April 3, 2018
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Congratulations Ms. Coughlon!
Congratulations to Ms. Coughlon, who participated in the Great Hearts Headmaster College Class of 2018. She put in more than 200 hours of study in addition to her current job within Great Hearts to become an even better school leader. Last Thursday, she received her Certificate of Completion.

Way to go, Ms. Coughlon!

To watch the ceremony, please see the video below:
AzMerit Exams
AZMERIT is an exam that is aligned with Arizona's state learning standards, which detail what students should be able to do at each grade level. These exams are used as a benchmark to inform the state, school, and community about the educational progress of our students. Under Arizona Law, there is no right of opt-out from these mandatory assessments required in all public schools. 

From April 3rd to April 20th North Phoenix Prep will be administering the computer-based AZMERIT/AIMS standardized tests to our 7th-11th-grade students. Students will test over a period of three to four days depending on their grade. Please remind your student to get a good night's rest and to bring their plug-in headphones to the exams. 
Teacher Feature: Mr. Herrera
We are thrilled to announce that Mr. Christopher Herrera, a good friend and professional colleague of Ms. Harris, is joining our faculty next year!

Mr. Herrera earned bachelor's degrees in both English and Music from California State University and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona. He is currently completing a doctoral degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona.

In addition to private lessons, Mr. Herrera has taught at the Arizona Opera, Grand Canyon University, Arizona Christian University, Glendale Community College, Phoenix Community College, and Pima Community College. Overall, he brings 12 years of teaching experience to the choral performance program at our Academy. 

Mr. Herrera is also an award-winning singer and featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, Catalina Chamber Orchestra, Phoenix Opera, and the Phoenix Chorale.

Our students prepared a few questions for Mr. Herrera:

How did you become interested in music?
In 7th grade, I was enrolled in choir against my will! I did everything to try and get out of it but was told no. Once in the class, I excelled. By the end of my second year, I was choir president, I had sung my first solo, and I had joined all of the extracurricular choirs available. My teacher , Mrs. Anderson, was a motivating force behind my discovery of my passion for music. She introduced me to so much wonderful repertoire by numerous composers, igniting an interest in classical music at a young age.

When did you decide to become a teacher and why?
In 2003, I was granted a graduate teaching assistantship by the University of Arizona which involved working in several first-grade classrooms. Along with a female singer and pianist, we taught children their reading and writing curriculum standards through music. I fell in love with teaching immediately! This led to an opportunity teach a group voice class at a local community college. I remember being extremely nervous and not too sure I would be good at teaching students older than seven, but it turned out to be an amazing experience and solidified my path as a music educator. 

How do you best connect with students?
I have always been told I’m an excellent listener. As a former student, I remember how important it was for me that my thoughts and ideas were heard and considered. As an educator, I want my students to be the best critical thinkers and problem solvers they can be. It’s my job to provide them with an environment in which they feel free to speak their minds and create without judgment. A good sense of humor goes a long way, too!

What interests do you have that might support a club?
I’m an avid dog lover, rescue dogs in particular. I have two rescue pups at home—Dash & Simba. I would love to see a club which involves donating their time to a local no-kill animal shelter. Musically, I love holiday music! It would be great to form a wassailing group that goes out into the local neighborhoods in December and spreads holiday cheer through song! 

Welcome to North Phoenix Prep, Mr. Herrera!
College Counseling News


Miss Smith is on the Move!

I am thrilled to be heading to Rhode Island and Massachusetts this Friday! I will be touring a number of colleges alongside counselors from across the US, both collecting information on the colleges as potential fits for our students as well as serving as an ambassador for Great Hearts and North Phoenix, ensuring that our students and our curriculum are known and appreciated by colleges and universities near and far! I will do my best to stay on top of e-mails, but I appreciate your patience if it takes a little longer to get back to you next week!

