CUSD News

The Premier District of Choice

September 2019

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Welcome!

Welcome to the first edition of CUSD News for 2019-20 school year. In this quarterly eNewsletter, we highlight the students, staff, schools and district honors and accomplishments that make Chandler Unified a special place, and the Premier District of Choice. We have a lot to celebrate, so please scroll down to check us out!


NOTE: Translate and High Contrast buttons are available at the bottom of this page.

CUSD Back to School Spot 2019

CONNECT WITH US - CUSD ON SOCIAL MEDIA

We invite all families and the community to keep up to date about Chandler Unified by liking, following and subscribing below!

REMINDER: Remember to Exercise Your Right to Vote

October 7 is the DEADLINE to register to vote in the November 5 election. For your convenience, here are some helpful links:



Maricopa County Elections department polling locations can be found online here. Registered voters can cast their vote in person by providing their driver’s license, even if they did not request a mail-in ballot.


Following the 2012 elections, Arizona ranked 45th in the nation for voter turnout. To combat this startling statistic, O’Connor House, the legacy project of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has launched a new voter engagement initiative, The Great Voter Challenge.


“Roughly half of Arizona voters actually vote and that’s frightening. I hope that we can encourage every citizen to register and vote. It’s so important, and Arizona can do better on that score.”

- Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

2019 Chandler Unified Bond Fact Sheet

Click here for the Chandler Unified School District 2019 Bond Fact Sheet.

CUSD School Emergency Protocols (for Parents and Guardians)

In order to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all our students, Chandler Unified administrators have worked in conjunction with emergency responders to establish policies and procedures that will be implemented during emergency situations. How efficient and successful district safety methods are depend greatly on you.


As parents of CUSD students, you are our partners in student safety, so it's very important for you to be familiar with safety protocols and the ways our district leaders communicate during emergency situations. The better prepared we all are ahead of time will result in better outcomes when the unexpected happens. The CUSD School Emergency Protocols (for Parents and Guardians) video below explains these protocols.

CUSD School Emergency Protocols (for Parents and Guardians)

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CUSD is the top-ranked school district in the metropolitan Phoenix area

CUSD ranked top district in Phoenix area

Chandler Unified School District - Niche.com announced on August 8 that CUSD is the top-ranked school district in the metropolitan Phoenix area. The 2020 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. All 43 CUSD schools graded by Niche.com earned either an "A" or "B" grade, and 79% of those earned an A+, A or A-. Wow! The Chandler Unified School District was also graded an "A."

CTA Goodman student Renee Keisling honors her last year teacher, Ms. Anderjeski at Phoenix Mercury Teacher Appreciation Day

Chandler Unified Voted Best Public School District, Best Place to Work

Chandler Unified School District - The Chandler Unified School District won first place as Best Public School District and Best Place to Work in the East Valley Tribune's 2019 Best of Chandler. East Valley Tribune: Best of Chandler 2019

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CTA Goodman student placed 18th in Country

Chandler Traditional Academy - Goodman Campus - Congratulations to CTA Goodman student Kianna Noyd for her performance at the 2019 USA Track & Field (USATF) Junior Olympics in July. She placed 18th in the Junior Olympics Girls Javelin Throw (11-12 Division), competing against girls from all across the country. USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championship Results, July 22-28, 2019

ACP Oakland 7th Grade Harpist Places Nationally

Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus - Congratulations to ACP Oakland 7th grader Megan Williams who was awarded 6th place in the country at the summer 2019 American Harp Society's National competition.

Casteel Shines at Health Occupations International Leadership Conference

Casteel High - Alexis Ngo and Quincy Lee, upcoming seniors in our CTE Sports Medicine Program, competed at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference (ILC) during the summer of 2019. This is the first time Casteel High has ever attended the highest competition for HOSA. Both ladies faced tough competition from around the country and world including China, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. Quincy fell short to the fierce competitors in her event for Medical Terminology while Alexis place 2nd overall in her event, Extemporaneous Health Poster! We're SO PROUD! HOSA International Leadership Conference - Summer 2019, Photo Album

