Learning by Giving: Lexis Preparatory School

2016-06-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Shannon Severson   While the students at Scottsdale’s Lexis Preparatory School might not fit the mold of typical learners, they positively demolish the notion that being different precludes one from making a difference. In fact, the small but mighty group of 70 children is having an impact in their community and across the globe.   “One of our parents, Tyler Brossart, always says something that resonates with me about our purpose here at Lexis,” says head of school Bonnie Dougherty. “It’s that what we are trying to do is make our kids contributors rather than consumers. I love that quote. We want to engage them in learning by giving them the information, guiding their research and then allowing them to actually do something with what they learn.”   Lexis individually tailors its college preparatory curriculum for children who struggle with ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety and other mild to moderate learning disabilities, as well as autism and executive function deficits.... More

Inseparable: BC Volleyballers Stick Together for College

2016-06-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Tom Scanlon   The Boulder Creek High School boys’ volleyball team won its first 21 matches of the season, but that’s not what’s most impressive about these players. Coach Troy Dueling’s team chalked up a sensational 41 wins against only two losses during the regular season, often overwhelming opponents, setting up a deep playoff run and an attempt for their second state title in three years.   Those statistics coupled with the fact that all four of this year’s seniors will be playing college volleyball are pretty admirable, but the cool factor is further spiked by this news: three of the Jaguars will be playing together in college.   While Andrew deLeon will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to study and play ball at Loras College, Bryce Whitman, Liam Santa Cruz and Grady O'Neil will be on the court together at Lourdes University. The fast-rising Lourdes volleyball program was ranked No. 7 among National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools this season, with... More

Saguaro Football Stars Take It to the Next Level

2016-06-09 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Katy Ruben
  Writer Tom Scanlon   In football, there are many important choices to make on the field. Cut right, or try to run over the defender? Pass the ball deep and hope for the best, or take a sack?   Yet it has become painfully obvious that choices off the field are far more important. Take (please) Johnny Manziel. The former “Johnny Football” partied his way out of football and into a new nickname: “Johnny Unemployed.” While he is the most notorious player for his off-field issues, the list of football stars who do stupid things is 100 yards long, from Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg at a nightclub, to one of the newest Arizona Cardinals, Robert Nkemdiche, whose fall from a hotel window in a drug-related incident was a metaphor for his later fall on draft night, a “character issues” plunge that probably cost him millions of dollars. Scores more have wasted their talent, in what boils down to one thing: choices.   At Saguaro High School, making good, solid... More

Speedy Swimmer Shoots for Olympics

2016-06-07 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Submitted
Writer Tom Scanlon   “Our Olympic swimmer.”   That’s how some people around Boulder Creek High School are starting to refer to Claire Grover.   While that’s more than a bit premature, the school was electrified by the news that the day after her 16th birthday, Claire qualified for the United States Olympic Swim Trials. The week of June 26 she will be in Omaha, Nebraska, attempting to make the Olympic team. She will have to swim faster than she ever has in her life — and that still might not be good enough to make it to Brazil, site of the 2016 games.   Sitting on a shady bench just before lunch hour at BC, Claire was realistic about her chances. Her time of 1:11:4 in the 100-yard breaststroke beat the qualifying time, but she realizes she has a long way to go to be fast enough to make the team.   “I probably need to drop another 5 seconds,” she says, pushing her long blonde hair behind her ear. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it this year, but I’ll be... More

Joelie On the Green

2016-06-06 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Submitted by Joelie Bennett
Writer Tom Scanlon   At 16 years of age, Joelie Bennett was already a force to be admired, a budding golf goddess. Tall and trim, the long-haired brunette with a sweet swing was powering drives farther than grown women — and, for that matter, many men. Her grades in advanced placement and honors classes proved her brainpower and she was getting in-house instruction from her mother, Nichole Grover, an Anthem golf pro and top-notch player.   Joelie really had only two opponents, both formidable: her mind and her body.   The first part is relatively simple to identify, and quite common. On a hot day in late April, Nichole was on the Persimmon course at Anthem Golf and Country Club after Joelie’s school day had ended, working with her daughter on the mental part of golf, a sport that can bring strong-willed adults to their knees in frustration.   “I need to get out of my own head,” Joelie said, shooting her mother a knowing look. Nichole said she works with just about all of... More

BC Student: Athletes Take It to the Next Level

2016-06-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon   School is like a Samuel Beckett play: just when you think it’s ending, it’s only beginning. Take the Boulder Creek High School class of 2016, which is finished, finally — done!   Yet after the flurry of May with its final exams, prom and graduation, things are really just about to begin for the BC grads. Most of them will take on the challenges (and, hopefully, rewards) of higher education by enrolling in colleges and universities. And a chunk of them will be playing college athletics, competing against bigger, stronger, faster athletes.   At the end of April, the school honored 11 “spring signing” seniors who inked letters of commitment with various colleges. One of them, basketball star Nick Johnson, will go north to Prescott’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.   “I chose ERAU because the basketball coach, Eric Fundalewicz, started recruiting me to play basketball there at the beginning of my junior year,” Johnson said. “I looked into... More

