PXU Newsletter September 24, 2021

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PXU - Vax To The Max Staff


PXU is committed to reaching the 85% vaccination threshold typically needed to achieve herd immunity in our community. On September 2nd, our Governing Board took action and approved a vaccination campaign, Vax to the Max, for all staff and students.

From Tuesday, September 7, through Monday, October 11, all staff will be required to submit their current COVID vaccination status. In order to report your status, please log in to the iVisions portal and follow these steps:

  • Hover your cursor over the All Departments tab and select Online Request Forms.
  • Click the Create New Form button next to the COVID 19 Vaccination Record dropdown option.
  • Enter your information and your vaccination status.
  • Attaching an image of your card is not required. However, to be eligible for the incentive below, please upload your valid vaccination record card.

When we reach 85% vaccination rate (or higher), the following incentives will occur:


  • Fully vaccinated employees who have uploaded their valid vaccination card in iVisions willreceive $200 on the December 7, 2021 paycheck.
  • Fully vaccinated employees who have not uploaded their valid vaccination card in iVisions will not be eligible for the $200 incentive.
  • Unvaccinated individuals will not be eligible for the $200 incentive.


  • The first large school and first small school who reach the 85% vaccination goal will receive a prize (more info to come). CEE & DSF staff will be included in the large school competition.


  • Every student who shows proof of vaccination to their bookstore (large schools) or front office (small schools) will receive a $100 Target gift card.

If you have not yet received the vaccine, there is still time to be fully vaccinated by October 11.

While Phoenix Union is requiring this information, your vaccination status cannot impact your employment with the District. Thank you for providing this essential feedback and for doing your part to keep our community safe. Please email Talent@PhoenixUnion.org with any questions.

PSA: Let's get vaccinated!

The number 1 mitigation strategy for overcoming this pandemic is vaccination. We want to make sure our community knows the facts and can make an informed decision for their health and the health of our community.

Please watch the PSA below for information from some of our very own PXU teachers and Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine from Maricopa County Public Health.

PXU - Vaccine PSA

PXU Rotational Vaccination and COVID Testing Events

Our rotational vaccination events and weekly testing events are still happening! We want to remind you that we offer the FDA Approved Pfizer Vaccine at all of our campuses on a rotational basis. We also offer FREE COVID testing at many of our school locations during the week and on Saturdays.

Thank you to all who have volunteered their time to keeping our community healthy. If you would like to volunteer at our Metro Tech vaccination event on Saturday, September 25, please click the link below:

Click here to register to volunteer on September 25

Please see the graphics below for the full schedule of events. You can also download a PDF version of the vaccination schedule below.

For more information on our vaccination and testing efforts, please visit https://PXU.org/BeHealthy

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EXPO 2021!

It's finally that time of year again, EXPO season! This year's EXPO will be on November 6th from 9am-1pm. All of our school locations will be open to the public. More info to come soon about EXPO.

Let's get excited for EXPO!

American Indian Education Association Educator's Award Celebration

For the past 2 years, the American Indian Education Association (AIEA) has been hosting an awards ceremony to celebrate the many professionals who significantly impact American Indian students. There are 10 categories that educators can be nominated for, and we had 4 winners from Phoenix Union! Here are the PXU AIEA Educator Award winners:

  1. Administrator Award – Karen Cardenas (CEE – Montecito)
  2. Founder Award – Alfred Yazzie (Chavez & Central)
  3. Teachers 1-5 Years Award – Kelcie Franklin (Fairfax)
  4. Unsung Hero Award – Maria Anaya (Fairfax)

Each of our 4 winners was celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony on September 18th. Please see the video below to watch their acceptance speeches. Congratulations to our winners!

AIEA PXU Winners Acceptance Speeches

Alhambra JROTC

Alhambra JROTC recently completed their “Robotics Rumble”, an exercise in designing, building and operating a robot. The Robotics Kits were provided by the United State Army JROTC Cadet Command to interested JROTC programs throughout the country. JROTC students designed and built robots and a robot test track from the materials provided. Students and their creations then conducted a competition in order to determine the best design, operational ability and functionality.

