Skip to Content Skip to Footer Accessibility Concerns

Valley Vista News

keyboard with a test button

Tuesday, February 7th - Horizon Benchmark Testing

On Tuesday, February 7th students in 9th, 10th & 11th grade will be taking the Horizon Benchmark Test.   Seniors will be meeting with their counselors.  

Please see the modified bell schedule that ALL students will be following on Feb 7th.

02/01/2023 Direct Link


Upcoming Events Week of January 30th - February 5th

Monday - 30

AZELLA Testing

Early Release @ 12:15p

Girls Soccer vs. Maricopa @ 4/6p

Tuesday - 31

AZELLA Testing

Girls Basketball @ Tolleson @ 4/5:30/7p

Boys Basketball vs. Tolleson @ 4/5:30/7p

Boys Soccer @ Maricopa @ 6p

Wednesday - Feb 1

AZELLA Testing

NLI Singing

Unified Basketball Qualifier in the Gym

Wrestling vs. Shadow Ridge @ 4p

Thursday - 2
AZELLA Testing

Special Olympics Basketball Tournament 

Girls Basketball @ Shadow Ridge @ 4/5:30/7p

Boys Basketball vs. Shadow Ridge @ 4/5:30/7p

Boys Soccer vs. West Point @ 6p

Girls Soccer @ West Point @ 4/6p

Friday - 3

STUCO First Friday

Special Olympics Basketball Tournament

Girls Basketball vs. Maricopa @ 5:30/7p

Boys Soccer vs. Sunnyslope @ 4p

Girls Soccer @ Sunnyslope @ 4p

Track & Field Panda Express Fundraiser - Prasada

Saturday - 4
Band Booster Fundraiser @ Chipotle - Bell/Litchfield 

01/30/2023 Direct Link

Dance Banner

Upcoming Events Week of January 16 - January 22

Monday - 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- No School

Tuesday - 17
Girls Basketball vs. Shadow Ridge 4/5:30/7

Wednesday - 18
Girls Basketball @ Cesar Chavez 4/5:30/7
Wrestling @ Maryvale 4p
Boys Soccer @ Cesar Chavez 6p

Girls Soccer vs. Cesar Chavez 4/6p

Thursday - 19
Nursing Program Presentation - Lecture Hall @ 2:30p

Boys Basketball @ Shadow Ridge 4/5:30/7

Pom and Cheer State Qualifier - Veterans Memorial Coliseum 

Friday - 20
Honors by Contract due to teachers
Girls Basketball @ Nike Hoopfest (CA)

Pom and Cheer State Qualifier - Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Saturday - 21
Pom and Cheer State Championship- Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Hoopcoming Dance - 7-10p

Marching Band Banquet in Cafe 

Girls Basketball @ Nike Hoopfest (CA)

01/17/2023 Direct Link

Fatem Kadhem

Valley Vista Student Named Flinn Scholar Semifinalist

Fatem Kadhem from Valley Vista High School was named a Flinn Scholar Semifinalist.  The Flinn Scholarship is a prestigious program that awards applicants based on academic achievement, leadership and involvement, service to the community, ability to communicate, and personal qualities. 

Fatem is one of more than 80 high-achieving Arizona high-school seniors named as a semifinalist out of 1,045 applicants seeking the Flinn Scholarship.  

By being named Flinn Scholarship Semifinalist, Fatem will qualify for a specially designated scholarship from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, or the University of Arizona.

Fatem is quite accomplished and involved at Valley Vista.  She is in the top 1% of her class and has a 4.650 GPA.  She serves in many leadership roles including Key Club President, Book Club Co-founder and Treasurer, Science Olympiad Mentor and Member, Environmental Club President and Co-founder, and she is a member of the National Honor Society.  Fatem also was named a Commended student in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program for her PSAT score.

“To come this far in our very competitive process is an honor earned by just 8% of applicants from around the state. These students impressed reviewers with their academic achievement, service, and leadership,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Foundation vice president, scholarship and education initiatives. 

Fatem will advance to the interview portion later this month with an opportunity to be named one of 40 Flinn Scholarship Finalists. Finalists will be interviewed again with a five-person selection committee at the Flinn Foundation. The Flinn Scholars Class of 2023 will be announced in April.

After graduation, Fatem plans to attend Arizona State University to major in Mechanical Engineering.

“Fatem Kadhem is an outstanding individual! She is kind, charismatic, has a wonderful sense of humor, and has the drive to succeed in anything she sets out to accomplish,” shared Valley Vista High School counselor, Larissa Scott. “If anyone deserves this opportunity, she is by far the best semifinalist out there.”

Now in its 38th year, the Flinn Scholarship is valued at more than $130,000 and includes funding for tuition, housing, meals, and study abroad. About 20 Arizona high-school seniors are selected each year and attend the honors colleges of the state’s three public universities.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.

Update January 13, 2023

Fatem was named one of 39 Flinn Scholarship Finalists and will move on to the last stage of the competition with a chance to be named a Class of 2023 Flinn Scholar.  Interviews will take place in March with recipients announce in April.

01/17/2023 Direct Link


Upcoming Events Week of January 9 - January 15

Monday - 9
Spirit Day - Spy or Undercover Agent
Clubs/Coaches/Sponsors Meeting @ 2:15p
Freedom Traditional on Campus Visit
Boys Basketball @ Tolleson @ 4/5:30/7p

Boys Soccer vs. Alhambra @ 4p

Tuesday - 10

Spirit Day - Rhyme Day 

Freshman Course Selection in English Classes
Girls Basketball vs. Desert Vista 4/5:30/7p

Boys Basketball @ Desert Vista @ 4/5:30/7p

Wednesday -11

Spirit Day - Space Day

Sophomore Course Selection in English
FAC Meeting @ 2:15p
Cheer Spirit Night @ Chipotle
Wrestling vs. Copper Canyon @ 4p
Boys Soccer vs. Dysart @ 6p
Girls Soccer vs. Dysart @ 4p

Thursday- 12
Spirit Day - Country vs. Country Club
GCU Application Workshop in 2201 @ 9:15a
US Air Force ROTC in 2201 @ 8:15a
Governing Board Meeting
Girls Basketball @ St. Mary MLK Classic
Course Selection for 11th Grade
Band Performance at Governing Board

Friday - 13
Spirit Day - School Colors
Hoopcoming Assembly @ 8:15a
Hoopcoming Movie Night in Lecture Hall @ 9:30p
Girls Basketball @ St Mary MLK Classic
Boys Basketball vs Cesar Chavez @ 4/5:30/7p
Wrestling @ Flowing Wells Invite
Boys Soccer vs. Mountain Ridge

