12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85259   MAP
Phone: 480-484-7000 | Attendance: 480-484-7003 | Fax: 480-484-7001
Office Hours: 7:00am - 3:30pm | School Hours: 7:45am - 2:20pm

Dr. Lisa Hirsch, Principal | Stephen Cervantez, David Vines, Alisha Bradford & Christopher Perry, AP's

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DMHS Celebrations




DMHS student wins National Scholastic Award

Laura Tutelman, DMHS senior, was notified that she won a national Scholastic Art and Writing Award.  Laura received her award for a painting titled “self-reflection.”  Laura was one of only 8 students in Arizona that received the honor.

Congratulations, Laura!



Desert Mountain Art Show Winners

Congratulations to visual arts students from Desert Mountain High School who won top honors in the Congressional Show Competition sponsored by David Schweikert.  Carson Zick (who was unable to join us this evening) won first place for her charcoal drawing. She and her art work will travel to Washington D.C. where the art work will be on display in the Capitol Building for one year.  Rayne Apodaca won third place for her fashion illustration, which will hang in the Congressman’s AZ office for one year. Both of these students also were awarded scholarships.  Honorable mention was awarded to Adam Montoya. Adam was unable to attend this evening.

Additionally, Kaitlyn Baxter, a Fashion & Textile III Honors and AP student, was recognized by Shemer Art Center for her felted neckwear design entitled ‘Volcano.’ Kaitlyn was awarded a scholarship and her work was exhibited at the Shemer Art Center this spring.


Desert Mountain MIT Launch Club

Congratulations to the MIT Launch Club where the team  of Aakanksha Saxena, Tracy Zhang, Laura Tutelman, and Austin Stone qualified as finalists in the MIT International Tournament. Their new business Launch Program, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has generated over $10,000 in revenue and they are working with local churches to empower orphanages in developing countries which are trying to develop higher education platforms for their students. Out of all the teams that participated, they are one of the three finalists. In April, the team will be traveled to Boston to present their new business Launch project to a select panel of MIT judges.


Top 50 Phoenix Career & Technical Education Programs
In 2016, Desert Mountain High School EVIT students ranked #19 in the Phoenix Business Journal's top 50 career and technical education programs in the metro Phoenix area, based on 2014 SAT test scores.


Graphic Design Winners

Lauren Anderson, a graphic design student at Desert Mountain High School, took top honors at the State of Arizona’s Skills USA Competition on March 30.  Lauren placed first out of about 50 competitors, during the annual event held at the Phoenix Convention Center.  She plans on making the trip to the national competition this summer in Louisville, KY.

Lauren not only aced the written exam portion of the competition, but created a stunning rack card and logo design under a tight deadline.

Additionally, at the Western States Printing Alliance Competition, Lauren took first place for her redesign of the Wolf Print Newspaper.  Hannah Emery won 3rd place for her awareness poster and Amelia Whittington took 3rd Place for her concert poster.

Congratulations to these talented Desert Mountain High School students!


U.S. News World Report Top High Schools - Top 50
In 2016, Desert Mountain High School was ranked #14 in U.S. News and World Reports Top High Schools in Arizona rankings. Desert Mountain also earned a silver badge. View the rankings here.


2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

  • Brenda Benton, Julia Claire Bizon, Celestina Christianson, Caroline Shi, Laura Tutelman, Nora Abouseido, Allison Boyce, Dex Dulak, Hanna Weisman and Carson Zick

Since 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have recognized and celebrated the talent of our nation’s youth.  Each year, increasing numbers of teens participate in the program.  Through the awards, students in grades 7 – 12 receive opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships. 

The SUSD students standing before you received regional Gold Keys in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  Regional Gold Key work is currently being considered for national recognition in New York.  National Medalists will be announced in mid-March.


DMHS Student chosen for All-State Jazz Band 

We are excited to announce that Ashley Irvin was chosen for the Jazz Ensemble I on Trumpet for the All-State Jazz Band. Ashley will be the only musician from the SUSD to play in the All State Band! 

Congratulations, Ashley!



DMHS Students Represent SUSD at the State AMEA Conference – Dr. Mitch von Gnechten

Five DMHS students moved to Tier 2 and represented DMHS at the State AMEA Conference at the end of January. They all received a Superior Rating.

I wanted to recognize the following students:

  • Aubrey Cole – Voice
  • Renee Rule – Flute
  • Nathan Borgogni – Piano
  • Summer Beckman – Voice
  • Emma Westerhoff – Cello

Their dedication and student support lead our students to achieve greatness!


