CTECONNECTIONS 2016-17 Second Semester Newsletter


Vol. 9 Issue 3

2016-17 Eighth Annual Concentrator Reception


MPS Culinary students prepare appetizers for the crowd at Mesa Arts CenterOver 300 Mesa Public Schools Career and Technology Education (CTE) students descended on the Mesa Arts Center on the evening of Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to be honored for their completion of a two or three-year CTE Program of Study.  Students and their families were able to see the many CTE programs show-cased through interactive displays on the "shadow walk" at the Mesa Arts Center.  While families were enjoying the displays, MPS Culinary students passed through the crowd with trays of delectable appetizers for guests to sample.  These appetizers were not only served, but also prepared by the high school Culinary Arts students (Pictured at right).  The highlight of the evening occurred when each student was called to the stage and presented to Mesa Public Schools board members and administration to receive their completion medallion and a carnation, along with the congratulations of district CTE Director, Marlo Loria.  Pictured below right are families looking at the displays on the shadow walk and on the left, teachers preparing to register students for the ceremony.

People viewing displays on the shadow walk at Mesa Arts

 Teachers preparing for student registration 











Professional's Day at Mesa High School


Students listening to speakerStudents listening to speakerMesa High Career Exploration students had the opportunity to spend the day with professionals from many areas learning details about their careers.  Students could choose to meet with three different speakers, including an attorney, a realtor, a web designer, an engineer, a school counselor, a naturopathic doctor, an emergency room nurse, a video production teacher and a software developer.  The speakers gave students a brief overview of the details of their job, talked about what a typical day is like, shared salary potential and job outlook for their profession, and suggested important courses for the students to take while in high school.  Students prepared for their meetings with the professionals by researching the careers they wanted to visit and preparing meaningful questions to ask the professionals.

Westwood DECA 

Westwood DECA students at competitionThe Desert District DECA Competition was held at the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University in January, 2017.  Students are awarded based upon Role Plays and tests.  Students take an online 100 point test prior to the competition.  Students who earn 70% or more on the test win test medals.  On the day of the competition, they role play with a judge.  Team events take the test for their competition are and present in front of a judge as well.  Test scores and Role Plays are added, then placed.  For Westwood, the overall winners and role plays were:

Alejandro Galindo - Third place, Automotive Services Management, Spencer McCarthy - Fifth place, Automotive Services Management, Nathan Harris - Second place, Business Finance Services, Jack Ruiz - Seventh place, Business  Finance Services, Brandon Dewy and Daniel Lewis - First place, Buying and Merchandising - Team Event, Javier Bonnila - Fifth place, Food Marketing Services, Macy McIver - Fourth place, Food Marketing Services, JD Martinez - Sixth place, Marketing Communication Services, Kalena Oorlog - First place, Marketing Communications, Isaiah Flannagan and Eros Martinez - Second place, Marketing Management Team Decision, Cora Stevens - Second place, Quick Serve Restaurant Management, Skye-Lynn and Ana Urquijo - First place, Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making.

Test Medals were awarded to the following students:

JD Martinez - Marketing Communications, Kalena Oorlog - Marketing Communications, Joseph Ritchie - Food Marketing, Cora Stevens - Quick Serve, Macy McIver - Food Marketing Services, Skye-Lynn and Ana Urquijo - Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making, and Brandon Dewey and Daniel Lewis - Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making.

Taylor Jr. High Show Off Night

Families make microwave cakesStudents prepare microwave cakesOn January 26, 2017, parents were invited to Show Off Taylor Night to see the accomplishments of Taylor Jr. High students.  Our own FACS students, under the direction of teacher, Barb Nehls, provided tasty treats for families with "coffee mug" cakes.  The FACS room was a popular stop during the evening, attracting families with the sweet smell of cakes baking.  More than 250 coffee mug cakes were baked and served.

Students help families bake their microwave cakes





Submitted by Barb Nehls


Red Mountain Yearbook and Magazine Hosts International Journalists

Red Mt. students and visitors are posing for a group photoOn February 16, 2017, the Roar Magazine and Pinnacle Yearbook students, along with their teacher, Jan Lemon-Saquella, hosted 21 international investigative journalists, three international visitors' liaisons and two state department officers as a part of a program with Global Ties Arizona, a council for international exchange.  The International Visitor Leadership Program is the U.S. Department of State's premier diplomatic exchange.  The international visitors were described as "The UN of Investigative Journalists," and represented countries from around the world.  Their goal was to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures, political systems and people.