Girls Soccer @ Mountain Ridge

Weekend - 14 & 15
Girls Basketball @ St Mary's Tourney in CA
Wrestling @ Flowing Wells Invite

Upcoming Events
Mon, Jan 16 - No School - MLK Day
Saturday, Jan 21st - Hoopcoming Dance @ 7-10p

01/09/2023 Direct Link

chalkboard with words winter break

Upcoming Events Weeks of December 19 - Jan 7

Monday -19
Finals Day #1

GCU Coffee @ 7a

Tuesday - 20
Finals Day #2

Wednesday - 21
Winter Break - No School

Thursday - 22
Winter Break - No School

Friday - 23
Winter Break - No School

Saturday - 24

Winter Break

Sunday - 25
Winter Break
Monday Jan -  2
Winter Break - No School

Tuesday - Jan 3
Winter Break - No School

Wednesday - Jan 4
Winter Break - No School for Students

All Staff Report Back to Work
Football Banquet (fr/so) in Cafe @ 6p
Wrestling @ 4p

Thursday - Jan 5
Students Return to School

College Jean Day
Football Banquet (V/JV) in Cafe @ 6p

Friday - Jan 6

STUCO First Friday
Presidents & Captains Meeting @ SW
Girls Basketball @ 5p
Boys Basketball @ 6:30p
Wrestling at Peoria Tournament of Champions

Saturday - Jan 7
Wrestling at Peoria Tournament of Champions 

12/19/2022 Direct Link

cut out letters spelling the word, exams

Upcoming Events Week of December 12 - 18

Monday - 12

Early Release @ 12:15p

Shark Tank Begins

OAB Meeting @ 6:30p

Tuesday - 13

Wednesday - 14

Estrella Mountain Community College 

Link Crew Study cram Session in LH from 2:30 - 4:30p

Boys Basketball (V Only) vs. Arapahoe
Boys Soccer vs North @ 6p
Girls Soccer @ North at 4/6p

Thursday - 15

Honors by Contract Due
Link Crew Study Cram Session in the Lecture Hall from 2:30 - 4:30p

Girls Basketball vs. Millennium @ 4, 5:30 & 7p

Girls Soccer @ Alhambra @ 4/6p

Friday - 16

Wrestling @ Moon Valley at 9a

National Letter of Intent Signing Ceremony @ 9:15a

Saturday - 17
Boys Basketball vs. Fossil Ridge @ 1p
Wrestling @ Moon Valley Invite

Upcoming Events
12/19 & 12/20 - Finals - early release @ 10:30am

Winter Break 
12/21 - 1/4

12/09/2022 Direct Link

Winter Wonderland

Upcoming Events Week of December 5th - 11th

Monday -- 5

Ugly Sweater Day

Staff Photo @ 12:20 in LH/District PD
Future Freshman Night
Dysart Career Fair
Boys Basketball @ Millennium

Tuesday --6
Winter Wonderland
Girls Soccer vs. Gila Ridge
Boys Soccer @ Gila Ridge

Wednesday -- 7

Visions of Sugar Plums
WestMec App Workshop in room 2101

Site Council Meeting @ 7am
FAC Meeting @ 2:15p
Wrestling @ North High

Thursday -- 8

Seasons of Love
Dance Concert @ 7p
Girls Basketball @ Seton Catholic Prep
Boys Basketball vs. Seton Catholic Prep
Boys Soccer vs. Sunnyslope
Girls Soccer @ Sunnyslope

Friday -- 9

I Believe Ornament Exchange
Dance Concert @ 7p

Girls Basketball @ Cactus Shadows
Boys Basketball vs. Cactus Shadows

Saturday --10
Cheer National Qualifier

12/06/2022 Direct Link

girl smiling

Future Freshman Night December 5

Students entering high school in the 2023-2024 academic year, and their parents, are invited to attend an incoming freshman meeting on Monday, December 5 to learn about high school expectations, unique programs, and the process for registration and class selection. These meetings are designed to provide incoming freshmen with an overview of the academic programs available at Dysart Unified School District’s four high schools and explain the process of registering for ninth-grade classes.   

Future Freshman Nights are scheduled as follows on Monday, December 5:   

Dysart High School - 5:30 PM at 11425 N. Dysart Road, El Mirage  

Shadow Ridge High School - 6:00 PM at 10909 N. Perryville Road, Surprise 

Valley Vista High School - 5:30 PM at 15550 N. Parkview Place, Surprise  

Willow Canyon High School - 5:00 PM at 17901 W. Lundberg Street, Surprise  

Students and parents will learn about high school classes, course selection, unique and career-related programs, core curriculum, and graduation requirements. Attending Future Freshman Night motivates eighth graders to remain focused on their true academic goal – completing high school and beyond.     

Dysart offers four top-rated high schools to the community and is home to two top 50 high schools in Arizona. Three of our four high schools are “A” rated, and two out-rank all local counterparts. Visit to learn more about our high schools academics, arts and athletics. To view school locations and residential attendance boundaries, visit

11/28/2022 Direct Link

All State Choir Students

VVHS Students named to All State Show Choir

Congratulations to the talented students who were selected for the All State Show Choir by the Arizona Choral Educators. More than 400 students from high schools around Arizona auditioned on November 5 to be a part of the All State Show Choir at Horizon High School. A total of ten Valley Vista High School students will represent the Monsoon including:

Laney Alger (4th Chair Soprano) 

Desi Jones (Second Chair Alto)

Zoie Foster (4th Chair Alto)

Samira Doxie (8th Chair Alto)

Celisa Scarbrough (12th Chair Alto)

Tristen Moran-Mills (2nd Chair Tenor)

Luke Lundberg (9th Chair Bass)

Andrew Estrella (11th Chair Bass)

And alternates:   

Levi Lundberg (1st Alternate Tenor) 

Josiah Chang (3rd Alternate Bass)

“We are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication these students have put into their craft to continue to excel at the state level,” shared Danae Marinelli, Dysart Schools Director of Arts.

The All-State Show Choir is part of the Arizona All-State Jazz/Show Choir Festival. It is a choir of approximately 60 high school students selected from the state. Selection is made through an audition process which requires a live singing and dancing audition. Selected students learn and memorize the performance songs before attending the three-day long festival where they learn the choreography and refine the music. This festival performance will be held on February 2nd at Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center with the All State Jazz Choir beginning at 6:30 pm followed by the All State Show Choir at 8:00 pm. 

