Tag Archives: Coronado High School

Caps Off to the 2nd Annual Title I Dream Fair!

Mary Ellertson
Scottsdale Unified School District

Dream FairClose to three hundred Scottsdale family members participated in the 2nd Annual Scottsdale Unified School District’s Title I Dream Fair, held in November at Coronado High School.  Developed by Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 in support of SUSD students and families, the Dream Fair’s overwhelming success for two years in a row has earned it a permanent spot on the school calendar, guaranteeing the event to be one that parents, students, and local community members can look forward to each year.

Mary Ellertson, Title I Coordinator for SUSD, played a vital role in making this a sustainable event.  Coining the slogan, “From Cradle to Career,” Ellertson was passionate about spreading the message that it is never too early to prepare for college.

Dream FairThe goal of the Dream Fair was to level the playing field so that all children have the opportunity to be prepared for college or a career.  Many students in local Scottsdale communities will be the first generation to apply to college and need guidance on how this process works.  Title I funds, which are designed to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged minority students and their peers, combined with the donations of local businesses and community members, will help keep the Dream Fair a SUSD tradition.

This year’s Dream Fair hosted two motivating Keynote Speakers, former NFL player, Dr. Ray Otis Perkins, a strong advocate of education who shared his message “not just to survive but to strive,” and Gary Trujillo, a graduate of Harvard Business School and co-founder of Southwest Harvard Group Venture Capital.

Health Occupation Students of AmericanStudent performances in music and dance, booths with information about careers and strong study habits, food, and discussions about how dreams can come true were a few of the many exciting offerings of the Dream Fair.  As stated by one attending parent, “We really did not know what to expect when coming but this was an amazing event!  Both of my children learned so much… we hope you continue the Dream Fair!”

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Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays It Forward

Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays if Forward
Graduating class of Scottsdale Leadership poised to leave a lasting legacy in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – As part of the nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 were assigned to teams and challenged to plan and implement five community service projects. The goal was to identify a community need and develop a project that positively affected that need, while gaining hands-on experience as community leaders.

“The teams had to quickly organize and create a project that will pay it forward for years to come,” said Brian Bednar, board president of Scottsdale Leadership. “We are beyond impressed and proud of class 26.  Their accomplishments are a reflection of what Scottsdale Leadership stands for. It proves that, even with limited time and resources, a few passionate people can make a tremendous impact on a community.”

The projects underway include:

Play it Forward
Play it Forward is dedicated to getting musical instruments out of retirement and into the hands of students, particularly to those in low-income areas who might not otherwise have access to musical education.  The team, in partnership with Ear Candy Charity and Arcadia High School Contemporary Music and Sound, is conducting an instrument drive benefiting schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD).  Project Play it Forward Group was featured on Channel 12 news at: http://www.azcentral.com
How to get involved: Donate musical instruments at the front desk at Arcadia High until April 15. To make a donation to help repair and place the instruments with those in need, visit www.EarCandyCharity.org and click on CMAS drive.

Everybody Dance Now! Scottsdale
Everybody Dance Now! Is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth through dance, leadership and community involvement by starting a chapter of Everybody Dance Now! in Scottsdale. The project team is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to provide weekly dance programming to middle and high school youth who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.  Everybody Dance Now! is a youth-run nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students through positive opportunities that promote healthy and active lives. The first class begins on Wednesday, March 28 at the Rose Lane Branch of The Boys & Girls Club.
How to get involved: Participate in two upcoming golf tournaments which will raise money for Everybody Dance Now!. A Good Friday Golf Tournament will take place at Stonecreek Golf Club on Friday, April 6 and a NFL Alumni Golf Tournament will take place at Whirlwind Golf Club on Friday, May 4. Golfers may contact Tim Jorden at tjorden@cox.net to reserve a golf foursome. Also, volunteers will be needed to teach dance classes, particularly teens and college students with hip-hop experience. Interested volunteers can contact the local Everybody Dance Now! program at Scottsdale@everybodydancenow.org.

Paiute Community Garden
This team partnered with the Paiute Neighborhood Center to create a multifaceted edible garden with raised planting beds and an art-inspired seated reading area. The Paiute Community Garden will be a beautiful place for children and adults to grow an edible garden while layering an educational curriculum to inspire healthy food choices. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m.
How to get involved: The program is happy to accept gardening materials and cash donations to assist the program. Make your donations at the Paiute Neighborhood Center located at 6535 E. Osborn Road in Scottsdale.

Healthy Packs Program
The mission of Healthy Packs program is to aid children in Title 1 schools experiencing weekend hunger by sending them home from school with food on Friday afternoons. Good weekend nutrition ensures the children arrive to school on Monday well-nourished and ready to learn. Project partners include Vista Del Camino Food Bank, Scottsdale Leadership, SUSD, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Concerned Citizens for Community Health. Healthy Packs kicked off on Friday, March 23.
How to get involved: The project will continue to need volunteers and donations. You can volunteer with the Vista Del Camino Food Bank to help pack bags, deliver bags or collect funds for the program. You can also donate online at http://www.concernedcitizensscottsdale.org/ for the Healthy Packs Program. Non-perishable food donation can be made directly to Healthy Packs at Vista Del Camino or to the Healthy Pack food donation boxes located at all SUSD elementary schools. Donations boxes will also be available at select middle schools and Desert Mountain High School.

