourishing 

We are flourishing! Trinity Christian School is thrilled to share our vision for the bright future of the young people in the Quad City area. As we march into our 15th year with 290 students and 101 student alumni, we are blessed to announce our future plans for even greater growth. The new campus will provide a much-needed permanent home for Trinity Christian to continue its vital Christ-centered classical mission to raise up young leaders who are strong in their faith and ready to lead with sharp minds, a heart for serving others, and to be good citizens of our community.

This fall, on the north end of Prescott, Trinity is acquiring 17 acres of land for our future school site that will hold 600 students in pre-K through 12th grade. Our new facility will have a preschool, amazing athletic and fine arts facilities, 21st century science and technology labs, as well as spacious classrooms designed to seamlessly integrate technology and classical instruction. In addition we will offer a parent training and counseling center.

The architectural plans are already underway, and the first phase of construction is set to begin in 2018. Trinity Christian School is not affiliated with a particular church; it is an independent, classical Christian school, which partners with parents and community members. Follow our progress and stay in touch on our Facebook page trinitychristianaz.com.


Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center

Great experiences attending Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center

My name is Abby Berry and I graduated from Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center this past year. I am very grateful to have gone to AAEC as they offered me many wonderful opportunities. In my four years of attendance, I have taken veterinary science classes and college classes with Yavapai College. I have amassed 52 college credits since I started attending AAEC, including Calculus I, Chemistry 151 and 152 and Spanish 101 and 102. I was also given the chance to embark on a veterinary science trip to South Africa for two weeks. I was able to work with veterinarians and the African wildlife for the best learning experience of my life. The most important thing that makes AAEC a wonderful school is the staff. They are warm, welcoming and very helpful people. Their guidance and their willingness to cater to each student is what makes the school so great.

My name is Taylor Duran, and this year Mr. Patrick Wellert, the principal of AAEC Prescott Valley, has won the prestigious Administrator of the Year award. We are all very proud to have him here at AAEC. This award was received at the state Career Technical Education (CTE) conference in Tucson in July. Only one out of 80 administrators who are exceptional supporters of agriculture education in our state are eligible to receive this award. Mr. Wellert was an undeniable choice for this award. He has helped many students in agricultural education, assisted with many FFA activities, scholarship applications and college courses. Mr. Wellert was an agriculture teacher for 11 years at Chino Valley High School and eventually became a principal here at AAEC for the last five years. Since becoming principal, enrollment has doubled in size!


Chino Valley High School

Chino Valley USD Centennial

The Chino Valley Unified School District was first established on July 1, 1918 as The Farms School District teaching grades kindergarten through 8th grade. The name was changed to Chino Valley School District in 1946. Ninth grade was added in 1974, and grades 10 – 12 were approved to be added in 1985. The class of 2017 was the 25th graduating class of Chino Valley High School.

The early address for Chino Valley Schools was “Highway 89 across from the Log Cabin Store.” The Log Cabin Store building still exists, right across Highway 89 from Chino Valley High School and the CVUSD District Offices.

Chino Valley High School is on the site of the early Chino Valley School. At other sites throughout Chino Valley, Del Rio Elementary School opened in 1980 followed by Heritage Middle School in 1993 and finally Territorial Early Childhood Center (formerly Territorial Elementary School) in 1999.


ORME

Orme students explored the Southwest

Mirroring the traditions of Caravans started in 1967, this past spring, Orme students embarked on an epic adventure covering all corners of the Southwest. From New Mexico to Utah and Arizona, all the way to the California coast, they spent a week learning and exploring. Caravan 2017 echoed the purpose of Caravan, which late school founder, Charlie Orme, explained: “Challenges, both physically and emotionally, strengthen the spirit of people. I believe we come closer to these challenges caravanning through the Southwest, than in most of our experiences.”


By the Numbers

In the Quad-City area, including Mayer, there are 5 school districts and 17 charter schools.

  • 41 school sites
  • ≈497 teachers
  • ≈13,500 students

Source: Yavapai County Education Service Agency