The Arizona Choral Educators (ACE) is a constituent group of the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) which serves the needs of elementary, junior high, high school, and collegiate directors throughout Arizona. AMEA was established in 1939 as a cooperative effort of music educators. Since that time, the association has become affiliated with The National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

11/15/2022 Direct Link

VVHS Choir

Upcoming Events Week of November 14th - November 18th

VVHS Choir Presents : New York, New York

November 17 & 18  @ 7pm in The Vista


Monday - 14 

WestMec Application Workshop in room 2102 @ 11:45a
Early Release @ 12:15p
OAB Meeting in The Student Commons @ 6p
OUAZ Dysart Parent Night @ Ottawa 6p

Tuesday - 15
Horizon Testing - 9th - 11th Grades
New Mexico State in Person Visit in 2201 @ 9:15a

Wednesday - 16

EMCC on campus in room 2101 all day
ASU in person visit in 2201 @ 8:15a
Cross Country Banquet

Thursday - 17
Governing Board Meeting @ 6p

Choir Concert @ 7p

Friday - 18
Choir Concert @ 7p

Saturday- 19

Pom Team National Qualifiers

Thanksgiving Break 11/21 - 11/25

11/14/2022 Direct Link

Veterans Day November 11th

Upcoming Events Week of November 7 - November 13

Monday - 7
Early Release @ 12:15p
Convergence Winterguard Auditions

Tuesday - 8
NAU in Person Visit in 2201 @ 8:15a
ASU in Person in 2201 @ 9:15a
FR/SO Football @ Shadow Ridge @ 6p

Wednesday - 9
National Letter of Intent Signing @ 8a
JV Football vs. Shadow Ridge @ 6p

Thursday - 10
Veterans Breakfast in Cafeteria @ 8:15a
Huntington College in 2201 @ 9:15a
Varsity Football @ Shadow Ridge @ 7p

Friday --11

Veterans Day - No School

Saturday --12
State Cross Country Meet

11/07/2022 Direct Link

VVHS Culinary Students at the 2022 College & Career Expo

Upcoming Events Week of Oct 31st - November 6th

Monday -- 31

Early Release @ 12:15p
Winter Athletic Tryouts Begin
Halloween -- No Costumes

Tuesday -- 1
JV Football @ Thunderbird @ 6p

State Volleyball Game @ 6p

Wednesday -- 2
NAU in 2201 @ 9:15a

EMCC on Campus in WR 2101

FR/SO Football vs Tolleson @ 6p

Thursday -- 3

Cross Country D1

Theatre --Peter Pan and Wendy @ 7p

Friday -- 4

U of A in WR 2201 during SW

Theatre -- Peter Pan and Wendy @7p

Varsity Football vs Tolleson @ 7p -- Senior Night

State Swim Meet

Saturday -- 5

Saturday School in the Student Commons from 8-10a

11/01/2022 Direct Link

star with abstract background

Valley Vista Earns an “A” Rating

Valley Vista High School is excited to announce that we have received an A-rating from the newly-released 2022 State of Arizona accountability labels. This letter grade provides us a glimpse into many areas of proficiency and growth for our school, including information about student achievement, college and career readiness, student growth, and other key areas of interest. We appreciate our hardworking students, staff and parents for their contributions in making our school an A-rated school! 

This is the first time the state has issued new labels since 2018-2019, due to House Bill’s 2910 and 2402, which temporarily paused the issuing of A-F letter grades.

About School Letter Grades: Arizona Revised Statutes § 15-241 requires the Arizona Department of Education, subject to final adoption by the State Board of Education, to develop an annual achievement profile for every public school in the state based on an A through F scale. The system measures year to year student academic growth, proficiency on English language arts, math and science, the proficiency and academic growth of English language learners, indicators that an elementary student is ready for success in high school and that high school students are ready to succeed in a career or higher education and high school graduation rates. 

11/01/2022 Direct Link

Student with binoculars looking at different career fields

Career and College Expo

 Dysart Unified School District invites parents and students to a Career and College Expo on Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 - 7:30pm at the Dysart District Office, located at 15802 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.  

The expo showcases Dysart's Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, West-MEC, colleges and universities, and military representatives so families can explore opportunities to pursue in and after high school. This is a great way for 5th through 11th grade students and their parents to get hands-on with all of the career pathway classes and programs offered at Dysart Schools. The event is free and open to the public. Details can be found at

Dysart Schools currently offer 17 CTE programs at four high schools (Dysart High School, Shadow Ridge High School, Valley Vista High School, and Willow Canyon High School.) Program options include Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, Digital Animation, Digital Photography, Education Professions, Engineering, Film and TV Production, Fire Science, Graphic Design, Laboratory Assisting, Law and Public Safety, Marketing, Nursing Services, Software and App Design, Sports Medicine, Stagecraft Design and Production and Technology Device Maintenance. Learn more at

10/25/2022 Direct Link

Mr. Frazier and Mayor Hall in the 2022 Stormcoming Parade

Upcoming Events Week of October 24 - 30

Monday - 24

Early Release @ 12:15p

HOOP Presentation in LH @ 8a

ACE Presentation in LH @ 8:45a
Girls Golf - State Championship
Volleyball @ Maricopa @ 4/5/6p

Cross Country - District Meet @ Asante Park @ 4p

Tuesday - 25

PSAT Testing (pre-registration required)

Senior Meeting in The Vista during SW
Girls Golf - State Championship
Swim & Dive - DUSD Championships @ Surprise Aquatics @ 5p

Wednesday - 26

Wheaton College in 2201 @ 8:15a
High Point in LH @ 9:15a

Biola College in 2201 @ 10:45a
Volleyball vs. Westpoint @ 4/5/6p

Thursday - 27 
U of A in 2101 @ 9:15a
Bentley University in LH during SW

University of Toledo in 2201 @ 9:50a

Friday - 28

Varsity Football @ Cibola @ 7p

Saturday - 29
Saturday School in The Student Commons from 8-10am

Swim & Dive @ Husky Invite
Band Performance @ Barry Goldwater HS

10/21/2022 Direct Link

Valley Vista National Merit Commended Students

Dysart Students Receive National Merit Commendation


DYSART SCHOOLS - Four outstanding Dysart students have been named Commended Students in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Students receiving the Letter of Commendation include Marissa Le’Levier from Shadow Ridge High School, and Andrea Cosio, Fatem Kadhem and Aiden Pinuelas, from Valley Vista High School.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise this year through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Commended students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

“We are so proud of these students for their outstanding work. They have demonstrated their exceptional academic abilities and success, and we are honored that we have had the opportunity to help them hone their skills and advance their education,” said Dr. Jim Dean, Interim Superintendent. “We look forward to seeing what the future brings for these bright young minds.”

Andrea Cosio hopes to attend Harvard or ASU and major in chemical engineering with a goal to pursue the study of alternative fuels. She enjoys using her imagination and likes to paint, write, read and has an interest in avant garde music/musicians and art museums.