CUSD Career and Technical Education Students Excel at Nationals

Basha High - Ten 2018-2019 Basha High Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students (sponsored by Melanie Alexander) traveled to Anaheim, CA for the FCCLA National Competition, earning 3 GOLD medals and 7 SILVER medals! Congratulations to our FCCLA 2019 National Winners:
  • Sara Alexander - GOLD medal in Environmental Ambassador
  • Lewis Alexander and Tanner Parvin - GOLD medal in National Programs in Action
  • Sebastian Dees - SILVER medal in Chapter Service Project
  • Kristina DeSantiago - SILVER medal in Promote and Publicize
  • Christina Jepsen and Lily Jensen - SILVER medal in Chapter in Review
  • Ella Kattelman - SILVER medal in Focus on Children
  • Rachel Colombo - SILVER medal in Environmental Ambassador
  • Jared Alexander - SILVER medal in Interpersonal Communications
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Chandler High - Two Chandler High Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Early Childhood teams competed at the National Competition in Anaheim, CA. Chandler's teams competed against the top two teams in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Congratulations to our FCCLA 2019 National Winners:
  • Stevie Garcia and Valerie Valdez - SILVER medal in Chapter in Review
  • Paloma Ramirez and Marissa Palmerin - SILVER medal for Chapter Service Project: Yuda Bands
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Hamilton senior attends Research Science Institute

Hamilton High - Hamilton senior Devrath Iyer was selected to attend the prestigious Research Science Institute (RSI), jointly sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. RSI is an intensive, six-week program that gives students the opportunity to conduct original, cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals and corporate research facilities in Boston and Cambridge, MA. His accomplishment was recognized by Hon. Andy Biggs, Arizona Representative, in the records of the 116th US Congress and by Governor Doug Ducey via a commendation from the State of Arizona.

Payne, Basha High Student Honored by Kiwanis Club

Payne Junior High, Basha High - Avery Koperniak, currently a freshman at Basha High, was honored to speak to the Southwest Convention of Kiwanis Club. As Payne Junior High School Builders Club president for the past two years, she represented her school club extremely well. She spoke about the values and goals of Builders Club, her experiences in the club, and the service projects completed over the past two years. Avery received a standing ovation from the 200 Kiwanians attending the conference and received several compliments from individuals after the luncheon.

Chandler Online Academy, Chandler High senior headed for Broadway

Chandler High, Chandler Online Academy - Casey Likes, Chandler High/Chandler Online Academy senior, will be starring in a new musical based on the 2000 movie Almost Famous that is slated for Broadway in 2020. He is currently in rehearsals in New York for a run at the Old Globe in San Diego in October before they move to Broadway!

Hamilton Student Named Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest Winner

Hamilton High - Congratulations to Karina Yang, Third Place and $3,500 Scholarship winner in the 2019 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest (sponsored by the VFW Auxiliary 720 of Phoenix, Arizona) for her oil painting titled "What They Have Left Behind." Click link below to check out her artwork and accompanying essay. 2019 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest website
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CHS Students receive Exceptional Achievement Awards for artwork

Chandler High - Daniel Pacheco and Aleksandra Rosten received Exceptional Achievement Awards for their artwork at the Mesa Community College Spectrum Student Art Exhibition. Additionally, fifteen other students had work on display, and Lila Patel, part of Chandler High's AP Photo program, had her Hawaii image broadcast on all of Mesa Community College's web and print advertising.

Chandler High Grad's Robotics Team places First in U.S., Third in World

Chandler High - Chandler High graduate Whitney Foster recently won third place in the world and first in the nation as a part of ASU's all-female robosub team at the Robonation International Competition in San Diego. ABC Good Morning America: All-female robotics team wins major awards while slashing stereotypes of women, Latinos in STEM.

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Casteel High teacher wins Global Learning Teaching Fellowship

Casteel High - Casteel High's Michelle Capriotti was awarded the National Education Association: Global Learning Teaching Fellowship. She is one of 42 teachers from around the country who will travel to Washington D.C. this October and then to Peru next summer. They will be focusing on global learning and applying best practices to the classrooms and sharing with teachers from around the world their projects and research.
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Rachna Nath Honored as Environmental Educator

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - Rachna Nath was awarded Honorable Mention for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for the year 2019. She is one of only two people to have received this award from within the states of California, Nevada and Arizona and the first person to receive this award from Arizona since 2016. Click below to read more about Rachna Nath and her achievements. Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) Winners website

Sanborn Teacher's Writing Work on Display

Sanborn Elementary - Sanborn teacher Geneal Fendrick does some copywriting for the creative director at Fox Restaurant Concepts. Her rooster lore is displayed on the wall at North Italia in Del Mar, California. Over the summer she was able to stop in to take a picture with her work.