Dream Fair
The goal for the Dream Fair was to inspire Coronado High School students entering 9th and 10th grade and their parents to be more involved in school to help them realize their dreams for graduation and beyond. Increased student and parental involvement are key contributors for better educational performance and decreased dropout rates. The Dream Fair on March 24 featured former White House Doctor Connie Mariano and Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and a former Coronado High School graduate. Both shared how school helped them reach their dreams. The event included free food, prizes and activity booths from the school and community.
How to get involved: This year’s events is complete, but stay tuned  for chances to donate your time and resources to next year’s  Dream Fair.

Teams will present their projects the community during formal presentations on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium. Project Pay It Forward Presentation Day is sponsored by the Scottsdale Charros. A panel of judges will evaluate the projects and the winning team will receive $2,000 from Scottsdale Leadership to be donated to the team’s benefiting organization.

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What is in the special sauce?

Braden Love, Class 26
Director IT Business Consulting, Scottsdale Insurance

The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.

Another great day at Scottsdale Leadership was spent at the Coronado High School learning about the Scottsdale Unified School district. The coordination to pack in the star-studded speaker roll and tons of information in a short time was impressive. It was great to hear from the talented administration and a couple of smart students but I would have preferred to directly hear from a teacher.

What is the special sauce that makes SUSD excel above others? We heard about how great the school system is performing in a very challenging environment. The environment sounded, well… broken. Funding challenges abound. Equalization, a finance system older than a lot of Coronado alumni, the inability to move funds from one budget bucket to another, stagnate salaries and budgets.  Surely the special sauce is not money, look how well the team performs with what they have.

What is in that special sauce? Listening to the discussion about accountability and seeing the school professionals’ challenges and perceptions of what looked to me like chaos diminished my confidence in our policy makers. Another seemingly broken, or at least faltering, system. Not only do we have three definitions of successful but those definitions are changing like the seasons in New England. How’d you like it if that were your performance evaluation environment for your job?

If money is not the silver bullet for education and our policies on standards and performance create challenges more than they enable, then what are the ingredients for that special sauce? It must be another part of the system… Perhaps it is the community? The Administration? The kids? The parents?  The teachers?

What do you think is written on that recipe card? Please respond and let me know.

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Reflecting back on Scottsdale Leadership

David BinsfeldDave Binsfeld, Class XII
Vice President, General Southwest Ins. Agency

It’s hard to believe it has been 13 years since I started my relationship with Scottsdale Leadership as member of class XII, a.k.a. The Dirty Dozen. Looking back, I can see how the knowledge and understanding I gained in leadership has helped me do a better job in my community service endeavors.

In leadership, I got a clear picture of how the various institutions of our community, from city council, city services, police and fire services, social service organizations, the school districts, etc are all interwoven with each other to create the fabric of our community. No one institution operates on its own in a vacuum.

I am a volunteer mentor and leader with the New Pathways Teen Mentoring program at Coronado High School. The New Pathways Program is a collaborative partnership between Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk and Coronado High School to support teens that are at risk of dropping out of school and/or at risk of other negative behaviors. In my capacity as a mentor of a 17-year-old young man and a member of the leadership team of this program, I frequently call upon my knowledge and experience gained in Scottsdale Leadership as I work with Teens and their Mentors. I know Scottsdale Leadership has made me more effective in my efforts to make Scottsdale a better place.

Thanks Scottsdale Leadership.

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Finding my Passion and Making a Difference!

By Stefanie Lerner, Class 23
Director of Sales & Marketing at Encore Creative

I began the Scottsdale Leadership program with what I thought was an open mind.  I knew I wanted to get deeper involved in my community and thought Scottsdale Leadership would offer exposure to a host of opportunities, that it did.  I assumed with my professional background and areas of interest I would connect to the arts community or something of that nature. Little did I know that my heart would be grabbed by Phoenix Youth at Risk’s New Pathway’s mentoring program for freshmen at Scottsdale’s Coronado High School.

Fast forward to me signing up, being selected as a mentor, and being paired with Cheyenne for our 10 month journey.  I know that this program, and my involvement in it, is helping to change the trajectory of a young person’s life.  When I met Cheyenne (14 years old) she was prone to gang involvement, drug/alcohol use and self abuse as ways of dealing with life.

After 10 months in this program and with its amazing self empowerment curriculum and community building, Cheyenne found she has a talent and love of writing poetry.  Together we found some poetry open mic readings at Mama Java’s Coffee House and I brought her to hear other poets read.  She got up on that very first day (poems in her pocket…  I didn’t even know about) and read publicly.  She’s since been “publishing” her poetry on Facebook and even signed up to read her poetry at the New Pathways Talent Show….and was awarded …Best Overall Talent. There is no greater pride than seeing her proud of herself, proud of her accomplishments, and making positive choices.

Phoenix Youth at Risk is always looking for new mentors and they run several programs. While I’m just one person, volunteering a small amount of time, I know I am doing something extremely important.  I am making a difference.

For more information on Phoenix Youth at Risk please visit: http://www.phoenixyouthatrisk.org/

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