Page 1

Help Our Schools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Your Favorite Teachers . . . . . . . . . 66

China’s Treasures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84




Winning Essays

The Interview: Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D. Central Arizona College


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520.560.2083 | 520.423.8250 | ©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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Help Our Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Your Favorite Teachers . . . . . . . . .66

China’s Treasures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84



Late Summer 2017




Winning Essays

The Interview: Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D. Central Arizona College


Pinal County Press


The LIVING Interview:


Education Special Section


$4.95 Complimentary • LATE SUMMER 2017


ABOUT THE COVER: Photographer Tena Dugan of Maricopa. Pictured are her son Seth Dugan and niece Shyann Dugan after their 2016 graduation from Maricopa High School.

Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D., President & CEO, Central Arizona College

Economy & Local Business

Health, Wealth & Education

Travel, Dining & Entertainment

New Roads and Freeways for Pinal County. . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Out & About. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

China: Ancient Land of Hidden Treasures.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84

Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy. . . . . . . . . . 32 Sun Life Center for Women in Chandler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Debt Collection Harassment: Know Your Rights. . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Do You Suffer from CVS? . . . . . 46 Restoring Dignity Through Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Back-To-School for the Kids and Back-To-Healthy for Parents. . 52

Changes In The Children’s Theatre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 A Visit to Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Water Safety Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . 91




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9 3

Letter from the Editor


I Bea Lueck

n just a few short weeks, children will be returning to school. We are fortunate to have so many choices regarding education in our communities. Whether your child attends district, charter, private, parochial or is homeschooled, education is a priority on many levels. Learning isn’t limited to attending school during the regular school year. From participating in the mayor’s reading program at the library to fun with a purpose at the Boys & Girls Club, children continue to have opportunities to learn during summer break. Several area organizations and individuals are hosting events to gather much needed school supplies for families in need. Many stores have various supplies on sale, so if you are able, stock up and share! This edition of Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine showcases some of the many educational opportunities available to our area youth. Education isn’t limited to youth. Central Arizona College offers career opportunities for adults. You can learn more about some of these career paths in this edition of “The





Interview” with Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D., President and CEO of CAC. Educational partnerships with companies, such as Sundt, Lucid Motors and others, have created job opportunities for area residents. I’m not sure where or when it began, but one craze that has created entertainment, fun and community engagement, not just for kids but for adults too, is painted rocks. Replacing Pokémon Go, decorating and hiding rocks in public locations has become a pastime for children and adults. The time, creative thought and intricate details that go into creating some of the rocks is mind-boggling! Families and groups of people schedule decorating events. And the joy and excitement when a child finds a rock is heartwarming. This time of year, the weather is often a topic of discussion. The conversation is either about the temperature or the nightly monsoonal event. Notice I didn’t say either “dust storm” or “haboob?” You can read more on both safe driving tips and whether


to call it a “dust storm” or “haboob” in this edition! Enjoy reading this late summer issue of Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine. Like our Facebook page for updates on upcoming contests! If you get a chance, check out our newest publication launched this summer - Prescott LIVING Magazine. You can read it online at



Sophisticated, Glamorous & Dramatic

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520.424.6577 |

520.423.8250 | Š2017 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.


Breanna Boland

Breanna is the Executive Director of the Casa Grande Alliance. She started working for the organization in 2012 as a Prevention Specialist. Breanna studied Public Health at Northern Arizona University and is a Arizona Certified Prevention Specialist.


Kaye Dickson

Although born in Ohio, Kaye spent her adult life living in Casa Grande, serving as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years. Kay has a passion for the humane treatment of animals, and served as director of Pinal County Animal Care & Control and Franklin County Animal Care & Control. As well, she has served as a therapeutic foster parent and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).


Golden Corridor LIVING is published by Raxx Direct Marketing. Editorial content is provided by affiliates of Raxx Direct Marketing, community members and local organizations. The publishers of Golden Corridor LIVING assume no responsibility for errors or omissions of any advertisement beyond the actual cost of the advertisement. In no event shall the publishers be liable for any consequential damages in excess of the cost of the advertisement. Golden Corridor LIVING shall not be liable for inaccuracies, errors, omissions, or damages from the use of information contained herein. Submitted articles do not reflect the opinions of the owners or management of Golden Corridor LIVING Information contained within submitted articles had not been verified for accuracy and readers are responsible for forming their own opinions. Real CORRID OR LIof V ING 12 GOLDEN estate information is as 7-1-17 and is subject to current availability and pricing.

Donna McBride

Donna is the Program Administrator/Public Information Officer and Supervisor for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Unit for Pinal County Juvenile Court. McBride is actively involved as a Board Member for Casa Grande Alliance, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, BlackBox Foundation, Mayor’s Reading Program, Pinal County Town Hall Vice-Chair, Parks and Block Watch Captain for the Casa Grande Police Department. She is a current member of the Casa Grande City Council.

Helen Neuharth

Helen was hired as the President/CEO of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce in August 1991 and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management from Boulder, Colorado. Helen is an active member of the Arizona Chamber Executives.


of the


BUSINESS INDEX Academy Mortgage - CG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Access Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Agave Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 American Family Ins-Hobbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Evelyn Casuga

Evelyn Casuga CEcD, serves as Economic/ Community Development Advisor for Access Arizona, the area’s regional economic development foundation. Evelyn works part time at CAC and consults with the Center for the Future of Arizona, and other non-profit/private entities. She volunteers with numerous organizations in economic and community development throughout Arizona.

Annie-Mac Home Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 ASU Preparatory Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Banner / CGRMC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Brutinel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Caliche Senior Living . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Capital R Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Casa Grande Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Casa Grande Elementary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Casa Grande Family Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie CPT

Tiffanie is the owner of WickedFiTT, in Casa Grande, AZ. She is a well-known personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and all around fitness junkie. Tiffanie specializes in weight loss, strength and conditioning, and general fitness.

Casa Grande Union High School District . . . . . . . 77 Central Arizona College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Coldwell Banker ROX Realty . . . 5, 11, 39, 59, 75, 81, 99 Coldwell Banker ROX - Property Management . . . . 23 Desert Sun Heating, Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Dick & Mitchell DDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 DM Family Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Doctor’s Choice Mobility & Medical Supplies . . . 57 Edward Jones - Fred Tucker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Elegance N Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Craig McFarland

Born and raised in California, Mayor McFarland has lived in Casa Grande since 2005. He is a graduate of California State University of Fresno, and retired from Golden Eagle Distributors in January 2015 as VP of Sales after a ten year run with the company, and 36 total years in beverage business sales management, marketing, and operations. McFarland began his first term as Mayor in December 2016.

Jon Thompson

Mayor Thompson graduated from NAU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was first elected to the Coolidge City Council in 2002 and served as Vice Mayor from 2006 to 2010. He gave up his council seat to run for Mayor and since being elected, has retired as Division Director for the Pinal County Adult Probation Department after 30 years.

Fitzgibbons Law Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Freeway Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Grande Innovation Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Legacy Traditional Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Mankel Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Mission Heights Preparatory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Ochoa’s Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Rich’s Auto Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 ROX Casa Grande Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School . . . . . . . . . 79 Star Towing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 Sun Life Family Health Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 The Landmark Event Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 The Studio of Dance, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Title Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Tommy’s On The Go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Whole Health Alliance LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Window Tinting By Rosie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Yang and Horsley Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 ZONTA Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45




Submit your events online at JULY


PATRIOTS BOOGIE - Skydive Arizona 4900 N. Taylor Rd., Eloy Registration $25, Jump ticket $20 Call for times








JULY 4TH FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE POOL - 10:00 AM-2:00 PM - Palm Island Family Aquatics Park - 1150 N. Brown Ave. Casa Grande. $1 For Adults, .50 Cents For Kids 17 and Under


4TH OF JULY INDOOR PICNIC AND BINGO - 10:00 AM Dorothy Nolan Senior Center - 330 N. Pinal St., Florence $4


4TH OF JULY FREEDOM FEST - 3:00 PM-9:00 PM - Heritage Park - 600 N. Main St. Coolidge


FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SHOW & ACTIVITIES - 6:30 PM9:00 PM - Paul Mason Sportsplex 2525 N. Pinal Ave., Casa Grande

AUCTION AT WESTERN TRADING POST - 10:00 AM - Western Trading Post - 403 N. Florence St., Casa Grande MUSEUM BINGO - CRAFT & GAME ACTIVITY - 12:00 PM4:00 PM - Dorothy Powell Senior Center - 405 E. 6th St., Casa Grande


INDOOR SUMMER MARKET - 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119


WATER FUN - 5:00 PM-6:30 PM - Youth Center - 660 S. Main St., Coolidge. Free


MOVIE NIGHT - 7:00 PM Youth Center - 660 S. Main St., Coolidge. Free


3RD ANNUAL LIBCON - 1:00 PM-4:30 PM - Vista Grande High School - 1556 N. Arizola Rd., Casa Grande

FAMILY FRIDAY NIGHT SWIM - 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Aquatic Center - 174 1st St., Florence. $3 For Adults, $1 For Children

5TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN JULY FUNDRAISER - 8:00 AM-3:00 PM - Oasis Pavilion Nursing and Rehab - 161 W. Rodeo Rd., Casa Grande


BANNER CG MEDICAL CENTER - COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER - 11:00 AM-1:00 PM - Banner Casa Grande - 1800 E. Florence Blvd, Casa Grande


6TH ANNUAL BACK TO SCHOOL CRUISE - SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE - 4:00 PM-8:00 PM - Boston’s - 804 N. Cacheris Court, Casa Grande


FAMILY GAME NIGHT - 5:30 PM-7:30 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119 INDOOR SUMMER MARKET - 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119


SUMMER TEEN NIGHTS 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Aquatic Center - 174 1st St., Florence. Ages 13-17 Free


FREE SPORTS PHYSICALS EVENT - 9:00 AM-12:00 PM - Participating Sun Life Locations: Casa Grande (865 Arizola office), Eloy, Coolidge, Maricopa. Ages 18 & under. 1st come, 1st serve


CRAFT SHOW - 10:00 AM7:00 PM - Limitless Events 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119


BANNER CG MEDICAL CENTER - WOMEN’S & INFANT SERVICE UNIT RIBBON CUTTING - 8:00 AM - Banner Casa Grande - 1800 E. Florence Blvd, Casa Grande


INDOOR SUMMER MARKET 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119












INDOOR SUMMER MARKET 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119

INDOOR SUMMER MARKET - 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119


CASINO NIGHT - 7:00 PM10:00 PM - Green Tree Inn & Suites - 240 W. Hwy. 287, Florence. $50


BACK TO SCHOOL BASH - 9:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119 50TH ANNUAL LOST PRAIRIE BOOGIE - Skydive Arizona 4900 N. Taylor Rd., Eloy - Call for times


BACK TO SCHOOL BASH - 9:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119



GROW BOXES AND DESIGN 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041 INDOOR SUMMER MARKET - 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119

LULAROE PALOOZA MARKET - 10:00 AM-6:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Fashion show at 3:00 PM

GAMES GALORE - CRAFT & GAME ACTIVITY - 12:00 PM-4:00 PM - Dorothy Powell Senior Center - 405 E. 6th St., Casa Grande COMPOST AND SOIL BUILDING - 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041

FAMILY FRIDAY NIGHT SWIM - 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Aquatic Center - 174 1st St., Florence. $3 For Adults, $1 For Children

BOOTS, BUCKLES AND BLING - BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB ANNUAL DINNER - 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Property Conference Center - 1251 W. Gila Bend Hwy., Casa Grande

COMPANION PLANTING WHAT GROWS WITH WHAT - 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - Herbalicious 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041




July/August/Sept 2017 AUGUST (continued)



SUMMER TEEN NIGHTS 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Aquatic Center - 174 1st St., Florence. Ages 13-17 Free









CARDIAC AND ORGAN SCREENINGS - 8:00 AM4:00 PM - Old Courthouse - 135 N. Pinal St., Florence. Call 800-2094848 to schedule appt. KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5 KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5

INDOOR SUMMER MARKET - 10:00 AM-7:00 PM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119 POW-WOW - TBD CALL FOR INFO! - 6:00 AM-9:00 AM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. CALL FOR AVAILABILITY 520414-0041

SEED SAVING AND SEED SWAP - 3:30 PM-5:30 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041

KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5

CARDIAC AND ORGAN SCREENINGS - 7:00 AM4:00 PM - Old Courthouse - 135 N. Pinal St., Florence. Call 800-2094848 to schedule appt. KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5



GROW BOXES AND DESIGN 6:00 PM-8:00 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041


KIDZ ADVENTURES - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Casa Grande. Kids ages 1-5


BOOTS, BUCKLES AND BLING - BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB ANNUAL DINNER - 6:00 PM-9:00 PM - Property W. Gila Bend Hwy, Casa Grande


KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5


KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5


ARIZONA DAYS/SKYDIVE ARIZONA - Skydive Arizona 4900 N. Taylor Rd., Eloy - Call for times


COMPOST AND SOIL BUILDING - 6:00 PM-8:00 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041

21 & 26

KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5


SILENT WITNESS ANTICRIME NIGHT - 5:30 PM7:30 PM - Vista Grande High School - 1556 N. Arizola Rd., Casa Grande


COMPANION PLANTING WHAT GROW WITH WHAT - 6:00 PM-8:00 PM - Herbalicious - 423 N. Florence St. RSVP REQUIRED 520-414-0041





MOVIE NIGHT - Aquatic Center Multi-Purpose Fields 174 1st St. Florence - All Day KIDZ ADVENTUREZ - 9:30 AM-11:30 AM - Limitless Events - 1005 N. Promenade Pkwy., Ste. 119. Kids ages 1-5

2ND ANNUAL SAM’S CLUB CAR SHOW - 9:00 AM-1:00 PM - Sam’s Club 2425 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande $20 entry fee CENTRAL ARIZONA SPEEDWAY - DIRT TRACK RACING - 7:00 PM- - Central AZ Speedway 512 Eleven Mile Corner



! o l l e H We’re ROX Media Group G

olden Corridor LIVING Magazine is brought to you by ROX Media Group, a multimedia organization providing an annual portfolio of 3.6 million print copies of community, custom and travel publications throughout Arizona and in neighboring states. Our publications collectively reach 10 million consumers who reside in or travel to Arizona every year, and bring engaging local content to the communities and marketing partners we serve. Since our founding in 2011, we have earned the respect of our readers and marketing partners through our dedication to high quality, local content and our bution sed Rack Distri specials. NOW - Increa for more daily us on Facebook Follow

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understanding of the key informational needs that drive media consumption, messaging and interaction. Some of our additional offerings include: • A full suite of creative services for any project • Custom publications created, designed, edited, printed and distributed • Digital media marketing services and website creation • Project management services • Events services In addition to Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine, our other products you may have seen in the region include Golden Corridor Smart Shopper, the annual Winter Visitors Guide and TravelHost Arizona. Although you can find our work throughout our state, we are proud to be headquartered right here in Casa Grande.


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Elaine is an accomplished publisher and management professional with 20 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant and publisher of a diverse set of marketing products. Elaine and her team bring a “one firm” solution to clients. She has a passion for traveling and has been to over 30 countries.

Bea Lueck

General Manager & Managing Editor

Tim is a digital design professional with more than 25 years of experience. Tim is responsible for all creative consulting, magazine design, print production and web development for Contract Media Group and RAXX Direct Marketing. He manages production for multiple publications as well as multiple Drupal and Wordpress sites for clients.

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Editor & Project Manager

Julie is a marketing professional with 20 years of experience working in client and agency settings. Julie has created and managed marketing strategies across many industries, designed to meet client objectives and stay within an established budget.

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Publisher & Chief Operations Officer, Visitor Media Group

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Bea is the general manager and managing editor of ROX Media Group. She handles the various day-to-day activities necessary to take the publications from concept to print and distribution. She has over 22 years of experience in multiple advertising media, including print, direct mail, television and web.

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Larry provides more than 20 years of media experience, including successful tenures at Putman Media, Hanley Wood, Chilton/Cahners and McGraw-Hill. A graduate of the University of Tampa, Larry possesses a strong marketing and sales mindset and loves to assist organizations with growing revenue and market share. Jake Pagano is an experienced and driven graphic designer whose creative design work can be found in dozens of consumer, travel and lifestyle publications throughout Arizona. Jake is currently responsible for a number of publications at ROX Media Group including Quad-City Shopper, Sun Health LiveWell and 928 Homes.


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Katie is an accomplished senior copywriter and editor with 12 years of experience working with everything from daily print newspapers to magazines and trade publications. She is also an award-winning journalist and guest lecturer at her Alma Mater, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Chip has worked for Facebook as an advertising representative in the company’s Start to Success program and as a dedicated account manager for the Marketing Expert program. Chip has also helped clients build their digital presence on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Meet Our Team:

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Dust storms and dust channels: What’s the difference?

by Doug Pacey, ADOT Communications


veryone knows it’s dangerous to drive into a massive, towering dust storm. It’s easy to avoid these, because they can be seen miles in the distance, giving drivers the opportunity to exit a highway or choose a different route. But what about blowing dust that whips across the freeway and engulfs your vehicle in low or no visibility and without warning? These are called dust channels, fast-moving blowing dust events that can cause serious crashes, because



they give drivers little or no time to respond. If you encounter a dust channel – or one encounters you – follow the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” tips: • Av oi d d r i v i n g i nto or through a dust storm. • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle and begin slowing down. • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway – do it as soon as possible.

• Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the highway. • Turn off all vehicle lights, including emergenc y flashers. You do not want other vehicles approaching from behind to use your lights as a guide, possibly crashing into your parked vehicle. • Set emergency brake and take foot off the brake. • Stay in vehicle with seat

belts buckled and wait for the storm to pass. While blowing dust can occur anywhere in Arizona, there’s a stretch of Interstate 10, between Phoenix and Tucson, where dust channels often suddenly develop. Half of all blowing dust-related crashes on I-10 occur within a half-mile of milepost 214, northwest of Picacho Peak. In response, ADOT is in the process of installing a first-ofits-kind dust detection zone from mileposts 209-219.