Fatem Kadhem plans to make the most of senior year by establishing a garden on campus. After graduation, the hope is to attend Arizona State University, major in mechanical engineering and minor in French. Fatem enjoys reading and crocheting.

Marissa Le’Levier plans to go to a university and pursue becoming a neonatologist. In her free time she enjoys playing softball and golf, drawing and hanging out with friends.

Aiden Pinuelas has a goal of majoring in history and becoming a professor. He loves playing board games, and has collected over 150 of them. His hobbies include reading, playing the piano and violin and drawing.

For More Information

15802 N Parkview Place, Surprise

10/05/2022 Direct Link

Valley Vista Student Council presents Nightmare before Stormcoming

Upcoming Events Week of October 3 - October 9

Monday - 3

Dress Like Adam Sandler Day
Senior Sunrise
Early Release @ 12:15p

Volleyball @ Westpoint @ 4/5/6p

Tuesday - 4
Dress Like an Old Person or Baby Day 
University of Advancing Technology in 2201 during SW

Powder Puff & Car Bash @ 6p

Wednesday - 5
Dress as your type, significant other or who you love

Post Secondary Campaign in Lecture Hall 
Boys & Girls Golf - District Cup
Volleyball @ Cesar Chavez @ 4/5/6p

Cross Country @ Paradise Honors @ 2p
FR/SO Football vs. Pinnacle @ 6pm

Thursday -- 6

Dress as a Jock or Nerd Day 
GCU Field Trip
Cottey College in 2201 during SW

Badminton @ Maryvale @ 4p
JV Football @ Pinnacle @ 6p

Friday - 7
Wear Your Class Colors   Freshmen: White, Sophomores: Grey, Juniors: Purple, Seniors: Black

Storming The Halls during SW
Stormcoming Assembly
Varsity Football vs. Pinnacle @ 7p

Saturday - 8
Stormcoming Dance 7-10p

10/03/2022 Direct Link

Sabrina Lara with her National Hispanic Recognition Award

Valley Vista Student Awarded with Academic Honors from College Board


DYSART SCHOOLS – Valley Vista High School student, Sabrina Lara, has earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award from the College Board National Recognition Programs for excelling in College Board assessments and school work. Sabrina, who is a senior this year, received the academic award, which honors Hispanic American students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more Advanced Placement Exams. 

Sabrina Lara is a senior in the top one percent of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS), and is the president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) campus club. After graduation, she aspires to attend a university in California and major in business management, attend culinary school and become a pastry chef. Sabrina enjoys giving back to the community through volunteering when she has time. Her love for baking has even inspired her to create a social media account to share her creations. 

The College Board National Recognition Program grants underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process.    

“We want to honor the hard work of these students through the College Board National Recognition Programs. This program creates a way for colleges and scholarship programs to connect directly with underrepresented students who they are hoping to reach,” said Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We hope the award winners and their families celebrate this prestigious honor and it helps them plan for their big future.”

For More Information

15802 N Parkview Place, Surprise

09/28/2022 Direct Link

Fall Leaves

Upcoming Events Week of Sept 26 - Oct 1

Reserve your spot at Saturday School HERE.

Monday - 26

Early Release @ 12:15

Stormcoming Ticket Sales Begin

Girls Golf @ Sun City South GC

Powder Puff Practice @ 6:30p

Tuesday - 27

Badminton @ Alhambra @ 3:30p

Boys Golf @ Peoria Pines @ 3p

Volleyball vs. Shadow Ridge @ 4/5/6p

Cross Country @ VVHS @ 4pm

Wednesday - 28

JOSTENS Senior Presentation in The Vista during SW

Site Council Meeting @ 7a

Badminton vs. Cesar Chavez @ 4p

Girls Golf @ Pebblebrook GC @ 3p

FR/SO Football vs. Willow Canton @ 6p

Thursday - 29

NAU Field Trip

Unified Badminton Tournament @ VVHS

Powder Puff Practice @ 6:30p

Boys Golf @ Aguila GC @ 3p

Girls Golf @ Ridge Open

Swim & Dive @ Cactus High School @ 5:30p

Volleyball vs. Maricopa @ 4/5/6p

JV Football @ Willow Canyon @ 6p

Friday - 30

Storming the Halls during SW

End of Quarter 1

Cross Country @ Desert Twilight

Girls Golf @ Ridge Open

Varsity Football vs. Willow Canyon @ 7pm

Saturday - October 1

Saturday School in The Commons from 8-10am

Stormcoming Decorating School Wide

Swim & Dive @ West Valley Invite

09/26/2022 Direct Link

Saturday School

Upcoming Events Week of Sept 12th - Sept 18th 2022

To order you students School Portraits and have FREE shipping to home, click the link below
(Retake Day is September 12th)

Monday -- 12

Picture Retake - 9:30a - 11:30a LH Lobby 

StuCo Stormcoming Royalty Nominations

Fine Arts Classroom Walk 

Early Release @ 12:15p

Badminton vs. O'Connor @ 4p

Volleyball at Boulder Creek 4, 5, 6p

Girls Golf @ Pebble Creek 3p

Tuesday -- 13

Dysart Student Leadership Mtg @ 10:30a

StuCo Stormcoming Royalty Nominations

Boys Golf @ Pebble Brook 3p

Wednesday --14

Parent Breakfast w/ the Counselors -- 7:30a

Powder Puff Tryouts

StuCo Stormcoming Royalty Nominations

Girls Golf @ Peoria Pines 3p

F Football @ North 6p

Cross Country @ Alhambra 4p

Thursday -- 15

Rio Salado Dual Enrollment Workshop Room 2101
Badminton vs. Shadow Ridge -- 4p

Swim @ Boulder Creek -- 4p

IC Meeting 2:30p

Friday -- 15

Constitution Day
University of Arizona Rep Visit during SW

V Football @ North 7p

District Badminton Tourney 11a

Saturday -- 16

Color Guard Spin Clinic 9a- 5p

Saturday School 8- 10a

09/12/2022 Direct Link


Upcoming Events Week of September 5th - Sept 11th

Monday - 5th 

Labor Day - No School 

Tuesday - 6th

Boys Golf @ Sundance Golf Club @ 3pm
Girls Volleyball vs. Sunnyslope @ 4pm
FR/SO Football vs. Westview @ 6pm

Wednesday - 7th
Badminton @ Dobson @ 4pm
Cross Country @ Asante Park @ 4pm
Girls Golf @ Pebblebrook Golf Course @ 3pm
JV Football vs. Willow Canyon @ 6pm

Thursday - 8th 
Rio Salado & Huntington Univ on Campus
Badminton vs. Boulder Creek (V Only) @ 4pm

