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Recent Achievements

Recent MUSD Achievements


·         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.

·         On 12/3/15, senior Danae Ruiz signed a Letter of Intent to play basketball at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. This will be the first women’s basketball team at the Prescott campus. Danae plans to major in forensic psychology.

·         In December, 2015 the MUSD Governing Board received the ASBA Total Boardsmanship Award. This award recognizes governing boards for participation in professional development training for the purpose of becoming more effective Governing Board members. This award was presented at the ASBA Annual Conference in December.

·         On 11/19/15, the Arizona Educational Foundation named MES teacher Angelia Ebner as one of five finalists for the 2016 Arizona Teacher of Year Award. 

·         In the fall of 2015 it was announced that for the or seventh consecutive year the MUSD Business Office received a "Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting" from the National Association of School Business Officials. This recognition was given because the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report met the highest standards of the national association. 

·         In the fall of 2015 MUSD received a grant from the Arizona School Facilities Board. Four small Maricopa High School projects were funded for a total of $44,000. One large grant was funded to reseal the exterior of MHS at a total cost of $622,400.

·         Thanks to the efforts of the Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Foundation and their sponsors: Electrical District 3, Harrah’s Ak-Chin and the Ak-Chin Indian Community; MUSD was able to form 15 robotics teams in 2015-16 to compete in Vex Robotics Competitions.

·         Maricopa High School Girls Basketball Coach Kati Burrows was named the Division ll Basketball Coach of the Year by the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association on 3/5/15. On 3/22/15 Kati was named the “All-USA Arizona American Family Insurance High School Girls Basketball Big Schools Coach of the Year.”

·         The MHS Girls Basketball team defeated Seton Catholic 52-49 in the 2015 Division II State Championship game on 2/2/15. This is the first state championship in the history of the girls program. The Lady Rams were the underdog going into the game as they were the twelfth seed into the tournament, while Seton Catholic was seeded second. In addition, Seton Catholic won the state tournament in four of the previous five years. Congratulations to the MHS Girls Basketball team!

·         In February, 2015 the Future Cities team from MWMS 20+1 class competed in the Future Cities National Competition in Washington, D.C. in February. The team of Joseph Rice, Elise Brown Thunder, Emily Cordero, and Sarah Skrnich (Project Manager) placed first in the nation for “Best Residential Zone” and “Most Sustainable Food Production System.”

·         The MUSD Governing Board received the “Governing Board of the Year 2014” at the annual Arizona School Boards Association conference. The award is presented each year to the one of 217 Arizona Governing Boards that best demonstrates leadership, initiative and best practices.

·         In January, 2015 academic teams from MWMS and DWMS MUSD 20+1 classes competed in the Arizona Future Cities State Competition held at ASU.  The teams from MUSD garnered one-half of the awards presented on Saturday.  The MWMS team “Diamant de l'Arizona” placed first in State. The MWMS students will travel to the Future Cities National Competition to be held in Washington, D.C. in February.

·         Six Maricopa High School student-athletes were selected for recognition on the 2014 Division III Football All-State Team. Special recognition goes to senior Elisha Donaldson who was a first team selection.  Donaldson finished third overall in the state in receiving yards per game and caught 11 touchdown passes. Five football players received All-State Honorable Mention: Johnny Johnson, Aaron Owens, Geovanni Walker, Kenny Ball, Chad Cochran.

·         In October, 2014 the UA College of Engineering hosted a program sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers for female high school students interested in learning more about engineering and the university. In November a team of faculty members from the UA introduced the engineering program to students at MHS and Fifty MHS students traveled to Tucson to tour the UA campus and the College of Engineering.

·         In the summer of 2014 MHS was awarded a $44,400 Library Services and Technology Act grant with its community partners: Maricopa Public Library, Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE), and the Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation. The grant will be used to create a "Makerspace" with a 3D printer, computers, robotic kits, Arduino kits and other innovative technology.  Makerspaces are places for participants to gather, create and learn.

·         The Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation awarded a $16,000 Intel “Sustainability in Action Grant” for 2014. “STEAM” is an abbreviation for “science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.” The foundation was awarded this grant for an Aquaponics Project in cooperation with MUSD, the City of Maricopa and the University of Arizona Ag Tech Department.

·         For the 2014-15 school year, MUSD earned a districtwide grade of “B” for the second consecutive year based on 2014 state test results.  Pima Butte Elementary continued its streak as an “A” school for the fifth consecutive year.  The following schools achieved a “B” grade for 2014-15: Butterfield Elementary, Maricopa Elementary, Santa Cruz Elementary, and Santa Rosa Elementary.