The visitors shared information with the students about their respective countries and experiences as journalists, learned about the journalistic writing skill-building programs the school offers, and heard about the school's 2015 Arizona Interscholastic Press Association's awards.  Red Mountain High School was the only high school the international investigative journalists visited while in the United States.

"I felt honored to meet with people who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the truth.  They love what they do, and to have them interested in what we do....It just blows me away," senior and Roar Magazine Editor-in-Chief Paul Stanton said.  "They encouraged me to push myself harder.  When I told them about things I want to do, they didn't just nod and smile, they told me to go out and do it.  That's the mindset I will take from this experience.  I have never met a group of more dedicated individuals."

These relationships are often life-altering.  Through these interactions, both personal and professional, U.S. citizens take part in Citizen Diplomacy--One Handshake at a Time, becoming part of the U.S. Department of State foreign policy efforts.

"As I stood in the room yesterday, I thought how lucky these students are, because connecting them to experts for an authentic experience empowers them like no textbook can," Assistant Principal of Student Services, Lisa Creaser, said.

Here is a link to more photos by Mesa Public Schools Digital Media Supervisor, Tim Hacker:

More photos of the international visitors at Red Mountain High School.

Submitted by Jan Lemon-Saquella

Kino Teacher is Arizona State STEM Teacher of the Year

Kino Jr. High Engineering and Robotics teacher, Nancy Parra-Quinlan, has been selected as the Frank Luke Chapter of the Air Force Association's Teacher of the Year for 2017!  Her nomination was the unanimous choice for the chapter's committee.  This award consists of a check for $250, a Certificate of Excellence, an AFA Padfolio, a Chapter Teacher of the Year Pin, and a complimentary CAP aerospace education membership sponsored by the Civil Air Patrol.  Nancy was automatically eligible for consideration for the Arizona State AFA Teacher of the Year among the four chapter winners, and she won the State AFA Teacher of the Year award also!  Kieko Dilbeck, Principal of Kino Jr. High, says "A more deserving teacher could not be awarded."  Congratulations to Nancy Parra-Quinlan for her hard work!

Mountain View DECA

Mt. View DECA students line up for a photo opportunityMountain View DECA students competed at the State DECA Conference in Tucson in March.  The team of Paloma Corral, Sophia Larsen, Mersadies Rosenbaum, Tatum Skogebo, Grace Morse and Emily Smith took First place in the role play event.  Jordan Harb took First Place overall in retail merchandising.  The contest involves a comprehensive exam and solutions to a case study presented to a judge.






Mesa High FBLA

Mesa High School participated in the Region 2 FBLA Conference at Arizona State Polytechnic Campus.  Students from the Digital Communications, Software Development and BOSAS program competed in various categories. Congratulations to Jacob Huckey, a senior in Mr. Bradbury's AP Computer Science course for a Second place medal in Help Desk Role Play.  Other notable accomplishments include Mrs. Tapia's Yearbook students, who competed in the Journalism category: Jose Fuentes Corral with a Fourth place, Valery Garcia with Sixth place, and Raenie Burleson, editor-in-chief, with Seventh place.  Also from Computer Foundations, Fanshu Xu took Third place in Word Processing and Brianna Stockton took Seventh place in Help Desk.  Overall, this was an amazing first attempt for the new Future Business Leaders of America.

Submitted by Tamara Tapia

Mesa High Culinary Teacher Wins Award


Priscilla Yazzie with MHS Principal, Kirk ThomasMesa High School Culinary Teacher, Priscilla Yazzie, received the MPS Employee of the month award at the Mesa Public Schools Board Meeting in February, 2017.  Priscilla goes over and above to provide her culinary students with the best training and opportunities for real-life experience.  Congratulations, Priscilla!


Pictured at left:  Priscilla Yazzie with Mesa High School Principal, Kirk Thomas




Congressman Visits Fremont CTE

Mr. Salmon speaking to students



Arizona Congressman, Matt Salmon, visited Fremont Junior High in February, 2017.  He spoke to the STEAM program students.  Mr. Salmon has visited Fremont every year since 2014.