Arizona State Thespian Festival 
The Desert Mountain High School Players were recognized as a gold honor troupe for their participation in performance, service and community.  Jeremy Yampolsky (who was unable to join us this evening) received a superior in solo musical theatre, Colin Mower and Jennifer Kreisman received a superior for their original pantomime titled “Young Love.”  Michael Holte’s original play Dissociative was chosen winner to Playworks.  Michael was unable to join us this evening. This was the fourth year in a row that a Desert Mountain High School student earned the Playworks distinction.


SUSD Employee Honored by Mayor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

The following Scottsdale Unified School District employees and student were honored at the 29th Annual Scottsdale Mayor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities awards ceremony on October 23rd

  • Teacher of the Year – Steve Speisman, Desert Mountain High School

The committee conducts this annual awards ceremony to thank those who provide counseling, education and jobs for people with disabilities, as well as to specifically thank those individuals with disabilities who have given everyone in the community outstanding examples of courage, perseverance and love in the face of adversity. Congratulations!


2015 DMHS Boys Golf - State Champions
On November 5th, the DMHS boys golf team won the 2015 Boys Golf State Championship.  The wolves beat rivals Brophy College Prep and Chandler High School at the wire winning by a stroke.  Desert Mountain’s winning team consisted of David Ricciardelli, Matt McCarty, Chase Wicklund, Michael Drolet and Justin Terry. The team was coached by Sean Tessmer and Kevin Neel.

DMHS clinched the championship on Ricciardelli’s putt on the 18th hole allowing the wolves to claim the 2015 Division 1 boys state golf title by 1 stroke over Brophy.  Congratulations boys!


SUSD Foundation Quest for the Best Gala
The 3rd annual SUSD Quest for the Best Gala was held on Saturday, September 12th at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center.  The event was designed to honor alumni from SUSD schools who have excelled in their respective fields.  Arizona House Representative and former Governing Board Member, Dr. Eric Meyer and U.S. Congressman David Schweikert were honored at the event.  Additionally, the event recognized two administrators, teachers and students who have demonstrated a commitment to health sciences and servant leadership.  This year the Foundation recognized the following SUSD stakeholders:

  • Servant Leadership:  Jay Kline (Desert Mountain Student)

Scottsdale Sister Cities
The Scottsdale Sister Cities organization works to develop international friendships and understanding with the citizens of other nations. This mission is accomplished by people-to-people interactions, which are managed by the Scottsdale Sister Cities Association (SSCA). This past May, 10 SUSD students participated in the Sister Cities trip to China acting as student ambassadors for their schools, the City of Scottsdale, and the USA. Through this process, our students and students in China both gained personal knowledge of each other’s languages, geography, civics, and cultures.

Desert Mountain High School:
Ashley Norman
Danitza Gonzalez
Olivia Parker


Newsweek Ranks DMHS As America's Top High Schools 2015
The Newsweek High School Rankings—recognizing the achievements of the best public high schools in the United States for college readiness. America's Top 500 High Schools list is an ‘absolute’ list that ranks schools solely based on performance. The Newsweek High School Rankings assess schools based on a broad range of data to determine which institutions do the best job of preparing students for college. Desert Mountain also met the Equity measure by helping low-income students score at or above average on state assessments.



Perfect ACT and SAT Scores Earned – Dr. Mitch von Gnechten
Desert Mountain High School Senior, Michael Johnson, earned perfect scores on both the SAT and the ACT tests this summer.  Johnson is an International Baccalaureate student at Desert Mountain.  He earned a 36 on the ACT and a 2400 on the SAT in June.  Even more impressive was that Michael earned perfect scores the first time he took both tests! Miles Hoshizaki (who was unable to join us this evening) and Michael Goldstein, Desert Mountain seniors, and Jake Ausdemore, Desert Mountain junior, earned a top composite score of 36 on recent ACT tests. 


Desert Mountain High School Students win National Youth Arts Awards
Congratulations to all Desert Mountain High School nominees and winners of the National Youth Arts Awards! Aubrey Cole, senior, won Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Vi Moore in Footloose.  Jeremy Yampolsky, Desert Mountain High School senior, won the Artist of the Year Award.  For the award, students have to be nominated for outstanding actor in at least three different productions.    Desert Mountain High School also received an additional award by a 2015 graduate and earned six nominations including best ensemble and orchestra for Footloose.  

dmhs_studentawards.jpg Desert Mountain Graphic Design Students Win Gold at Art Awards

Congratulations to two Desert Mountain High School graphic design program students, Elena Bornacini Kravetz and Tristan Roenfeldt Racine. Both students took home gold awards at the Western State Printing Alliance Print Excellence Awards.