·         MUSD’s new “Bring Your Own Device” option for students began with the 2014-15 school year.  This option allows students to connect personal devices to the District’s network, provided approval is granted from the principal and the student’s parent or legal guardian. Personal devises include laptops, netbooks, tablets, eReaders, smartphones, iPods, iPads, etc.

·         Each school will have a new “academic focus” beginning with the 2014-15 school year. The goal is to provide more options for parents and increased innovative learning opportunities for students.  Even though each school will have a new focus area, the core academic program at each school will continue to be English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education. The academic focus for each school will be:


Butterfield Elementary: STEAM Academy

A focus on the subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) to prepare students for college and future careers. 

Maricopa Elementary: Leadership Academy

A focus on leadership through integrating the principles of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as increasing technology integration, implementing hands-on and project-based learning to enhance core academics in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.

Pima Butte Elementary: Traditional Academy – A School of Excellence

Preparing students to succeed in a global society through the use of science, technology and arts across the curriculum.

Saddleback Elementary: 21st Century Learning Academy

A focus on 21st century learning strategies that keep students highly engaged to ensure the academic success of all.

Santa Cruz Elementary: Achievement Academy

A learning community where staff and students work together to set personal goals. Students set academic goals based upon individual achievement data.  Students can also set health and nutrition goals with daily physical education.

Santa Rosa Elementary: Critical Thinking and Technology Academy

Santa Rosa will focus on project and problem based learning with technology integration to support student achievement through real world tasks.

Desert Wind Middle School: Technology Preparatory Program

Students will take classes in the STEAM subjects: science, technology, arts, engineering and math.  More students will have the opportunity to participate in the “blended learning” 20+1 program, which combines teacher-led learning with online instruction.

Maricopa Wells Middle School: STEAM Preparatory Program

The academic focus will be on Project Based Learning with three academy options for students: 1) Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), 2) Liberal Arts/Fine Arts, and 3) Blended Learning/20+1. Students will select which academy best fits their interests, learning styles and needs.  Each cohort will complete their semester assessments with subject based and/or cross curricular projects.

Maricopa High School:  College and Career Preparatory Academy

Students will learn a comprehensive curriculum based on the arts, humanities, technology, math and science with an emphasis on innovation, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving in all subjects.

·         Jasmine Melvin, 2009 graduate of Maricopa High School, graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy on May 23, 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.  Jasmine also received a Navy Commission as an Ensign (Naval Officer) in the U. S. Navy. Jasmine was an honor student at Maricopa High School and was a standout athlete in both volleyball and basketball.

·         The MHS Class of 2014 set a new scholarship record with over $2.7 million in academic scholarships being offered. This included a National Merit Scholarship being awarded to Niles Getz, which was the third National Merit scholarship awarded to a MHS graduate in the last three years.  In addition, there were twenty-three scholarships to ASU, eleven to Northern Arizona University, six to the University of Arizona, and scholarships from nineteen individual colleges and universities. Central Arizona College offered thirty-three academic scholarships, and an additional sixty-nine Central Arizona College “Promise for the Future” scholarships were offered to MHS grads. 

·         Students who are considering enrollment in higher education after high school take the ACT test. The ACT is designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college courses. The 2014 scores for MHS showed MHS students above the state average in Reading and Science.

·         In March, 2014 MUSD received a three-year $255,000 grant from the Arizona K-12 Center to pay for three half-time master teachers who will mentor beginning teachers at the secondary level. The Arizona K-12 Center is part of Northern Arizona University, and provides professional development for Arizona teachers. The funding will be spread over the next three years: $100,000 the first year, $80,000 the second and $75,000 in the third year.

·         March 2-4, 2014 the MHS DECA Club participated in the Arizona DECA State Career Development Conference, at the Phoenix Convention Center. The conference included 2,600 Arizona student competitors from 108 schools. MHS had twenty-four competitors in preliminary competition; and eleven advanced as finalists. Finalists qualified for the International Career Development Conference this May in Atlanta, GA and eight MHS finalists will attend the conference.

·         MUSD has a new mobile app. This app will allow access to school information from an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. The app named MUSD#20 is available to download through the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and will allow students, parents, school employees and community members to see district calendar events, district news, pay for lunches, access student grades, and access individual school information.

·         On 2/1/14 the Arizona K-12 Center presented the 5th Annual Celebration of Accomplished Teaching Awards to Arizona's newest National Board Certified Teachers & Master Teachers. The mission of the Arizona K-12 Center is “to improve teaching and learning in Arizona's schools through high quality professional development and teacher leadership.” One MUSD Principal and 10 MUSD teachers were recognized.

