School briefs: Centennial student wins spelling bee - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

School briefs: Centennial student wins spelling bee

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Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2010 3:32 pm | Updated: 3:41 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Centennial Elementary School sixth-grader Gabrielle Hester is the winner of the Higley Unified School District Spelling Bee. Gabrielle outspelled her competitors in the Jan. 25 competition at the Higley Center for Performing Arts. Higley’s Spelling Bee went 12 rounds.

Centennial student wins spelling bee

Centennial Elementary School sixth-grader Gabrielle Hester is the winner of the Higley Unified School District Spelling Bee.

Gabrielle outspelled her competitors in the Jan. 25 competition at the Higley Center for Performing Arts. Higley’s Spelling Bee went 12 rounds.

Sophia O’Malley, a seventh-grader at Cortina Elementary School, won second place. The two girls will represent the district in the Region 6 Spelling Bee on Feb. 20 at Queen Creek High School.

Gilbert meeting info to be posted online

Gilbert Unified School District Governing Board meeting agendas will now be posted on the district’s Web site at least 48 hours in advance of meetings. A summary of the meeting will also be posted the day after a meeting, according to the district.

Governing board members are directing district staff to do both to provide the public with current, easily accessible information, according to a statement. Archives of past board meeting minutes are also available on the Web site.

To see agendas, minutes and summaries, visit

Blood drive at Power Ranch Elementary

Power Ranch Elementary School will host a blood drive for United Blood Services from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday in the school’s cafeteria, 4351 S. Ranch House Parkway, Gilbert.

Blood donors will be entered to win one of two $1,000 shopping sprees, courtesy of Schmitt Jewelers.

Donors should bring their photo identification and donor card.

To sign up, visit or call (877) 448-4483.

Mesquite’s Strolling Strings to perform

Mesquite High School’s Strolling Strings will entertain guests at the Strings Extravaganza at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s cafeteria, 500 S. McQueen Road, Gilbert. Texas Roadhouse is catering dinner, and guests can place bids on gift baskets and other auction items.

After dinner, a concert featuring string groups from Mesquite High School, Mesquite Junior High School, Playa del Rey Elementary, Gilbert Elementary, Oak Tree Elementary and Islands Elementary will be at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Tickets are $12.

For tickets, e-mail

Information: (480) 632-4750, ext. 4714.

Queen Creek board meeting Tuesday

The Queen Creek Unified School District governing board is meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the district office, 20740 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek. Board members will discuss whether to sell school improvement bonds, get an update on the newly designed district Web site and talk about an energy grant offered by the School Facilities Board.

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

Gilbert district staff to host variety show

The Gilbert Unified School District’s educational support staff are hosting their first variety show from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Campo Verde High School auditorium, 3870 S. Quartz Drive, Gilbert.

District employees and students will perform comedy acts, singing, dancing, instrumentals, and other entertainment.

There will also be a raffle and bake sale. Items will be donated by Gilbert’s vocational education classes.

Proceeds will be given to scholarships for graduating seniors.

Tickets are $5 or $15 for a family of four or more.

To purchase tickets in advance, call (480) 545-2129.

'Super Bowl Saturday’ at Pioneer

Pioneer Elementary School families are invited to the first “Super Bowl Saturday” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the fields behind the playground, 1535 N. Greenfield Road, Gilbert.

Children can participate in punting, passing and agility games and tackling dummies. There will also be food, music, and lots of family activities.

Information: (480) 892-2022.

Polytechnic school to hold orientation

Polytechnic Elementary School, part of University Public Schools, a charter school in partnership with Arizona State University, will hold orientation at 6 p.m. Wednesday for families wishing to enroll for next school year.

Orientation for the Mesa campus will be held at Polytechnic Elementary School, 6859 E. Rembrandt Ave., Bldg. No. 1. A second meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 at the same location.

For more information visit or contact Cindy Walker at (602) 496-3322.

Mesa parent group to meet Tuesday

The Mesa parent group Mesa Parent Advocates for Quality Schools will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at 549 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa.

Gerrick Monroe, assistant superintendent for business and support services, will provide an overview of the budget process and factors that may affect the district, including the state and national economic factors. The district is starting its budget process for next school year.

For information, call (480) 472-0223.

Options for potential kindergartners

The Mesa Unified School District will offer young learner kindergarten options next school year for children who will have their fifth birthday between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

Parents of children reaching the age of 5 after Aug. 31 but by Dec. 31 can request that their child be assessed for early admission to regular kindergarten.

Contact your neighborhood school for specific information or download the Kindergarten Early Admission Packet from

20K flu shots, 17K H1N1 shots given out

During fall immunization clinics for the Mesa Unified School District and community, 20,686 seasonal flu immunizations were dispersed and 17,018 H1N1 immunizations were dispersed.

The clinics were a joint effort between the Mesa Unified School District and the Mesa Fire Department.

Poston science teacher honored

Mesa Unified School District’s Jay Higbee, who teaches at Poston Junior High, was recently named Arizona’s middle school science teacher of they year by the Arizona Science Teachers Association.

Higbee received $300 from Pearson Prentice Hall, $150 from McGraw-Hill, a lifetime ASTA membership and a microscope.

“Everyone can be a scientist. Simply being curious about the world around us makes us all scientists,” Higbee said.

Perry teacher wins on Wheel of Fortune

Paige Otero, a Perry High School English teacher and boys varsity volleyball coach, won $13,250 on Wheel of Fortune last week. Otero’s winnings include $7,200 cash and a weeklong trip to Cabo San Lucas worth $6,050.

She said she’ll take the trip in October during the Chandler Unified School District’s fall break.

“It was so much fun,” said Otero, 27, who lives in Chandler with her husband, two cats and two dogs. “It’s kind of bittersweet that it’s over.”

CATS accepting student applications

The Chandler Academically Talented Students for kindergarten through second grade (Primary CATS) is accepting applications.

CATS is a self-contained program at an accelerated learning rate. The all-day program is housed at Jacobson, Santan, and Riggs Elementary Schools in Chandler. Students must qualify for the program. Testing begins in March.

Advanced registration applications are available online. Enrollment is limited and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see

7th-grader wins district spelling bee

Mitchell Behling, a seventh-grade student at Chandler’s Hamilton Prep, won his second consecutive Chandler Unified School District spelling bee earlier this month, correctly spelling “saltimbocca” in the 30th round at Perry High School.

Behling outlasted 35 competitors, including runner-up Gokul Ramadoss, an eighth-grade student at Bogle Junior High.

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

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