SUSD Update:
  • The newly comprised Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board held its first meetings this month. Members chose Patty Beckman to serve as Board president this year and Allyson Beckham as vice president. 
    Voters elected Beckman and Jann-Michael Greenburg to the Board in November.
  • Community collaboration on possible designs for Cherokee Elementary School continued this week at a third public meeting.  Attendees took part in a 'charette' exercise in which foam-core shapes representing the school's current buildings and uses, as well as ideas for new activities, were laid on top of a board displaying Cherokee's current footprint.  The next meeting of Cherokee neighbors, teachers and staff is set for 6:30 p.m., April 22, at Cherokee.
  • In the meantime, a Visioning Committee organized by principal Walt Chantler will meet  several times with the project's architects to help flesh out design details. Some options for  how to incorporate those ideas into an overall design plan are expected to be shown at the April 22 meeting.  Stay up to date on the planning process and meeting schedule at  susd.org/CherokeeProject.  

It's Parada Time!

Git on your cowboy duds and mosey on over to downtown Scottsdale on Saturday, Feb. 7 to get a corral-side seat (otherwise known as the public sidewalk) for the 66th Annual Parada del Sol!

As is tradition, SUSD and all five of its Learning Communities will be well represented.  All five high school marching bands, some marching with their community's middle school marching bands, will be on hand, as will entries from elementary schools Yavapai, Pueblo, Pima, Navajo, Laguna, Kiva, Hohokam, Desert Canyon and Cherokee; K-8 schools Tonalea and Echo Canyon; and middle schools Mohave, Ingleside and Desert Canyon.  

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Scottsdale Rd. and Drinkwater Blvd., and, after winding its way through Old Town Scottsdale, ends at Indian School Rd. and Brown Avenue.  The Trail's End Festival gets underway immediately afterwards in the area bounded by Indian School on the north, Scottsdale Rd. on the west, 2nd St. on the south and Brown Ave, on the east.  Come be a part of  "The West's Most Western Town" annual celebration of its cowboy past!


Kiva, Navajo and Pueblo second 
graders  led the audience in
the Pledge of Allegiance.

Keynote speaker
Carmen Perez-Jordan

Students asked Perez-Jordan some
probing questions about her work
and how they can make a difference.

Activist Inspires High School Students

Recruited by legendary artist and activist Harry Belafonte to lead a noted human rights organization, Carmen Perez-Jordan headlined the 19th annual MLK Youth Voices program at Saguaro High School on Jan. 17.  Born in California and now based in New York as executive director of The Gathering for Justice, Perez-Jordan related for the audience of SUSD and other Valley high school students her change in perspective, from basketball player and gang member to defender of incarcerated juveniles worldwide and co-organizer of the 2017 Women's March in Washington, D.C.

Perez-Jordan told the audience it has the same duty as she does: to win the fight for freedom and justice, and to love and protect one another, stating, "We have nothing to lose but our chains."  The event also featured inspiring words from Saguaro student leaders and performances by the school's symphonic orchestra, dance team and Voices chorus.  

The previous evening, at the Community Celebrating Diversity annual dinner, SUSD's Scottsdale Online Learning guidance counselor Gary Griggs was recognized with the 2019 Champion Award for his work in the community to advance the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Griggs heads up SUSD's successful Unitown program that each year culminates in a five-day diversity and leadership camp in Prescott that is attended by high school students statewide.

Senior Alana Olson

Junior Israel Benjamin
Saguaro Dance Team
(L to R) Acting Supt. Dr. John Kriekard, 
SUSD guidance  counselor  Gary Griggs  and 
Asst. Supt. Dr. Milissa Sackos
Senior Trey Standifer
New-Look SUSD Calendars Go Online

No dates have changed on the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 SUSD school-year calendars, but they have a new, cleaner design.  And for the first time, there's a second page, on which you'll find the most requested information, including all 30 schools' address, telephone number, website URL, class hours, early dismissal times and office hours.  Take a look at susd.org/calendar .


Still SUSD's Best Speller

A familiar face strode away Jan. 18 with the school district's annual Spelling Bee title ... for the fourth year in a row. Desert Canyon Middle School 6th grader Omkar Bharath successfully defended his title once again and will head to the Region 2 Spelling Bee Feb. 22, hosted by the Deer Valley Unified School District, correctly spelling  
agitated in the championship round.

Joining Omkar will be (L to R) Tate Meyer, fifth grade, Redfield Elementary School; Phil Trang, fifth grade, Hopi Elementary School; Kate Radonich, seventh grade, Ingleside Middle School; Victoria Leung, seventh grade, Mountainside Middle School; and Alessi Utterback, fifth grade, Anasazi Elementary School.  Congratulations, Spellers, and good luck in the next round!

Tax Credit Contributions Benefit SUSD Students

Have You Done Your Taxes Yet?

Tax credit contributions can be made anytime throughout the school year, but must be made by April 15 (not Dec. 31 anymore) - and you get to decide which tax year to apply it to!  Anyone who pays Arizona state income tax can contribute.

Please click HERE to learn more about making a tax credit contribution to SUSD.  Students and school programs depend on you to be able to offer learning opportunities beyond those made possible by state funding.  Thank you very much, in advance!

Upcoming Events

February 6:
Hopi Elementary School Dedication, 5 p.m., Hopi Elementary School, 5110 E. Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix
February 7:
SUSD Governing Board Study Session, 3 p.m., Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Rd., S cottsdale
February 7:
SUSD High School Dance Festival, 7 p.m., Auditorium, Saguaro High School, 6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale
February 9:
66th Annual Parada del Sol, 10 a.m.; START: Drinkwater Blvd. & Scottsdale Rd., END: Indian School Rd. & Brown Ave.
February 12:
SUSD Governing Board Regular Meeting, 5 p.m., Board Room, Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave., Scottsdale
February 13:
Early Release - All grades - Professional Development
February 14: Pima Traditional School Dedication, 10 a.m., Pima Traditional School, 8330 E. Osborn Rd., Scottsdale
February 18:
Presidents Day - SUSD schools & offices closed