Boys Golf @ Willow Creek Golf Course
Girls Volleyball vs. Mountain Ridge @ 4pm

Varsity Football vs. Westview @ 7pm

Friday - 9th
Boys Golf @ Willowcreek Golf Course
Girls Volleyball @ VVHS - White Tank Invitational 

Saturday - 10th 
Saturday School from 8-10am in the Student Commons
Girls Volleyball @ VVHS - White Tank Invitational 

Swim & Dive @ Chandler HS @ 7am

Cross Country @ Fountain Hills HS

09/06/2022 Direct Link

Badminton racquet and birdie

Upcoming Events Week of August 29th - September 2nd

Monday - 29
Early Release @ 12:15p
Girls Golf @ Arizona Traditions @ 3p

Tuesday - 30

Badminton @ Westwood @ 4p
Boys Golf @ Blackstone CC @ 3p
Volleyball vs Perry @ 4p

Wednesday - 31
Girls Golf @ Coldwater Creek GC @ 3p
Volleyball vs. Corona del Sol @ 4p
FR/SO Football vs. Mountain Pointe @ 6p

Thursday - Sept 1
Badminton @ Mountain Ridge @ 3:30p
Volleyball @ Liberty @ 4p
JV Football @ Mountain Pointe @ 6p

Instructional Cabinet @ 2:30p
Swim Meet @ Surprise Pool

Friday - 2

StuCo First Friday
University of Oregon in 2101 during SW

Varsity Football vs. Mountain Pointe @ 7p

Saturday - 3

Color Guard Spin Clinic in the Cafe 9-5p

Monday - 5 -  No School - Labor Day

08/30/2022 Direct Link

Purple/Silver Pom Poms

Upcoming Events Week of August 22nd - August 28th

Order your school portraits

Valley Vista Fall Portraits

Monday - 22

Early Release @ 12:15p
District PD 1-3pm
Art Show in The Vista Lobby

Tuesday - 23
Seniors in The Vista 7:15-10:45am
Senior Panoramic Picture in the Gym @ 9am
Horizon Testing for grades 9-11
Badminton @ Liberty @ 4pm
Boys Golf @ Coldwater Golf Club @ 3pm

Wednesday - 24
Girls Golf @ Pebblebrook Golf Club @ 3pm
Varsity Football Scrimmage @ Liberty @ 6pm

Thursday - 25
Grand Canyon University in the Lecture Hall during SW
Dysart Board Meeting @ 6pm

Friday - 26

Saturday - 27

Badminton @ Greenway Invitational @ 8am
Surprise PD Training 

08/22/2022 Direct Link


Adelman Named Tancer Arts in Education Finalist

Erika Adelman, Valley Vista High School Arts Teacher, was named one of three finalists for the 2022 Tancer Arts in Education Award.  The Tancer award recognizes Arizona teachers dedicated to sharing a love of the arts with their students.

Adelman has been an arts teacher in Arizona for more than 25 years, including 16 at Dysart Schools teaching at Canyon Ridge School and in her current role at Valley Vista High School.  She serves as a mentor to new art teachers, team lead, writes arts curriculum, and is serving as the district art lead at the high school level for this school year.

Adelman builds strong bonds with her students and encourages many to participate in art mentorships, community programs, and local competitions to feature their art outside of the classroom.  She collaborates with Advanced Placement teachers from around the state and recently became an Advanced Placement (AP) Reader for the National College Board AP Studio Art program in order to better prepare and score her students for the rigorous AP exam.

The award received its name in memory of Robert "Bob" Tancer, local art advocate extraordinaire, who passed away in March 2020. Bob was an active member of the Act One Board, believing in the organization's mission and working on the committee to expand the educational depth of the field trip experience.  Bob saw the tremendous role the teacher played in making the experience rich and educationally rewarding.

Act One is a nonprofit founded in 2011 to provide children in Title 1 schools in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties with the opportunity to experience arts performances and exhibitions through field trips to professional theaters and museums. Act One provides meaningful arts experiences that enhance the academic and creative potential of children and families in Arizona. For more information on Act One, visit

08/22/2022 Direct Link

Colorful Save the Date

Upcoming Events Week of August 15th - 21st

Monday - 15

Early Release @ 12:15p
11th Grade - Chalk Talk Training/PLC

Cheer Tryouts Begin 

Tuesday - 16

Senior Presentation: Last Names A - GOO during SW in The Vista
Boys Golf vs Shadow Ridge @ Pebblebrook GC @ 3p

Wednesday - 17

Senior Presentation: Last Names GOP - PEF during SW in The Vista

Dual Enrollment Assistance w/ Rio Salado in 1101 all day

Thursday - 18

Senior Presentation:  Last Names PEG - Z during SW in The Vista 

Volleyball Scrimmage @ Perry HS @ 4p
Instructional Cabinet @ 2:30p

Parent Support Organization Workshop @ 5:30p

Friday - 19

Junior Presentation during SW in The Vista

Football Parent Meeting and Scrimmage @ 5p

Sat - 20 & Sun 21

Color Guard Clinic @ 9:30a

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

08/15/2022 Direct Link

football team on field

Open House Aug 2, 2022

Valley Vista is excited to welcome you to the 2022 - 2023 school year.  Please join us Tuesday, August 2 from 5:30pm - 7:OOpm, for our Open House.  Students, families and stakeholders will have the opportunity to meet teachers, tour the campus and check out student clubs and activities.  Valley has something for everyone!

22 23 Welcome Back Letter 

22 23 Parking Pass Information 

22 23 Bell Schedule 

07/13/2022 Direct Link

Ashlynn Luzier

VVHS graduate wins InvestWrite competition

Ashlynn Luzier, a recent graduate from Valley Vista High School won first place in the state InvestWrite competition. InvestWrite is an extension of the Stock Market Game that students participated in during Economics class over the course of twelve weeks each semester.     

Students invested a hypothetical $100,000 into the stock market to try and make the most money possible. After competing in the game, students had a chance to reflect on what they learned from the game and apply it to an essay prompt: taking what you learned from the stock market game, how would you invest 100,000 dollars to cause the most growth over the next 30 years?    

Ashlynn invested in Blue Chip stocks such as Amazon, Apple and Microsoft and then put money into a US Treasury Bond and then a mutual fund.     

“I would like to apply what I have learned by doing my own personal investing,” shared Ashlynn in her essay submission. “Investing this money would help me pay for things such as my books and on-campus living expenses at college next year. It will also help me to build healthy financial habits and prepare for my future.”   

Ashlynn will go on to represent Arizona in the national competition.   

InvestWrite is a program of the SIFMA Foundation offered exclusively to teachers and students participating in The Stock Market Game and builds a bridge between classroom learning and the real world.    