Submitted by Gary Ray



MPS Digital Communications Students Visit ASU

Speaker addressing audience at ASUDigital Communications students from Dobson and Mesa High traveled to the Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism on Friday, March 3, 2017, to attend the annual ALMA (Arizona Latino Media Association) Conference.  They were greeted at the door by former Mesa High editor-in-chief, Paulina Verbera, who is now attending ASU.  The students met respected Hispanic leaders in the field of journalism and competed for scholarship money in a feature article writing contest after a press conference.  Thank you to the sponsors for breakfast burritos and a buffet lunch at Taylor Place.  Advisers Tamara Tapia - Mesa High and Jacob Fendley - Dobson, feel this is an amazing opportunity for future journalists to get hands-on writing practice and networking opportunities. To see a video of the event click here:  ALMA Conference Speaker

Submitted by Tamara Tapia

Red Mountain Welding Students Earn Certifications

Student using a welding torchFour student welders at Red Mountain High School certified during third quarter.  Hunter Cavanagh, Colton Hinkel and Ethan Lindbloom each earned one certification.  Brock Witt earned two certifications.  The ability to certify students throughout the school year has had a great impact on student engagement.  Welding instructor, Daniel Hurst, said, "I am so proud of these students, and it is a great feeling to have students perform so well."  As fourth-year welding students, Ethan Lindbloom and Brock Witt are also concurrently attending the Mesa Community College Welding Program.  "If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."

Submitted by Daniel Hurst


ASU Students Visit Mesa High

Students building towers out of paper productsStudents building towers out of paper productsStudents from the Masters of Business Administration program at Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business came to Mesa High School to run a one-day workshop on leadership.  The visit was in alignment with the beginning of a six-week Business Simulation Unit in the CB09 Computer Foundations for Business course at Mesa High.  This is the first-year course for the new BOSAS (Business Operations Support and Assistant Services) program. Students were asked to build towers out of paper products, tape and popsicle sticks.  The teams were told to use leadership skills, previously presented by the ASU MBA students.  They had a great time and learned a lot about working together in groups.

Submitted by Tamara Tapia

Red Mountain Photography Students Place in Competition

Red Mountain Photo Student WinnersRed Mountain High School photography students swept the Region 3 SkillsUSA competitions, with Elizabeth Smith placing First, Jessica Peters placing Second, and Mia Acosta placing Third.  Students took an online knowledge test, submitted a print, identified color casts and handled digital troubleshooting issues.  They also reproduced a composite image in Photoshop and completed an onsite studio lighting task with space and equipment hosted by ASU Polytech students and GIT Professor, Penny Dolin.


Submitted by Julie Nau

Mesa High DECA Winners

Arizona DECA Rising Star AwardMesa High DECA brought 45 of its members to the 2017 Arizona DECA Career Development Conference held in Tucson, Arizona at the JW Marriott Star Pass Resort on Sunday, February 26, through Tuesday, February 28.  Mesa High DECA students had a blast and learned a lot from their experience.  Of the 45 members attending, six students walked away earning medals in different categories.  Their advisor, Kelly Wright, also won a well-deserved award called the Arizona DECA Rising Star award, which goes to up and coming DECA Advisors. (Pictured at right)

In the picture below:  Top left - Sophomore Cristal Hurtado, finalist medal in the Apparel & Accessories Role Play. Top right - Senior David Sanchez, finalist medal in the Sports & Entertainment Role Play.  Middle left - Senior Eduardo Piceno, finalist medal in the Human Resource Management Role Play. Middle right - Sophomore Serenity Ortiz, First place medal in the Principles of Hospitality & Tourism Role Play. Bottom left - Senior Deyanira Garcia, First place in the Hotel & Lodging Management Role Play.  Bottom right - Senior Omar Gonzalez, test medal for his score in the Marketing Cluster Exam.

Six Mesa High DECA Competition Winners

Submitted by Kelly Wright

Mesa High Student Earns Scholarship

Mesa High Student receives ScholarshipPriscilla Yazzie and Connor MillarCAREERS through CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM (C-CAP) is a national non-profit organization that transforms the lives of disadvantaged youth through the culinary arts and prepares them for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Mesa High Culinary student, Connor Millar, was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship to train with chefs at the OMNI Resort and Spa in Scottsdale.  Connor and many other culinary students from programs around the state have spent the year working with local chefs to learn valuable culinary skills to prepare them for a career in the food industry.  Connor has completed two years in Priscilla Yazzie's culinary arts program. (Connor is pictured at left receiving his award and at right with his Mesa High Culinary Arts teacher, Priscilla Yazzie.)

