Struckman: Scottsdale public education leads to higher learning

Posted 8/27/19

My two eldest daughters were accepted to MIT for two main reasons: The exceptional quality of education they received at Chaparral High School, and their ability to become good soccer …

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Struckman: Scottsdale public education leads to higher learning


My two eldest daughters were accepted to MIT for two main reasons: The exceptional quality of education they received at Chaparral High School, and their ability to become good soccer players by playing both for their school and soccer club.

Margarita Struckman

I am Margarita Struckman. My husband and I chose to raise our daughters in Scottsdale through their high school years. My daughters were born and raised in Arizona, and they’ve succeeded at the highest levels thanks to adequate funding for schools and our city early in their lives. I don’t worry about them. I worry about the next generation of girls who will come behind them.

Our girls were not alone. In the last four years Chaparral’s Girl’s Varsity Soccer team has won three state championships (2 5A, 1 6A) and in addition to MIT, girls from this team have been accepted to Rice, Tufts, Bucknell, NYU, and University of Michigan just to name a few. Some went on to play for their universities and some did not, but the fact that doors to these institutions were opened to them as a result of this magic combination of academics and soccer is undeniable.

But before they arrived at Chaparral to be educated by enthusiastic and highly-qualified teachers, to be mentored and supported by exceptional guidance counselors, and to be encouraged and transformed into leaders by a caring soccer coach, they had to spend countless hours practicing as little girls on Scottsdale soccer fields.

--- Margarita Struckman, Scottsdale resident and mother

Almost 100% of the Chaparral soccer team’s players come from soccer clubs where they have honed their skills for years. Frankly, it would be difficult to earn a spot on the squad without club soccer experience, which requires the availability of an abundance of quality sports fields.

This November, Scottsdale residents will be asked to vote on $319 Million of Scottsdale city bonds. We will also be asked to approve keeping the SUSD Override in place. I urge you to vote Yes on both as they would maintain the current education quality in our schools as well as satisfy the ever-growing need for athletic fields.

My last daughter will be graduating from Chaparral in May of 2020, but I would be thrilled to know that little girls kicking a soccer ball for the first time this year will someday have the same shot at their dream school mine have had as a result of their academic and athletic opportunities in this community.

Sophia Struckman

Please listen to my daughter, Sophia:

“My experiences and resulting opportunities from my four years at Chaparral are a huge part of where I am today. In the classroom, dedicated English teachers like Rachelle Anderson and Barbara Wissmann drilled us on every detail of grammar until I was able to ace that section of the SAT every single time I took it. Beatrice Hecht, my math teacher for both my upperclassmen years, taught me calculus so well that when I arrived at MIT, math was my easiest subject. Just as importantly, a huge reason I was even accepted to MIT amongst the thousands of equally qualified applicants, was Chaparral’s soccer program and our Coach Robyn Carlson, who kept me playing, improving, and gaining visibility so I could be recruited to play in college. The teachers at this school gave me the personalized, outstanding education which qualified me to apply to top colleges, and the opportunities from playing soccer here gave me the final push to be accepted. My incredibly dedicated counselor, Leslie Rold, and the rest of the guidance department were also a crucial component.

I’m so grateful for every part of my experience at Chaparral, and most of all, for the role it played in creating all the possibilities which now lay before me.”

Editor’s note: Ms. Struckman is a resident of Scottsdale


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