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Where Good Kids Can Be Famous Too!

December 2017


Benefits of Swim Lessons


Things To Do





Student Interviews





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where good kids can be famous too!



PRODUCTION & DESIGN Shannon Carrillo

In the Zona Magazine is a publication of SIRTON PUBLISHING, LLC. The opinions within the articles are those of the authors and not of the magazine. For submissions, ideas, comments or to recommend someone to appear in In the Zona Magazine, please email: SIRTON PUBLICATIONS, LLC In the Zona Magazine Copyright ©2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, of any text, photograph or illustration is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. See our website for a list of schools and businesses that distribute In the Zona Magazine. In the Zona Magazine 4406 E. Main, Suite 48-102 • Mesa, AZ 85205

HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN NORTH POLE EXPERIENCE When: Through December 28, see website for full schedule. Where: Little America, 2515 East Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 Cost: $33-65 Details: A family-focused holiday attraction that takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes adventure at Santa’s Workshop. Children and their parents build toys with Santa and the elves, meet Santa and read stories and craft with Mrs. Claus. For more infor and for tickets visit www.northpoleexperience. com or call 480-779-9679.

POLAR EXPRESS When: Through January 6, 2018, see website for full schedule. Where: Grand Canyon Railway, 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams, AZ 86046 Cost: $18-37 Details: During a one-hour train journey, guests enjoy treats and a reading of the classic Christmas story on the way to the North Pole, Santa boards the train at the North Pole and presents young passengers with bells representing the spirit of Christmas. Sing carols on the return ride. For more information and for tickets visit or call 800-843-8724.

39TH ANNUAL LAS NOCHES DE LAS LUMINARIAS When: Through December 30; 5:30-9:30 pm. See website for full schedule. Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 Cost: Adults: $30; Children (3-12): $12.50; children under 3 free. Details: Join us and be part of this Southwest holiday tradition, Las Noches de las Luminarias! This year, the Garden will be aglow for 21 magical evenings as guests experience the beauty of more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and unexpected views of familiar spaces. As you walk the Garden paths, you will be welcomed by the sights and sounds of nine entertainment ensembles, including the return of Simply Three. Enjoy dinner at the Garden with family and friends, and stroll each path with a warm cup of cider or cocoa. The Southwest elegance and beauty of the Garden at night will remind you of what the season is all about. Make plans to attend this year’s very special Las Noches de las Luminarias. For more information and tickets visit www. or call 480-481-8188.

ILLUMINATION When: Through January 7, 2018, Nightly 6-10:30 pm weekdays. 6-11:30 pm weekends Where: 7701 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85085 Cost: $29.50-34.50 Details: Illumination is Arizona’s largest holiday drive-thru light show. This 1-mile driving attraction features millions of lights synchronized to holiday music. Also, visit The Holiday Boulevard, a park, play and eating area that culminates the experience. For more information call 602-567-3618 or visit

ZOOLIGHTS PRESENTED BY SRP When: Through January 14, 2018, 5:30-10:30 p.m. nightly Where: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, AZ 85008 Cost: $10.95-$19.95 Details: ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a three-story lighted tree, hundreds of glimmering light displays, lakeside Music-in-Motion shows and more! Other attractions are: Stingray Bay*, Carousel and Camel Rides*, Dinosaurs in the Desert*, Photos with Santa Claus, Snowfall Nightly at 7 p.m., Festive Food & Drinks*. (*Additional fee applies.) Animal viewing is limited during ZooLights. For more information call 602914-4333 or visit

December 2017 / 3

Where Good Kids Can Be Famous Too!


ETHAN Talks Soccer and School

Well-Rounded Eighth Grader, OLIVIA, Talks Piano and Music


Q. You were on the Bobcats’ soccer team this year. How did you get involved? A. I started in second grade with Mighty Cats and I’ve played every year up to now. I also want to play next year. Last year, we won the championship and we won again this year.


Q. You’re a great student. What is your favorite subject? A. My favorite subject is science because I like learning about how creative God is. The world seems simple, but the more you learn about, you realize it’s not that simple.

Q. With soccer and school, how do you balance it all? A. I’m also involved in other sports outside of school, so when I get home, I make sure to do my homework right away. Q. Tell me your favorite thing about Bethany Christian School. A. My favorite thing about this school are the teachers because they care about us a lot and they are all so nice. Q. What else would you tell other students about your school? A. I would tell them it’s a great place to learn and it gives you a lot of opportunities to get a good education, and a Christian education. Ethan Tovar is a seventh grader at Bethany Christian School.


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Horizon Honors High School Senior Talks About Her Passion for Volleyball Q. Volleyball is a big part of your life. Your high school team just competed in the state tournament. You also play on a club team. Talk about the importance of volleyball to you! A. Volleyball has been important to me since age eight. I knew I wanted to play Division 1 volleyball since I was really young, and I have always thrived in a competitive environment, so that is why I have stuck with the sport for so long. The years of club and high school volleyball have led me to my dream college, and I am grateful for the experience.