The SIFMA Foundation is dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of the financial markets for individuals of all backgrounds. Drawing on the support and expertise of the financial industry, the SIFMA Foundation provides financial education programs and tools that strengthen economic opportunity across communities and increase individuals’ awareness of and access to the benefits of the global marketplace.

06/29/2022 Direct Link

Students ready to start school

Welcome Back!

We can't wait to see everyone back for the first day of school on August 3! Make sure you mark your calendars for event and activity dates and keep an eye on our new website for important information as the start of school approaches. 

Our Open House will be on August 2 from 5:30-7:00pm. Freshman Orientation will be August 2 beginning at 7:15am. Please join us to see the campus, meet your child's teachers, and get information on what to expect this year.  

Still need to enroll? There's still time to get your children enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year! Parents and guardians can complete the necessary registration information online at at any time.  Please note that in order to finalize registration the following documents will be required: government issued photo identification; birth certificate; proof of residency; and immunization records. For additional assistance with student registration, families are welcome to contact our front office. 

Don't forget to make sure you have access to the Parent Portal to keep up with your child’s academic progress throughout the year! Sign up or access the site online at or via the Campus Parent app. 

06/29/2022 Direct Link

Mikela Cooper

Valley Vista’s Mikela Cooper Invited to Tryout for Greek National Team

Valley Vista High School alumna Mikela Cooper has been invited to attend tryouts for the Greek U18 National Basketball Team, beginning on July 4. Cooper graduated from Valley Vista High School last month, and played varsity for the school’s five-time state championship girls basketball team for the last four years. 

“Playing for the Greek National Team has been a childhood dream,” said Cooper. “I always wanted to represent Greece on a national level… I’m extremely honored and grateful to be considered and given an opportunity to try out for the U18 National Team.” 

 ooper has strong roots in Greece, and her family actually lived in Chalkida, Greece for a brief time to assist her grandfather who was experiencing health issues. While there, she played club basketball and met some coaches from the Greek Basketball Federation. Since returning to the U.S. in 2018, Mikela has kept in touch with them and they have provided her continued feedback and guidance on her development as a basketball player.   

Cooper played power forward and shooting guard for Valley Vista High School, which was recently named the 2022 Arizona Republic Girls Team of the Year. In 21-22 she was selected for the 6A All Conference 1st Team. In her senior year, she averaged 13.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game. In December 2021 Cooper committed to play women’s basketball at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

06/21/2022 Direct Link

Volunteer assisting in the classroom

Volunteer Opportunities

Dysart Schools have many opportunities for the community to assist schools in providing an amazing educational experience to each and every student. Volunteers help to enrich children’s learning opportunities, provide individual attention to children who need one-on-one assistance, promote a school-home-community partnership for quality education, provide staff members with more time to work with students, and assist staff members and support personnel with non-instructional tasks.

Where is Help Needed?

  • Classroom and teacher support 
  • One-on-one student assistance 
  • Event help (preparations, setup, operations, tear-down)  
  • Guest speakers (experts or retirees in various fields) 
  • Front office assistance

How to Become a Volunteer:

  1. Review the volunteer handbook and complete the volunteer application at 
  2. Make an appointment for your volunteer orientation 
  3. Coordinate your schedule through the school office 
  4. Put on your volunteer badge and have fun!

Who Should Apply to Volunteer?

Anyone who cares about children and education is a potential volunteer. Parents, grandparents and community members 18 years of age or older who want to make a difference in the lives of children and support educators are encouraged to apply to become a volunteer with Dysart Unified School District. Volunteers are welcome in all of our schools and prior teaching experience is not necessary.

Learn more or apply here.

06/02/2022 Direct Link

School lunch

School Breakfast and Lunch

Dysart Nutrition Services ensures that students at all schools have fresh, wholesome and nutritious breakfast and lunch options to support their education and focus in class. Learn more about Nutrition Services at Menus and nutritional information may be viewed at

Apply for Free and Reduced Meals

Beginning July 1, 2022 the USDA is returning to income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced meals. All families should complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Application at to help maintain school funding and make sure that qualified families receive this and other benefits. Only one application is required per family, and may be completed at

How to Add Meal Funds to an Account

Cash and checks are accepted for meal purchases, or families may utilize to prepay for meals online, view their balances, or place restrictions on purchases. Online payments take 24 hours to post to student accounts.  

Meal Prices 

  • Elementary Lunch $2.60, Reduced $.40, Adult $3.50  
  • Elementary Breakfast $1.25, Reduced $.30, Adult $1.75  High School Lunch $2.85, Reduced $.40, Adult $3.50  
  • High School Breakfast $1.25, Reduced $.30, Adult $1.75 

A la carte and snack items are available for purchase on each campus, and additional meals are available for an added charge. Parents are always welcome to dine with their child, but please be sure to call in advance and check-in at the school office. Adult meals may be purchased for $1.75 for breakfast or $3.50 for lunch. 

06/02/2022 Direct Link

teacher working with students in a classroom

Employment Opportunities in Dysart

Dysart is the largest employer in both the cities of Surprise and El Mirage with over 2,700 employees. Dysart Schools offer highly competitive salaries, full benefits and an inviting school-year calendar with holidays and weekends off for most positions. 

With a wide-variety of positions ranging from groundskeeper, to mechanic, to office staff, and teachers, we’re always looking for great people to join our Dysart team!

Current High Need Areas: 

  •  Bus Drivers and Aides
  •  Childcare and Preschool Aides
  •  Paraprofessionals
  •  Behavioral Technicians 
  •  Speech and Language Pathologists 
  •  Special Education Teachers 
  •  Math Teachers 
  •  Science Teachers 
  •  ASL Teachers 
  •  Health Services Assistants 
  •  Crossing Guards 
  •  Maintenance Workers and Plant Managers 
  •  Social Workers

Check out our current openings at and apply today!

06/02/2022 Direct Link

adult on laptop

Stay Informed on the Parent Portal

The Parent Portal is a great tool to stay informed 24/7 about your child’s academic progress. Grades, attendance, assignments and more are viewable in real time online or via the app, Campus Parent. A single login allows parents with multiple students to access information for all of their children in one place. Learn more at

Update Your Communication Preferences and Contact Info

To make sure that we can keep you informed in emergency situations, please ensure that your contact information is current in the Parent Portal. You are also able to adjust your communication preferences (phone, text, and/or email) at or on the Campus Parent app to ensure you are getting the various message types in the way that you would like. Remember that if you select more than one type of communication per category, you will receive the message multiple times via each of those avenues.