Phoenix Chorale Welcomes Santan Music Teacher

Santan Elementary - Congratulations to Santan music teacher Lisa Rittenhouse! She is thrilled to be in her first season with the Grammy award-winning Phoenix Chorale. Phoenix Chorale

Chandler High Spanish Teacher Recognized

Chandler High - Chandler Spanish teacher Sara Wyffels has been working with the Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University as a member of the "Teacher Solutions Team." She has been a part of facilitating the Teacher Leadership Institute and this summer, they featured her as one of their 6 Teacher Spotlights for her work on "Excellence and Equity for All." Arizona K12 Center: Excellence and Equity for All: Sara Wyffels video

Ryan Teacher 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week

Ryan Elementary - Congratulations to our outstanding Ryan Elementary teacher Milton Sommerfeld who was chosen as a 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week! Click below to check out the video and story.Trisha Hendricks 12 News Facebook video: This week's 12 News A+ Teacher of the Week!

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School Program Highlights

Weinberg Elementary Therapy Dog Program

Weinberg Elementary - Weinberg's new therapy dog, Scooterpie, meets our students. Weinberg is proud to be home to the DIGS (Dogs In Grade Schools) therapy dog program. DIGS - Dogs in Grade Schools Facebook page
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Academic Recognition from American Volleyball Coaches Association

Chandler High - Chandler High is one of three schools in the country to have its girls, boys and beach volleyball programs receive team academic recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The award honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that display excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Chandler Girls Volleyball earned a 3.71 team GPA. Girls Beach had a 4.27 team GPA, and Boys Volleyball earned a 3.64 team GPA.

CUSD Theatre Programs Honored with National Youth Awards

Chandler High - Chandler High School Theatre has been nationally recognized by the National Youth Awards for the 2018-2019 productions of Alice andLes Miserables. Awards:
  • Outstanding Production: Les Miserables
  • Artist of the Year: Casey Likes as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables and Director of Alice
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical: Kayla King as Eponine and Hailey Palmer as Fantine in Les Miserables
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play: Nainoa Aguano as Len/Hatter/Hedgehog in Alice
  • Outstanding Costume Design: Diana Likes for Alice
  • Outstanding Musical Direction: Lori Lyford for Les Miserables
  • Outstanding Direction: Stephanie Likes and Katie Kolacki for Les Miserables
Chandler High Theatre
Hamilton High - Hamilton High School Theatre has been nationally recognized by the National Youth Awards for the 2018-2019 productions of Loco-Motion, Commotion, Dr. Gorilla & Me and Little Women. Awards:
  • Artist of the Year: Priscilla Del Mar in Loco-Motion, Commotion, Dr. Gorilla & Me
  • Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Sophia Donnell as Jo in Little Women
  • Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play: Sophia Donnell as Patsy in Loco-Motion, Commotion, Dr. Gorilla & Me
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical: Kristiana Corona as Aunt March in Little Women
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play: Benny Cowans as Brenda and Dashaun Dunn as Roy in Loco-Motion, Commotion, Dr. Gorilla & Me
  • Outstanding Ensemble: Little Women
Perry High - Perry High School Theatre has been nationally recognized by the National Youth Awards for the 2018-2019 production of Shrek, the Musical. Awards:
  • Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Jacob Selvidge as Donkey in Shrek, the Musical
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical: Manny Edrozo as Lord Farquaad in Shrek, the Musical

Chandler High Kicks off International Baccalaureate Service Projects

Chandler High - Chandler High Juniors participated in Camp IB (International Baccalaureate) events and had a great time getting to know one another while receiving valuable information from Senior Diploma Candidates on topics related to negotiating the Creativity, Activity, Service Project (CAS Project) and IB Program survival skills.
Camp IB

Back to School with STEM at Hancock

Hancock Elementary - What better way to get to know each other than through a back to school STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) project making aerodynamic amphibious cars in Hannah Burkhardt's 6th grade class?!

Chandler High Participates in Goethe Institut's Sustainability Summit

Chandler High - Over 350 German language and science students, teachers, and experts on the matter of sustainability from Germany and the U.S. had the opportunity to come together in Chicago to attend the Goethe Institut's Sustainability Summit at Loyola University over Memorial Day weekend. Six Chandler High School German and Environmental Science students and their teachers, Melanie Mello and Russell Davis, were lucky recipients of a grant to participate in this summit.
Goethe Institut's Sustainability Summit

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"Operation Back to School" huge success!

Chandler Unified School District - The annual community-wide "Operation Back to School" supply event at Chandler High was a huge success. For Our City, comprised 200 volunteers from 75 organizations came together on July 20 to provide 2,500 students with new backpacks, school supplies, shoes, haircuts and other supplies.

CHS Celebrates "Make Someone Smile Day"

Chandler High - Chandler High FFA (Future Farmers of America) students created 50 floral arrangements for "Make Someone Smile Day" during the first week of school. The arrangements were delivered to retirement homes.

