Schools

Ranking 100 best moments in DUSD history

School officials name top events for Dysart district

Posted 10/23/20

The Dysart Unified School District is celebrating 100 years of educating the community in the 2020-2021 school year.

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Schools

Ranking 100 best moments in DUSD history

School officials name top events for Dysart district

Posted

The Dysart Unified School District is celebrating 100 years of educating the community in the 2020-2021 school year.

First established in 1920 as a one-room schoolhouse by Nathaniel Martin Dysart, the district has seen numerous achievements over the last 100 years.

Although it is certainly not an exhaustive list, we narrowed down our top 100 Dysart Achievements in honor of our centennial.

Do you know of something that didn’t make the list, but want to make sure we have it recorded for history? Let us know.

1

Ninth-largest school district in Arizona.

2

Largest employer in Surprise and El Mirage.

3

100% online start to school (2020).

4

93% graduation rate (79% state average) (2019).

5

Seventeen schools with an “A” or “B” rating by Arizona (2020).

6

Nine “A+ Schools of Excellence” from AEF over the past 10 years.

7

ASBO Certificate of Excellence in financial reporting 25 years in a row (2019).

8

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for 13 years in a row (2019).

9

1,674 high school students received dual credit (2020).

10

0.76% dropout rate (3.3% state average) (2020).

11

Forty-seven students earned AZ State Seal of Arts Proficiency in its inaugural year (2020).

12

Best Company to Work for in Surprise, AZ and #10 in the state by Zippia.com (2020).

13

AP Honor Roll District by The College Board (2020).

14

Willow Canyon named Model of Excellence by SkillsUSA for CTE programs (2020).

15

8.7% administrative costs lower than state average (10.1%) and peer districts (2020).

16

Fifty-one National Board Certified staff members (2020).

17

NABT AZ Outstanding Biology Teacher, Zachary Zimmerman, SRHS (2020).

18

Opened The Vista Center for the Arts (2020).

19

SRHS won first place in Secondary Degree programs architecture category of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) (2020).

20

Donated nearly 3,000 3D-printed mask ear guards to healthcare workers/first responders during COVID-19 pandemic (2020).

21

Launched full-time K-8 online school, iSchool (2020).

22

Held the first-ever drive-thru graduation/promotion events (2020).

23

Difference Maker Award by Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life — Wendy Klarkowski, SRHS (2020).

24

ACTEAZ Career Guidance Award — Heather Webb, VVHS counselor (2020).

25

ACTEAZ Affiliate of the Year — James Grieshaber (2020).

26

SkillsUSA National Region 5 Vice President — Andrea Soliz, DHS (2020).

27

Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL) by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) Diana Hawari (2020).

28

Distinguished Administrators by AZ School Administrators — Michael Hawkins (Secondary Division), SRHS / Jim Dean (Education Services) (2020).

29

$30 million in college scholarships for high school students (2019).

30

A Best Company to Work for by Talentdesk.com (2019).

31

Launched signature programs at all schools (2019-2020)

32

Asante Preparatory Academy, Freedom Traditional Academy and Growing Minds Preschool opened (2019).

33

Dysart hosts first Festival of the Arts (2019).

34

DHS Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) received the Outstanding Chapter Award and National Service Project Award (2019).

35

Spirit of Education Award by the National Safe Schools Convening — Christina Brown, MVS (2019).

36

Highest score in U.S. for literature on Cambridge exam — Orion Evans, WCHS (2019).

37

DHS Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) received the Outstanding Chapter Award and National Service Project Award (2019).

38

Mountain View School named a STEM certified School by AdvancED (2019).

39

AZCTE Fellow Award — Lisa Parachini, VVHS (2019).

40

Arizona History Teacher of the Year — Chris Raso, CRES (2019).

41

First place for second year in a row in the Wellness Council of AZ’s Annual Corporate Challenge (2019).

42

Top 20 Healthiest Employer by Phoenix Business Journal (2019).

43

SRHS Theatre Troupe #7547 awarded Gold Honor for third year in row at Arizona State Thespian Festival (2018-19).

44

No. 2 district in Arizona for exceeding averages in graduation rate and standardized testing by Backgroundchecks.org (2018).

45

APS STEM School for the Future — TRES (2018-19).

46

Annual district STEM Challenge launched (2018-19).

47

Arizona History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History — Chris Raso, CRES (2018-19).