Q. You just committed to play Volleyball at Houston Baptist University. What are your plans and hopes for college? A. My plans for college are to major in sports kinesiology - health and wellness. I hope to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and work as a personal trainer and a dietitian. I am also planning to set some records in the Southland Conference once I get to Houston Baptist and hopefully make a big impact on the team coming on as a Freshman DS/Libero. Q. What do you like to do for fun besides Volleyball? A. Besides volleyball, I really enjoy working out. Being active is and always will be a big part of my life. I also really like to hang out with my friends and family when I have the time. It is important to make time for the people you love! Q. What advice would you give to freshmen, who still have three years left of high school? A. To the Freshmen, I would say to just remain focused in high school. Set a few big goals, and spend high school trying to reach them. Anything is achievable. Horizon Honors gives a great platform to all students striving to achieve both academically and athletically. Cici Collins is a senior at Horizon Honors High School.

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livia is an artist and musician. She loves her weekly private art lessons and Suzuki method classical piano lessons, and is also a member of the School of Rock Gilbert Performance Group, where she sings lead and back-up vocals and plays keys. She has been an avid reader since preschool and fell in love with Roald Dahl in 1st Grade. (Matilda is one of her all time favorite books!) She also loves to transcribe her favorite video game music on the piano.


Olivia is a member of the Willis STEAM Academy, National Junior Honor Society and Fellowship of the Reader. She works very hard to earn good grades. Her favorite subjects are social studies, language arts and art. She is a graduate of Knox Gifted Academy and has been a CATS kids since kindergarten. Olivia is also twiceexceptional, she is gifted and ADHD. Sometimes it can be difficult for Olivia to stay on task, but she is aware and works hard to self advocate and, most of all, to never give up. In the gifted program, she has learned grit, that failure, (design and redesign) is part of the growth process and that patience and kindness goes a long way. Olivia also loves Japanese culture and loved visiting her Japanese family in Japan a few years ago. She is proud of her Arizona and Japanese heritage. Q. How long have you taken piano lessons? Can you tell us about the Suzuki method? A. I think I was about eight when I started the Suzuki method, and I was about five when I started in the first place. From what I can tell, the Suzuki method is much more heavily focused on good body posture from the way you sit all the way to the sliding of your fingers on the keys. When I play piano in front of others for the first time, they tend to say that I have a very nice way of playing, which I can assume is all thanks to the Suzuki method. Olivia Gibbons is an eighth grader at Willis Junior High.


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AUSTIN Shares His Experience in Costa Rica


ustin Best knew he wanted to volunteer abroad, especially with an environmentally-minded group. Recently, he spent two weeks in Costa Rica with Sea Turtle Camp where volunteer work for turtle conservation positively affects sea turtle quality of life. He took academic opportunities, like the IB Programmer’s Extended Essay, to communicate about his work and its effects.


Q. What inspired your passion for animal conservation? A. My passion for animal conservation actually goes back much further to my early childhood. If I had to guess the source I would say it was probably my grandmother. She and I always shared a love of animals, and she would constantly keep me aware of conservational issues.

Q. What was the outcome/purpose of your conservation work in Costa Rica? A. The goal of the program in Costa Rica was to get young people involved in the conservation of sea turtles. Volunteer work for turtle conservation has proved affective because the endangerment of the sea turtle is very much a result of human activities on beaches. So the project included community outreach and education about the turtles, beach clean ups, nest surveys and guarding a local egg hatchery from poachers. The result of these volunteer projects has been positive; recently, the conservation status of the leather back sea turtle has moved up from endangered, to vulnerable. There is still a lot of work to do, but this is a great start. Q. How has your academic experience at Rancho Solano affected your passion for environmentalism? A. I utilize every opportunity—such as my extended essay—to communicate environmental issues to those around me. I challenge myself as much as I can academically in the hopes of building a foundation for a successful university experience which I can then use to advocate on a larger scale and spend my life working with the conservation of our environment. Austin is a senior at Rancho Solano Preparatory School.


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Where Good Kids Can Be Famous Too!

STUDENT INTERVIEWS Second Grader, SATORI, Cares For Everyone

Senior at West-MEC, JUSTIN, Talks The Welding Program



ustin Dandurand is a senior in West-MEC’s Welding Program at Central Campus in Glendale. Although he has a love of reading and education, Justin loves to be outdoors. In the future he hopes to purchase a home with property, which not only give him the space needed for his welding career, but also allow him to spend time doing some of the things he loves, like target practice and 4-wheeling. While Justin is quite self-motivated, West-MEC has given him a jump-start on his future!

Q. How did the opportunity at WEST-MEC come about? A. The way we found out about West-MEC was through open house that was made known through my high school. My parents thought we should go check it out and I am glad we did. I was interested in a few different classes; welding and the diesel repair. I applied for both and choose welding. My grandpa was a welder and I wanted to follow in his shoes. West-MEC is an excellent opportunity, to be able to have a career at the same time you graduate from high school is great. I also liked that I was able to achieve this career without all the student loans that usually go along with getting a trade after high school.