Visit for Up-to-date Local News from Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine


Crime mapping empowers residents to help combat crime by Kaye Dickson


hen researching new states, cities or counties to relocate your family, what is most important? What defines a “good neighborhood?” Perhaps it’s the local school rating, or it’s the amount and type of crimes committed in the community? Obtaining information on crime in the area can be confusing, at best. Many law enforcement agencies have implemented soft ware that produces crime mapping, often referred to as COMPSTAT or GIS mapping, in an effort to better serve the community with transparency. But, is it beneficial? Does it really build safer neighborhoods? Thanks to the Internet and social media, people frequently research information in real time. Communication among neighbors has changed in recent years, from stopping to visit on the front porch to a less personal approach, such posting on Twitter or Instagram. One isolated criminal incident spread through social media can have a huge impact on the image of a neighborhood or the city in which you live. I still recommend stopping to say, “hi” to your new or potential neighbors, before relocating. Crime mapping supporters say these maps hold law enforcement accountable and give communities a more realistic view of the risks of being victimized, which is more effective than relying on a simple social media post or depending on headline news. The more transparent law enforcement is about crime in our community,

the more empowered citizens become to actually assist in addressing criminality. I believe knowledge is beneficial, and I believe crime mapping helps to see exactly what is going on in your community in real time. In some cases, it is going to make people feel safer, and at the same time, might make some people feel less safe. For those who may be concerned with privacy, due to the sharing of information, there are many ways to protect victims of crime by using anonymized maps, such as pinpointing crimes within a square mile radius instead of exact locations.


Within Pinal County there are 12 cities. Five, including the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, direct you to another website, and utilize the LexisNexis Community Crime Map. It is Law enforcement agencies throughout Pinal County use various reporting methods on the types of crimes, and all agencies appear to be lacking consistency and uniformity. The Maricopa Police Department appears to be most user-friendly, and has crime statistical information readily available on its website, which appeared to be the most up-to-date at the

time of this story. The problem is, many small agencies may not have the resources or expertise to develop geographic information and do not take full advantage of crime mapping. I did find several websites containing crime statistics throughout the country, based on the information available. It appeared the information was taken from universal crime reporting (UCR) data, which is information maintained by the FBI and reported annually by law enforcement agencies who seek federal funding. This report is

continued on page 37... GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING





N I have visited every elementary school (charter schools included), middle school and high school (charter schools included) in the City of Casa Grande. I can tell you we have a lot of good schools, good students and good teachers.



ew families looking to relocate to a new community will typically Google search the local education ratings. They look for the best-rated school for their children to attend. These ratings typically use state test scores, diversity and income level when establishing the final score. Unfortunately, that rating doesn’t tell the whole story and is prejudiced toward higher income areas. Our education system in Casa Grande is much better than the ratings and reputation (which, in part, is driven by the ratings). I have visited every elementary school (charter schools included), middle school and high school (charter schools included) in the City of Casa Grande. I can tell you we have a lot of good schools, good students and good teachers. Here are just a few accolades/accomplishments that we should all be talking about: Casa Grande Elementary School District: • 7,000 fantastic children • 900 dedicated employees • 44 district awards/recognition (2000 – 2017) • 13 Rodel Leadership recipients • 7 - A+ School Awards from the Arizona Education Foundation • Parental approval ratings of equal to or greater than 96 percent for 14 years in a row Casa Grande Union High School District: • 4,539 fantastic students • 450 dedicated employees • 1,800 students enrolled in 12 different Career Technical Education (CTE) programs (FFA,DECA,STEM) • FFA named AZ Outstanding Chapter three times in the last 10 years • 100 percent industry credential licensing to all CTE program completers • 98 percent graduation rate for all CTE students

ASU Preparatory Academy • 62 dedicated students • 100 percent graduation rate • 100 percent of seniors were admitted to post-secondary institutions or military service • Prepares students using the internationally acclaimed Cambridge Curriculum Other local private and charter schools: • St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic School (K-8) • Legacy Traditional Charter School (K-8) • Grande Innovation Academy Charter School (K-8) • PPEP Tec High Charter School • Mission Heights Preparatory High Charter School Additionally, our middle schools have implemented a program by Scott Shickler and Jeff Waller called “The 7 Mindsets.” Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes, expectations and mindsets. This relatively new program, implemented in our middle schools (and in the fall will be added to four of our elementary schools), teaches: • “Everything is possible” • “Passion first” • “We are connected” • “100 percent accountable” • “Attitude of gratitude” • “Live to give” • “The time is now” Casa Grande has lots of choices — from public school districts to private schools to public charters. All have excellent curriculum and teaching staff. As my parents used to tell me, “You get out what you put in!” So the next time someone asks, “How are your schools in Casa Grande?” You can answer them with, “They are good! And, we have lots of choices to fit all needs!”


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I Visitors are already enjoying the many new benches and landscape features along the sidewalks as they stroll through the area to shop, eat and relax.



’m extremely proud of the great revitalization projects happening all around our city. Feedback from a survey, completed in early 2017, revealed a priority to repair or replace our older roadways. Upon the findings, we rapidly placed a team of hardworking city employees together and found ways to make improvements as quickly as possible. We began working on repairing and replacing much-needed pavement along some of our most traveled roads, beginning the second quarter of this year. Newly paved roads can be seen near City Hall along Main Street and Vah Ki Inn Road. I’m honored to have such a remarkable team of dedicated workers here in Coolidge, who took the initiative to get our two projects completed in less than two months. We’re also proud to announce an additional stretch of road will be completed along Main Street. This will be an important step in re-energizing the downtown area and beautifying our city. Visitors are already enjoying the many new benches and landscape features along the sidewalks as they stroll through the area to

shop, eat and relax. I’d like to conclude with a special recognition. In addition to the great work by our streets staff, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has named Coolidge Municipal Airport, “2017 Airport of the Year.” Our hardworking city staff accomplished many great projects at our airport, including a new taxiway, runway and lighting improvements. Coolidge sees more users to the airport not only from air traffic, but from the growing businesses who have called the airport home. It has also become a popular attraction for movies, television and other national media. In July’s issue of ESPN The Magazine, the airport was used as a front cover backdrop for baseball star Javier Baez. The historic WW2-era airport has also been featured in scenes from “Fast & Furious 7” and television show “Top Gear.” The city truly believes in working together at all levels of civic involvement to enhance the beauty and culture of our wonderful Coolidge, Arizona. We hope you’ll take time to visit soon.




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SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP OUR SCHOOLS by Helen Neuharth, President/CEO, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce

This year, as in the past several years, Culver’s of Casa Grande and the Chamber are working with a number of businesses on the School Supply Drive. The drive will begin July 10 and run through August 18.




e have recently had several high school and college graduations and elementary school promotions, but it is never too soon to remind everyone of a program that will assist educators in the classroom. The program I have mentioned before and am mentioning again in this article is called Donors Choose, a nonprofit organization, where teachers can post their proposed projects and donors are able to choose the projects to which they would like to donate. When you visit, it is easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. At any time during the year, you can read about each of the projects, how it will impact the students, and you have the opportunity to make a donation to fund those projects. There are a number of Casa Grande and area teachers who have posted projects on the Donors Choose website. There are other opportunities to volunteer and to make donations to our schools by contacting the schools directly. Individuals can also volunteer in the Mayor’s Reading Program by going to and linking to the Mayor’s Reading Program or by going to the Chamber’s website www.casagrandechamber. org, under the “Area Information” tab to find a number of links to volunteer opportunities throughout

the community. This year, as in the past several years, Culver’s of Casa Grande and the Chamber are working with a number of businesses on the School Supply Drive. The drive will begin July 10 and run through August 18. There will be locations to drop off donated supplies and a few locations where monetary contributions can be made. A complete listing of drop off locations will be finalized by the middle of June. For a listing of those locations, contact the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce or drop off donations at the Chamber, 575 N. Marshall St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Supplies needed include backpacks, No. 2 pencils, erasers, Crayola Crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, dry-erase markers, reams of copy paper, black and white composition notebooks, reams of wide or college-ruled paper, pocket folders with prongs, washable Crayola markers, paint brushes and washable water color paints. Supplies will be given to the Casa Grande Elementary School District for distribution to various students. For more information: contact Monica at 520-836-8881 or 734-660-5203 or Linda at the Chamber office, 520836-2125. The Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce is your community and business resource.