06/02/2022 Direct Link

Valley Vista High School students pose with their awards at a recent FBLA competition

CTE students earn honors at state and international competitions

It was a busy season for Career and Technical Education (CTE)  students throughout the district who competed at state and international level in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and SkillsUSA state conferences, and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference.

The FCCLA State Leadership Conference was held on March 28-30, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona.  The competition allows students to compete in over 30 different events, meet the current State Executive Council and State Officer Candidates, qualify for the National Leadership Conference in San Diego, and network with members across Arizona.  

Valley Vista High School students received the following recognitions: Olivia Black earned a gold medal and a perfect score in Chicken Fabrication, Megan Gatz and Sierra Painter both won silver in Culinary Arts, and Joselyn Villegas won bronze in Food Innovations.

FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life - planning, goal setting, problem solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication - all necessary within the home and workplace. FCCLA is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members.

The FBLA State Leadership conference was held on April 4-6 in Tucson, Arizona. The event gives students the opportunity to advance to the national conference, compete in a variety of competitions, participate in workshops, and run for state office for FBLA. 

Dysart High School students Jared Wilson, Ryan Maisano, Bryan Naiuli, Damien Cordero, and Devonte Reed placed in the top five for Parliamentary Procedures. Valley High School students Lilly Smith and Raven Cardosi placed second in 3D Animation.

FBLA inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.

Students from all four district high schools competed in the SkillsUSA State Competition hosted April 19-20, 2022 in Phoenix.  This event is the premier showcase for Arizona’s trade, technology and service high school and college students. This annual championship features over 75 skills and leadership competitions that determine who will represent Arizona at the national SkillsUSA Championships.  

Gage Fuentes from Dysart High School earned the Silver medal in Auto Tech Basic.  Several students from Shadow Ridge High School earned medals including Jordyn Jones who earned a gold medal in T-Shirt Design and a Silver medal in Advertising Design.  Alysa Horton received a gold medal for Stage Coach Interview Skills.  Zachary Hampton and  Joseph Holm earned second Place Web Development & Design.  Jacob Bacome and Brian Bucsi won gold in 3D Visualization, and Tyler Winter and Tyler Cain won a bronze medal in Additive Manufacturing.  Willow Canyon High School students Allison Kotzbauer, Eli Hernandez, and Morgan West won gold in Career Pathways Showcase: Arts and Communication and the club was named a gold Chapter of Excellence.

SkillsUSA is a Career and Technical Education partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development by building and reinforcing self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service (including health) occupations.

Students from Dysart High School, Shadow Ridge High School, and Willow Canyon High School competed in the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) on April 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The event allows students to compete with more than 10,000 DECA students from across the country.  Students participated in the Emerging Leaders Series in order to attain 21st Century Skills in the areas of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.  Students also network with hundreds of representatives in the college and career exhibits as they plan for their future.

Shadow Ridge High School student Jamie Springer was a top ten finalist in Project Management Community Awareness event, and Noah Axelson, Lily McDaniel, Kloey Garcia earned 6th place in the Virtual Business Restaurant. 

Irene Silva, Bethanie Lopez-Draeger and Servando Lopez from Dysart High School won a gold medal in the Small Business Enterprise Food Operations Competition.  Dysart High students Lorenzo Roman and Dawn Jones took fourth place in the Business Law and Ethics Competition. 

DECA is a premier student organization that supports the development of marketing and management skills in career areas such as hospitality, finance, sales and service, business administration, and entrepreneurship.  DECA is one of the many Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities offered to prepare students for the academic and vocational skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce. Learn more at

05/19/2022 Direct Link

Examples of student artwork.

Valley Vista students featured in art exhibit

Christie Zhang and Eliseo Miguel from Valley Vista High School were selected for their original works of art featured in the Shemer Arts Center New Horizons High School Student Art Exhibition. Students from 28 schools across the state were chosen to have their work on display and several received scholarships for their exceptional artistic work. 

Christie Zhang received the Linton-Barnhill Award and the Shemer Art Center and Museum Association Award for her piece titled, “Eyes of a Cat”. Christie was inspired by a variety of different animal’s eyes and she utilized colored pencils to capture the vibrancy of the cat.  Christie has been drawing and painting since she was little and is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement Art and Design class at Valley Vista High School.

Eliseo Miguel was honored with the Phoenix Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America Award and the Ted Decker Award for his emotive piece titled, “Claustrophobia!”.  Eliseo created the piece as part of a recent project in his Drawing 3-4 art class at Valley Vista High School where they were given the task to create an expressive or phobia-themed composition. He combined the two options and wanted to demonstrate the difficult times we are currently living in.

The students were selected for their excellent skills and artistic styles.  The virtual art show can be viewed via YouTube at Additionally, the exhibition is open Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. through February 18, 2021 located at the Shemer Art Center, 5005 East Camelback Road in Phoenix, Arizona 85018.

02/04/2021 Direct Link

Valley Vista Pom works on a routine.

VVHS Pom exceeds at UDA camp

The Valley Vista High School Pom Line recently attended the Universal Dance Association (UDA) Home Pom Camp on July 24-26. The UDA Home Camp provides teams with a one-on-one opportunity for developing new skills, working on techniques, and team building, all at their home campuses. Home Camp also offers a competitive aspect where individuals have the opportunity to be named All-American and qualify for nationals. 

The team has been working hard, despite the current circumstances, to overcome challenges and rise to the occasion in an effort to make this camp a possibility. As a result, the team received 45 Superior Ribbons for routine evaluations, and a Superior Trophy for their performance routine, which earned them a bid to UDA Nationals taking place in Florida next year. Additionally, several students received individual recognition including Brooke Coykendall being named a Drill Down Queen, and seniors Ashtyn Frye, Amanda Goroail, Gabriella Lugo, Madelyn Pritchard, Katelynn Novak, and Karen Lelo de Larrea Gonzalez being named UDA All-American. As an All-American, the athletes are invited to perform at special events across the country, and world. 

The Valley Vista Pom Line’s final performance at the camp was also the first Dysart live streamed performance as part of the new Dysart Student Broadcasting Live program. Dysart Student Broadcasting Live is a student run and produced broadcasting program where students work to livestream various events comprising Dysart’s “3 A’s” ...Academics, Arts, and Athletics. The program is open to 9-12 grade students at each of Dysart’s four high schools.

08/03/2020 Direct Link

Sara Lowry, Mackenzie Goodrich, and Vanezza Valdez pose for a photo in their football uniforms for Valley Vista High School.