Q. Can you tell me about the welding program? A. In my welding program now, the class is currently working on wire fed welding. We have learned everything about arc welding and all the processes of cutting metal, such as plasma arc cutting and oxy fuel cutting. Plasma arc cutting is one of the most efficient and quickest ways to cut metal. We used plasma arc cutting to cut any material up to 3/8 inch thick. Oxy fuel cutting is a more industrial cutting process that uses oxygen and acetylene to cut metals with extreme thickness. We would use oxy fuel cutting to cut any of our work pieces so we can either start another weld or it could be used for backing bars off our v-groove which we can then bend test them and receive a certification for that position and process. Justin Dandurand is a senior at West-MEC.


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TY is a Leader on the Court and Field


Q. How did you learn to make headbands and bows? Do you make them for anyone else? A. I learned from my mom, I saw her do it and I tried it myself. I have made headbands and bows for my dolls.

Q. Do you have a favorite book? A. I like books about the Earth and Junie B. Jones because I like when she acts silly. Q. What makes science your favorite school subject? A. Science is my favorite because I like to learn about rocks. Q. What kinds of rocks do you collect? A. I like to collect shiny rocks and crystals. Q. What do you like to write about? A. I like to write stories that I made up. I write mermaid and princess stories, Minecraft stories, and stories about helping dogs. Satori Tilghman is a second grader at Discover U.

T Ty

Q. What draws your interest to the teaching field? A. I didn’t initially feel drawn to the teaching field, however, a few factors pointed in its direction. First of all, I realized that I love interactions. Whether it was working at a summer camp or seeing patients at a hospital with my grandfather, I always enjoyed the interactions with people. I seemed especially drawn to the young kids, and in return, they seemed drawn to me. My father’s presence in the field of education has helped me realize that it really suits me, and I would love to be a powerful role model to children which I feel this country needs at the moment. Ty Rodin is a junior at Phoenix Country Day School.


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Starshine Academy Class Leader and Honor Roll Student, ANGEL


y is a junior at Phoenix Country Day School (PCDS), and the varsity soccer team’s goalie. He is a stalwart leader on campus, plays both soccer and basketball, and is a tremendous student. Maintaining a 3.8 GPA, he excels in his studies and has developed a passion for teaching. He hopes to move on to a college that will enable him to pursue his teaching interests, allowing him to make a positive impact within the education system.

Q. As the leader of your soccer and basketball teams, what is the most vital quality to have in order for your team to be successful? A. I think the most vital quality for a winning team to have is the ability to overcome adversity. No team is going to go through the season having everything go their way, and it is essential that difficult times make the team stronger. As my soccer coach says, ‘when you hit rough waters, you just have to row the boat.’ For example, before the state finals, our team bus didn’t show up. Our team had to scatter and jump into multiple cars in order to arrive at the field. Rather than letting this negatively affect our play in maybe the most important game of our high school careers, our team rebounded and stepped on the field in top shape.

atori Tilghman has a big heart, she cares for everyone, and is always there to help those in need. She is a one of a kind kid who enjoys making her own fashion accessories, including headbands and bows. She loves the earth and animals. She will save little beetles that make their way into her house, bringing them back outside to their families. Academically Satori is very interested in science, especially learning about and collecting rocks.


ngel was born in Rocky Point, Mexico. She loves playing soccer and spending time with her family. She enjoys school and learning anything and everything about science. In her free time she likes to read, hang out with her three dogs, and be active. In school, she earns Honor Roll and was Student of the Quarter for first quarter. Currently, she is the Class Leader for the sixth to eighth grade students and is a Supervisor for the school’s Student Store. She is hoping to try out for the school’s soccer team when the season starts.

Q. What are your duties as class leader? A. I am the classroom manager. It is my job to ensure that students are completing duty assignments, that classroom is ready for the next day, provide peer tutoring when needed, and lead class discussions. Q. How long has your family lived in Arizona? A. I have lived in Arizona for three years. Q. Will this soccer season be your first time playing on a school team? A. This year will not be the first time playing for a school team. I played the past two years in my other school and three years when I lived in Mexico. Q. What is your favorite book? Author? A. My favorite book is The Selection, by Kiera Cass. Q. What do you love most about science? A. I like conducting experiments, discovering new information, and testing hypothesis. Angel Cardenas Celaya is a seventh grader at Starshine Academy.


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December 2017 / 5

Where Good Kids Can Be Famous Too!


Freedom Academy Fifth Grader Talks About His Love of Hockey and All Things Finnish

Brightmont is Somewhere You Want to Be


ooa started ice skating when he was about six years old. He wanted to try out playing as a goalie and played in the house league at Scottsdale Ice Den. Last year he was introduced to the travel team AHU Knights at Gila River Arena where he subbed as a goalie. This year he wanted to continue travel hockey and was chosen to be one of the two goalies for Junior Coyotes in Chandler. Nooa is a member of CCV and he volunteers in after service cleaning up. Nooa loves his big sister, Emma, and rescue terrier puppy, Lumi.