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NEW ROADS AND FREEWAYS FOR PINAL COUNTY Plan drives toward November ballot by Harold Christ, President/CEO Pinal Partnership


n innovative and comprehensive transportation plan for Pinal County will go to the voters after the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to place the measure on the November 2017 ballot. The transportation package would raise the Pinal County sales tax by one-half of one cent for a series of new roads and freeways over the next 20 years. The transportation package and ballot language had been previously approved by the Central Arizona Governments (CAG) Association, which voted to send it to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. The Pinal Regional Transportation Authority drew up the transportation plan to address a long list of concerns, including inadequate connections from I-10 to local roads and businesses, and the need to improve Pinal County’s existing north-south and east-west roadways, which don’t have the capacity to address current demands. The plan also seeks to reverse the trend of significant increases in fatal and serious vehicle crashes because of increased traffic demands. Furthermore, state and federal funding appears non-existent, with even state transportation officials saying they have a backlog of “800 years.” If voters approve, the sales tax in Pinal County would be increased by half a cent, except on a single large ticket item, such as a vehicle or farm equipment, where after the first $10,000, the remaining amount owed would be exempt. This keeps Pinal County’s tax rate competitive with rates in Phoenix and Tucson. The cost to the average Pinal County homeowner would be about $7 per month. The transportation plan is supported by Pinal Partnership, a coalition of private and public sector leaders. Vice Chairman Jackob Andersen said, “Pinal County can’t wait to solve its transportation challenges. Our long-term quality of life and economic vitality depend on addressing transportation needs before the next population boom, and before our current and ongoing economic development



success hits gridlock.” The transportation infrastructure plan includes the following:

State Route 24 Parkway A five-mile, east-west, limited access fourlane parkway in San Tan with a median between State Route 24 at Meridian Road to the west, and the future alignment of the NorthSouth Corridor to the east.

North-South Corridor The new construction of a 36-mile, northsouth, limited access four-lane parkway facility with a median between U.S. Highway 60 in the City of Apache Junction to the north, and the Kortsen Road/Kleck Road alignment located to the south, in the City of Coolidge.

State Route 347 The addition of two lanes along State Route 347 between the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the north, and the municipal boundary of the City of Maricopa to the south. The new construction of a north traveling lane and a south traveling lane along State Route 347 represents a total of 18 additional lane miles of construction.

Pinal Partnership 10, in the City of Casa Gr a n d e. T h i s particular project involves t h e cons t r u ct ion of a br idge ac ross Inte r st ate 10, as well as on and off-ramps to Kleck and Kortsen roads. This project will allow for the continuation of a crucial east-west corridor in central Pinal County.

Selma Highway

Casa Grande Connector Referred to as the Kortsen Road/ Kleck Road alignment, the “Casa Grande Connector” project involves the widening of this facility from two lanes to four lanes, from Henness Road to the west, located in the City of Casa Grande, to the future alignment of the NorthSouth Corridor Parkway to the east, located in the City of Coolidge. It will involve a 14-mile corridor, and represents a total of 28 additional lane miles of roadway construction.

East-West Corridor A four-lane, 21-mile route connecting Maricopa to Casa Grande along the Val Vista Road alignment, providing yet another alternative and connection to I-10.

I-10 Traffic Interchange T he pu rc h a s e of right of way, and t he desig n a nd construction of a traffic interchange at Interstate

The Selma Highway project calls for improvements to an existing two-lane roadway from Thornton Road to the west, located in the City of Casa Grande, to the future NorthSouth Corridor alignment to the east, located near the City of Coolidge. It also includes approximately four miles of new construction over graded non-paved roadway segments, and a crossing over a drainage canal and railroad tracks at State Route 84.

Thornton Road The widening of Thornton Road from two lanes to four lanes from State Route 84 to the north, to Interstate 8 to the south. The widening of Thornton Road will involve a 3.5-mile linear corridor, and represents a total of seven additional lane miles of roadway construction.

Burris Road Burris Road is an important “regional” economic development project in a high job growth area, and involves widening the roadway from two lanes to four lanes from State Route 84 to the north, to Alamo Road to the south, located in the City of Casa Grande. The widening of Burris Road will involve a 1.5-mile corridor, and represents a total of three miles of additional lane miles of roadway construction.

Montgomery Road Improvements to the Montgomery Road Corridor from the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway to the north, located in the City of Casa Grande, to Interstate 8 to the south. The project corridor is eight miles in length, and will call for the construction of approximately four miles of new roadway. The intent is to

develop a connective, north-south, two-lane roadway facility that is fully improved.

New Road in Saddlebrooke The new road, located in the southern Pinal County community of Saddlebrooke, is a onemile- long, north-south, two-lane minor arterial roadway facility. The project scope involves the purchase of necessary right of way, design and construction.

Peters Road Peters Road is another important “regional” economic development project in a future high job growth area, and involves widening the roadway from two lanes to four lanes from Burris Road to the west, to Thornton Road to the east, located in the City of Casa Grande. The widening of Peters Road will involve a one-mile linear corridor, and represents a total of two miles of additional lanes of roadway construction.

Right of Way Preservation Right of way will be acquired as part of the Regional Transportation Plan to allow for the preservation of future high capacity transportation corridors. Right of way will be preserved for the remainder of the North-South Parkway Corridor from the Casa Grande Connector (Kortsen-Kleck roadway alignment) to the north, and Interstate 10 to the south. Also, right of way will be preserved for the West Pinal Freeway corridor, from the Pinal-Maricopa County line to the west, and Interstate 8 to the south.

Local Roadway Funding The City of Eloy, and the towns of Kearny, Mammoth and Superior, located in the Copper Basin of eastern Pinal County, will each receive an amount of $300,000 per year of available taxes to be utilized on local roadway development.

Public Transportation Projects The public transportation element of the Pinal RTA sets aside a $28,200,000 line item over a 20-year period for the construction of Park and Ride lots, and the provision of funding for countywide Dial-a-Ride services and transit operations. Priority will be given to providing matching funds for existing transit systems. Pinal Partnership was created with a vision of uniting community growth efforts in Pinal County and to bring together all the people and ideas that will ultimately lead Pinal County to its full potential. Learn more at GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING





The LIVING Interview

Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D.

From the time she was a student herself, Jacquelyn Elliott, Ph.D., challenged the status quo. Where few went to college in her community; she did. When she could’ve settled into a stable job in her career; she chose instead to grow. And when higher education institutions needed change; she chose to lead the charge. Today, one year into her leadership role at Central Arizona College, she is doing it again. And this time, she not only aims to position the community college for a sustainable future, but hopes to be part of a movement to reshape the fabric of all college in the future to better serve students. Interview by Bea Lueck GC LIVING: Good morning. We’re here with Jacquelyn Elliot, Ph.D., the President and CEO of Central Arizona College. Thank you for joining us today. DR. ELLIOTT: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it very much. GC LIVING: We’re going to start at the very beginning. I see that you grew up on the Iowa tribe reservation. Are you Native American? DR. ELLIOTT: My dad is a Native American and my mom is Caucasian. I did grow up on the Iowa tribe reservation outside of Hiawatha, Kansas, so I always say, “My hometown is Hiawatha, Kansas,” but actually, it was eight miles outside of town, so ... I couldn’t really consider that living in the town. I grew up on a small little farm on the reservation and lived in a HUD home. Neither of my parents attended college, so I would have been considered a first-generation low- income student. Although my parents wanted my brother and sister and me to go to college, they really did not have the ability, the wherewithal, to talk to us about actually going to college. In high school, my counselors never really talked to me about college. I think they made the assumption – and it was a fair assumption at the time, particularly during that day and age – that I wouldn’t probably be college material. I had a poor family; we had commodity food; we lived on the reser-


vation and neither parent went to college. So there were some stereotypical pre-assumptions that a lot of people made. My junior year of high school, my cousin invited me to a meeting with the Upward Bound program, which is a TRiO Program that is designed to really help, low-income first-generation students find colleges and go to colleges. [Editor’s note: TRiO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs through the U.S. Department of Education. They are designed to find and provide services to people from disadvantaged backgrounds] So, I joined Upward Bound my junior year of high school, and it was through that program, that the counselors and the advisors introduced me to the concept of going to college. It was the first time I was ever treated as college-going material, so they helped me do all the paperwork and enroll in college. I owe a great debt and gratitude to the federal TRiO Programs, and in particular, that Upward Bound program. I was honored last year to receive the national alumni award recognition and that puts me in the class with (local TV reporter/anchor) John Quiñones and other really great people, but in all reality, Upward Bound and TRiO Programs should be recognized for saving me. So, after college, that’s kind of what led me to finding out a way to give back and

working in higher education. When I graduated from college, it was with a bachelor’s degree in English…it’s kind of a useless degree. In particular, nobody is hiring people with a bachelor’s degree in English, but I was lucky enough to move back home, because I couldn’t find a job. One day my dad came in with an ad for an English reading specialist at Highland Community College, which is basically a glorified tutor, and I applied, and I was hired. I really liked helping students with their English papers and their reading, and I didn’t really know that there was even a career that you could do that job. I had the most wonderful boss, Dave Rice, who would come in – he’s the president of Highland Community College now in Highland, Kansas – but he came in one day, and he said, “Jackie, would you like to do academic advising?” And I said, “sure,” even though I didn’t know how to do it. So, I became an advisor and then I was an admissions recruiter and I did campus activities. I lived in the residence hall, and so while I was at Highland College for about five years, I really had the opportunity to do lots of different areas of what we call today Student Affairs, or Student Services. I always say I fell into my career my happenstance. So at that particular time, I was also teaching English and reading for the



