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Parents will find few states that offer families as many schooling options as Arizona. A longtime leader in the national school choice movement, Arizona has an education marketplace with a school for nearly any income, interest or situation.
Thousands of students attend district schools in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler and Tempe. Classes for Chandler Unified School District and Queen Creek Unified School District begin on July 21. Students at Higley Unified School District, Kyrene School District and Tempe Union High School District start classes on Aug. 4; the Tempe Elementary School District begins again on Aug. 5; and sessions at Gilbert Public Schools and Mesa Public Schools start on Aug. 6.
Higley Unified School District campuses will offer families the opportunity to tour two Early Childhood Development Centers every Wednesday in July from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from noon to 3 p.m.
A man has died after a construction accident in Mesa on Friday morning.
Leah Henthorne, 13, was a mere spectator to one of Copperstar Repertory Company’s shows three years ago.
Meat consumption is a hot topic across the country and the world, with health, environmental and animal rights organizations all decrying the woes of the meat-eating culture in which we live. One Arizona native is working to make a change by promoting Meatless Monday, a holiday from eating meat.
The AvanceED/NCA Arizona Circle of Excellence Award was recently awarded to Higley Unified School District Superintendent Denise Birdwell for her dedication to and achievement in education.
The number of college-level tests taken by Higley High students has placed the school on the Washington Post’s 2014 list, ‘America’s Most Challenging High School.’
The United Food Bank presented specialized, canned food trophies to Cortina Elementary School, Higley Traditional Academy, Sossaman Middle School and Williams Field High School. The four schools collected the most pounds of food per student in the district.
The 2014 graduating class from Higley High and Williams Field High received $23 million in scholarship money.
BEST RESALE SHOP
Goodwill of Central Arizona
2070 S. Power Road, (480) 325-2575
868 N. Gilbert Road, (480)545-3405
1500 W. Warner Road, (480) 633-0692
874 E. Warner Road, (480) 361-3127
With four retail stores in Gilbert, this non-profit organization sells gently-used clothes, furniture and household items at a discounted price. They also have a furniture store — Redesign San Tan, 2756 S. Market St., Building 2, Gilbert — where crafters will find plenty of pieces waiting to be revamped, rejuvenated and re-styled according to modern sensibilities.
Once Upon A Child
5022 S. Power Road, Suite 101
(480) 539-1338 or OnceUponaChildGilbert.com
Kid To Kid Gilbert
1652 N. Higley Road
(480) 813-1978 or KidtoKid.com/gilbert
BEST DANCE STUDIO
2401 E. Baseline Road
(480) 558-2080 or BalletEtudes.net
Since 1987, this Gilbert company has realistically duplicated the experiences of a professional ballet company for Arizona’s serious young dancers, and its annual “Nutcracker” show and Nutcracker Sweet Tea are East Valley holiday traditions for many families. Performances are typically at Mesa Arts Center or Chandler Center for the Arts.
Leap of Faith Dance and Performing Arts
690 E. Warner Road, Building 8.
(480) 507-0777 or LeapofFaithDanceAZ.com
Third place - Tie
Artistic Motion Dance
3341 E. Queen Creek Road, Suite 104
(480) 284-7300 or ArtisticMotionDanceAZ.com
125 S. Higley Road
(480) 633-7181 or DanceRepublicStudio.com
Howard D. Fern, D.C.
A+ Chiropractic Care
3048 E. Baseline Road, Suite 130, Mesa
(480) 649-5868 or APlusChiroCare.com
As head of a practice that prides itself on high-tech, modern treatment with personalized, old-fashioned caring, Dr. Fern and his team offer non-surgical decompression traction therapy, laser light therapy, physio-therapy, massage, rehabilitation, computerized custom orthotics, and nutrition, weight loss and wellness coaching to complement their chiropractic care. A big sports fan, he’s participated as Team Chiropractor for Arizona Football League, ProSport Chiropractic (serving athletes in sports arenas, stadiums and event centers) and Wrangler Sports Chiropractic (for pro rodeo athletes), and he treats triatheletes. Doc Fern presents health lectures and performs ergonomic evaluations for companies like Wells Fargo and United Airlines, and has been a chiropractic consultant for SCF of Arizona, now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
Pivonka Family Chiropractic
1355 S. Higley Road, Suite 102
(480) 892-0022 or PivonkaChiro.com
BEST MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER
Cooley Middle School
1100 S. Recker Road
(480) 279-8300 or husd.org/Domain/2421
Love of math, impacting kids motivates Cooley’s Geyer
By Trevor Godfrey
Tera Geyer, eighth grade math teacher at Cooley Middle School, has spent the last 11 years teaching children, but she has loved mathematics since childhood.