Q. What is the best part about playing ice hockey? A. Ice Hockey is a fun sport and I love playing the game with my teammates. My four coaches are the best and make it a lot of fun. It is a lot of exercise when we have to powerskate and jump at practices. Being a goalie is a lot of fun because you have to try to stop the flying pucks.


Q. Since Finnish isn’t a common language in Phoenix, how do you keep your language skills strong? Do you speak Finnish at home? A. I speak Finnish with my mom and watch Finnish TV channels online. I also have a lot of books my mom reads to me that she has brought from Finland. I get a Donald Duck cartoon magazine that my grandparents sent me from Finland it is in Finnish and I can read it by myself. Q. What do you look forward to the most about your annual trip to Finland? A. All the family, my grandparents, great grandmas, uncles, aunts and cousins. We eat a lot of ice cream there during the summer. We bicycle a lot, go to the beach, cook and bake with grandma and aunts, walk around in the forest and carve with knife, fish and boat, cook sausage on the fire. Going to a sauna and sitting in there in the steam is something different Finnish people do when they wash up. American friends think it is funny that the whole family goes there at once. Seeing the reindeer running around in the forest is wild. There are a lot of squirrels, too! Nooa Riecks is a fifth grader at Freedom Academy.


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Meet Seventh Grader Athlete TZEITEL

W Michael

Michael set several goals when he started at Brightmont. His first was to catch up academically. Even though he was halfway through his sophomore year, he only had the credits of a freshman. Rather than fulfilling the minimum requirements to be promoted to the next level, Michael re-positioned himself to get back on pace by fully grasping the subject matter. Secondly, he wanted to get better grades. His GPA when entering Brightmont was under a 2.0, but he believed he could do better. His grades were below a C level, so he made it his initial goal to earn above a C. Once he accomplished that, he strived for B’s, and finally aimed for A’s. In an environment conducive to excelling, Michael soon found that if he put in the hard work, he would reap the rewards. Michael immediately appreciated the fact that there were no distractions in class. Under his own volition, he became focused in order to accomplish his goals. Michael even became more driven because of the one student to one teacher ratio. “I felt that the teachers genuinely cared about me and how I did in class,” he said. At Brightmont, Michael found consistency. “The teachers kept on you, and did not allow you to fall through the cracks,” he said. He was held accountable for all of his actions and that gave him a desire to want to do more. Michael went beyond achieving his goals — he graduated early with a GPA well over 3.0. “Brightmont changed my life. I never thought I would be here — graduating early,” Michael said excitedly.


Tzeitel Sherrin is a seventh grader at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.


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Meet JMPS Vice President and Star Athlete, MIRANDA


zeitel Sherrin is a seventh grade student at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral School. She loves to play sports and is also very committed to her studies. Tzeitel plays all the sports at school (except for softball) and also participates in the school plays held each spring. Recently, Tzeitel placed 6th in her age group at the CYAA cross country meet, beating out nearly 60 other runners! Besides sports, theater, and running, Tzeitel enjoys hanging out with her large family. She has 21 siblings! Tzeitel’s favorite part about being in a large family is that she’s never bored and she always has someone to play with. When she grows up, Tzeitel wants to be an FBI profiler and an attorney!

hat is school like for a child who struggles? What happens to a student who gets in trouble often? Where is a student to go when traditional academic solutions prove to be a poor fit? This was the very situation facing Michael when he was a high school sophomore. Michael was struggling and frustrated with the lack of help he was receiving at his public high school. He began to act out in class and trouble followed. His GPA dropped so low he became ineligible to participate on the wrestling team. Michael tried tutors and outside academic learning centers, but they didn’t work. He was running out of options. His parents looked at homeschooling and military school, but then heard about a revolutionary private school that was having resounding success with children needing more. It was Brightmont Academy.

M Miranda

iranda Barrios is a star student and athlete at James Madison Preparatory School, where she led her volleyball team through an undefeated season all the way to their state title appearance! In addition to volleyball, Miranda also plays basketball and soccer. As the student body Vice-President, Miranda is a leader on campus. She loves math, keeps her grades high and just finished her senior project on Title IX. The youngest of four children, Miranda is very family oriented. Although her schedule stays full with her athletics and studies, she maintains a part-time job.

Q. What are your duties as the student body VP? A. At James Madison we have three branches of government. I am the president of the Senate, and a lead part in the Executive Branch. We have a group of about ten people in the Executive Branch. As a group, we plan school events and activities such as: dances, ice cream socials and running assemblies. We also do fundraisers like: can food drive and stocking drive. As VP I am a mentor and leader. I do my best to make sure I am in touch with the student body. Q. Can you tell us about your senior project? What drove you to choose your topic? A. At JMPS each senior is required to present a speech in front of the whole school. I was nervous at the beginning, but when I became clear on my topic and did more research, I became more and more passionate and empowered with the new information and was excited to share the information with peers. The topic was Title IV, which provided equal rights and equal opportunity to men and women. Q. Where do you work? Is it difficult to balance a job with school? A. I have worked at Joes Italian ice for about a year and half. I worked at Joe’s all throughout my Junior year, which is the hardest year academically and it was difficult. I wanted to work throughout my senior year, but I could not manage schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, applying for colleges and work. Fortunately, my work is supportive and has provided a flexible schedule. Miranda Barrios is a senior at James Madison Preparatory School.