The LIVING Interview (continued) college. I always say those students need a refund, because I was barely 22 years old and I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I started working on my master’s degree in English, because I really thought, “Yeah, I want to teach. I really enjoy teaching students.” So, I started working on my master’s degree in English to become a teacher in college. Then, I moved to Omaha and I had a great opportunity to work at Creighton University as the director of TRiO Programs. GC LIVING: So you went from Concordia to Fort Hayes? DR. ELLIOTT: Concordia is where I got my bachelor’s degree. And then, when I was working at Highland Community College, I started working on my master’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University, which is kind of a funny story, because I eventually went to work at Northwest Missouri State University. I finished my master’s degree in English at Fort Hayes State University, and that was after I worked at Creighton University as the director of TRiO for several years. And then, I moved back to Kansas and I was at Barton County Community College as the director of Student Services, director of TRiO programs, and eventually became a vice president while I was there, because I was there 10 years. But while I was at Barton County, I finished my master’s degree in English at Fort Hayes State University. I always had the intention to teach, but I kept ending up in leadership positions in student affairs. And so while I was at Barton County, I started working on my doctorate in higher education administration and leadership, and I finished that when I was a vice president at Northwest. So, I obviously I can’t keep a job (Laughs) around a lot. But there was intentionality in some of my later moves. Anyway, I have my bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in English, a master’s degree from Fort Hayes State University in English, and my doctorate from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in higher education administration and leadership. GC LIVING: One of the places I see on my notes is North Arkansas. What did you do there? DR. ELLIOTT: Well, I worked at Barton County for 10 years, and I went to Northwest Missouri State University and worked there as a vice president in Student Affairs for five years. I had the most incredible president,



who was also a mentor. And I was in about my third year into my position at Northwest, when Dr. Dean Hubbard pulled me aside and he said, “Have you ever thought about being a college president?” And I said, “Well, you know, I don’t know, there are some things I still need to learn, some skill sets I still want to work on.” He goes, “I really feel like that would be a good role for you.” And I admire Dr. Hubbard extremely. He retired probably about my third year into working at Northwest Missouri State University. And we got a new president, and I worked with him for about a year-and-ahalf, and I realized that, you know, maybe he and I have different values and different approaches to higher education, so that’s when I said, “I think I’m going to try this president’s thing that Dr. Hubbard wanted me to do,” and I applied for the presidency at North Arkansas College. I was selected and I was there for five years before coming to CAC, so that was my first go at being a college president. GC LIVING: What do you think influenced you in life the most along your journey growing up? DR. ELLIOTT: I think my colleagues who I have worked with. I’m a very open-to-feedback kind of person. I believe there’s always room for improvement, not only in your personal life but also in your work life. And, I worked with some amazing people along the way, in particular, my friend, Kathy Oshiro, who taught me how to write grants and pushed me and challenged me. I worked with her at Barton County for many years, and she really would never let me get comfortable. She would say, “You need to try this,” or “You need to do this,” or “You write this grant.” And then, Dr. Hubbard, I think, pushing me. But I think the thing that probably most influenced me is my intentionality of surrounding myself with people who pushed me to go above and beyond and try something new and to step outside of my comfort zone. And, always having people that say, “You know, good job Jackie,” but also go, “Hmm Jackie, you really messed that up. What would you do differently?” I think that has really helped push me and drive me. GC LIVING: Looking back, is there anything you regret? You said you really wanted to teach. Do you miss not teaching? DR. ELLIOTT: I do miss teaching, a lot. Until I

went to Northwest Missouri State, I always taught part-time. So, I do miss teaching, but then I realized that part of my job as a president is to coach and teach others. And that’s probably the most rewarding thing, you know? I had a situation the other day where somebody had sent me an Excel spreadsheet, and they had put it together in a way that I probably would have put it together. This person had never really used Excel before, and I had that, “Oh! Look! She’s learned this and she’s doing this,” proud mama moment, that proud teacher moment. And so I learned kind of, over the years, to parlay that desire to teach and coach into coaching and teaching and developing others. I don’t have any regrets. I don’t believe you should live life with regrets. I also don’t use the words “failure” or “mistakes.” I use “learning opportunities” instead, because I think everything is a learning opportunity. GC LIVING: So now you’re here at CAC. What were some of the challenges you encountered when you began – just about a year ago today? DR. ELLIOTT: A year ago, yeah. I think one of the biggest challenges is our reputation in the greater community. We had not been responsive to our community, as a community college, to our business and industry partners. We had people in the community who were not very particularly fond of the tax situation at CAC. We kind of were a victim of our own success, in that the way we’re funded, as a community college, really puts us in a fairly good position compared to across the nation, because the states don’t fund community colleges anymore. We’re state-located, but we’re not state-supported. But because we’re in a county that’s a pretty strong county, that’s a growing county, and we’re funded on home valuations, we had some stable funding. So I think that was, in particular, a challenge, because nobody wants their taxes raised, and I get that and I understand that. But I think as a college, we didn’t maybe balance, you know, public perception and public needs with our own needs. And think that’s a big challenge right now – we didn’t raise taxes this year, and we’re definitely looking at finding efficiencies. We have a lot of efficiencies we can gain at Central Arizona College. I didn’t fill about five administrative positions. We just didn’t need them.


So, I think one of our biggest challenges is that we need to prove to our taxpayers and our residents that we can be good stewards of their dollars, rather than just being spendthrifts. The other challenge that we had besides reputation and really building relationships with business and industry, was each of our campuses serve a different community, but we’ve tried to be all things to all people at every campus. It’s just not sustainable. It’s not a good business model, so our next challenge is really deciding what is the right academic mix at each campus? What should we be offering at Maricopa? What should we be offering at San Tan? Because we want each campus to be sustainable on its own, as far as the academic programs that make sense for that community. Right now, we have students who drive between Maricopa and Signal Peak and that’s not being student-friendly. We need to make sure that if students need to attend the Maricopa campus, that we offer everything they need right there, whether it’s online or face-toface, so that they’re not driving back and forth. So that becomes another opportunity for us as a college. And the next is workforce development – really working with our employers and


finding out, “What is the skill set that you need, and are we training people for that skill set?” GC LIVING: Right now, how many academic and certificate programs does CAC offer? DR. ELLIOTT: 159 degrees and certificates. It’s way too many for an institution our size, and that goes back to what I was saying about trying to be everything to everybody. We need to figure out what core academic programs we’re really good at, and what are really needed, and focus on those. GC LIVING: CAC has had a longstanding relationship with NAU, offering a four-year degree in education at the campus... DR. ELLIOTT: Yes. GC LIVING: Is that something you want to encourage and expand on? DR. ELLIOTT: Absolutely, and you know, you hit on something – we can’t grow that partnership when you’re trying to do 15 things. You can’t do any one of them well. And I think with NAU, we have two extremely strong partnerships, and that’s the education program and our RN to BSN, where students can stay right here and finish their bachelor’s in nursing degree. I think instead of having 30 programs with NAU, we really need to pare that down into five or six really strong ones, and put more resources into

those. And teacher education is a huge one right now, because there’s a huge teacher shortage in this area. When I talk to the superintendents, they’re like, “We need more teachers. We’re losing teachers to the Valley and to Tucson.” A lot of that has to do with the pay, which I really don’t have much influence over, but we really need to grow those programs, and that’s definitely one of our stronger programs with NAU. GC LIVING: What other employer partnerships does Central Arizona College have? DR. ELLIOTT: Right now, we are working with Sundt Construction to build an apprenticeship program. Basically, we have built a whole curriculum, in particular, for Sundt Construction. Our students can obtain a construction certificate, concrete construction certificate and an apprenticeship certificate relevant to industry needs. Through this partnership, we also edited our current heavy equipment operators certificate to fast-track to the industry. For each of these certificates, students will leave CAC with OSHA and NCCER national certifications in addition to their college certificates. As well, the industry also vetted the curriculum in CAC’s structural welding and pipe welding to ensure workforce relevance.



