6250 N. 82nd Street Scottsdale, AZ 85250   MAP
Phone: 480-484-7100 | Absence Line: 480-484-7299 | Fax: 480-484-7101
Office Hours: 7:00am - 3:30pm | School Hours: 7:45am - 2:20pm
Ann Achtziger, Principal | 
Sarah Barela, Daniel Milligan & Kraig Leuschner, APs

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Saguaro Celebrations




Honor Health/SUSD/SUSD Foundation/Farley Foundation Biosciences Teacher Initiative

During fall break last week, 10 Scottsdale District teachers took part in an innovative new program designed to support excellence in bioscience education in our classrooms.  The program’s goal is to increase teacher and student motivation for bioscience education, to enhance instructional practice with real-world medical research applications and to increase teacher and student awareness of bioscience education, possible career paths and resources to support their future development.

Saguaro Teachers: Marcy Cameron, Sean Collier, Amy Johnson, Susan Lindberg, Heather Moll, Derek Nietz, Matt Bohnert (not pictured)


SUSD EVIT Student Awards

Recently SUSD students who attend the EVIT program competed in a statewide competition. 

In the Skills USA competition:

  • Welding Fabrication – Bronson Brown from Saguaro, earned a gold award

Top 50 Phoenix Career & Technical Education Programs
In 2016, Saguaro High School EVIT students ranked #46 in the Phoenix Business Journal's top 50 career and technical education programs in the metro Phoenix area, based on 2014 SAT test scores.


FIRST Robotics Competition Success

Robotics awards are no stranger to Saguaro High School.  Saguaro Team #4146, received three awards at the Arizona West Regional Tournament.  The team was awarded the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.  Additionally, the team was recognized as a Regional Finalist and received the Wildcard Award.  The Saguaro High School Sabercats have also been invited to the 2016 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship in St. Louis later this month.  The championships will feature 900 teams from 39 countries.  20,000 youth will be in attendance.  Congratulations to this talented team.  We wish you success in St. Louis!



Voices Invited to 2016 COA Nationals for Mixed Choirs

Voices of Saguaro, an 85 voice concert choir under the direction of Mrs. GayLin Tutnick since 1995,  recently accepted an invitation from Choirs of America to be one of a handful of elite choirs to participate in the 2016 COA Nationals for Mixed Choirs.

“We carefully select and invite only top choral programs,” said COA’s Artistic Director, Christopher Scott Olin. “These choirs then come together for unprecedented choral music education opportunities and performances.”

Voices of Saguaro will be attending the COA Nationals in the New York City area on March 31-April 2, 2016.  Karen Kennedy, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Miami, and Joshua Habermann, Director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, are two of the world’s most respected choral conductors and will co-conduct the massed choir concert in Carnegie Hall.



Students Honored for Leadership
Congratulations to the following students for being honored by the The Rotary Club of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Airpark for their student leadership in their junior year:

  • Grace Sluga
  • Daniel Liam Kelly
  • Dynasty Raines
  • Meredith Huls
  • Emma Bonham
  • Samantha Dare

Saguaro Robotics Award
The Saguaro VEX team has experienced much success this year.  The VEX team won all three tournaments they entered this year along with a design award and two excellence awards.

Over the weekend of March 5th, the Saguaro Sabercats VEX team won the VEX State Championship and qualified to go to the World Competition in Kentucky.

The World competition is very familiar to this talented group of students.  When at Mohave, this team qualified for the World competition twice.  This year marks the third consecutive year this group qualifies for the world competition.

I also wanted to recognize the coaches and parent mentors for this team of talented students.  I would like all coaches and mentors to please stand to be recognized. 

Congratulations to these talented students and best of luck at the world competition!


Art Award

Safia Colbert, 9th grade student at Saguaro High School, was awarded second place by the Arizona Department of Education’s I am proud to be an Arizona Student Artwork Competition.  Safia’s work was entitled “The Desert Beauty.”  Safia, her teacher and family were invited to an award ceremony on March 3rd where student artists had the opportunity to meet Department of Education staff who will have the benefit of seeing the artwork in their hallways and offices.

Congratulations, Safia!


Student Recieves Rosie Award
The Rosie Award is an annual award that goes to the high school senior that has displayed Theatrical Excellence for at least four shows, photographed by Show Biz Photo Head Honcho, Dan Rosenberg. This is the fourth year the award has been given out. 



Saguaro Student Recognized as Volunteer of the Year

Danielle Mara was recognized at the state First Lego League Championship as volunteer of the year. Danielle is a member of the Saguaro robotics team and a mentor to middle school youth in the District. Danielle organized the FLL tournament held recently at Mohave Middle School. Recently Danielle wrote an essay about Glen Bailey, one of the Sabercats robotics-engineering mentors. The essay lead to Mr. Bailey being recognized as the Woody Flowers recipient at the Western Regional Championship. Congratulations Danielle on your recognition!


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

  • Para-Educator of the Year – Diane Tybor, Saguaro High School
  • Student of the Year – Juwon Del Rio, Jr., Saguaro High School (Juwon was unable to attend this evening as he is practicing with the Saguaro football team).  Sheehan Brynne is here to accept the certificate on Juwon’s behalf.

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!


