#ThisIsWhoWeAre

PXU Newsletter December 3, 2021

Big picture
PXU - United Way Donations

Donate Today to United Way!

Phoenix Union is excited to announce the launch of our 2021 Valley of the Sun United Way Campaign. The needs in our community are high and local support for our families and the broader community is more important than ever. This year, our campaign will run through Thursday, December 16.


Your generous gift to the United Way helps fund community health, workforce development, student scholarships, and basic needs like food and shelter for Phoenix families. In addition, you can direct your donation to the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education. These funds play a critical role in removing the financial barriers PXU students face by providing scholarships.


To donate to the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education, click Add under Give to a specific non-profit at the bottom of the donation sign-up page. We have also sent paper packets to your campus soon if you prefer that method.


To donate today, please visit www.PXU.org/UnitedWay, create an account, enter your employee ID number, and follow the attached instructions to register. Please make plans to complete your pledge by Thursday, December 16. We thank you in advance for your generous donation, as it only takes a moment to donate while your impact can last a lifetime.


See above for a video from our Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson regarding donating to United Way.

Big picture
Pediatric Vaccines - We Got Vaccinated!

Vaccinations and Testing continue at PXU

Our rotational vaccination events and weekly testing events are still happening! We want to remind you that we offer Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, boosters, and Pediatric Pfizer vaccines every week. 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 large vaccination event taking place at multiple schools this Saturday, December 4th, click the link below.


Click here to volunteer at our Saturday, December 4th vaccination event.


Please see the graphics below for the full schedule of events and info. 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

Big picture

Vax to the Max

We wanted to remind you that students still have time to receive their Vax to the Max incentive. If students bring a signed parent permission slip and proof of being fully vaccinated to the designated site on their campus, they can receive a $100 gift card.


Please remind students on your campuses so they can transition into Winter Break with some extra funds for being proactive about their health and the health of our community.


For more information, visit PXU.org/VaxToTheMax.

PXU Goes Electric | Councilwoman Ansari Talks with PXU Superintendent About Electric School Buses

PXU Showcases Electric Buses at Press Conference

PXU recently held a press conference at Cesar Chavez High School where we showcased one of our electric buses and made a commitment to our future and our environment.


See the video above from Councilwoman Ansari regarding this press conference.

Franklin Opens New Obstacle Course

Franklin had a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 22nd to officially open their new obstacle course. We are grateful to everyone involved in the process and are proud to have a new and improved obstacle course for our hard-working Franklin students. See above for photos from the ribbon cutting event.
Big picture

Mia Vesely: QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Mia Vesely from North High School (pictured above) for receiving the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship and being admitted to the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences!


We are so proud to have Mia representing Phoenix Union as she moves towards her future.

PXU Marching Band Expo 2021 - Mass Ensemble

PXU Visual and Performing Arts YouTube Channel

Can't get enough of our students' performances? Our PXU Visual and Performing Arts department now has a YouTube page where you can watch performances from students across the district. We encourage you to subscribe to the channel to stay up to date with all the incredible performances of our students. See above for a Mass Ensemble performance pulled directly from their YouTube channel.



Click here to visit the PXU Visual and Performing Arts YouTube channel.

Big picture

Chandler Hovik Nominated for Arizona Republic Football Coach of the Year

We would like to congratulate Chandler Hovik (pictured above on the left) from Central High School for being nominated for Arizona Republic's High School Football Coach of the Year! We know this year has not been easy for the Central Football Program, but we are proud of them and proud of Coach Hovik for representing Phoenix Union in a positive way. Here is the excerpt from Coach Hovik's nomination:


"So much heartache of losing those close to the program. So many obstacles. And, in the end, the joy of celebrating a winning season at 5-4."


Congratulations, Coach Hovik!

Big picture

Metro Tech and Bioscience: Top 10 AZ Leaders in FAFSA Completion

We want to share a HUGE congratulations to Metro Tech and Bioscience High Schools for being in the top 10 schools statewide for their respective categories in FAFSA completion. Since the 2022-2023 FAFSA became available on October 1st, the students from these schools have taken the time to complete this critical application that will assist with funding their post-secondary education.


We are so proud of Metro Tech and Bioscience for being proactive and securing funding for their futures.

National Association of Secondary School Principals Visit Betty Fairfax High School

In mid-November, Ronn Nozoe, the CEO of NASSP, and Gregg Wieczorek, NASSP President met with district students and staff and toured Betty Fairfax High School (pictured above).They were able to discuss the support system we have for our Native American students, as well as discuss the ways we support our students as a whole.


Ronn Nozoe, the CEO of NASSP, wrote a blog post about his visit and was able to see in the short time he was visiting how amazing Betty Fairfax and our district is. Click the button below to see Mr. Nozoe's blog post.

Big picture

Flinn Scholarship Semifinalists at PXU

PXU is proud to have 5 Flinn Scholarship Semifinalists representing Phoenix Union. The Flinn Scholarship offers virtually a full-ride for undergraduate education, but also programming and support that continues far beyond undergraduate study into Scholars’ personal and professional development after graduation.