Economy • Local Business


by Amanda Burke, Ed.D., Senior Director of Education and Workforce, Center for the Future of Arizona


ood leadership is felt by people throughout an entire organization. With an effective leader in place, a culture of success can be formed that enables everyone to understand the vision and goals of the organization, what improvements should be made and how results can be achieved. This is why the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) launched its Beat The Odds School Leadership Academy. The BTO Academy is designed to equip current and aspiring principals with the skills necessary to be more effective CEOs of their organizations to empower them to create better outcomes for students. There is a critical link between a strong principal and student success. In fact, principals account for nearly 25 percent of a school’s total impact on student achievement. CFA leads the BTO Academy and administers the program to enrolled participants. Executive training is delivered by a cadre of 20 proven school leaders from Arizona, who are nationally certified to deliver training. The BTO Academy aligns with Governor Doug Ducey’s “Great Schools, Great Leaders” initiative to close the achievement gap and improve the quality of education in Arizona. In June, $250,000 was approved by the Arizona Legislature to expand principal training in the state, which Gov. Ducey’s 2018 executive budget called for to match equivalent funds from the philanthropic community in order to expand school leadership and train-



ing opportunities through the BTO Academy, which launched in April. CFA will offer a minimum of 50 new slots to train Arizona’s principals. These slots will be focused toward Arizona’s low-socioeconomic communities, which is where Arizona has the best opportunity to close the academic achievement gap. The state of the education system in Arizona has been in the spotlight for some time. Arizona has ranked low in many national rankings for education and was recently ranked 43 in the nation for education by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best States Rankings.” The same report specifically ranked Arizona’s Pre-K-12 education at No. 47 nationally. Gov. Ducey stated at the recent BTO Academy launch event, “Collaboration between the public and private sectors is critical to finding solutions for improving the quality of Arizona’s education system. Investing in the effectiveness of school leaders will have a long-lasting impact on our school system, which will create better experiences for teachers and prepare student learners to reach their fullest potential.” Our BTO Academy provides a platform for making systematic changes to education in Arizona, and for creating a culture in schools that will allow our teachers and students to be successful. For nearly a decade CFA has mentored and trained K-12 principals. The BTO Academy is the continuation of that commitment and is

designed to show principals how to transform their schools by charting a strategic course of action tied to improving learning outcomes for all students. As we move forward with the next phase of our program, public/private support enables us to provide this resource of trainers to Arizona school districts and their emerging school leaders. The BTO Academy is a collaboration that brings together CFA’s successful Arizona-based principal mentorship model and the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program (EDP)—the most rigorous and widely-used executive development program for school leaders in the country. School leaders enrolled in the program will go through 12 two-day units delivered across a year-and-a- half. Curriculum will cover strategic leadership coursework, standards-based educational systems and instructional practices in English, math and science. How the BTO Academy impacts Arizona schools • Equips leaders to lead for excellence and equity–for all learners, in every community. • Draws on the best practices of Arizona’s high-performing schools to show principals models of success that will have a positive impact in their schools. • Helps to close student achievement gaps

continued on page 87... THE EDUCATION EDITION • LATE SUMMER 2017

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NEW LOCATION IN CHANDLER, ARIZONA! SUN LIFE CENTER FOR WOMEN IN CHANDLER by Andrew H. Jones, Community Relations Coordinator, Sun Life Family Health Center


un Life Family Health Center (Sun Life) is pleased to announce the opening of the organization’s newest location in Chandler. Servicing the healthcare needs of people in Pinal County for over 41 years, Sun Life is expanding into Maricopa County. Sun Life Center for Women in Chandler will open its doors Monday, August 21. The Sun Life hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it is located at 655 S. Dobson Rd., Suite 201. Women’s healthcare services will be provided by Dr. Eddie Estrada, MD, MHA, CPE, FACOG. Dr. Estrada was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, USA. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, USA. In 1983, he graduated with the honor of Magna Cum-Laude. In 1987, he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the School of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico. From 1987 to 1991, Dr. Estrada completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Estrada is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1993, and he was re-certified in 2017 by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a Fellow



and member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Estrada has longt e r m a f f i l i at i on with local hospitals, practicing in Dr. Eddie Estrada Chandler Regional Hospital since April 2013 and Banner Casa Grande Medical Center since November 2007. Dr. Estrada is highly trained in Ultrasonography, Robotics Laparoscopic Surgery and has an impeccable service record (zero lawsuits). Dr. Estrada owned and operated a private practice in Tiffin, Ohio from July 1991 – October 2007, before moving to Arizona and joining Sun Life Family Health Center in 2007. Dr. Estrada is fluent in English and Spanish. He is an aircraft pilot and builder, and enjoys aviation, experimental aviation, scuba diving, music and dancing. Dr. Estrada and the rest of the Chandler Center for Women staff will be providing the community and City of Chandler the following services: • Prenatal care for both low and highrisk pregnancies. • Delivery at Chandler Regional or

• • • •

• •

Banner Casa Grande hospitals, based on insurance or patient choice. Mobile onsite service ultrasound for both OB and GYN patients. In-office lab draw for patient convenience. Wellness with yearly exams. Family planning including the Depo Provera shot, and IUDs, Nexplanon (subdermal implant). Testing for and treatment of urinary stress incontinence. Minimally Invasive gynecologic surgery via robotic equipment,

“Moving into a new community is exciting. My goal is to make a difference in the way healthcare is delivered. I take a caring and personal approach, spending more time with patients being detail-oriented and assuring them that not only do they have a doctor that is diverse with experience and education, but also a doctor that is compassionate, caring and respectful with endearing client relations skills”. To make an appointment, call 480-389-1698. For more information about Sun Life’s services and/or other locations, visit our website at www.


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The LIVING Interview (continued) ...continued from page 31 This is a really unique and historic type of approach, because typically in higher education, I’d meet with you and say, “What are your workforce needs?” And then I’d go over here and build a program that I think you might need, but that might also train students for different things, and then they come out with a skill set, and you’re like, “Well, they’re kind of lacking this or that, but I’ll hire them anyway.” Because we’ve built a program that was generic and not, maybe, designed for what you need. With Sundt, we sat down with them and they have picked the classes, they have picked the skill set. They have said, “I want OSHA 30 embedded in this course.” And we’ve sat across the table and built this program special to Sundt Construction. We really think that’s the future of higher education. We did the same thing with LUCID Motors. We built the program that they wanted, side-byside, sitting down and their representative saying, “I want this class, in this sequence. I would say Central Arizona College is unique in doing this, but when I arrived, we really kind of, again, didn’t have an identity. We’re trying to be everything to everybody. I was talking to the department chair for the program that we built for LUCID Motors, and the one that we had at CAC that would’ve been similar to that was dying on the vine. We had maybe six students in it. Now, the one we built for LUCID has over 45 students in it. So, it’s really just kind of redesigning how we design our programs, and I think we’re getting invited to go and talk about what we’ve done with LUCID and what we’re doing with Sundt, on the national front, because people are like, “How are you doing that?” and “Why are you doing that?” And the reason we’re doing it is because we are the community’s college, and we are supposed to be responsive to what our community needs, not sitting back in our ivory tower saying, “We think we know what you need,” which is a typical higher education approach. It is really exciting times. Now, I would also say that it’s a lot of work, because what Sundt is needing and what we’re doing for them is completely different from what we’ve built for LUCID and what we’re building for a couple of other employers right



now. None of them look the same, from start of the program to hire. But that’s OK, you know? We’re really enjoying this work right now. GC LIVING: What does your typical student look like? Is it the 18-year-old coming out of high school, or is it the older second-career individual? DR. ELLIOTT: Our average age is 28, which is fairly high for a community college. Nationally, the average age at a community college is around 22. So, we are seeing a lot of people who come back after maybe they’ve done one career, and they’re coming back for retraining for a different career. We have a lot of part-time students, which is somewhat troubling to me, because we really need to design our program so students can go full time, because part-time just means you’re here longer. However, most of our traditional-age students, those coming right out of high school, do come full-time. GC LIVING: Central Arizona College has always been somewhat unique for a community college. I don’t know of any other junior college that has dorms, but yet, CAC does. What other things make CAC unique in the collegiate world? DR. ELLIOTT: Well, the residential housing is unique as well as athletics. We have a very

strong athletic program there. Our athletic programs are known across the nation as being very successful. I think we have a great opportunity because, technically, we might be considered a rural community college, because we’re not in an urban setting, but we have five campuses, and each campus community that our campuses serve is very different. When I look at community colleges across the nation, I can’t think of any that have five campuses and very unique communities that they serve. And I think it’s a great opportunity for us as a college to reinvent ourselves and give us an identity, not only regionally, but nationally as, “Look at that community college. They’ve really aligned what they’re doing for the unique communities they serve.” But that was also something that, attracted me to Central Arizona College is those opportunities. I really feel like this is a diamond in the desert – that we can polish it off and people will be like, “Wow. They figured it out.” GC LIVING: Have you experienced challenges for the incoming high school student? Do they really fit the academic entry level? Or, do you do a lot of remediation? DR. ELLIOTT: We do. But now that, you’ve got me on my soapbox, I think the way we design our academic programs sets students up for failure. And when I say “we” I’m talking about higher education in general. And I use this analogy a lot – Have you ever eaten at the Cheesecake Factory? GC LIVING: Yes. DR. ELLIOTT: And how do you feel when you open the menu? GC LIVING: A little overwhelmed. DR. ELLIOTT: Extremely, and that’s the college catalog. We have all these college classes in here, and we throw you in your first year into English and math, and nothing that interests you. And so you become disengaged, because it’s not hands-on; it’s not project-based. You don’t know where it’s going. So, I say we need to adopt the Chipotle model, where students come in and you’re going to get a taco, a burrito, a bowl or a salad. And the analogy is that you’re on a science, technology, engineering pathway, and that first year you’re going to get some classes in engineering or in technology that

continued on page 40... THE EDUCATION EDITION • LATE SUMMER 2017



City program continues to renovate homes for eligible residents


he City of Casa Grande Community Development Division in mid-July hosted an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of another owner-occupied housing rehabilitation project. The home, located at 503 W. 10th St., received a series of enhancements to address health and safety issues within the home. Some of the items addressed throughout the property were building code violations, broken windows, plumbing and electrical problems, flooring, leaking of the ceiling, replacement of single pane to dual pane windows for more efficiency and weatherization. The cost to complete this project was $59,800 and was made possible through funding from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program of the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) HOME funds along with the City of Casa Grande’s Program Income. The city’s Community Devel-