·         On 1/25/14 teams from the MWMS 20+1 programs at MWMS and DWMS competed in the Arizona Future Cities Competition held at ASU Preparatory Academy in Phoenix. Team "Kopn Tou Pele" received three awards - Second Place Overall in the State of Arizona, Best Design for Sustainability, and the Walton Sustainable Community Award. Second place is the best finish ever by a MUSD team, and the first time a team has placed in the top five in the state.

·         In 2013 the Ak-Chin Indian Community announced it was donating $2.6 million to MUSD, $1.3 million to be awarded in 2013-14 and $1.3 million in 2014-15. The formal Memorandum of Understanding was approved by the MUSD Governing Board at their 11/13/13 meeting. The Ak-Chin gift will fund “extras” the school district would not be able to afford without additional grant funds including: five additional secondary math teachers, five additional paraprofessionals to provide extra reading instruction to elementary students, wireless computer access at all nine schools, refurbishing 275 student computers, and several other projects.

·         The Arizona Business Education Coalition recognized Pima Butte Elementary as a 2013 Higher Performing School for the second consecutive year.

·         A three year district-wide strategic plan was completed and approved by the Governing Board in September, 2013.

·         MUSD increased its district-wide grade from “C” to “B” for 2013-14 as a result of performance on the statewide AIMS test. Pima Butte Elementary continued its streak as an “A” school for the fourth consecutive year. Four of the remaining eight schools increased their letter grade by one grade.

·         On 5/23/13 the MHS Class of 2013 received their diplomas.  There were 270 graduates, and the class was offered over $2 million in scholarships.  16 graduates received academic scholarships from ASU, 16 from NAU, 5 from U of A, and 29 from Central Arizona College. In addition, 73 graduates received the Promise for the Future scholarship from Central Arizona College, which provides two years of free tuition.

·         On 2/6/13 Maricopa High School hosted a press conference where four MHS student athletes signed letters of intent for collegiate athletic programs in 2013-14. Andrea Wilson signed a Letter of Intent to play softball at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. Caleb Buck signed a Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Josh Madu signed a Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kentrell Coleman signed a Letter of Intent to play football at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona. We are very proud of these four outstanding student athletes!

·         Seventy-two MHS seniors in the Class of 2013 took the ACT test and scored above the state average in three of the four tests, including English, science, and reading.

·         The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is typically taken by sophomores and juniors who are considering future enrollment in a college or university. In 2011-13, 40 Maricopa High School sophomores took the PSAT/NMSQT and 72 juniors took the test. The average score of MHS students was above the national and state averages in all three tests: reading, math, and writing.

·         Maricopa High School  head football coach Cory Nenaber was named Division III, Section 1 Coach of the Year by the Arizona Interscholastic Association after his team posted a 7-4 record and made it to the first round of the playoffs.

·         In the fall of 2012 four MUSD teachers earned the designation of National Board Certification and were recognized by the MUSD Governing Board at their meeting in December. The four teachers that were recognized included: Heidi Vratil – the school district’s Professional Development Coordinator was certified as an Early/Young Adult Exceptional Needs Specialist. Tracy Carey – a Physical Education teacher at Santa Cruz Elementary was certified as an Early/Middle Childhood Physical Education teacher. Angelia Ebner – a first and second grade ELL teacher at Maricopa Elementary was certified as an Early Childhood Generalist teacher. Deborah Kohls – a second grade teacher at Maricopa Elementary was certified as an Early Childhood Generalist teacher

·         In 2012 the Arizona Department of Education recognized Pima Butte Elementary recognized Pima Butte Elementary as an “A” school for the third consecutive year.

·         In 2012 the Arizona Department of Education recognized Pima Butte as a “High Performing” and "High Progress" school. Pima Butte was one of sixty-eight schools in the state to achieve this designation

·         The Arizona Business Education Coalition recognized Pima Butte Elementary as a 2012 Higher Performing School.

·         Graduation ceremonies were held on 5/24/12 for the MHS Class of 2012. 280 seniors received their diplomas and the class was offered over $2 million in scholarships. Two students received National Merit Scholarships.  Nine students were awarded prestigious Arizona Board of Regents Scholarship.

·         The PSAT/NMSQT is a standardized test taken by approximately 3.5 million American students each year. The scores from the test are used to determine eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Two members of the Maricopa High School Class of 2012 received one of the highly competitive National Merit Scholarships – Cara Oneal, and T. J. Radigan.