17th Annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition

2016-06-03 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Apatrou Photography
Writer Donna Kublin   Finals for the 17th annual Arizona Young Artists’ Competition (AYAC) were held on April 2, and this year, Cave Creek and Phoenix residents were among the winners.   The AYAC showcases performing artists between ages 15-19 in the disciplines of acting, dance and voice. Through an open call and audition process, 12 finalists were selected to compete at the Herberger Theater Center in hopes of obtaining the Judges’ Choice Award, for which winners in each discipline receive a $1,000 scholarship to help further their education in the arts; and the audience-selected People’s Choice Award, for which winners receive $100.   And the winners by category are:   Acting Judges’ Choice: Arianna Williams, 17, Phoenix, Mountain Pointe High School People’s Choice: Kelly Hajek, 19, Cave Creek, Scottsdale Community College Dance Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice: Michaela Horger, 17, Phoenix, Royal Dance Works   Voice Judges’ Choice: Ally Lansdowne, 18,... More

Cactus Shadows’ Carlee Turner Hits the Top Shelf

2016-06-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Submitted by Carlee Turner
Writer Tom Scanlon   Around Cactus Shadows High School, Carlee Turner is known as, “That girl who goes away for half the year and then shows up again.”   Around Vermont, Carlee is known more simply as “hockey star.”   Carlee spent roughly half of the last four years in Stowe, Vermont, studying and playing hockey at the North American Hockey Academy (NAHA). She blossomed this year, taking on the role of team captain and leading NAHA in goals and points. In perhaps her shining moment, she was on a partial breakaway, being dragged down by a defenseman, yet managed to lift a shot over the goalie into the top right corner (“top shelf”) of the net. Her skills and dedication earned her a scholarship to the University of New Hampshire, which has a strong hockey tradition.   Just before leaving Vermont to finish her schooling at Cactus Shadows, Carlee attended the Junior World Hockey League awards ceremony, where she heard her name announced as the Liz Turgeon “Player of the... More

Young Bucks

2016-05-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Keri Meyers
Writer Stephanie Maher Palenque   In a world filled with video games, iPhones and other electronics, there are three North Valley families who are raising boys in what may seem like an alternate universe: the world of rodeo competition.   Barely tall enough to see over the steers they regularly ride, these boys put fear aside and work through their anxiety each time they climb into the metal chute and mount the 1,800-pound steers they will cling to for as long as possible — in front of crowds of hundreds. Thus far in their relatively short careers, they have attracted the respect and admiration of many audiences. And if local resident Rob Tremp has his way, they will sell the short documentary he produced to a network for reality TV development or a full-feature documentary based on three of these local “Young Bucks.”   Many believe that more than promoting bull riding and the rodeo circuit, these boys are promoting a lifestyle that some say is all but dead: the lifestyle of... More

Desert Foothills Library Youth Event: Stranded, What to Eat

2016-05-24 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Calling all adventurers! The Desert Foothills Library invites youth, ages 11 to 14, to learn about what foods to eat if stranded on a desert island. Participants will be working with Arizona Science Center staff. Call to register. Free. 2 to 3 p.m. Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Rd., 480-488-2286, More

Camp Rising Star 2016

2016-05-24 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Registration is now open for Starlight Community Theater’s “Camp Rising Star.” Session 1 will be held on June 13-25 and is for youth ages 7 through ninth grade. Session 2 will be held on July 11-16 and is for teens ages 13-18. Session 3 will be held on July 18-30 and is for youth/teens ages 7-18. Check website for registration information. 1611 W. Whispering Wind Dr., 623-252-6815, More

Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” Casting Call

2016-05-24 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Musical Theatre of Anthem is looking for youth, ages 9-14, to cast in their musical, Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” Auditions and callbacks will be held at 9 a.m., with rehearsals immediately after. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 623-336-6001, More

National Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

2016-05-24 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Celebrate National Butterfly Education and Awareness Day all month long at Butterfly Wonderland! Special events include pottery painting, story time for tots, photography sessions, yoga in the rainforest, the monarch walk series, concerts in the conservatory and more. Check website for specific prices, dates and times. Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, 480-800-3000, More

Calling All Applicants: Rotary Club of Anthem Scholarships

2016-03-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

The Rotary Club of Anthem is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 scholarship program. Established to recognize the outstanding scholastic achievements of local graduating high school seniors, the program awards five scholarships of $1,000 each to support full-time enrollment at any accredited community college, four-year college or university, trade school or vocational school for the coming academic year. Beginning this year, all high school seniors living in the Anthem area are eligible to apply, regardless of which high school they attend in the region. For those not familiar with the Rotary Club of Anthem, current President Don Whitman says, “It is simply a group of community leaders that get together regularly to share ideas and take action to improve the surrounding community. We believe in education and assisting the youth in our community and each year provide $1,000 scholarships to five students within our area.”Applications are due to the scholarship committee by... More

MTA Casting Call: Disney’s “101 Dalmatians Kids”

2016-03-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Performers ages 6-10 can audition for this no-cut production of a fur-raising adventure about an outrageous villain who tries in vain to steal 101 Dalmatian pups for her new fur coat. March 12: general vocal auditions, 10:30 a.m. March 13: dance call, 2 p.m.; callbacks, 3 p.m. Audition preparation workshop available March 10 and 11, 4-5:30 p.m., for $35. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More