VVHS students redefine football for women

It was a warm, late August evening in Surprise and the first game of the season for the Valley Vista Monsoon.  They were battling the Warriors from Westwood in the first game of the 2019 season. The Monsoon started out fast with a 24-6 lead at halftime.  They didn’t let up in the 3rd quarter, adding two touchdowns and safety to stretch their lead to 40-12. With under a minute left in the 3rd quarter, the Monsoon tacked on another rushing touchdown.  With a commanding 46-12 lead, the second string kicker was put into the game to attempt the extra point. That might not seem like much of an occasion on any other night, but for this game it was groundbreaking.  The kicker’s name was Sara Lowry. She jogged onto the field sporting the number 99 jersey her older brother wore when he was on the team.  

“When Coach Sekoch put me in, I was really excited,” Sara said.  “I didn’t feel like I was going to miss. It was nice and high, a little to the right.  Everyone went crazy.”

With that extra point kick, soccer star Sara Lowry became the first girl in Valley Vista Monsoon history to score a point on the varsity football team. 

“It’s pretty cool,” she said with a slight grin on her face.  “I feel accomplished doing it, but I didn’t do anything impossible.  It’s cool to be the first though.”

The story of how Sara made the varsity football team is one that is all too common in high school.  Head Varsity Coach Joshua Sekoch went to the soccer coach looking for a kicker. That position is hard to fill at the high school level.  The Monsoon’s previous kicker graduated, and they needed someone with a good leg.  

A picture of Valley Vista Football banners featuring the girls
Sara Lowry practices a field goal at Valley Vista High school football stadium

“Like two weeks later the soccer coach sent me a video of Sara kicking,” said Sekoch.  “She was kicking 30 yard field goals. He asked if that was ok, and I said absolutely, the best kicker will make the team.”

“I never thought I would play football,” Sara exclaimed.  “Like if you asked me, even a few months before it all happened, I would have said no way!"

After settling in and realizing that she could kick a football, Sara tried out and made the team.  That isn’t uncommon anymore though. She might be the first to score a point for the Monsoon, but she isn’t the first girl to score a point in the district.  As far as an analysis of records can show, that honor goes to Desiree Justus, another soccer player who participated as a kicker from 2011-2013 at Willow Canyon High School.  Desiree once kicked seven extra points in one game, and has 37 points through extra points throughout her career. 

Sara isn’t even the only girl on the Monsoon team this year.  In fact there are three girls. Vanezza Valdez is a kickoff specialist and Mackenzie Goodrich isa wide receiver.  All three girls also play soccer.

“A lot of people say I have a good foot because of soccer,” said Valdez.  “They said I should be a football kicker. And I was like, sure!”  

“We always dress multi-sport athletes,” said Head Coach Joshua Sekoch.  “We just never thought we’d have girls from the soccer team on the football team.”

All three girls are seniors, but it’s Mackenzie who has been playing since she was a freshman.  

“I started playing my 7th and 8th grade year in flag football,” she said.  “And when it came to high school my dad told me, no. So I kind of took it on as a challenge, like, yes I can.”    

Mackenzie came into the high school spring weightlifting session as an 8th grader.  The coaches knew immediately that she was serious about it. She showed up all summer and went through everything in preseason just like all the other freshman did.  

“I remember the freshman coach telling me, she’s going to make it,” said Sekoch.  “She’s going to be out there and doesn’t want to be treated any different. Mackenzie didn’t back down, she’s never quit.  She doesn’t hesitate at all. She’s earned her spot on the team.”

Mackenzie began by playing defensive line.  During a big game against Willow Canyon High School that year, she started the game and forced two back-to-back fumble recoveries.  She converted to a wide receiver this year and caught a first down pass. While each of the girls are second or third string players, Sekoch takes offense with anyone who says they didn’t earn their spots on the team.

“They are three really good athletes,” said Sekoch.  “They’re not just here to be on the team. They are some of the top soccer girls in our school.  It’s different than someone just wanting to be part of it. They can do everything. They aren’t out of place.  The coaches say it all the time, those girls are athletic.” 

That mentality has permeated down to the male players, who all three girls say don’t treat them any different because of their gender.

“It’s not weird,” said Sara.  “It’s not like the boys treat us any different.  We’re the dudes now.”  

“When the guys see them come out and work and grind every day just like they do and commit to being here, then you’re accepted,” said Sekoch.

Despite wanting to be treated and looked at the same as the boys, all three girls realize that they’re a role model to younger girls, who even come up asking to take pictures with them.

“I’ve been told no for the last 6 years, and here I am,” said Mackenzie.

Lowry agrees.  

“I don’t think anyone should let their gender hold them back from doing what they want to do,” said Sara.  “It doesn’t really matter what other people are going to tell you, you know what you can do, so just do it.”  

11/15/2019 Direct Link

Valley Vista High School dance teacher, Amy Crow works with students

VVHS dance teacher selected for national assessment

Valley Vista High School dance teacher, Amy Crow has recently been selected by the Arizona Department of Education to participate in the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards Model Cornerstone Assessment. The state of Arizona is one of only three states selected to participate in this program. 

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is a national coalition seeking to develop new model cornerstone assessments in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. Ms. Crow will have the opportunity to work on and cultivate new arts standards for high school dance education, and contribute to the growth of arts education in the United States. In addition to developing a new model cornerstone assessment, Ms. Crow will be required to meet regularly with a cohort specific to dance education, and will be responsible for leading students in the assessment, as well as reflecting and reporting on the outcomes and student progress. 

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is a partnership of organizations and states leading the development of new core arts standards in the United States. The standards developed demonstrate what students should know and be able to do as a result of a quality curricular arts education program. 

09/12/2019 Direct Link

Valley Vista Cheer and Pom line poses for a photograph.

Valley Vista student earns dance mentorship

Ashtyn Frye, Valley Vista High School Pom Line and Dance Company member was selected to participate in the guiDANCE mentorship program. The guiDANCE opportunity is an inspiring mentorship program created and directed by Mary Anne Fernandez Herding, which connects young artists with working dance professionals.

The guiDANCE mentorship program offers a unique opportunity for dance students in their junior or senior year, that are considering a career in dance to connect with a dance mentor. Ashtyn will be able to ask questions one-on-one with a professional dancer, experience a master class, attend a performance, and build a relationship with the dance community. “We are excited to propel her love of dance into the future where she can begin to think about a career or college experience in dance,” said Amy Crow, Valley Vista Dance Teacher.

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

For the 2019-2020 season, Ashtyn’s mentor will be Jessica Starr, creative director of MusEFFECT, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising social awareness through performance art.  Valley Vista High School participates in the National Dance Education Organization and the state affiliate, Arizona Dance Education Organization(AzDEO). AzDEO partners with Movement Source Dance Company to bring the mentorship program to high school students.

Photo: Ashtyn Frye, Top Left.

08/22/2019 Direct Link