CRIME MAPPING...cont. from page 19 believed to be the most accurate. However, it is not real-time data, and only references the city or county reporting. Without actual and good crime mapping, it can be difficult to address concerns in a specific area. It is important to remember, when researching crime in your neighborhood, that the crimes only show




opment Division has a target of nine housing units to rehabilitate in 2017, and this is the second completed home out of nine targeted units. The ribbon cutting ceremony included remarks from Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland as well as representatives from the City of Casa Grande, the Diaz Developing Contrac-

tor, LLC and a member of the homeowner’s family. According to documents provided by the City of Casa Grande, the city administers the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program to assist low and very low income families in Casa Grande with the goal of upgrading their living conditions and improving and preserving the

quality and appearance of the area’s affordable housing stock and overall environment. The program is available to any and all homeowners within the Corporate City Limits who meet the following eligibility requirements: • Ownership: Participants must

how the information was first reported. (For example, something could have been reported as a burglary, but turned out to be a false alarm). Details about the crime could also change based on the ongoing investigation. Law enforcement agencies can select the types of crimes to disclose, and not all crimes will be represented on a map. Crime mapping is a tool for planning and problem-solv-

ing. Crime has no boundaries, and sharing of information is crucial between law enforcement agencies and the communities served. A more regional approach to cooperation, such as data sharing, can have a significant impact on the spread of best practices among law enforcement. Data-driven management is an effective tool for law enforcement agencies to become more

proactive in your communities, breeding transparency and the partnering with community members for the biggest positive outcome. The reality is most of the information can be obtained through your local media outlets, but the ease of crime mapping makes the information more readily available, so the community is better prepared to assist in law enforcement practices.


continued on page 38...





Nine communities selected for inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute


he Arizona Commission on the Arts, an agency of the State of Arizona, Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) and Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) recently announced the nine communities that will participate in the inaugural AZ Creative Communities Institute (AZCCI). As part of the 12-month AZCCI, small teams representing each community will explore the many ways Arizona’s creativity can be put to work for positive community impact. AZCCI fellows will become part of an active learning network, with opportunities to learn from and with local and national experts and peers from other Arizona cities, towns and neighborhoods. Twenty-two teams, composed of local elected officials, civic and business leaders and community organizers, applied for the opportunity to participate in the expansive training and engagement program. While all applicants displayed incredible passion, vision and commitment, only nine could be selected to participate. “We knew there was an appe-

tite for putting creativity to work in Arizona communities, but did not know how strong an appetite it was,” said Jaime Dempsey, Deputy Director of the Arts Commission. “While we sincerely wish we could have accepted all of the applicant communities into the program, we could not be more excited by the depth of knowledge, breadth of experience, and diversity of perspective represented in the selected teams.”

RENOVATE HOMES...cont. from page 37

benefit award letters (pension, Social Security, retirement, public assistance, etc.). All documentation must be from within the last three months. People on the waiting list for six months, must re-certify their eligibility. • Unit: Must be in need of repairs to abate Building Health & Safety Codes violations, such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical and structural problems. Units in need up upgrades for aesthetic purposes only are not eligible. This program is made possible

own and occupy the unit as their sole and principal residence. Required proof of ownership includes deed and property tax documentation (will be verified through a title company). • Income: Total household income shall not exceed 80 percent of the area median income, which changes annually, so applicants should verify with housing staff. Proof of income includes pay stubs, monthly



AZ CREATIVE COMMUNITIES INAUGURAL COHORT Community: Barrio Anita, Tucson • Julian Barcelo, Teacher, Davis Elementary School • Luis Mena, Artist • Marc Pinate, Producing Artistic Director, Borderlands Theater • Regina Romero, City Councilor, Ward 1, City of Tucson Community: Casa Grande • Erica Herman, Teacher, Casa Grande ESD; Owner, Erica Herman Studios • Gloria Leija, City Clerk, City of Casa Grande • Rina Rien, Executive Director,

Casa Grande Main Street • Stacey Seaman, Teacher, Casa Grande ESD; Owner/Director, Blackbox Foundation Community: Douglas • David Carranza, Economic/ Community Development Director, City of Douglas • Arturo Escalante, Director, Sun Magazine • M. Jenea Sanchez, Artist; Instructor, Cochise College • Jose Pedro Teran, Owner, El Arteran Designs Community: Eastlake, Phoenix • Talonya Adams, Business Attorney and Founder, 1700 West Law, PLLC • Jackie Berry, Real Estate Broker, Berry Realty & Associates • Ronn Turner, Artist • Rachel Webster, Assistant Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Community: Flagstaff • Sarah Douthit, Chief Probation Officer, Coconino County Adult Probation

through a variety of federal and state funding sources – Mainly Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HUDHOME Program, State Housing Trust Funds and Program Income from CDEG funded Revolving Loan Fund. Types of assistance available include loans, deferred payment loans and grants. The type of assistance that a family may qualify for is determined by the amount of work needed, the family’s income level and the resources available.

• Myra Ferechil, CEO, Victim Witness Services for Coconino County • Michael Olson, Community Restitution Coordinator, Coconino County Adult Probation • Keli Openshaw, Senior Service Line Programs Developer, Flagstaff Medical Center Community: Globe • Al Gameros, Mayor, City of Globe • Tiera Guerena, Student, Arizona State University, College of Public Service and Community Solutions • Linda Oddonetto, Executive Assistant, City of Globe • Paul Tunis, Executive Director, Cobre Valley Center for the Arts Community: South Phoenix • Maya Blanco, Community Organizer • Franco Hernandez, Community Organizer • Julio Reyna, Community Organizer

continued on page 48...

Applications are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall, Housing Division, 510 E. Florence Boulevard, which is ADA accessible. You may also request an application via mail by calling 520-421-8670 or, for the hearing impaired, TDD 520421-2035. “At-Home” services are also available to interested homebound people. All information, assistance and services are available in both English and Spanish.



DEBT COLLECTION HARASSMENT: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS by Ed van Vianen, Fitzgibbons Law Offices

This article looks at your rights in dealing with debt collectors who are willing to say anything – true or not – to get you to part with your money.


o protect the public, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits collectors from engaging in abusive and harassing conduct. The law generally applies to third-party collectors and only to consumer debts, such as car loans, mortgages, charge accounts and medical bills. Under the law, a debt collector generally may not: • contact you at un reasonable times unless you agree; • contact you at work if you tell t he collector your employer disapproves; • communicate with third parties, such as friends, neighbors and children; • contact you after you write a letter telling the collector to stop, except to notify you if the collector or creditor plans to take a specific action; • harass you with repeated phone calls, obscene or profane language, or threats to harm you; • make false representations of the amount or legal status of any debt; • make any false statement or claim that you will be arrested; • t h reaten to have mone y deducted from your paycheck or to sue you, unless that course of action is legal and the collector or creditor

intends to pursue it. The collector must disclose that the collector is attempting to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose. The collector must disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector. Also, within five days after the initial communication, the collector g e n e r a l l y mu s t send you a written notice that tells you the name of the creditor, how much you owe, and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money. Protecting Your Rights. If you dispute the debt’s validity in writing within 30 days, the collector must stop collection efforts until they provide verification of the debt. If the debt and the collector are legitimate, try to work out a repayment plan. Either way, keep all collection letters and copies of the letters you send. If a debt collector violates your FDCPA rights, you can generally sue the collector (within one year of the violation) for up to $1,000 in statutory damages, attorney’s fees and actual damages. Ed van Vianen is a bankruptcy attorney at Fitzgibbons Law Offices in Casa Grande (520-426-3824).