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Where Good Kids Can Be Famous Too! ELI Chosen as Keystone President Through Boys and Girls Club Peers


li has been a member of the Harry and Sandy Rosenzweig Branch for nine years. Eli serves as this year’s Keystone President and was just named the Keystoner of the Year at the State Conference. Eli shared that the Boys & Girls Club has been one of his biggest support systems in his life. Eli went on to say, “it doesn’t matter what I’m going through, what kind of help I need, I have always been able to go to the Boys & Girls Club for help.

Q. You were chosen by your peers to lead as this year’s Keystone President. How do you feel about that? What does that entail? A. I am so thankful for the trust the are instilling in me and am honored by the responsibility. Being Keystone President is a lot of work. I want my team to be successful and it is up to me to lead that charge. I develop community service projects, recruit new members and help my Club out in areas the need me.


Q. How long have you been going to the Rosenzweig Branch? A. I have been attending for nine years. The Club is basically my second home.


PCDS Senior Loves all Things Swimming and Competing


arrison has a long history with Hubbard Family swim school beginning at six months old when he learned the basics of floating & breathing. Years of lessons followed and his love of the water naturally landed him on their summer recreational team. Fast forward to senior year of high school and he is captain of his team at Phoenix Country Day School. They are 2016 Division III State Champions and 2017 State Runner-Ups. Individually, Harrison has won numerous medals and his relay team has broken school & state records. For the past two summers, he has been passing on his love of swimming to campers at Hubbard Sports Camp. He teaches everything from basic breathing to stroke technique, all the while stressing water safety and fun. When he’s not in the pool Harrison is on stage acting and singing in his school’s musicals, he plays piano and volunteers at Arizona Animal Welfare league. He is also a member of Phoenix Swim Club!


Q. What activities or programs are you a part of at the Club? A. I am currently in Keystone, serving as the Keystone President. I also have gone through the Passport to Manhood and Money Matters programs. I also really enjoy playing sports for the Club. Football and basketball are my favorites.

Q. What does it take to be a captain of such a successful team? A. Through my participation in multiple sports I have had many great coaches and one trait that all of them shared was their energy. Every great captain I have seen has always brought energy to the situation and gotten the team ready to go for the game or meet, so that was something I really tried to do before every meet when we screamed our team cheer. The other thing I believe is vital to a team’s success is a sense of community and cohesion, so I really worked with my cocaptains to join the team together whether on the pool deck or at team dinners.

Q. How has the Club helped you in other aspects of your life - school, at home, sports? A. The Club has played a big role in my academic success. The Powerhour program has provided me with tutors to help me get specialized assistance on my homework. Community service through the Keystone program has taught me the importance of giving back as well as helps with college scholarships. The Rosenzweig Branch has also made me believe I can go to college by familiarizing me with the college process.

Q. Can you tell us about Phoenix Swim Club? A. Phoenix Swim Club is a competitive swim team that has programs for all ages and abilities. Its athletes consistently perform exceptionally well at competitions of all levels, from state and sectional meets, to junior nationals, the Olympic Trials, and even the Olympics. It has also been recognized by USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program for its commitment in performance excellence, earning bronze, silver, and gold medals since joining the program in 2009.

Eli Fuentes is a junior and attends Central High School.


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JGS Connect

Harrison Rooney is a senior at Phoenix Country Day School.

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First Grader DAVONTAY Talks About His Love of Pets



ast fall, The Jones-Gordon School saw the inception of their specialized college and career readiness program, JGS Connect. This year, its 11th- and 12th- grade members have diverse post-secondary interests, ranging from Statistics to Classics and everything in between. They spend an hour and a half each week exploring college and career interests and learning exactly what it will take to succeed in the next stage of life.


avontay loves playing sports, especially baseball! He currently plays on the Desert Dogs and is practicing to join Cactus Horizon Little League in the spring. Davontay is a great student and math is his favorite subject. When he grows up, Davontay wants to be a veterinarian, doctor, MLB baseball player, or astronaut. He recently became a vegetarian because of his love of animals. At home Davontay enjoys editing videos with his dad for their family YouTube channel and spending time with his baby sister, Julianna.

Q. Do you have any pets? A. We had two turtles, but let them go in a bigger pond so they could have a better home instead of a little cage.

Q. What does a typical day in JGS Connect look like? Tristin: You walk in to smiles. You walk in knowing you’re in a safe environment where everyone loves seeing your face and you’re in a good place to learn.

