SUSD Update:
  • In October, the Governing Board decided to use insurance money to restore fire-damaged areas of Navajo Elementary School.  No damage estimate has been provided yet.  The Board is also looking into bringing Navajo's mechanical and security systems up to code at the same time as the repair work takes place and has asked for a cost for that work.  The hope is that both projects could be finished in time for Navajo students to return to their Granite Reef Road campus before Winter Break 2019.  They have been housed at the Oak Learning Academy since the August 22 fire.
  • Also in October, the Governing Board selected Cherokee Elementary School, 8801 N. 56th St., Paradise Valley, as the next SUSD campus to be redeveloped.  The Cherokee community, including homeowners in the immediate school area, is invited to begin that conversation at a meeting to be held in the school's cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 17.  The Board will consider architectural firms for the Cherokee project at its Thursday, December 6 study session, with the goal of introducing the architect at the community meeting.
  • The Governing Board continues its work to find SUSD's next Superintendent.   The application deadline was earlier this week.  With the assistance of a panel of community stakeholders and the consultant hired in August to oversee the search, the Board will meet on December 20 to narrow down the applications.   Finalists will be invited to interview for the job the week of January 22, 2019, at which time they will also be introduced to the public.  The Governing Board is scheduled to determine a candidate for the job during a late January or early February executive session.  View updates on this process at
  • On November 6, voters elected Patty Beckman and Jann-Michael Greenburg to fill the seats vacated by Governing Board members Kim Hartmann and Pam Kirby.  The new members will be seated and 2019 Board officers will be chosen at the Board's January 10 study session.
Sisters in STEM

In case you didn't know, STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - is for everyone, including big and little sisters!

More than 200 people attended Saguaro High School's inaugural "Sisters in STEM" event on Nov. 16, the brainchild of students Eli Arnold, Laney Olson and Kayli Battel.  The trio of Sabercat Robotics team members got the idea for the undertaking, having taken part in an event at Scottsdale Community College the past two years, "Girls Inspiring Girls."

These motivated young women want girls to know that it's  okay for them to like scientific endeavors, such as physics, chemistry and robotics, and to pursue those fields as careers.  "We want to open little girls' minds and give them a chance to explore their interests," said Battel.  "They need to know that girls can do this ... and that it's fun!"

2019 National Merit Scholarship Program

Sixteen SUSD seniors are Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's 64th annual competition for more than 7,500 college  scholarships worth more than $31 million.

From Chaparral High School, the Semifinalists are  Kira Householder, Bennett Katz, Richard Qi, Anika Walia and Arnaav Walia.

From Desert Mountain High School, the Semifinalists are  Harrison Douglas, Courtney Dozier, Steven Florence, Joel Haug, Michael Kupfer,  Noah Mader,  Brian Prieve, Noelle Rapier, Nicklas Samanta, Nicolas Savastio and Aaron Yang.

These students have a few more hurdles to clear to advance to Finalist status:  they must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes information about their academic records, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors or rewards received.  The first group of Finalists will be named in April 2019.

Also receiving accolades from the National Merit Scholarship organization are the following SUSD students who have received Letters of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program:

Arcadia:  Ava Brimley, Louisa Gilbert

Chaparral:  Emily Artigue, Caitlin Bussey, Andre Butzburger, Faith Cain, Amanda Chin, Mariyana Ivanova, Mason Liebman, Sarah McDowell, Grace Menna, Noah Silver, Mackenzie Smith, Grace Taylor, Georgia Tully, Rachel Turner

Desert Mountain:  Hope Ashworth, Kathryn Barnhart, Erin Epel, Zachary Hudson, Adam Kasper, Mallory Kruse, Amelia Mickelson, Kyle Otstot, Nicole Perry, Gregory Sarandi, Shaalin Sehra, Matthew Siegel, Holly Wills

Saguaro:  Sabrina Hirshorn, Dallas Taylor, Junghwan Park, Davis Whyte, Blaise Williams, Tyler Wilson

Although Commended Students do not continue in the competition for National Merit® Scholarships, some of these students do become candidates for Special Scholarships sponsored by corporations and businesses.

The entire process leading up to the naming of Semifinalists and Commended Students began more than a year ago, when these students, then juniors, took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).   Congratulations to all!
Teacher Learning Never Ends

Whoever thinks teaching is an easy job needs to spend a day in a teacher's shoes!  Here at SUSD, our teachers bring their very best to classrooms, art studios, laboratories, music rooms and gyms every day for their students.  And they're always looking for ways to improve the quality of their instruction through continuing their own education.