Desert Mountain Spanish National Honor Society Award Winners
This year, the Spanish National Honor Society offered members the opportunity to take the National Spanish Examination. Of the more than 157,000 students who participated nationwide,41 Desert Mountain High School studentsparticipated in the exam, and 28 received awards. The students who participated include:

Spanish Level Two:

  • Honorable Mention: Sharzad Abdollahi and Christine Curran

Spanish Level Three:

  • Gold Award: Jacob Hotz (first place in state of Arizona) and Nick Basch (second place in state of Arizona)
  • Silver Award: Hazem Nasef, Anjali Ramohalli and Kristen Matta
  • Bronze Award: Jordyn Blew, Sean Brennan, Nancy Li and Sarah Nystrom
  • Honorable Mention: Tingting Bi, Carlye Frisch, Alexis Hocken, Ashna Kapoor, Karishma Mohan, Alexis Scott, Madison Smith, Kira Spiesman and Sydney Wickman

Spanish Level Four:

  • Silver Award: Akshar Pandia
  • Bronze Award: Brittany Demogenes and Austin Fairbanks
  • Honorable Mention: Madeline Barrett, Julia Bizon, Allison Boyce and Emily Harnois

Sam Hendren, Desert Mountain Senior
Desert Mountain High School senior Sam Hendren was awarded a DECA Western Region Scholarship at the 2015 International Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida. Sam Hendren was also recently named one of the Top 5 National Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. In 2011, Sam created Tech Gone Wild, an online business that specializes in selling electronic accessories at competitive prices and targets young adults.


Desert Mountain Boys’ Tennis State Champions 
The Desert Mountain High School boys’ tennis team took home the Division I State Championship title in early May. Desert Mountain won 5-3 against Phoenix Brophy Prep’s team, who were last year’s champions. Congratulations to the team and Coach Dan LeFevre!


Desert Mountain Science Olympiad Takes Home First Place Trophy

On March 7, the DMHS Science Olympiad team brought home the first place trophy, winning a trip to the national competition in Lincoln, Nebraska! This is the first time in school history that we have won the regional competition. Our students competed in over 25 scientific events, including Bridge Building, Forensics, Entomology, Environmental Science, and Chemistry. Please congratulate any of the team members you see today, including our team captain, Naveen Dasari. The winning team consisted of the following students:

  • Karishma Albal
  • Angela Chang
  • Khang Dao
  • Naveen Dasari
  • Austin Hardy
  • Prathima Harve
  • Tina Kaing
  • Jiayang Li
  • Arun Mohan
  • Akshar Pandia
  • Pranav Rudra
  • Aakanksha Saxena
  • Austin Stone
  • Emma Westerhoff
  • Adam Wong

Desert Mountain High School To Celebrate 20th Anniversary With Tree-Planting Ceremony on March 20

Scottsdale Unified School District’s Desert Mountain High School is celebrating two decades of outstanding academics, athletic teams, fine arts programs, students and staff as it marks its 20th anniversary.

Staff and students will celebrate the special year with a tree-planting ceremony at 8:30 a.m., Friday, March 20 at the entrance to Desert Mountain High School, 12575 E. Via Linda in Scottsdale, hosted by the DMHS Parent Teacher Organization and school principal Nikki Wilfert.

Serving more than 2,250 students, DMHS is one of Arizona’s top-performing schools, and it has received an “A” rating from the Arizona Department of Education. For the past eight years, DMHS has ranked in the top 1500 of Newsweek’s report of top high schools.

In 2014, students who graduated from DMHS were offered $19 million in scholarships. Thirteen students were National Merit Finalists, 21 received an AP Scholar distinction and three students were admitted to highly selective US Naval and Air Force academies.

DMHS also boasts a diverse offering of academic, athletic, artistic and extracurricular activities, including International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and honors programs, 49 athletic teams, more than 70 after-school clubs, widely recognized performing arts and visual arts programs and strong support from faculty and staff, among many others.


DMHS Varsity Cheer Team Named National Champions
Congratulations to the Desert Mountain High School Varsity Cheer Team who were named national champions of the small varsity division at the Universal Cheerleaders Association West Coast Championship, held in Anaheim, California. Great job representing SUSD!

dmhs writing.jpg

Desert Mountain Amazing Young Authors

Desert Mountain has nine works written by seven authors that will be published in Convergence: Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2015:

  1. Allison Boyce, for her flash fiction “A Tight-Dress Ghost”;
  2. Allison Boyce, for her personal essay “Mechanical Heart”;
  3. Grace Gay, for her personal essay “Mind Meadows”;
  4. Grace Gay; for her poem “teetering”;
  5. Ashkar Pandia for his personal essay “An Inspiration”;
  6. Zoe Isaac for her poem “String Theory”;
  7. Kara Sherman for her poem “I Might Be Young But We Are Not”;
  8. Hannah Weisman for her personal essay “Surviving Post-Paradise”; and
  9. Brenley Markowitz for her poem “Self Destruction”.