Q. What position do you play in baseball? A. My favorite position is short stop.

Chase: We learn some valuable things in JGS Connect. It’s preparing us for college by teaching us all of the intricacies of the admissions process and helping us figure out what we want to study. Q. What have you learned in JGS Connect so far? Cameron: Recently, we’ve been learning about choosing a career and a major and figuring out what we can do with it depending on what paths we take. Chase: We’re being taught how to do research into specific degrees we’re interested in and what careers correspond to those degrees, which has been very beneficial. finish this story



Q. What other sports do you enjoy? A. I like all sports, but baseball and basketball are my “most” favorite. Q. How long have you been a vegetarian? A. I loved animals my whole life, but I just became a vegetarian this year! Q. What do you love most about your baby sister? A. I love that I get to teach her the things I learn and because I always have a friend to play with! Davontay R. Ellis-Germain is a first grader at Christ Church School.


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December 2017 / 7

Dates to remember: Online application for 2018-2019---Class of 2022 Available Online NOW at

Entrance Exam for incoming 9th Graders

Sat, Jan 20, 2018 or Sat, Jan 27, 2018 Financial Aid Workshops for interested parents on testing days.

Discover your talents. Discover your future. Discover you. 4710 N. 5th St. | Phoenix, AZ 85012 | | 602-277-3772

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Apostle, as well as a ridget is a top student at St. Thomas the school she plays softball, nationally recruited softball player. At to playing club softball. volleyball and basketball, in addition l visits to colleges this fall and Bridget has been invited to six unofficia college softball. She serves as has received offers to play Division 1 Society, is a friend to all and secretary in the National Junior Honor is a driven and competitive get Brid is known for her sense of humor. r to her teammates and friends. athlete, but is the biggest cheerleade


in school athletics? Q. How long have you been involved ball, basketball, and volleyball A. I have been involved in school soft softball since second grade. since fifth grade and have played club ball? Q. What position do you play in soft base, but I also catch and third is A. In softball, my primary position play other positions. ies with athletics? Q. Is it difficult to balance your stud difficult because I have A. Sometimes. This fall has been a little lly study in the car and on the only had one weekend in town. I usua airplane. ing softball, what do you like Q. When you’re not at school or play to do for fun? , but when I do, I like A. Right now I don’t have much free time to bake and hang out with my friends. with multiple offers? Q. How will you decide on a college venture far? Do you plan to stay close to home or and foremost, A. I am looking at a lot of factors. First program. I have to ball academics. Then, I look at their soft me. for fit t make sure the school is the righ study? Q. Do you have thoughts on a field of edical biom ut abo king thin am I , A. As of right now engineering. y responsibilities Q. Can you tell me about your secretar ? iety Soc with the National Junior Honor s every Wednesday ting mee kly A. As an officer, we have wee taking notes. I help before school and I am responsible for volunteer after help and ects proj organize school service school. team? Q. Do you have a favorite pro- athlete/ idt of the DBacks. schm A. My favorite pro-athlete is Paul Gold Bridget Donahey is an eighth grader Apostle School.

at St. Thomas the

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DIY WOOD SLICE PHOTO TRANSFER ORNAMENTS WHAT YOU NEED: • 6 Pre-Drilled, Natural Wood Slices • Mod Podge • Foam Brush • Laser Jet Photo Copies • Jute or Twine • Scissors • Pencil or Pen • Wood Cutout (Bonus Craft) INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Lay your wood slices out on the laser jet photo copy of the images in the placement that you like and use a pencil or pen to trace around each wood slice. 2. Cut your photo copies out, following the traced lines that you made when you traced your wood slices onto the photo copy paper. 3. Apply a generous coat of Mod Podge to the first wood slice & put the photo copied image that you cut out face down onto the wood slice. 4. Use your fingers or something flat (we used an old hotel room key card) to smooth the paper out onto the wood slice, making sure that you don’t have any

bubbles or ripples in the paper. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all of your wood slices are prepped. 5. Set your wood slices aside to dry for 24 HOURS — that’s right, we said 24 hours — to allow time for the Mod Podge to dry/cure. 6. After your wood slices have sat overnight, you are ready to start the paper removal….Fill a cup or small bowl with warm tap water & use your fingers to gently wet the back of the photo copy paper. 7. Once the paper backing is wet enough, you should start to see the image show through a little. When that happens, you are ready to start rubbing the first layer of paper off. It’s a little like rolling out dough, only with your fingertips. 8. Once you have remove the first layer of paper backing — remember, it’s a slow process — set your wood slices aside to dry. This will help you see how much paper is still on the photo copy. 9. Repeat steps 6 through 8 a few more

times until the paper backing has been removed & you can see the photo transfer image without it looking too “cloudy”. 10. Let your wood slices dry for 15 to 20 minutes (you probably used a lot of water trying to remove the paper!). Once your wood slices have dried off a little, use your sponge brush to apply a top coat of Mod Podge to your finished ornaments. This will seal the photo transfer so it lasts for a long time to come!

ribbon (like the one that comes in our DIY subscription box) to tie a loop through the pre-drilled holes on your wood slices so you can hang your finished project on your tree! FOR TIPS AND STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS GO TO THEHIPPIEHOBBY.COM/NOV2017/

11. Once your top coat of Mod Podge has dried completely, use some twine or threads from a burlap

We Warmly Welcome You Join Us for One of Two Open Houses Highlighting Our Preschool - 5th Grade Programs! Parents Enjoy a Presentation, Tour and Q&A Session. Childcare Available with Storytime, Snacks & Crafts. Check-In Begins at 8:45AM / Program Begins at 9:00AM Register Online: or Call: (602) 954-9088