ACP Oakland Students work to help children with Cerebral Palsy

Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus - Students in Ann Marie Filiere's Project Lead the Way classes worked together to create models of a foot orthosis for children with cerebral palsy. We have so many creative Knights!
Project Lead the Way students making foot orthosis models

Basha Elementary Fifth Graders Show their Pride

Basha Elementary - Basha fifth grade students on the PAW Patrol practice leadership skills and show their PRIDE in the PACK by volunteering their recess time to help kindergarten students log into the computer.

Carlson Kindness Club Feeds Starving Children

Carlson Elementary - The Carlson Kindness Club members served at Feed My Starving Children and packed enough food to feed 83 children for a year!

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Partnerships Spotlight

Community Partnerships - The City of Chandler

We are proud to be part of the city of Chandler, ranked in the top ten Best Cities to Live in Arizona for 2019. The Chamber of Commerce ranked "a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment; housing; quality of life; education; and health." Chamber of Commerce: Best Cities to Live in Arizona - 2019


The Chandler Unified School District values our partnership with the City of Chandler, working together to make our community a great place to live. Our partnership includes shared facilities, personnel and projects such as:


  • Chandler Center for the Arts shared facility on the Chandler High School campus
  • City of Chandler Hamilton Public Library on the Hamilton High School campus
  • City of Chandler Basha Public Library on the Basha High School campus
  • City of Chandler Hamilton Aquatic Center on the Hamilton High School campus
  • City of Chandler Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center on the Basha High School campus
  • Chandler Police Department sharing the cost of School Resource Officers on the campuses of Andersen Junior High, Bogle Junior High, Basha High, Chandler High and Hamilton High
  • For Our City collaboration for "Operation Back to School" to benefit Chandler students


Chandler Unified is the 4th largest employer in the city of Chandler. Great schools not only mean increased home valuations, but also provide a draw for businesses seeking to relocate to the area.

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Upcoming Events

September 10

Presentation: “Effects of Social Media on Teen Depression and Suicide” (Part 2)

Speaker: Garron Griffitts, LCSW - psychotherapist

Facilitator: Rajani Rastogi, LMSW (HHS Social Worker)

Place: Hamilton High School Choir Room

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm


September 11

Presentation: “Magic of Mindfulness

Speaker: Jamie Valderrama, ASU

Facilitator: Sarah Hunter (CHS Prevention Coach)

Place: Chandler High School Recital Hall

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm


September 11

"Week Without Violence" Poetry and Poster Contest deadline. (See details below.)


September 16

Presentation: "What to expect in the next four years? (And how to make those four years count!)"

For Perry High parents and 9th graders.

Note: Counselors and career counselors will be available.

Place: Perry High School Auditorium

Time: 6 pm


September 16

Equity Lecture and Film Series: Preparing Students Beyond K-12

It’s All about Educational Equity: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions Beyond K-12

Speaker: Dr. Alfredo Artiles, Dean of the ASU Graduate College

Place: CUSD District Office Board Room

Click here for more info and to register.

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm


September 24

Presentation: "APP training 101 for Parents/Cyberbullying” (Part 3)

Speaker: Leslie Russell, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator with Arizona Attorney General Office

Facilitator: Rajani Rastogi, LMSW (HHS Social Worker)

Place: Hamilton High School Choir Room

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm


October 21

Sun Lakes Lions International Peace Poster contest deadline. (See details below.)


October 21

Equity Lecture and Film Series: Preparing CUSD Students for the Global Workforce: Beyond College and Career Ready

Speaker: Theresa Niemeyer, Public Affairs, Intel Corporation

Place: CUSD District Office Board Room

Click here for more info and to register.

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm


October 22

Presentation: “Beware of Exploitation on the Worldwide Web” (Part 4)

Speaker: Frank Griffitts, Owner/Producer of Aether Multimedia

Facilitator: Rajani Rastogi, LMSW (HHS Social Worker)

Place: Hamilton High School Choir Room

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm


October 29

Presentation: "Vaping and Substance Abuse"

For parents and their students to attend. (Use parental discretion for bringing younger kids.)

Speaker: William Walker, Chandler PD

Place: Basha High School Auditorium

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm


October 31

Voice of Democracy: Audio Essay Competition for Grades 9-12 entry deadline. (See details below.)

Patriot's Pen: Written Essay Competition for Grades 6-8 entry deadline (See details below.)


November 6

Book Study: The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Place: Casteel High School Media Center

Time: 6:30 pm


November 18

Equity Lecture and Film Series: The Academic Power of Humanizing Education/Ethnic Studies for Hispanic Youth

Speaker: Dr. Curtis Acosta, Educational Consultant

Place: CUSD District Office Board Room

Click here for more info and to register.

