Tag Archives: Fountain Hills School District

FHUSD Superintendent Patrick Sweeney Delivers “Super” Update for the 2016-17 School Year

school band

As the Staff and Faculty at Fountain Hills Unified School District nurture and coach our students, their hard work and inspirational guidance continues to reap outstanding rewards. The 2015-16 school year was replete with well-deserved recognition:

  • Fountain Hills High School was ranked 14th out of 527 Arizona schools by US News and World Report (Top 4 %)
  • The Class of 2016 (142 students) earned $3.2 Million in Scholarships
  • 88% of the Class of 2016 are enrolled in College for 2016-17
  • Girls Soccer and Girls Track won the 3-A State Championship
  • Band and Choir at Disney’s Music in the Parks Competition: First Place-Concert Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Choir, Outstanding Soloist; Fourth Place-Mixed Choir; Judge’s Award-Outstanding Concert Band out of ALL DIVISIONS COMBINED (Note:  Competed against schools with enrollments between 1500 and 4000).

NHSBecause Arizona voters approved Proposition 123, all 18 teaching vacancies have been filled (with first choice candidates!), and teacher salaries have been increased. In addition to insuring that the district will continue to attract and retain quality instructors, the local approval of the bond and capital override puts the FHUSD in a strong financial position to maintain and improve its facilities.

And though summer may be “vacation time” for many, the curriculum specialists at FHUSD have been working to revise and update academic standards in Math, English, Science and Social Studies, and to update instructional priorities and measurements.  The main goal of these improvements is to ensure continued excellence in student performance and over-all school evaluations. Fountain Hills Unified School District’s motto, “We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence,” is guiding the development of broader application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) applied knowledge exercises throughout the curriculum. In addition, two significant new AP (Advanced Placement) classes centered on technology and research are in the works for the 2017-18 school year.


Girls SoccerAll of these achievements notwithstanding, FHUSD is most proud of fostering an emotionally supportive school environment, small class size and individualized approach to learning that nurtures a high-achieving, well-rounded student population.  So take a look with pride at our beautiful campuses as you drive by, listen to the band as they practice their award-winning music, and call a neighbor or two to join you at the opening football game to be played at Northern Arizona University (NAU) on Saturday, August 27, at 5 p.m.

Go Falcons!

Fountain Hills Schools…Excelling Kids to a Strong Future

For the second year, Fountain Hills High School students set a Guiness World Record in Potato Launching. Here, Freshman Garrett Sweetland prepared for his record launch of 17 from his homemade launcher.

For the second year, Fountain Hills High School students set a Guiness World Record in Potato Launching. Here, Freshman Garrett Sweetland prepared for his new world-record launch of 17 from his homemade launcher.

Potato Launching World Records.  The Invention Convention.  A “Model City” Civics Experiment for 5th Graders that would make any college professor proud.  It’s the end of the school year, and kids in the Fountain Hills School District are eager to display this year’s academic achievements before they move on.  Whether it’s high school graduation or  a gradeschool Science Fair, the Fountain Hills School District gave us PLENTY of reasons to be impressed (okay, awed might be more the term in a couple instances) and to believe that our future just might be in good hands with these kids.

If there was a TV show called “Extreme Creativity,” the Fountain Hills teachers and school administration could fill an entire season.  In our family, we were privileged to be involved in several great examples of how educators are combining clever, real life scenarios to challenge these future leaders beyond science, math and social studies.

Nick Laessig and Grace Loisi, 8th Inventors of the "Remote Guard"

Nick, an 8th Grader, spent the past six weeks struggling to invent a marketable item.  As the project unfurled, he was tasked to overcome the challenges of design, production, supply chain and marketing.  At the 8th Grade “Invention Convention”  the last week of school, everyone in the class then had to sell their product to visitors (buyers) who each magically arrived with $1,000 (fake) dollars to spend.  I will tell you it was not easy deciding which of the 100+ inventions to choose from…they were all well-thought, cleverly marketed and aggressively “hawked” by kids who were experiencing for the first time the realities of hope, optimisim, preparation, success and customer rejection in a heavy dose of adult-like reality.  But, most important–it was fun and they learned volumes.

5th Graders Preparing for C4 Day

Fifth Grader Katie had the chance to participate in a model city experiment called C4 (Community, Citizenship and Careers in the Classrooms).  This project is not unlike the Junior Achievement “BizTown” that Fountain Hills 5th Graders have often participated in the past.  However, due to budget cutbacks and the huge cost of bussing students to BizTown in Phoenix, the Fountain Hills district came up with it’s own version. (This allowed the students to participate in the preparation during the preceding weeks.  In comparison to Nick’s experience several years ago, I noticed Katie was more geared up and excited about the learning opportunity…so the district saved money and made the event even more meaningful!!)  Students were writing checks. Others were researching currency. Still more were taking inventory in a makeshift warehouse while a guard asked any visitor to “Please sign in.” Students managed transactions, determining what jobs needed to be created, and then hiring individuals to do the work.

I suspect that hosting C4 Day was loads of extra work for already taxed teachers, but my hat goes off to them for creating such a vital and meaningful experience for our kids.  It’s just one of many examples I witnessed recently that help to understand why the Fountain Hills School District is consistently an “Excelling” School District.

And the proof is in the pudding……Fountain Hills High School Senior Awards Night occurred on May 11th.  A whopping $2.5 million in earned college scholarships for 170+ graduates was awarded, including 33 local scholarships for almost $50,000…our students have once again proven how hardworking and deserving they are.  Congratulations to the class of 2011 and their parents!

Select photos and text courtesy of The Fountain Hills Times.

Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker of Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate

Posted by Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker, Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate.  For more information about buying or selling homes in Fountain Hills, Scottsdale Mountain and the area around the McDowell Mountains, give her a call at 602-558-5901