Echo Canyon School, 4330 N. 62nd St., has been recognized as a 2023 National ESEA Distinguished School.
“It truly highlights the hard work and dedication of our students, staff and community to create and foster a learning environment that is built upon relationships with our families and our community,” said Echo Canyon Principal Kat Hughes.
School and district officials learned of Echo Canyon’s selection from the Arizona Department of Education, which oversees Arizona’s Title I schools. Title I, a federally funded program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, provides resources to ensure that all students, especially those considered most academically at-risk, can close achievement gaps and succeed in school. As one of Scottsdale Unified School District’s schools of choice with no geographic boundary, Echo Canyon draws students from a wide swath of economically diverse families.
“With its culture of continuous improvement and opportunities for all kids to thrive, it comes as no surprise that Echo Canyon has risen to receive this national recognition,” said Scottsdale Unified’s Director of State and Federal Program Dr. David Priniski. “Echo Canyon is a source of great pride for the Arcadia Learning Community, and for SUSD.”
The school’s cross-curricular learning gardens are home to the Chef in the Garden program, founded by former SUSD parents and supported by James Beard Award-winning chef Charleen Badman and other local chefs. An ADE committee toured the Echo Canyon campus earlier this month, visited classrooms, observed a Chef in the Garden lesson and met with panels comprised of students and parents.
The school will formally receive its award at the National ESEA Conference in Portland, OR, in February. A springtime, school-wide celebration is planned.