Your local schools and colleges are not just the places students go to learn new things. Casa Grande is home to public, private and charter schools that produce top-quality graduates, as well as colleges and trade schools that prepare your children for bright futures. There is big news to share here: A school is celebrating 100 years in Casa Grande, another one broke ground for an expansion, and others have new features and programs to keep students engaged and involved in their communities. We’re proud to share the news from your local schools in Golden Corridor Living.
Central Arizona College
Two New Buildings at Signal Peak Campus
A new student union and a new science building will open at the Signal Peak Campus of Central Arizona College in August. The new student union will include the dining hall, café, Vaquero Student Lounge, meeting rooms, the campus bookstore and public safety. The new science building will feature teaching labs with associated prep spaces, a STEM classroom, faculty ofﬁces and student lounge spaces.
Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology
CAVIT Promotes Career and College Awareness
Seeing a need to provide students with a realistic glimpse into their future career and college pathway choices, CAVIT implemented four all-day professional development trainings this school year. First-year students had the opportunity to attend two unique offerings. CAVITCon brought in industry professionals to share information on emerging careers and associated technical skills. COLLEGECon provided students the opportunity to attend post-secondary school presentations that offered information on admissions, life on campus, financial aid and available degrees.
To enhance future employment success, CAVIT offered a reverse job fair to second-year students. This event turned the tables on students as community partners asked employment interview questions in a speed dating format. Making sure seniors received financial planning, students received a paycheck representing earnings from their chosen career and participated in the CAVIT4Reality fair run by partners who educated students on how to spend their monthly paycheck wisely.
Casa Grande Union High School
Casa Grande Union High School to Turn 100
CGUHS has a rich 100-year history. For the 2018-19 school year, staff and students will be celebrating this centennial anniversary. Many activities are planned throughout the school year. Athletics will be implementing an engraved paver project for community members to purchase a brick which will displayed at the school.
Our 2018 graduating class received over $5 million in scholarships. Our graduates will be attending colleges or universities across the U. S., which include: U of A, ASU, NAU, GCU, Duke, Virginia Military, Johnson & Wales, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Mary Baldwin University, Baylor and many others.
The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program offers annual grants of up to $10,000 each for 15 teams of high school students, educators and mentors from across the U.S. to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. This year, CGUHS engineering and mathematics teacher John Morris was selected as an Excite Award winner for an application written and submitted with CGUHS sophomore engineering student Chloe Buchanan. Morris has recently returned from the 2018 EurekaFest at MIT and will be working through the remainder of the summer with Buchanan and a team of students to prepare their final application for submission.
Grande Innovation Academy
Academy Breaks Ground for Expansion
On May 7, 2018, the Grande Innovation Academy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new gymnasium. The gym is on the rear lot of the kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school in Casa Grande. The gym is the first in Casa Grande to have an indoor rock climbing wall. The Grande Innovation Academy also broke ground on the lot next to the new gym where a structure housing 10 new classrooms will sit. The expansion is due to the 150-plus new students who have enrolled for the upcoming school year.
Mission Heights Entrepreneur Student Takes Third Place in Nationwide Competition
2018 Mission Heights’ graduate, Ryan Sirk, recently competed at a Youth Entrepreneurs Big Idea nationwide competition in Wichita, Kansas, where he won third place and was awarded $2,000.
Sirk first presented his big idea to a panel of judges in Arizona. In May, he won the state YE competition and was awarded $1,000, and was sent in June to compete nationally against 18 other YE students for $20,000. His invention, called “The Scrubber Glove,” is a microfiber cloth used to make cleaning easier. He came up with the idea as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. In the fall, Sirk will attend Marshall University on a soccer scholarship and will study sports journalism.
Mission Heights offers the YE program so that students, like Ryan Sirk, can learn business skills, creative risk-taking and personal values necessary to succeed in today’s market.
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School
School to Incorporate Program Helping Youth Learn and Grow
Students display the models they made of animal cells. Science class is a favorite for many of the middle school students. As they study the science standards, they are called upon to create cell models, erupting volcanoes, bridges that can hold 25 to 30 pounds and many other fun experiments that illustrate and test their skills in putting the science standards into practice. This year, Robotics will be introduced to the students through a grant received from the City of Casa Grande.
Blessing of Pets
Every year we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of pets. One of our priests comes to school and we celebrate Mass outside as the students sit with their pets: snakes, dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and other animals in all variety of sizes. At the end of Mass, the pets are blessed with holy water and a special prayer. The students are thrilled to bring their pets to school and to show them off to all their friends. We, like St. Francis, love animals.
St. Anthony of Padua School has a pre-kindergarten program. Three- and four-year-old children attend school in a smaller building that is designed just for their small bodies. Parents may choose from a half-day or whole-day program. Our program is geared to provide educational standards as well as social standards. Our PreK program is licensed by the state and is also part of First Things First. Scholarships are available to help with the tuition. We invite parents and children to come for a tour. (520) 836-7247.
VISTA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL
Vista Grande High School Ready for New Year
Vista Grande High School is looking forward to the 2018-19 school year, with some changes on the horizon!
The band and football programs have new leaders and are preparing to start our season with the first game on Aug. 17.
The Spartan football team will soon be participating in a special media day event in the Tucson area by volunteering in the hospitals.
Three exciting plays will be produced by the high school drama department: three musicals,” Bring It On,” “Mama Mia,” and for the holiday season, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Eighty percent of the 2018 graduating class were offered over $6.1 million in scholarships.
We are proud that some of the 2018 graduates will be attending ASU, U of A, NAU and GCU in the state. Others in this year’s class will be attending out-of-state universities including Harvard, Providence College and Brown University. Vista has various service organizations, special-interest clubs, sports, JROTC and drama for students who are looking for a group to join. Come and check us out!