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SUSD Celebrations

At Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), we have been celebrating the success stories of our students, teachers and staff for the last 120 years - since 1896. Scottsdale schools provide limitless opportunities for our students and we celebrate our accomplishments.

  • National Board certification is one of the highest achievements in the teaching profession. SUSD now has 87 board-certified teachers. 
  • SUSD has a 90 percent graduation rate and the class of 2015 earned $57.3 million in scholarships.
  • SUSD has 2,994 employees, 1,450 are certified employees (teachers, librarians, counselors occupational therapists) and 2,400 approved volunteers.
  • This year, SUSD had 28 National Merit® Finalists, 31 Merit Semifinalists and 45 Commended Students. National Merit® Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.
  • In 2014, 97 students graduated from our International Baccalaureate Program at Desert Mountain High School. This was our biggest graduating class to date.

Cherokee Elementary listed among the 50 Best American Public Elementary Schools

Cherokee Elementary School was ranked as the 13th Best American Public Elementary school in the nation! Cherokee Elementary School has the second highest accountability score of all traditional public schools in Arizona. In 2013, it was bestowed with the A+ School of Excellence Award by the Arizona Education Foundation. It has consistently earned A rankings from the State of Arizona Department of Education. Read more here.

Pima Principal Named 2015 Rodel Foundation Exemplary Principal Finalist

Amy Uchacz, principal at Pima Elementary School, has been selected as one of the 16 finalists in the 2015 Rodel Foundation Exemplary Principal Initiative. “We are extremely proud of Amy for being selected as a finalist. We wish Amy the best of luck as the Rodel Foundation selection committee chooses the 2015 Rodel Exemplary Principal cohort in January,” said Dr. Dave McNeil, executive director of Elementary Education. See Rodel Foundation Exemplary Principal Initiative

SUSD Ranked as 8th Best School District in Arizona
2015 Niche Rankings were recently released, and Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) was ranked the 8th Best Public School District in Arizona. According to its website, a high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly. For a complete list, please visit https://k12.niche.com/rankings/public-school-districts/best-overall/s/arizona/.

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. 

Newsweek Names Chaparral as Top High School

Newsweek Magazine recently published its 2014 America’s Top High School List. Scottsdale Unified School District is pleased to announce that Chaparral High School is ranked 22nd on the list. According to newsweek.com, Newsweek’s 2014 Rankings highlights schools that do the absolute best job of preparing students for college. To view a complete list of schools that made the list, please click here.

Saguaro High School’s football team is ranked in the top 50 high school football teams by Scout Top 50.

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. See Top 50

Chaparral, Cochise, Copper Ridge, Hohokam and Navajo Earn A School of Excellence™ Award

In 2016, Chaparral High School, Cochise Elementary, Copper Ridge School, Hohokam Traditional School and Navajo Elementary earned the A School of Excellence™ Award from the Arizona Education Foundation (AEF). This is the second time that Chaparral has been honored with the award. Chaparral first received the honor in 2012. This is the first time that Cochise, Copper Ridge, Hohokam and Navajo have earned the award.

best-high-schools.jpgFour SUSD High Schools Nationally Recognized by ‘U.S. News & World Report’ 

Four Scottsdale Unified School District high schools have been nationally recognized and three were listed in the top 50 high schools in Arizona by U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best High School Rankings. Chaparral, Desert Mountain and Arcadia high schools all received silver national awards while Saguaro High School was awarded bronze. All three schools received the same ranking in 2014. In addition, among all Arizona high schools, Chaparral was ranked #20, Desert Mountain was named #14 and Arcadia was recognized as #26. SUSD high schools were also recognized in 2014 and 2015 as Best High Schools.

SUSD Ranked #3 Top Phoenix-Area High School Districts Based on 2014 SAT Scores

The Phoenix Business Journal ranked Arizona's top 50 public high schools based on 2014 SAT test scores. Scottsdale Unified School District ranked in the top 3.

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.


Beating the Odds 2015: Top High Schools for Low-Income Students

Newsweek’s “Beating the Odds” list (500 high schools) seeks to identify schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage.




3 Desert Mountain Students Earn Perfect ACT & 1 Earns Perfect SAT Score

Three seniors and one junior from Desert Mountain High School have earned a top composite score of 36 on recent ACT tests. Michael Johnson, Miles Hoshizaki, Jake Ausdemore, and Michael Goldstein were the students who earned this achievement. Additionally, Michael Johnson earned a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT.


