GCA Weekly Update


Hello Spartan Community,

I hope this update finds you well. We have several really good things I want to share with you this week. Make sure you read the whole update, as good things are shared throughout. First is the gratitude experienced by all of our staff at GCA. Another has to do with our achievements as a school. And last but extremely important is an impressive interaction between a group of our runners and one of our neighbors.

First, I want to thank Michelle Sorensen and the group of parents that came in and treated the GCA staff like they were royalty. We feel your gratitude and appreciation. For all of you that also contributed behind the scenes through donations and contributions, we thank you all and want you to know it is a privilege to teach your children.

Next, I would like to congratulate our students, teachers, staff, and parents for making it back on the US News & World Report Best High Schools list. We were 13 in the state but the number 1 public High School in Arizona. We were also number 86 out of 17,857 high schools in the nation. There are so many positive achievement numbers in this ranking I wanted to share a presentation the district put together.

Finally, an interaction that made my year. We have a group of runners (pictured below) who run through the neighborhood for practice. While they run, they noticed a yard with beautiful roses and have often stopped to smell the roses. Sometime last week, one of the teammates left a note on the door thanking them for growing the flowers and saying that it made their run something to look forward to on their run. This week the neighbor showed up with a bunch of roses to give to the GCA runners, wishing them well in their upcoming state track meet. It is amazing what a thoughtful note and thank you can do. Well done, girls, and good luck in the state meet.

This just in - We wanted to raise $1000 to contribute to the Gabby McLenna family. Spartans stepped up again and doubled that number. You all are amazing.

Saturday Latin Tutoring

Bring $5 to Ms. Vincent’s room on Saturday between 8 and 11 am and get all the Latin tutoring you need.

AP Testing Dates

5/9 AM - Calculus BC /PM - None

5/10 AM - English Language /PM - None

5/11 AM - Spanish Language/Chinese Language /PM - Biology

5/12 AM - World History /PM - Physics 1

5/13 AM - None /PM - Latin/Physics 2

Character Strong

Complements and Celebrations

This is the 2nd of 3 sessions focused on thinking back and reflecting on things we've learned and ways we've grown this year. This reflection process is important for us to cement the learning they have done this year. During this process, we will identify what was most valuable, what we used or benefitted from, and what we'll keep trying to use.

Message from Mr. Gillman

To all the wonderful GCA Students and Families,

After 20 years in the classroom, I am officially retiring at the end of this school year. It has been a joy and a privilege to teach physics and the occasional math class at GCA for the last nine years. You may still see me around campus next year, as I have promised to support the STEM classes as the Wood Shop Technician.


Mr. G

More GCA Good Things

The Regeneron ISEF (International Science Fair) is available to view, and our own Khushi Parikh and Mars Kapadia have entered. You can see their submissions at the following links:

Khushi: https://projectboard.world/isef/project/cbio086---short-11

Mars: https://projectboard.world/isef/project/egsd052---vanadium-redox-reflow-battery-with-ai-charging

Click on the general link in the forwarded email to see what an incredible achievement this is for them!

Madalyn Paap is recognized for community service as a National Award earner and an inspiration for other students to get involved in their community. The 5th Annual National Community Service Awards connect student service activity to the UN Global Goals. This year we have additional recognition for students working toward a world of Zero Hunger and Zero Waste, as well as State Level honors for community impact. Congratulations Madi!

Our band program received $79,000 to invest in some much-needed instruments.

Connor Johns obtained his Eagle Scout badge last week. Proud of you Connor.

Congratulations to Shaun Decena for winning first place in the Great GCA Seniors Model Airboat Race. His ship outpaced some tough competition from Noah Peterson, Wenjie Xu, Sal Subzwari, Trevor Snyder, Ainsley Pudenz, Nabia Alam, and Henry Haslam.

Mr. Fraughton Accomplishment

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) is pleased to announce that the NIAAA has recognized Casey Fraughton as a Certified Athletic Administrator.

To earn this distinction, Casey Fraughton has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience, professional contributions, and a rigorous, comprehensive written examination.

Casey Fraughton is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

GCA Music News

Happy International Tuba Day! Today is a day to celebrate all tuba players and the great work they do for bands and orchestras across the world. Interested in becoming a tuba player? Mrs. Kalo can tell you how!