Here are the semifinalists from PXU:


Karasi Colter, Betty Fairfax High School

Jordan Davis Wiley, North High School

Samantha Munoz, Bioscience High School

Lauren Salaz, Betty Fairfax High School

Harrison Thomma, Bioscience High School


Congratulations to all of our semifinalists!


For a full list of semifinalists, click this link: Click here to see all of the Flinn Scholarship Semifinalists.

Signing Ceremony for Memorandum of Understanding with Switzerland

Phoenix Coding Academy Alumni Speak in Washington D.C.

Two of our former Coding students had the honor of speaking in Washington D.C. on November 18 at the U.S. Department of Labor Signing Ceremony for Memorandum of Understanding with Switzerland. Their speeches begin at around 40 minutes into the video above. The two alumni are Noemi Cabellero Rodriguez and Jonathan Parker Horejs.


We are so amazed at what our current and former students are able to accomplish. Congrats to Noemi, Parker, and to Coding!

Big picture

Betty Fairfax Art Program

Our Betty Fairfax Art students have been busy this semester! On November 5th, they were visited by Daniel Josley, a Navajo mural artist, for a workshop (pictured above). See the PDF below for a full review of everything the students did with Daniel Josley. (Click the PDF button below titled "Daniel Josley @ Betty Fairfax")


In addition to this workshop they had, earlier this semester, thirteen of our Fairfax art students submitted work to the Arizona State Fair Art Contest, with all of them placing even though there are hundreds of entries per category and thousands of entries overall. Examples of some of the art submitted is pictured below. Here are the students and what they won:


Cencere Evens (12th grade), 8th Place in Mixed Media

Jasmine Laroche (12th grade), 3rd place in Pencil

Rachel Flippo (12th grade), 4th Place in Pencil

Rachel Flippo (12th grade), 3rd Place in Pen and Ink

Rosie Garcia (11th grade), 4th Place in Mixed Media

Parisa Green (11th grade), 6th Place in Colored Pencil

Aileen Capilla (11th grade), 5th Place in Mixed Media

Ann Lisonbee (11th grade), 6th Place in Mixed Media

Adel Nicole Roa (11th grade), 4th Place in Mixed Media

Ayanna Cruz Martinez (10th grade), 2nd Place in Watercolor

Raheek Aljnabi (10th grade), 7th Place in Mixed Media

Torie Douse (10th grade), 3rd Place in Colored Pencil

Rene Roos (9th grade), 6th Place in Colored Pencil

Elizabeth Marron (9th grade), 4th Place in Colored Pencil


Congratulations to our winners! Keep up the great work, Betty Fairfax Art students!

Central High School Culinary Program

Culinary is so much more than just cooking food. There are many sides to culinary such as: front of the house and service, menu conception and design, cost analysis, catering and plating, and of course cooking. Central's Culinary teacher, Erin Sullivan, had the honor of taking a total of 23 students to help cater 2 events in mid-November. Central's Culinary students helped out with the Beat Buddies Gala at Westworld and a private wedding in Arcadia.


Central's Culinary students learned the behind the scenes of what it takes to set up for a 400 person plated event. They learned that success is in the details. Whether they were separating doilies for plate presentation, or unwrapping salad plates and counting, double counting and triple counting; all these details lead to a successful event.


From the moment they were told to go, Central's Culinary students put their heads down, worked their stations and kept everything tight and within the "picture frame". The 3 course meal was plated, sent out and served within a matter of minutes. The students learned what "go time" really meant. They also learned a very valuable lesson about how every step in service is vital.


As an added bonus, MCulinary sent them a hummer limo to ride in for both nights. A small token of gratitude for having the students work so hard and with such precision.


Central Culinary has represented Phoenix Union in an amazing way, and we are so proud! See below for pictures of Central Culinary's incredible weekend.

December 2021 Scholarship Highlights

College Depot Scholarship Highlights Video

College Depot put together a Holiday themed video to highlight scholarships and provide info. Join them as they discuss three exciting scholarships with December deadlines and their continuing FAFSA Small Groups.


From the entire College Depot family: Happy Holidays!

Big picture

ElevateEdAZ

ElevateEdAZ is an initiative of the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation focused on aligning classes and curriculum with workforce needs, creating opportunities for students to apply academics through work-based learning, and increasing student exposure to career pathways. ElevateEdAZ is designed as a model for Arizona schools to better integrate high wage, high demand, high skill career pathways into the K-12 education system. With College and Career Coaches already embedded at the Academies at South Mountain, Metro Tech High School, and Phoenix Coding Academy, ElevateEdAZ looks forward to providing many impactful experiences to students and educators this coming school year.


We encourage you to share with your networks and encourage students to seek out the resources that ElevateEdAZ provides!

Big picture

Employee Wellness Support

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.

Stay in touch with us!

We love hearing from you! If you have good news to share with the District, email Vanessa Herb at vherb@phoenixunion.org with your good news. Follow us on social media as well to stay updated on all the great things we have happening across the District!