In this year’s Young Authors of Arizona’s Scholastic Writing Awards, four DMHS students earned five Gold Key awards, the state’s highest writing honor (Allison Boyce earned two, with Zoe Isaac, Aakanksha Saxena, and Hannah Weisman each earning one); 11 Silver Key awards (Grace Gay earned two, with Zoe Isaac, Ashley Kline, Brenley Markowitz, Akshar Pandia, Aakanksa Saxena, Kara Sherman, Hannah Weisman, and Jessica Wood each earning one). In addition, 10 Desert Mountain students earned honorable mentions (Asif Becher, Allison Boyce, Ashley Kline, and Brenley Markowitz each earned two, with Frances Yau and Hannah Weisman each earning one.

Out of the 94 works that will be published by the very best writers in Arizona, nine were written by DMHS students. Five Golden Key awards. Eleven Silver Key awards. Ten honorable mentions. (Last year, we had one student, Madi Hinze, who blazed this particular trail, who earned a Gold and Silver Key on her way to publishing two works). Congratulations, DMHS English teachers. You guys rock! 


Desert Mountain High School Winter Guard Takes First Place

The Desert Mountain High School Varsity Winter Guard took first place in the WGAZ competition at Millennium High School. The team was victorious after competing against 10 teams.


Sister Cities Art Contest

This year we have three students who placed first, second and third in the Scottsdale Sister Cities Association 27th Annual Young Artists competition. Third-place winner was Elizabeth Lara, a Desert Mountain High School student with her painting, "No Destruction," which expressed unity and connectivity between peoples as envisioned in the face of a young Asian woman. Also these awards can’t be won without the support of our incredible teachers. Kelli Lawhead from Desert Mountain and Marcy Warner from Chaparral.


Division I State Championship/Nationally Ranked Pom Team

Desert Mountain’s Varsity Pom State Champs!!  The girls competed in the AIA State Championship in Prescott last month.  The pommies came in first against all of the Division I Pom teams in Arizona.  Next stop is Nationals in California in March. 

DMHS Varsity Pom placed 5th in the Nation at USA Nationals in Anaheim, CA! The girls were 1 of 5 teams that made it to finals and they were the only team from Arizona to make it!


Desert Mountain Colorguard Participates in NFLX Experience.

This was a great opportunity for a collaborative effort in the community as Desert Mountain High School colorguard members collaborate with the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps at the January 24th NFLX experience. They performed at the delivering of the Lombardi trophy and has three more performances over the next two weekends including the Pro bowl and Super Bowl 49!


Arizona Thespian Festival

Desert Mountain Theater Department earned several distinctions at the Arizona Thespian Festival. The theater program earned the distinction of Gold Honor Troupe. Michael Brady’s original script was chosen as one of three in the state to participate in what is called “playworks,” where original works are showcased in the support of professional directors and writers. Desert Mountain also won superior rankings in: Group musical for One Day More, Monologues - Kat Pastuszak, Potpourri in which Natalie Noriega did an original tap dance from A Chorus Line and duo musical - Hayden Burke and Aubrey Cole

The school’s duo musical also went on to win state showcase winnerbest in state, out of all the superior ranked acts in that category!  This is a huge honor that includes performing in front of the entire conference.

dmhs logo head.jpg

Desert Mountain Student Named Recipient of 2015 U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship

Congratulations to Austin Fairbanks.   Austin has been named a recipient of the 2015 U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship and will represent Arizona in Washington, D.C. spending a week experiencing all branches of our national government in action.  After successfully completing the essay and testing portions of the competition, Austin was selected out of 11 state finalists after an interview process. In addition to the trip, Austin will receive a generous scholarship award from the Heart Foundation.  Sweet! 

3 SUSD High Schools Named Among Arizona’s Top 50 High Schools by SAT Score

Chaparral, Desert Mountain and Saguaro High Schools were named among Arizona’s Top 50 High Schools by SAT scores. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the statewide ranking is based on 2013 SAT test scores from The College Board, which administers the test nationwide. Chaparral was ranked #17, Desert Mountain #18 and Saguaro #42.