Gingerbread Open House Hot Cocoa Open House December 5th

February 23rd


SUCCESS Aliza Goldenberg

M.S. Special Education, B.S. General Education, State Certified in AZ and NY


5836 North 4th Place, Phoenix 4510 N 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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LOCATION: 15821 N. 79th street, #3, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 AGES: 3-12 yrs PRICE: Packages starting at $242 DESCRIPTION: Come and Celebrate your child’s birthday party in our state of the art facility. Lots of energetic activities to have a BLAST! Allow our Safety Certified staff to run the show and do all the clean up! Two in-ground trampoline beds, an in-ground tumble track, an open Foam Pit, two large blow-ups are available CONTACT: Gail Case,, 480-596-3543


LOCATION: 16447 N 91st St., #105 Scottsdale AGES: 7+ PRICE: Base price: $325 with optional additions DESCRIPTION: AZ on the Rocks will give you the most unique and unforgettable birthday party in Arizona. All base packages include a 2.5 hour party, with use of the party room and two party hosts. You and your guests will have all the necessary gear to climb and will use our free-fall device at the end of the party. You will have access to a freezer/refrigerator to store party goodies and the birthday child will receive a FREE AZR T-Shirt. Upgrades and options available to enhance your birthday event even more! CONTACT: Visit for information or email Stephanie Mills at to register.

LOCATION: 6 locations valleywide – Chandler (Loop 202 and Gilbert Rd) 480-899-1231, Deer Valley (I-17 and Loop 101) 623-587-7700, Desert Ridge (Loop 101 and Tatum Blvd) 480-585-0041, Glendale (Loop 101 and Glendale Blvd) 623-772-5403, Mesa (US60 and Stapley Rd) 480-539-8400, Tempe (Loop 101 and Rio Salado Pkwy) 480-557-9100 AGES: 2-92! PRICE: Pricing starts at $175. $25 deposit required on all parties. Info on specific party packages can be found on our website at Birthday-Parties DESCRIPTION: Make your next party extra colorful by hosting it at As You Wish! Our bright, festive studios are perfect for sharing an artistic adventure when celebrating birthdays. Choose from an array of pottery or canvas projects. We have several different party packages to choose from. All packages include: Invitations, 2 hours of studio time, Dedicated As You Wish staff member, Special Party Plate for the Birthday Child, Souvenir Celebration Pin. You may bring in cake, drinks and presents as well. CONTACT: For more information visit $15 OFF YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY ZONA CODE: ZONA16

THERE IS POWER IN EVERY G.I.R.L. Unleash it at Girl Scouts.

Picture this: a safe, no-limits place where she can try new things, take on challenges, build community, and inspire others! That’s Girl Scouts. A place where “Can I?” quickly turns into “I will!” Where your G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ can transform her ideas into action, turn her questions into adventure, and grow her confidence through practice.

You can be a part of it, too! Volunteer today at

December 2017 / 11



hen it comes to positive activities for children, swim lessons may not immediately come to mind, but there are a lot of awesome benefits swimming affords! The positive impact pool time can have on a child’s mental and physical wellbeing is pretty incredible. It’s why we’re big believers in helping more kids become swimmers, and why we offer classes designed to teach them the basic swim skills they need. Not a believer yet? We’ve seen how swim lessons help a child’s personality development. Here are some of the ways swimming can aid a child develop both physically and mentally.   SWIM LESSONS OFFER MENTAL BENEFITS There’s a reason so many people start their day with a few laps at the pool. Swimming is a fantastic workout, and that’s true whether the person swimming is an adult or a child. Sometime in the pool every few days can provide great exercise for children and help them feel like they’ve accomplished something for the day. It can also help relieve stress. Children can work out some of their stress and frustration by exerting themselves in the pool. And if they happen to be playing a game or taking part in some other fun, pool-related activity, the enjoyment they’re getting in the water can help them push out some of those negative thoughts.

SWIM LESSONS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD SOCIAL SKILLS Depending on when your child visits the pool, there may be some other children there splashing around in the water, perhaps playing games like pool volleyball or marco polo. Swimming can provide your child with an opportunity to become more comfortable around other kids and help with their personality development. There’s an added benefit, too. While your child is swimming around, interacting with other children, they may further develop their swim skills without even realizing it.   SWIM LESSONS CAN HELP CHILDREN WITH ANXIETY It’s worth noting that swim lessons aren’t a prescription for anxiety. They won’t suddenly cure a child suffering from this condition, but they can help the child better manage it. If a child is anxious about getting into the water, afraid to get near it, and fearful of what could happen if they do, swim lessons can help a child confront that fear. It’s important to let kids with anxiety work their way up to getting in the pool themselves, with parents and instructors offering positive reinforcement and teaching by example. When a child finally takes their first steps into the water and begins to learn basic swim techniques, they can build confidence in their abilities and a trust in themselves to be safe around water.