Alejandro Ortiz, Junior: “Building the robots was a blast. I’ve never done anything like that and it was a fun experience.”

Ramon Nunez, Junior: “One thing I enjoyed about the robot was the building process. I liked it because doing hands-on activity just feels like a better way to learn.”

On Friday, September 17, the Alhambra JROTC program also conducted their annual “Boot Camp”. Cadets participated in a day-long, intensive leadership and physical fitness exercise. Servicemen and women from National Guard, Army, Navy and Marines taught the cadets how to lead, motivate and help their teammates. By the end of the day, Cadets were came together as a team and demonstrated pride in themselves -both individually and in the Battalion.

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Dr. Zack Muñoz Inducted into the AIAAA Hall of Fame

The Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (AIAAA) Executive Board voted to induct Dr. Zack Muñoz (pictured above) into their 2021 Hall of Fame. This is in recognition for his 32 years of service to the Phoenix Union High School District as a Teacher, Coach, Site Athletic Director, Principal, District Athletic Director, PXU HOF and All-PXU Student-Athlete Sports Awards Founder and former PUFE Board Member. This is also to honor his service to the AIAAA Executive Board as President-Elect, President, and Past President and current NIAAA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee member and AIAAA DEI Committee Chairman.

Dr. Muñoz has spent his entire 32-year career in the Phoenix Union High School District (PXU). He has worked on four different campuses, serving as a Teacher/Coach (Carl Hayden and Maryvale), Assistant Principal for Student Opportunities (North) and twice as a site Principal (North and Fairfax). In 2014 Muñoz was named Director of Student Connectedness for Athletics and Activities for Phoenix Union. In addition, Dr. Munoz is the District Director for the AVID Program, providing oversight for 13 PXU schools that offer the AVID system. He is a former Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Executive Board member serving as the 6A Conference Representative and was a past Committee Chairperson for the 6A and 5A Conference Metro Regions’ and also served as past president of the 5A Conference. Dr. Munoz is also the Founder and Chairperson of the Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame and the All-PXU Student-Athlete Sports Award Ceremony and Scholarships. He was also Past-President, President (2016-2018) and President-Elect of the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (AIAAA) and the Phoenix Union Administrators Association. He is a past Executive Board Member of the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education. In addition, Dr. Munoz is currently a member of the AIAAA Executive Board, the NFHS/USA Football, Scholastic Football Coalition and the NIAAA Ad-hoc committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and chairperson of the AIAAA DEI Committee.

During his tenure in PXU, Muñoz has been selected as a 2004 Finalist for the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Administrator of the Year. Dr. Muñoz was also the recipient of the MLK Basketball Classic’s Realizing the Dream Award in 2012. In 2013 Muñoz was named as a Finalist for the Rodell Exemplary Principal Initiative. In addition, in 2014 he received the Phoenix College Golden Bear President’s Partnership Award and was awarded the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award presented by the Coca Cola Scholarship Foundation for Exemplary Dedication to the Field of Education. Recently, Dr. Munoz was ceremoniously inducted into the 2016 Phoenix Union Sports Hall of Fame for his dedication and service to athletics for the Phoenix Union High School District. During his tenure as President, the AIAAA was awarded the NIAAA Commendation for Membership (2016 & 2017). In 2018, Dr. Muñoz received his Certified Athletic Administrator Certificate (CAA) and was awarded the 2020 Joseph B. Whitehead Distinguished Service Award by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).

Dr. Muñoz has been married for 27 years to his wonderful wife Trish and has three beautiful daughters; Danielle, 25, Talia, 24 and Alyssa, 16.

His induction plaque and picture will be permanently hung with the other past inductees in the AIA office. Congratulations to PXU Director of Student Connectedness Dr. Zack Muñoz!

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Therese Arvizu awarded Arizona High School Teacher of Excellence

On Saturday, September 18, Therese Arvizu (pictured above) was awarded Arizona High School Teacher of Excellence from the Arizona English Teachers Association. Arvizu is instrumental in bringing culturally relevant curriculum and instruction to students at North High School and throughout the district.

We are so proud to have teachers like Ms. Arvizu in our district! Congratulations, Ms. Aruvizu!

