School board to consider $13K trip to New York for Cactus Canyon yearbook students


Allowing up to 10 Cactus Canyon Junior High School students to travel to New York for a yearbook convention will be voted on at the Nov. 25 Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board meeting.

The board meets for a study session at 5 p.m. and a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the Board Room at 1575 W. Southern Ave.

The March 17-21, 2020, trip, which is to cost $13,000, would be to the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Spring Convention, Jason Davis, CCJHS yearbook adviser, said in a letter to the board.

The Cactus Canyon yearbook is a finalist for a CSPA Crown Award, which is a prestigious recognition in student journalism, he said.

“It has been a goal of this program to make the Crown list for five years and we are among only 12 middle schools in the country to be named a finalist. All Crown finalists are winners and we will accept either a gold or silver crown during the awards ceremony,” Mr. Davis said.

Costs include $6,000 for transportation, $1,500 for bus/taxi/phone, $3,600 for lodging and meals, and $1,900 for the registration fee, according to an AJUSD request to travel form.

A GoFundMe account is to be setup to raise funds for the trip, Mr. Davis said.

“As this is a very expensive trip, we plan on asking for a lot of help with our funding. In addition to tax-credit donations by parents and other family members, we will start a GoFundMe account in hopes that others will help students get this very special opportunity for recognition as one of the best staffs in the U.S.,” he said.

The convention offers learning sessions that build on the skills students heave learned in making the yearbook, Mr. Davis said.

“Students will receive several hours of instruction from journalism professionals and teachers. Students will gain knowledge and build leadership skills that will set them up to become the leaders of staffs at CCJH or (Apache Junction High School) in 2020-21,” Mr. Davis said.

“This is exactly the kind of experience that makes an eighth-grade student want to continue with yearbook in high school. While the educational value of this convention is indisputable, these trips make the positive memories students take with them long after they graduate from AJUSD. The convention schedule is not available, but we will certainly make time to see some New York sights,” he said.