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:

  • Health Sciences:  Marcy Cameron (Saguaro Teacher)

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 culture

Saguaro High School:
Aubreanna Thorne who graduated in May 2015
Arianna Kemmer


Saguaro and TGen Excellence in Bioscience Teacher Initiative
The District is excited to celebrate Saguaro High School’s selection to participate in a three-day pilot professional development program for five secondary science teachers, called Excellence in Bioscience Teacher Initiative. The program will be delivered by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a nonprofit organization in Phoenix dedicated to conducting research and equipping future generations with the ability to make life-changing discoveries. The participating teachers will be immersed in a series of presentations, discussions and experiences during the program that will help them teach and guide the scientists of tomorrow. SUSD would like to recognize Brian Corte, principal of Saguaro, Price Nosky, SUSD Education Foundation president, and Brandy Wells, of TGen, for their work on this project.


Christopher Brandt, Science Teacher at Saguaro
Congratulations to Christopher Brandt, science teacher at Saguaro High School, who was given this year’s Outstanding Science Teacher Award from the AZ-Nevada Academy of Science! 


PBIS Film Festival Winners
Our PBIS programs are an important part of SUSD. Students and staff teamed up to create some great films for the SUSD's PBIS Film Festival. Saguaro High School student Jacob Waterman was awarded Overall Positive Video for his film that highlights SUSD’s Team 7.

8bb96d57bd5828afdfe73f22e2b24035_f223.gif SUSD Celebrates its Newest National Board Certified Teachers 
National Board Certification is one of the highest achievements in the teaching profession. Recently, 15 Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) teachers earned this credential by completing the rigorous National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) process and two teachers renewed their credentials. SUSD now has 89 board certified teachers. 
The newly certified teachers are: Jackie Switalski Oates, Kiva; Darci Aronson, Redfield; Judy Droz, Cherokee; Jessica Valencia, Hohokam; Robin Wynne, Laguna; Amy Johnson, Saguaro; Casey Boerner, Chaparral; Joe Olney, Chaparral; Ted Anderson, Chaparral; Tom Roxborough, Coronado; Linda Graham, Laguna; Emily Cochran, Hopi; Diana Bode, Hopi; Debbie Hawkins, Laguna; and Jill Schadt, Cherokee. Nancy Rose, Arcadia, and Malcolm Leinwohl, Chaparral, renewed their credentials. They will be recognized at the February 10, 2015 Governing Board meeting.
ck (1).jpg Saguaro Student Named Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year 
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has named Christian Kirk of Saguaro High School as the 2014-15 Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year. Christian is the fourth Gatorade Arizona Football Player of the Year chosen from Saguaro High School. 
According to the Gatorade Company, the award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character, demonstrated on and off the field. These qualities distinguish Christian as Arizona’s best high school football player. Christian is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced later this month. Good luck!

ABODA State Marching Band Competition
On Nov. 15, the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) held its State Marching Championships. There are three divisions in which marching bands are grouped together based upon size. In Division III, Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) had two bands competing – Chaparral and Coronado High Schools. Coronado, under the direction of Dr. Schultz Bennett, finished in third place and received a caption award for Outstanding Visual Performance. Chaparral, under the direction of Mrs. Jennifer Mireau, finished in second place and received caption recognition for Percussion and General Effect. The Top 10 Bands from the State Marching Festival in each division met on November 1st to compete for the state title in their division. Both Chaparral and Coronado received an Excellent rating and both took caption awards for music, visual effect, general effect, percussion and auxiliary. Saguaro and Desert Mountain participated in Division II. Saguaro received an excellent rating and a visual caption, and Desert Mountain received and excellent rating and captions in music, general effect, visual, percussion and auxiliary.
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SUSD Employees Honored by Mayor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities
The following Scottsdale Unified School District employees will be honored at the 28th Annual Scottsdale Mayor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities awards ceremony on October 23rd at the Chaparral Suites Resort.

  • Teacher of the Year – Ginny Dauler-Phinney, Saguaro High School 
  • Para-Educator of the Year – Warren M. Rice, Coronado 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. For more information, please visit http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/.

az super bowl stem logo.jpg SUSD Finalists for the Super Bowl STEM Awards
Marilyn Williams, a teacher at Tavan Elementary School, is a finalist for Most Dedicated STEM Teacher, Navajo Elementary School is a finalist for Best STEM School and Saguaro High School is a finalist for the Most Innovative STEM Club as determined by the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee 2014 STEM Superhero Awards.
ACT logo.png 2 Saguaro Students Earn Perfect ACT Score 
Two seniors from Saguaro High school have earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. The students who earned this achievement Harrison Whyte and Jontito Casalena. “We are extremely proud that Harrison and Jontito earned this amazing achievement,” said Dr. Mitch von Gnechten, executive director of Secondary Schools.
all american football logo.jpg 3 SUSD Football Players Chosen to Play in the Under Armour All-American Bowl - Students Will Be Presented With Jerseys. 
Christian Kirk and Jordan Butler, Saguaro High School, and Keenan Walker, Chaparral High School, have been selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Bowl in Florida. A representative will present the students with their official game jerseys. The game will take place on January 2, 2015 at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Bizjournals.jpg 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.
sabercat face.jpg Saguaro Football Ranks in the Top 50 in the Nation 
For the second week of the season, the Sabercats were ranked 49th in the Scout Top 50 High School Rankings. “The Saguaro Football team is honored to be considered among the top 50 teams in the country, but we know that our work has just begun. We will continue to work hard day in and day out to reach our ultimate goal: bringing another State Championship to Saguaro High School,” said Coach Jason Mohns.