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Bill Kibler, Gilder Lehrman's Arizona 2021 History Teacher of the Year

Mr. Bill Kibler (pictured above) from ARCH at Cesar Chavez High School was named Arizona's 2021 History Teacher of the Year by Gilder Lehrman earlier this year.

The History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and US Territories.

Congratulations to Mr. Kibler!

More information about Gilder Lehrman and this award can be found by clicking the link below:

Link to information about Gilder Lehrman and the award

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Ramon Zambrano, Carl Hayden's New Varsity Boys Soccer Coach

Carl Hayden is excited to announce their new varsity soccer coach, Ramon Zambrano (pictured above). Ramon has a long withstanding history with Carl Hayden soccer, serving at the JV coach for one season and the freshman coach for the two seasons prior. In addition to his coaching tenure, Ramon is a Carl Hayden alumni and stellar athlete.

As the varsity captain and team MVP, Ramon led the Falcon soccer team to multiple winning seasons from 2010-2012. They are excited about this transition and feel that Ramon couldn’t be a better fit to take over the program. They look forward to continued success and another run in the 5A state playoffs.

Congrats, Coach Zambrano!

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Master Sergeant Jeffrey Rice, Star Teacher Award Winner

MSG Jeffrey Rice was awarded the Star Teacher Award sponsored by Burch and Cracchiolo Law Firm. This program recognizes outstanding educators throughout Phoenix.

Master Sergeant (MSG) Jeffrey Rice began his teaching career a little later in life after he completed his 27 year military career. He retired from the Army in 2015. His commitment to continuing to serve his community and the people in it led him to the JROTC position at Maryvale High School. He has been an instructor for the past 6 years. MSG Rice spends his classroom time teaching his students about leadership, service, and the pursuit of excellence. He truly believes that each and every student, regardless of their position in life, has the ability to rise above their challenges and be successful. His constant positive reinforcement and support of his students show in his open-door policy. Many students have come to him with problems or challenges looking for his guidance.

Early in the pandemic, online learning became challenging for his students. MSG Rice made sure to reach out to all of his students on an individual basis. He worked with them if he noticed that they were failing or falling behind. He cares for his students the same way he would care for his own children. He wants them to become the leaders they are destined to become. The most important thing to him is that every one of his students has a goal, regardless of what it is. He feels that it's his job every day to do everything he can to help them reach those goals. MSG Rice received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Leadership Studies from Grand Canyon University. He served four years in the Marine Corps and 23 years in the Army.

Here is a quote from Mr. Doherty, Maryvale's principal:

“Maryvale is very proud of our JROTC Program and especially proud of MSG Rice’s dedication and service to our Maryvale students and community.”

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Mr John Doherty, Cadet 1LT Isaac Garcia, Cadet SFC Katherine Zelaya, Cadet CSM Jaqueline Felix, MSG Jeffrey Rice, Ms Chris Long

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ElevateEdAZ CommunityShare

CommunityShare is a platform that seamlessly connects educators and business professionals to create real-world learning experiences, also known as work-based learning (WBL), for students. Examples of work-based learning includes: guest speakers, guest instructors, job shadows, mock interviews, internships, field trips, and more.

From messaging to scheduling, CommunityShare organizes the details and ensures a positive experience for educators and businesses. Employers throughout the Greater Phoenix region and Educators from ElevateEdAZ partner districts are encouraged to sign-up today! ElevateEdAZ is also looking for PXU parents and Alumni to join the platform. Please share with your networks.

Click the link below to create a profile on ElevateEdAZ CommunityShare!

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Do you or a PXU Employee you know need any support? PXU has Health and Wellness Clinicians on staff to support our staff with difficult times. If you or a colleague are in need of emotional or mental health support, please click the link below to be directed to a form for support. A Staff Health and Wellness Specialist will respond to you within 24 hours (Monday thru Friday).

Click here to be redirected to the Employee Support Form

Want to help our Employee Wellness team?

Help our Employee Wellness team narrow down their goals for this year by completing this survey:

Click here to access the Employee Wellness Survey

Let's support the team who is here to support us. Complete the survey today, and do not hesitate to reach out to them for support if you or someone you know is in need of it.