Chaparral Student Earns Perfect SAT Score

Scott Mionis, a senior at Chaparral High School earned a perfect score of 2400 on SAT tests. The SAT test is designed to assess academic readiness for college and tests students’ knowledge in critical reading, mathematics, and writing. Scaled scores of between 200 and 800 points can be earned on each section, for a total of 2400 possible points. Recent data from the College Board which administers the SAT states that only 0.02 percent of students earn a 2400 on the SAT in a single sitting.  

saguaro_usarmy.jpgStudent to Play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Byron Murphy of Saguaro High School has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. A U.S. Army representative presented Murphy with his official game jersey Friday, Nov. 6, at Saguaro High School. Attendance at the event included U.S. Army representatives, football teammates, family members, Saguaro Administration and Coach Jason Mohns.

Teacher Named AEF 2016 Teacher of the Year

"The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced the winner of its coveted 2016 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Yeat title Thursday: Christine Marsh, an 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) English teacher at Chaparral High School of the Scottsdale Unified School District. The announcement was made at the annual Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon held at The Arizona Biltmore before more than 600 attendees, including Arizona educators, elected officials and business leaders. - Read more

Cherokee Ranks Top 15 Phoenix Elementary Schools

Maps & Fact Unlimited Inc. ranked the Top 15 elementary schools based on fifth-grade AzMERIT test scores. 

Desert Canyon Ranks Top 15 Phoenix Elementary Schools

Maps & Fact Unlimited Inc. ranked the Top 15 elementary schools based on fifth-grade AzMERIT test scores. 

Kiva Ranks Top 15 Phoenix Elementary Schools

Maps & Fact Unlimited Inc. ranked the Top 15 elementary schools based on fifth-grade AzMERIT test scores. 

Cheyenne Ranks Top 6 District Owned Phoenix Schools

Maps & Fact Unlimited Inc. ranked the Top 15 elementary schools based on fifth-grade AzMERIT test scores. 

Chaparral Competes in FIRST Robotics Competition Worlds Championship in 2016

Chaparral High School secured a spot at the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship by winning the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award at the Arizona West Regional Competition.

Saguaro Competes in FIRST Robotics Competition and VEX Worlds Championships in 2016

In 2016, Saguaro High School VEX team won all three tournaments they entered along with two excellence awards. They competed in the VEX state championship in March and qualified for the world competition. Saguaro High School FRC Team 4146 won the Arizona West Regional 2016 Regional Finalist Award, the Industrial Safety Award and the Wildcat Award. The team was invited to the 2016 FRC World Championship.

Yavapai Competes in FIRST Lego League Robotics World Championship in 2016

Yavapai’s Robotics team, the Thunderbots has been invited to the FIRST® LEGO®  League (FLL) North American Tournament of Champions. The event gives third through eighth grade students the opportunity to compete against other top teams from the United States, as well as other countries.

Hohokam Robotics Team Competes In VEX IQ Worlds Championship in 2016

Two Hohokam robotics teams, Talon and Falco, won first and second place at the state competition. Talon advanced to the 2016 VEX Worlds – VEX IQ Challenge Elementary Division.

Chaparral Cheer and Pom Teams Place 1st and 2nd in AIA State Championship

Over the weekend of January 22nd, the Chaparral Cheer and Poms teams competed in the AIA State Championships. The Chaparral 5 man stunt team came in third, the poms team came in second and the show cheer team came in first. The AIA then combined the scores for the three events to name the state champion. The Chaparral Lady Birds came in on top and are the AIA State Champions.

Chaparral Wins 2nd Straight Girls Swim and Dive State Championship

The Chaparral Girls won their 2nd straight Swim and Dive State Championship over second place finisher Desert Vista. The team scored 359 points.  The Firebirds set a meet record for the number of points. Taylor Ruck was voted Swimmer of the Meet for the Girls winning both of her individual events the 200 Free and 500 Free breaking her own State Records from last year and was a part of the 200 Medley Relay State Championship Team swimming Freestyle, and anchoring the winning 400 Free Relay with a new State Record! Currently, Chaparral holds all 3 Relay State Records in the 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay.

Chaparral JV Pom Wins National Championship in 2016

The JV poms team won a national championship over the weekend of January 29th

The 2016 National Dance Team Championship took place January 29th through January 31st at the Walt Disney World Resort® in Orlando, Florida. The NDTC is administered by Universal Dance Association, a division of Varsity Spirit. The NDTC is the only national-level dance team championship that is endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations, the national service and administrative organization for high school athletics and fine arts programs in speech, debate, theater and music.

DMHS Boys Golf Team Wins 2015 State Championship

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. 

DMHS Wins Boys Tennis 2016 State Championship

Congratulations to the Desert Mountain Boys Tennis Team who placed 1st in the 2015 and 2016 State Championship.

Arcadia CMAS Teacher Selected as a Quarter-Finalist for Music Educator Award

Richard Maxwell, Arcadia’s Creative Music and Sound (CMAS) teacher, was selected as a quarter-finalist for the Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation. This was the third nomination for Maxwell.