Red Mountain Biotech Receives Lab Equipment 

Red Mountain Biotech students with donated lab equipmentThe Red Mountain Biotechnology program has received a large donation from Rx Formulations, a company locally owned by John Janowicz.  This $40,000 donation of laboratory equipment will  give instructor, Katy Gazda, a second "clean room" to facilitate the Biotech III student research projects.  RxFormulations is a compounding pharmacy specializing in bio-identical hormones for men and women.  The Red Mountain Biotech program is grateful for this industry partner taking an interest in students who represent the future of Biotechnology.


Dobson Education Professions Students Win Awards

Creative Lecture Requirements


Dobson High School Education Professions students competed at the Educators Rising State Competition in Tucson, Arizona, on April 14, 2017.  Olivia Martinez won First place in the Creative Lecture (TED Talk) category, with the topic of "Social and Emotional Well-being of High School Students."

Genesis Burciaga won Second place for her video submission of a lesson plan that she wrote and taught to the Mini-Mustang preschoolers. Congratulations to Olivia and Genesis!

Pictured on right is an explanation of the requirements for Olivia's competition.







MPS Jr. High Co2 Car Races

On March 28, 2017, the annual Mesa Public Schools Co2 Car race was held.  The top 3 finishers were:  First place - Hunter Gorman from Poston Jr. High (pictured below left), Second place - Harleigh Sorenson from Rhodes Jr. High, (pictured below center) and Third place - Kade Wright from Carson Jr. High (pictured below right)

    MPS CO2 Car Race Winner - Hunter Gorman         Harleigh Sorenson 2nd place winner       Kade Wright - 3rd place winner with teacher, Randy Jarvis

Submitted by Dennis Esparza


Dobson Students Excel at State FBLA Conference

Dobson Top Winners at FBLA State ConventionCongratulations to the team of Jacob Janes and Alex Garcia for receiving Second place recognition at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference.  Over 30 teams competed in the Computer Game and Simulation Programming event.  Their game was submitted two weeks prior to the event for scoring, then the team presented their game creation before a panel of judges at the state conference.  Their second place finish qualifies them to attend the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, June 27 through July 3, 2017.  

Also, three Computer Maintenance students, Evan Hughes, Luis Valenzuela and William Evans competed in Computer Problem Solving and Networking Concepts and earned top-20 status, with Luis receiving a certificate for top 10.

Submitted by Rich Ence

Red Mountain Education Professions Students Place at State Competition

Red Mountain Ed Professions Students at State ConferenceRed Mountain High School Education Professions students competed at the Educators Rising State Competition in Tucson, Arizona, on April 14, 2017 (pictured at left).  Jillian Nichols (pictured below left) received Third place for Educators Rising Moment, Jeanette Martinez received Fourth place for Educators Rising Moment, and Shelsye Corral-Franco (pictured below right) received Fifth place for Exploring Non-Core Subject Teaching.

Shelsye Corral-Franco, Fifth place winner

        Jillian Nichols, Third place winner

Submitted by Michele Hemmerlin                                                                     

Red Mountain Biotech Students Have a Busy Semester

Red Mountain HOSA Club Attend State ConferenceRed Mt. Biotech Student Winners at State ConferenceThe Red Mountain High School Biotech HOSA Club sent five students (pictured at left) to compete at the State HOSA Conference in April.  Adrian Kwiatkowski took Third place in Biomedical Laboratory Sciences and Geethika Ameneni took First place (pictured at right) in Clinical Specialty at the conference.

Another activity the biotechnology students participated in was Little Scientist Day.  The biotech students invited the preschool students of two local preschools to come to the high school to do experiments in their lab.  The goal was to inspire the younger generation to love science!  (Pictures below)

Submitted by Katy Gazda

Preschool Students do Science Experiments


Preschool students with Red Mt. Biotech students









Skyline Auto Students Receive Certifications

Skyline Auto students receive CertificationsASE.jpgStudents in Chip Slate's Automotive Technologies courses earned a number of Automotive Service Excellence certifications this spring by completing industry-level assessments of their automotive skills and knowledge.  Technicians who are worthy to wear the familiar ASE patch on their arm have met rigorous industry standards--we are proud of you!  A few students also passed the challenging OSHA 10 safety test demonstrating their knowledge of rigorous safety standards.

Submitted by Kathy Wooton



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