We also share the news that our band director, Mrs. Kalo, will be moving on to a new position at Islands Elementary next year. We wish her all the best, but we will miss her very much! We are excited to share a few more Spartan memories with her in the next three weeks before she departs.

A big congratulations to all the orchestra students that performed at last night's concert. It was a great show that included music from Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney, a fantastic senior recognition, and an appearance from Spiderman! One recognition Mrs. Joslin failed to mention verbally or in the program was Ryan Kim playing Bongos in Encanto. He made a great debut as a percussionist! Apologies for the oversight, Ryan.

Our choir students performed today for a panel of judges at the junior high Arizona ACDA festival. Congratulations on a job well done, Spartan choirs!

Choir students: Concert uniforms are now due! Please be sure to dry clean your uniform and follow Mr. Gibson's directions on how to return it. This applies to Chorale, Cantate and Belles Chanteuse.

Concert Dates:

Guitar- May 12, 6:30pm @ GCA in the Cafeteria

Band- May 13, 7pm @ MJHS- Students report at 6:30pm. Awards will be handed out at this concert, so plan to attend and wish Mrs. Kalo the best!

Choir- May 20, 7 pm AND May 21, 3 pm @ MJHS- Student call times to be announced soon. No awards will be handed out at either of these concerts. More information is coming soon!

Extra dates to be aware of:

Sunday, May 22- Advanced Vocal to sing at Baccalaureate @MJHS

Monday, May 23- Music Department end-of-year celebration. ALL music students are invited. The celebration begins with snacks and socializing at 2:30 pm, and the awards portion will begin and be live-streamed at 3:15. More information coming soon.

Wednesday, May 25- Symphony Orchestra (members of Symphonic Strings and Wind Ensemble) to play at Commencement @GHS.

Finally, all parents of students who will be in Chorale, Symphonic Strings, or Wind Ensemble next year should visit tinyurl.com/gcamusictrip23 for details about next year's music tour. More documents and information will be added in the coming weeks, but the basic information is there now. Check it out!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the guitar and band concerts next week!


Shout out to Shiloh Ulrickson, who took 1st place in the District Track Meet in 3 Events! She won the Long Jump, 100 m, and 200 m dash! John Vu won the Boys 200 M dash and 3rd in the Long Jump! Bakari Nzou took 5th in the Hurdles, Jose Fuentes took 5th in the Discus, and Zadok Hutchins took 6th in the 100 meters.

Boys Tennis finished the season ranked #1 in their region and #8 in their division. Uday Brathwaite finished in the top 4 for singles.

Boys baseball hosted their first playoff game on the GCA campus last week. They lost 3-4 in extra innings. They were voted by the umpires as the top sportsmanship team in the division and will be recognized next Saturday at the championship game.

Regular Tutoring and Study Groups

Tutoring will take place on Wednesday and Friday after school in the cafeteria.

  • Students can receive tutoring, engage in group collaboration and review for exams, and more.

  • There is NO prior SIGN UP to receive help.

  • Students are tutoring to receive service hours.

  • Plan to attend Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30 and Friday from 2:30 to 3:30 and in the Cafeteria


We are excited to roll out a new tutoring program available to all GCA students called NetTutor. This program is free for students and offers tutoring in all subject areas. Students can access NetTutor from their rapid identity panel. The first time they log in, they will need to accept the terms, and from then on, they can access tutors 24/7. NetTutor is available any time of day or night. Students who submit a question will hear back from a tutor within 24 hours. Students can also request a meeting with a tutor for specific days and times or submit papers for feedback. If you have questions about NetTutor, please contact the GCA counselor at Erica.shumaker@gilbertschools.net.

Counseling Corner

Please welcome our new GCA Academic Counselor, Erica Shumaker. Erica will be taking care of the students whose last names fall under the following.

7th grade M-Z

8th/9th-grade L-Z

10th grade M-Z

11th-grade K-Z

12th-grade L-Z

Erica is excited to be joining us at GCA. She has years of experience in education as a school and college counselor and former English teacher. She is new to the Gilbert area and enjoying discovering new places to hang out with her family and dog, Penny. Students, stop by the office in the next few weeks and say hello. You can also email Erica at Erica.Shumaker@gilbertschools..net.

Mental Health Counselor

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health or need family support, please don’t hesitate to contact me at nicoleta.alfaro@gilbertschools.net.

Expect Greater Things,

Dan Hood Ed.D.


Gilbert Classical Academy