One such way of doing that is by pursuing National Board Certification, so we are happy to report that four SUSD teachers - Laguna 2nd grade teacher Carrie Miller, the District's PreK-5 Language Arts Academic Coach Diane Murphy, Copper Ridge elementary grades Gifted teacher Kim Vallejo and Ingleside 8th grade Language Arts teacher Wes Wagner - have successfully renewed their certifications.  Congratulations!

National Board Certification is considered the "gold standard" of teaching excellence.  We're looking forward to learning in December who SUSD's first-time National Board-certified teachers are!


2018  SUSD Showcase
@ Arcadia High School 


We were glad to welcome SUSD families and students to the District's 4th annual Showcase event on Nov. 17!  We continue to be amazed by the depth of  talent SUSD students possess, which was on full display at Arcadia High School that sunny Saturday!

New to the celebration this year were a Robotics Arena; taste-testing of school breakfast and lunch foods, courtesy of SUSD Nutrition Services; the District's technology-equipped E-Coach, inside of which adults were able to enroll their students in SUSD or apply for District jobs; and a school bus.

Many thanks to our teachers, principals, students, and District administrators and staff for their participation, and to our families for taking interest in their students' successes.  And thank you, Arcadia Principal Stevens, CMAS and Richard Maxwell, for being such great hosts!


Anasazi Is Home to State's Top Elementary P.E. Teacher

Arizona Health and Physical Education, the state's organization of P.E. teachers, has named Anasazi's Kyle Bragg as its 2018 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.  Now everyone else knows what Sammy and the rest of the Scorpions know:  Mr. Bragg rocks!

What is it about Mr. Bragg that brings him this recognition?  For starters, e ach of his lessons strives to develop physically literate individuals among Anasazi's kindergarten through 5th graders. His  comprehensive lessons meet the needs of all learners, creating a classroom climate that allows each student to feel valued.  And he knows every student's name! 

Mr. Bragg and his award were celebrated at the November Governing Board meeting.  While he may have  anticipated  that, he surely did not expect to receive a giant congratulations binder containing a page from by every single Scorpion!  We're pretty sure he's going to treasure that for a long time.  

       Marching to Success

Three SUSD high school marching bands saw success at state championship events in November.  The Spirit of Arcadia Marching Band successfully defended its AZMBA Division 2A title, once again squeaking past Gilbert's Mesquite High School.  Strong performances in General Effect, Visual and Auxiliary put Arcadia over the top.

A week later at the ABODA championships at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium, Mesquite returned the favor, edging past Arcadia to take the Division 3 title by less than a point.  Arcadia took the top score in General Effect.

In ABODA's Division 4, Saguaro High School finished 4th and Chaparral High School finished 7th.  Saguaro had the high score for General Effect; Chaparral's percussion group scored highest.

Thank you, SUSD Marching Bands, for all your hard work since the early mornings of last summer and doing SUSD proud!

Scottsdale Unified School District values our partnerships with local business.  Businesses now have the opportunity to support SUSD through the purchase of monthly advertising in SUSD newsletters that are distributed to the families of more than 23,000 SUSD students and more than 3,000 employees.

Additionally, SUSD offers several other opportunities for businesses to support the District through event sponsorships and school wish-list fulfillment.

If you're interested in learning more about opportunities to support SUSD, contact the SUSD Communications Department at  

Tax Credit Contributions Benefit SUSD Students

Tax Credit

Tax Credit contributions can be made anytime throughout the school year.  Anyone who pays Arizona state income tax can give.  Please click HERE to learn more about making a tax credit contribution to SUSD.

Upcoming Events

December 3:
Fall Sports All-District Athletics Banquet, 6 p.m., The McCormick, 7401 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
December 6:
SUSD Governing Board Study Session, 3 p.m., Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Rd., Scottsdale
December 11:
SUSD Governing Board Regular Meeting, 5 p.m., Board Room, Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave., Scottsdale
December 12:
K-12 Early Release, Professional Development
December 17:
Cherokee Elementary School Redevelopment Community Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Cafeteria, Cherokee Elementary, 8801 N. 56th St., Paradise Valley
December 20: SUSD Governing Board Special Meeting: Superintendent Search, 9 a.m., Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Rd., Scottsdale
December 19-21: High School Final Exams - Early Release
December 21:
End of 2nd quarter/1st semester
December 24 - January 4: Winter Break
January 7:
Professional Development - No students
January 8:
First day back for students; 3rd quarter/2nd semester begin