All Quiet on the College Front

I have had a few community members remark that they have heard very little about the college plans of our seniors. And for that, I sincerely thank you!
I’m sure you can imagine the stress these young men and women face as they await responses, manage occasional disappointments, and try to evaluate financial aid award letters from the numerous colleges by whom they were admitted. Many factors will impact their final decisions, including finances, family obligations, and even just the fit they find on campus. Even the best-intended inquiries can add to the pressure the students feel. The nature of this process is inherently competitive and threatens to tempt students to a relativistic view of their self-worth. For this reason, we endeavor to honor and respect the students and families as they navigate this difficult and exciting stage of their lives.

We will celebrate with all of our seniors (including those who are making the honorable choice to go directly into service) on National College Decision Day, May 1 st. The mantra I repeat to the students is, “This is your story to tell!” Please know that I am more than happy to speak with families about our relationship with specific colleges, historical trends from across the network, and any interests, concerns, or inquiries specific to their students.

I am very proud of our inaugural class of graduates, not only for their outcomes, but for the intention and purpose with which they have engaged in this process! I have no doubt this is a trend that will encourage and inspire me for years to come!

Laney Smith   | College Counselor
Time is running out to register for the 2018 Great Hearts Summer College Tour to Boston! Contact Miss Smith with questions. (Additional info here)

Make sure to check the College Counseling Page of our website for opportunities for Summer Programs such as this opportunity from NAU to work on study skills and reading comprehension & fluency!



  • Friday, April 6th- Registration Deadline for the May 5th SAT.

Register, choose your testing location, and pay online through CollegeBoard! (Miss Smith does not administer your CollegeBoard accounts, so please utilize the available prompts for forgotten usernames or passwords.)

  • Friday, April 6th- Balfour Graduation Delivery Date! Pick up your announcements and verify fit on your cap and gown in the Senior Commons.

  • Saturday, April 7th-ASU Barrett Honors College will host their annual Great Hearts Day for current juniors this Saturday. Junior families, please notify Miss Smith if you did not receive the link to register directly in your e-mail!

  • April 6th - 12th -Miss Smith away on the BEANS Counselor Fly-In (See College Counseling News for more information)





Senior Announcements!
  • Senior Thesis this week-
Monday- Ben Laverman- Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and Psychology: The Briefer Course.
Tuesday-Peyton Woolf-Five of Plato's Dialogues and The Social Contract
Wednesday- Zach Gwisdala-Jude the Obscure and The Great Gatsby
Thursday- Zoe Garret- Nicomachean Ethics and Siddartha
  • PROM! is Saturday, April 21st at Moon Valley Country Club. Click HERE to purchase tickets.
  •  Senior Dinner will be Thursday, May 10th from 6 - 8 pm at Moon Valley Country Club. Tickets now on sale HERE!
  • Graduation- Saturday, May 26th 2:30pm at Calvary Chapel North
Upcoming events!
Mark your calendars for the following events!

  •   Tuesday, April 3rd- 8th grade class picture
  • Thursday, April 5th- Coffee with the Headmasters (ANP & NPX- in the Library 8:30am)
  • Thursday, April 12th- Drama Performance- 11th & 12th grades 7pm at Calvary North
  • Saturday, April 21st - Jr. & Sr. Prom
  • Thursday, April 26th- Cabinet of Curiosities Art Show and Exhibit- on Campus 5pm








Gladiator Sports

Please click on the Gladiator to be taken to our Athletics Calendar. There you will see the upcoming athletic events for this week, including multiple home games. Please come support our athletes!

Go Gladiators!
2018-2019 Dates

  •   August 6 – First Day of School
  •   Oct 8 – 16 – No School: Fall Break 
  •     October 15 & 16 No School-Fall Conferences
  •   Dec 21-Jan 9 – No School Winter Break
  •   January 7 – 9 No School -Winter Conferences
  •  Mar 18-22 – No School: Spring Break
  • May 24 – Last School Day
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