Time: 6 - 7:30 pm


November 19

Presentation: “Suicide Prevention” (Part 1)

Speaker: Stephanie Roe, LMSW, Teen Lifeline, Prevention Specialist

Facilitator: Rajani Rastogi, LMSW (HHS Social Worker)

Place: Hamilton High School Choir Room

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm


November 27

Creative Expression Contest Entries due to the City of Chandler Neighborhood Resources office. (See details below.)


December 3

Presentation: “Mindfulness and Stress Reduction” (Part 2)

Speaker: Tess Challis, Wellness Coach

Facilitator: Rajani Rastogi, LMSW (HHS Social Worker)

Place: Hamilton High School Choir Room

Time: 6:30 - 8 pm

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Chandler Education Foundation's (CEF) Cash for Classrooms Campaign supports over 46,000 students in Chandler Unified School District with enrichment grants across over 40 schools! Your generosity can help bring current technology to classrooms, or take the classroom to the source, providing learning opportunities that make an impact.


Click here for more information about CEF's Cash for Classrooms Campaign, including:

  • Text to Give
  • Nominate a teacher!
  • Where does the money go?

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Student Contests

2019 Arizona "Week Without Violence" Poetry and Poster Student Contest

Promote a violence-free community by participating in a poetry and poster contest to support a Week Without Violence in October 5-12.


DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Wednesday, September 11


Submit Entries to:

Children’s Benefit Foundation Inc.,

2058 South Dobson Road, Suite 6

Mesa, AZ 85202

480-820-4507


Winners will be announced on September 25, and invited to attend:


“Champions of Champions Recognition Event”

Saturday October 5, 1:30-4 p.m.


Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center

1520 S. Longmore, Mesa AZ 85202

2019 International Peace Poster Contest

Sponsors: Sun Lakes Lions Club & Intel Corporation.

All students who will be 11-13 years of age on November 15 are invited to participate in this year’s Lions International Peace Poster Contest.


Contestants are asked to create a poster that visually communicates the contest theme, “Journey of Peace.”


Contest Rules:

Artwork must be no smaller than 13 inches by 20 inches and no larger than 20 inches by 24 inches. Nothing may be glued, taped, stapled or attached to the poster. Entries cannot be laminated. The use of lettering or numbering on the front of the poster, in any language is not allowed. All artist signatures should be written on the back of the poster.


Awards:

Winners of each school will be honored at an awards event in December with certificates and cash prizes by the Sun Lakes Lions Club and Intel Corporation.


Deadline:

Posters must be submitted to the child's teacher by October 21, 2019.

Creative Expression Competition Details

COMPETITION THEME

Theme will be announced soon! Please check online at chandleraz.gov/unity


COMPETITION DEADLINE

Deadline for entries: Wednesday, Nov. 27


Please send or drop-off entries to:


City of Chandler - Neighborhood Resources

235 S Arizona Ave.

Chandler, AZ 85225


COMPETITION INFORMATION


  • Winning entries will be displayed at the Multicultural Festival on Saturday, January 18, 2020 and online at chandleraz.gov/unity after the Multicultural Festival.
  • First place winners and schools will be recognized at a February 2020 City Council meeting. All other winners will have their awards sent directly to their schools.

2019-2020 Voice of Democracy: Audio Essay Competition for Grades 9-12

The William B. Pate Post 701 and Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are conducting essay contests to award scholarships.


Theme: "What Makes America Great"

Deadline: October 31


Voice of Democracy: Audio Essay Competition for Grades 9-12 Application Form


The Voice of Democracy (VOD) was started in 1947 by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and is a nationwide audio essay competition endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals' contest criteria. Designed to foster patriotism, the competition provides high school students (grades 9-12) the opportunity to voice their opinion in a three to five minute broadcast script based on the annual patriotic theme. Essays entries are submitted with the required entry form to our local VFW Post 7401.

For more information or questions, contact VFW National Headquarters or VFW State Headquarters if you can't find a local VFW Post.

2019-2020 Patriot's Pen: Written Essay Competition for Grades 6-8

The William B. Pate Post 701 and Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. are conducting essay contests to award scholarships.


Theme: "What Makes America Great”

Deadline: October 31


Patriot's Pen: Written Essay Competition for Grades 6-8


Patriot's Pen is a youth-essay writing contest endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The contest provides an opportunity for sixth, seventh, and eight grade students to write essays expressing their views on democracy. Students are asked to write a 300 to 400 word essay based on the annual patriotic theme. Essays entries are submitted with the required entry form to our local VFW Post 7401.

For more information contact VFW National Headquarters or your local VFW Post

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Your Many Choices in Chandler Unified

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZILoNrOQYg&rel=0