SWIM LESSONS CAN PROVIDE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN Kids with developmental or intellectual disabilities may not get as much exposure to swimming as other children do. That’s why swim lessons can be a great way to introduce them to the experience. Those who otherwise pass on many activities can reap the physical benefits of swimming

by further developing their motor skills, increasing their strength, and improving their coordination during their time in the pool. Swimming can also help special needs kids build their self-esteem and feel a sense of self-worth after some fun in the water. The more time they spend in and around the pool, the more equipped they’ll be to keep themselves safe around water, too.

GCU.EDU/InTheZona 12 \ December 2017

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upcoming family events around the valley & state A WINNIE THE POOH CHRISTMAS TAIL When: December 1-23, 2017 (see below for full schedule) Where: Valley Youth Theatre, 525 North First Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 Cost: $20 for children and adults Details: A VYT Christmas classic tradition returns to the snowcovered Hundred Acre Woods for its 22nd anniversary! A very special Friend-and-Relation tells Christopher Robin the story of a Christmas Eve long ago when Eeyore, the old gray donkey who lives by himself in the thistle corner of the woods believes he has lost his tail and is VERY miserable. Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and all their friends organize a search party to find his tail. Join the fun and excitement in the winter wonderland… sing along with the delightful songs and follow this enchanting musical along its holiday adventure of sharing, caring, friendship and JOY. Book, Music & Lyrics by James W. Rodgers. Inspired by A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh Presented through special arrangement w/ Dramatic Publishing Public Performances: Friday, December 1 at 7:00pm Saturdays December 2, 9, 16, 23 at 11am & 1:30pm Sundays December 3, 10, 17 at 12:30p & 3:00pm Tuesday December 21 through Saturday, December 23 at 10:00am &12:30pm For more information and for tickets call 602-253-8188 Ext. 2 or visit www.


BALLET ARIZONA’S THE NUTCRACKER When: December 8-24 Where: Phoenix Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 Cost: Prices vary. See website to purchase tickets. Details: The Nutcracker with the Phoenix Symphony. Choreography: Ib Andersen Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Live music is back! Ballet Arizona is thrilled to announce that the Phoenix Symphony will join us for all performances of The Nutcracker. The magic of The Nutcracker illuminates the stage with more than 150 performers, hundreds of costumes, and


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the beauty and athleticism of Ballet Arizona’s nationally recognized dancers. A timeless holiday tradition for all ages. “Ballet Arizona’s ‘Nutcracker’ is one of the three finest productions of the nearly 20 I’ve seen across America.” – Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times For more information and tickets call 602-381-1096 or visit


9TH ANNUAL 12K’S OF CHRISTMAS® & SANTA’S PET VILLAGE When: December 9, 7:30 am - 12:30 pm Where: Freestone District Park, 1045 E. Juniper Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85234 Cost: FREE admission to Christmas Bazaar and Santa’s Pet Village; registration fee for runners and walkers Details: A unique family celebration, features Christmas carolers at every K and in the park, a 12K and 6K run and a 1.2K for families and kids fun run/walk, a Christmas Bazaar with hand-made items, Santa’s Pet Village with pet adoptions, inflatables. Supports Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, leashed pets welcome. For more information call 480609-3978 or visit

11TH ANNUAL SOMERTON TAMALE FESTIVAL When: December 16, 11 am-10 pm Where: On Main St. between Union Ave. and Somerton Ave., Somerton, AZ 85350 Cost: Free Details: This new local tradition is presented by El Diabilito ASU Alumni Club. About 85,000 tamales of all varieties will be served up to fund scholarships for local students, along with live music and entertainment. For more information call 928-388-4837 or visit www. or


47TH ANNUAL NATIONAL BANK OF ARIZONA FIESTA BOWL PARADE When: December 30, 9 am Where: Phoenix, AZ Cost: Admission is free, $25 for reserved bleacher seats Details: Arizona Coyotes legend Shane Doan will be the Grand Marshal of the 47th Annual National Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade. As Grand Marshal, Doan will lead this year’s parade through the two-mile parade route in central Phoenix. Every year, a combination of more than 2,500 men, women, children, floats, balloons and animals participate in the National Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade. The parade will showcase a pageantry of brilliantly colored floats, giant balloons, equestrian units, charitable groups, local celebrities and marching bands that will make their way down the two-mile route through central Phoenix. The event is broadcast live on 3TV. The National Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade will begin a day filled with Fiesta Bowl festivities leading up to the 47th Annual PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, scheduled to kickoff at 2:00 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit fiesta-bowl-parade/









December 2017 / 15

We create amazingly beautiful smiles! $300 off of treatment or a Free Whitening when you start full comprehensive treatment with

Braces or Invisalign

Call our office for a free consultation! 480.838.7410 Curtis Orthodontics is conveniently located at the 101 & Elliot. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Only valid for new patients. Limited time offer. Offer only valid with this ad.

Dr. Alan A. Curtis Curtis Orthodontics 2963 W. Elliot Rd, Suite 1 Chandler, AZ 85224


In The Zona December 2017  
In The Zona December 2017