Born and raised in Southern New Mexico, she has lived in Arizona for 16 years and taught for the Higley Unified School District for the last nine years.
“Math was always one of my strong suits, all the way through school,” says Geyer.
Her love of math, inspiration from her own former teachers and her mother — also a career teacher — eventually brought her around to the profession.
“(M)y mom was a teacher, and so I spent every open Friday working in (her) classroom. I just knew I had to teach,” she says.
Geyer values the impact she can have on her students.
“I think it’s when the kids come back, and they say, ‘You made a difference in my life,’” Geyer says, referring to her favorite moments as a teacher.
She also says patience is key, and making personal connections is important.
“If they know that you care, they will do anything for you,” Geyer says. “I’m just lucky to work here at Cooley. It’s a great school.”
SECOND PLACE - Tie
Eighth grade, Cooley Middle School
1100 S. Recker Road
(480) 279-8300 or husd.org/Domain/2421
7th and 8th grade band, Sossaman Middle School
18655 E. Jacaranda Blvd.
(480) 279-8500 or husd.org/Domain/2422
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BEST PLACE TO WORK
Higley Unified School District
2935 S. Recker Road
(480) 279-7000 or husd.org
The Higley district operates 12 schools — eight elementary, two middle and two high schools — in Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is one of Arizona’s fastest growing school districts, with more than 10,000 students and 1,200 employees in the district office and across the district. It offers open enrollment.
Gilbert Public Schools
140 S. Gilbert Road
(480) 497-3300 or GilbertSchools.net
2299 W. Obispo Ave.
(480) 505-8877 or GoDaddy.com
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BEST LIVE PERFORMANCE VENUE
Hale Centre Theatre
50 W. Page Ave.
(480) 497-1181 or HaleTheatreArizona.com
Part of a family legacy including five theaters in three states owned and operated separately by family members, Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre has a reputation for high-quality plays and musicals (think “The 39 Steps” and “South Pacific”) with talented actors, professional costumes and sets, and theater-in-the-round seating. In the 2012-2013 season its cast and crew swept the ariZoni Awards, Arizona’s version of the Tonys, taking home more wins than any other theater Valleywide with 16 awards.
Higley Center for the Performing Arts
4132 E. Pecos Road
(480) 279-7190 or HigleyArts.org
The Tuscany Theatre
861 N. Higley Road
(480) 907-7050 or TuscanyTheatre.com
Students from Cortina Elementary School in Queen Creek hold up a banner their school earned for receiving an "A+" from the Arizona Educational Foundation. [Courtesy Higley Unified School District]
Police have identified two people who died in a Sunday morning wrong-way crash , the third such crash in the Valley in the last week.
A collection of Higley High School students have produced a video about veterinary sciences as part of a project coordinated by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.
Two Higley Unified School District Kids Club site leaders were chosen to take part in the University of Arizona’s ASPIRE program.
Higley Unified School District Kids Club site leaders Michelle Napierkowski of Higley Traditional Academy and Nicole Cervantes of Centennial Elementary School have been selected to take part in the University of Arizona ASPIRE program. [Carlos Espinoza/Higley Unified School District]
Superintendent Denise Birdwell, Higley Unified School District Governing Board Vice President Kim Anderson and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Steve Nance honor Sossaman Middle School math teacher Linda Bawiec, who will represent the Higley Unified School District in the Arizona Education Foundation’s 2015 Teacher of the Year competition. [Courtesy Higley Unified School District]
Mesa Community College student Jessica Thompson’s training in the arts focused almost entirely on the visuals. That, however, didn’t prevent her from winning a national competition for her skills at adding an audio element to a fall MCC performance.
All-Tribune First Team