48

AdvancED Accreditation — Second district in Arizona to receive the international accreditation (2012, 2017).

49

Rodel Exemplary awards — Karie Burns, SUPES and Denise Hall, RES (2016).

50

Arizona Decathlon Champion — Grant Carpenter, WCHS (2016).

51

Innovation Academy launches at WPES (2016).

52

Rodel Aspiring Principal — Marieka Michaud, TRES (2015).

53

ASA Arizona Superintendent of the Year — Gail Pletnick (2015).

54

Best High School by U.S. News and World Report — SRHS, VVHS (2014, 2015).

55

Recognized by the Energy Department for Leadership in Better Buildings Challenge by committing to save 20% energy savings over 10 years. (2015).

56

Top 25 Districts by Education Week for efforts to address 21st Century Learning (2014-15).

57

District of Distinction for iPAL program by District Administrator Magazine (2014-15).

58

Two times SkillsUSA National Champions in Architectural Drafting — SRHS (2014-15).

59

Energy Star Certification by EPA (2014-15).

60

Center for American Progress top district on the Return on Educational Investment report with high achievement despite a low-cost operations budget (2014).

61

Arizona Art Teacher of the Year by AAES/Arizona Art Educator of the Year by NAEA — Connie Ferguson, RES (2012-13 and 2013-14).

62

SRO of the Year by ASROA — Officer Michael Warren, DHS (2013-14).

63

Principal of the Year by NAESP — Karen Winterstein, SHES (2014).

64

AEF Teacher of the Year — Beth Maloney, SHES (2014).

65

Solar panels installed at 23 sites resulting in utility costs savings (2013).

66

Exemplary recognition by National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association — DHS, SRHS, VVHS, WCHS (2012-13).

67

Quality Program Award “Exemplary” recognition by National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association — DHS, SRHS, VVHS, WCHS (2012-13).

68

Medal of Merit Award from the Journalism Education Association — Peggy Gregory (2012-13).

69

ACTEAZ Counselor of the Year — Lou Hart, VVHS (12-13).

70

Distinguished Administrator for Elementary by ASA  — Dr. David Dumon, SUPES (2012-13).

71

National SkillsUSA Champion in Architectural Design Drafting (youngest national champion ever) — Ryan Verpooten, SRHS (2012-13).

72

AEA Teacher of Excellence — Misha Quarles, TRES (12-13).

73

Launched iSchool full-time online school for high school students (2012).

74

AEF Teacher of the Year — Kristie Martorelli, TRES (2012).

75

Leland E.G. Larson Quality Student Transportation Award (2012).

76

Cambridge course offerings begin (2011).

77

Technology Spotlight Award by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and Technology Leadership Network (2010).

78

Model District Award by NCA Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (2009).

79

Exemplary dropout prevention program from ADE, DHS (2009).

80

Rodel Exemplary Teacher — Linda Heck, DES (2009).

81

Spotlight on Success Award by ADE for Dysart Read to Success program (2008).

82

Nevada Academy of Science Outstanding Teacher — Shawn Lent, WPES (2008).

83

Arizona Counselor of Year by AZCTE — Marilynn Babyar, DHS (2007).

84

First National Merit Scholar — Elizabeth Meadows, DHS (2007).

85

Willow Canyon HS becomes one of nine high schools in Arizona offering International Baccalaureate Diploma (2006).

86

$3 million U.S. Dept. of Education Reading First grant (2005-06).

87

Governor’s Award for Energy Efficiency by Arizona Department of Commerce (2005).

88

Full-day kindergarten launched (2005).

89

Kingswood Elementary School opened, the first school in Surprise (1989).

90

The Dysart Education Foundation was established (1987).

91

First team state championship — DHS boys basketball (1969).

92

First individual state championship — Archery, DHS (1966).

93

First high school graduation — DHS (1966).

94

Dysart High School opened, the first high school in the area (1963).

95

First manpower training program in the nation took place, training irrigators for employment in other jobs during their off-season. (1962).

96

El Mirage and Luke elementary schools opened (1958).

97

Dysart desegregated one year ahead of the Supreme Court ruling (1953).

98

Dysart School 4H Club had Most Outstanding Poultry in Maricopa County (1940-41).

99

The first principal in the history of Dysart was hired — Edwon L. Riggs (1930).

100

Dysart School opened to the community (1920).

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