The LIVING Interview (continued) ...continued from page 36 interest you. Or you’re on a health careers pathway. And this is the guided pathways model that I’m a big believer in – it’s where students know from start-to-finish what pathway they’re on and what classes they need, instead of a whole spattering of classes everywhere, and you pick and choose. It’s really a structured academic pathway. I think if we design our programs that way, yes, I think high school students are prepared. They want hands-on, technology-infused, project-based learning. They don’t want me standing up in front of the classroom lecturing to them. And so, I really feel like we have to (Laughs) reinvent everything we do in higher education – from the way we design our academic programs to the way that we deliver the content. And that sage on the stage who knows everything and pontificates and students are supposed to listen to a lecture, those days are over. Unfortunately, we still have teachers who teach that way. And so, I think that’s our biggest challenge. I’m happy to be part of a college that’s ready to take on that challenge – that wants to adopt designing academic programs in a structured way, so that students can kind of see what they’re doing. GC LIVING: So, do you see the days of 100, 200, 300-student lecture halls going away? DR. ELLIOTT: They’re going to go away. They need to go away. Our students today, the Millennials or post-Millennials, they can do six things at one time. You know, they could be on their phone, listening to music and doing homework, and watching TV. They’re a multitasking generation, and they’re used to having technology in their hands from the time they’re 5 years old. And they’re not afraid of it. So, with their attention spans, they need project-based learning. Now, back to your question about remediation, I would love to see – and we’re moving in this direction – that we don’t offer any remedial courses. There’s this belief that every degree program needs College Algebra, and that’s kind of the old models. Everybody needs to take College Algebra. Well, you really only need College Algebra if you’re going to take Calculus, and you only need Calculus if you’re on a science, technology, engineering or mathematics path-



way, but not if you’re going to be an English teacher. You don’t need College Algebra. And so, now we’re looking at different maths for different academic programs. I think higher education is kind of finally catching on, but it’s going to have to be hands-on, technology-infused learning. And, I said this one day once at a national conference, and you should have heard the gasps in the room, but it’s the truth. It was that we, as educators, are no longer the pontificators of knowledge. Students can find out how to do anything on YouTube. But, what we need to be, is facilitators of learning, and helping students pick what resources they use to learn what they need to learn, rather than I tell them, using a chalkboard, that a comma goes here, because it’s before a coordinating conjunction, you know? That’s just not the way students are going to learn in the 21st Century. GC LIVING: There’s been some controversy surrounding some of the closures and cuts when CAC announced closing the swimming pool, which was basically the community pool on the north side of town, as well as cuts to the programs at The Pence Center for the Performing Arts. What do you do to overcome the negative perceptions associated with changes like that?

DR. ELLIOTT: Some of those changes are (attributed to) we don’t always communicate very well as a college the reason why (things are done). Now, I’m a big believer in, “OK, yeah, maybe we close the pool.” But I get really discouraged, because people always go to the negative and they don’t see the possibilities. I’m going to talk about the pool a little bit. The pool is a huge liability. We had students who would climb over the wall in the middle of the night and swim, and you know, that’s just a huge liability. But, OK, maybe we’re going to close the pool, but why don’t we focus our efforts on finding the funding and raising money to build an indoor recreation center at CAC that has an indoor pool that the community could use? Why don’t we, when one door closes, make another door open? And we didn’t have a conversation and we could have done that. We could have said, “Hey, we need to close the pool, but here’s what we want to build. We want to build a rec center that has a walking track in it for the community and an indoor pool, and we’re going to work on some funding for that, whether through grants or working with the community. So, we could have really found a positive

continued on page 47... THE EDUCATION EDITION • LATE SUMMER 2017

Horse Property.... Great riding out the front door!

11727 North Henness Road, Casa Grande $392,500 3 BR 2 BA DEN/OFFICE | 2,153 SF | 2.37 ACRE HORSE PROPERTY • 2.37 acre horse property in the beautiful Casa Grande foothills adjacent to State Land! • Incredible mountain views and city lights! • This custom home has an open concept perfect for entertaining! • 3 roomy bedrooms and an office/den which could easily convert to a 4th bedroom. • A grassy backyard is a haven with a sparkling pool with three waterfalls and a Ramada for outdoor dining. • A 28’ x 28’ detached garage/workshop has an air conditioning unit, fresh drywall, and interior wall and floor paint. • The south portion of the property is fenced with an RV gate and is roomy enough for your barn, stalls and corrals! • Easy access to I-10.


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520.431.2875 | 520.423.8250 | ©2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.









Out & About Exciting events and striking scenery in Pinal County

If you would like to contribute images of area events, people, pets and scenery, please post on our Facebook page or email to: VIRIBETH PEINADO




Health • Wealth • Education














by Debbie Angwood, President


he Zonta Club of Casa Grande Valley is an organization made up of dedicated professional women here in the Casa Grande Valley. Our mission is to advance the status of women and girls by supporting their health, welfare, education and development. As President, I have a passion for serving youth and have developed the theme, “Shaping the future for successful youth through education, inspiration and leadership.” Our club has sponsored a successful Z Club at Vista Grande High School. This program helps high school students develop leadership skills, promotes career exploration and encourages members to participate in community, school and international service. We plan to expand Z Clubs in Maricopa and Eloy in the near future. We also plan to support a Golden Z Club, which will be for Central Arizona College (CAC) students.

About Junior Z

by Michelle Fogarty, Zonta Member and founder of a Z club program for girls at the middle school level The Junior Z club began during the 2016-2017 school year, under the name Girls In Action, as a club housed in Grande Innovation Academy. With the support of the principal, the club started with eight girls in grades 5th through 8th and quickly grew to 15 consistent members. The focus of the group was to discuss issues facing girls in middle school. As a teacher, working



with middle school-age students, I found that issues once facing high school girls were now impacting girls in middle school. This club provided a place for the girls to address issues and concerns in a safe, supportive environment. Together, they faced bullying by male students, handling situations effectively, and appropriately demonstrating role model-type behaviors. Even more important is the fact that the girls are now viewed as a leadership group in the school. The members also completed service projects. They brought awareness to bullying by planning Unity Day Activities at the school. They sponsored Kindness Week, developing activities and skits for scholars in all grades. They assisted with Zonta 70th birthday and marched in the Veteran’s Day Parade. They served Pancakes for a Santa Breakfast and dined with Kindergarten students, who were dining alone. Next year, the girls have plans to complete service projects both inside and outside of school. At the beginning of the year, the girls described being a girl using adjectives such as “good,” “strong,” “the best” and others. At the end of the year, the girls were able to describe being a girl as, “insightful,” “empowered,” “beautiful,” “leaders,” “amazing,” and other positive words. The girls have learned that, “It takes One to Start a Revolution.” The goal, in the girls’ words, is to be that ONE.

Formal Proposal to Zonta International to recognize Z club style programs at the middle school level Proposed Amendment to Establish a Category for Intermediate Students: SECTION 10. Z Tweens & Teens in Action, Z Clubs and Golden Z Clubs. (a) Z Tweens & Teens in Action, Z clubs and Golden Z clubs are service programs formed and sponsored by a Zonta club. Guidelines are in the Zonta International Z Club and Golden Z Club Manual. (b) The sponsoring Zonta club shall pay a charter fee and an annual renewal fee in U.S. dollars. The renewal fee shall be used toward the administration of the Z Club program of Zonta International. Rational for proposal: What are Z Tweens & Teens in Action, Z Clubs and Golden Z Clubs? The current description in the Z/Golden Z Club Manual fits exactly with the proposed goals for Z Tweens & Teens in Action. By adding the Z Tweens & Teens in Action to the current Bylaws in the Z/Golden Z Club manual, it does not change the intent or language already accepted. Service projects in middle school, though similar in nature to examples in the manual, need to be age-appropriate. Why Z Tweens & Teens in Action, Z/Golden Z Clubs? Z Clubs first began in 1948. Society has changed and issues (low self-esteem, violence, drugs, early pregnancy, etc) affecting high school and college-age girls now are issues facing middle school girls. Current research shows 24 percent of girls in middle school have been impacted by sexual harassment and inappropriately touched. Conflicts that once began in high school are now a middle school problem. All issues have exploded by the spread of cyber-bullying and social media exposure. The support to girls provided by Z/Golden Z Clubs is needed at the middle school level. Supporting community and international service projects is one way for Z Tweens & Teens in Action to become well-educated and have positive self-esteem. Z Tweens & Teens in Action members can be mentored by the local Z/Golden Z Club members as they collaborate on service and advocacy projects. Zonta Club members provide resources and information which encourage service to the school and community and an international awareness. Association early in the Zonta mission creates a lifetime of empowerment, beginning at a critical age. Not only do the Z Tweens & Teens in Action, Z/Golden Z Club members represent future members of Zonta, but their service and advocacy gives credibility to the Zonta mission. This will result in increased awareness and membership. Adding mentoring to the possible activities of Z/ Golden Z Clubs will enhance opportunities for youth taking responsibility for training and encouraging other youth as well as setting examples for service and advocacy.




DO YOU SUFFER FROM CVS? If you wear glasses, you just might!


o you spend several hours a day on the computer and find your eyes red, strained or experiencing blurry vision? Do you suffer from neck, shoulder or back pain? If so, you may have CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome. There are several causes of CVS, including the inability of your eyes to shift focus from your keyboard to monitor. Or, if you are over 40, age-related presbyopia – the normal age-related loss of near-focusing ability – could be to blame. There is also a third cause – progressive prescription glasses. Progressive lens are designed with multiple vision zones for distance, intermediate and near vision focus. Instructions for wearing progressive lens include, “Point your nose directly at what you’d like to see and bring it into focus by moving your chin up or down.” In other words, “Act like a bobble-head to see clearly!” And while this type of lens works well for driving (distance) or reading a book



by Bea Lueck

(near), it isn’t very effective for computer use. The problem with extended computer-time is the distance of your monitor to your chair. Monitors are, on average, 20-26 inches from your eyes. Progressive lenses often do not offer a large enough area for the intermediate vision needed for your monitor. You may find yourself tipping your head up to see out of the “reading” portion of your glasses. Over time, this may cause eye strain or neck, shoulder and back strain from the bobble-head motion and unnatural cervical spine posture. There is a solution - computer reading glasses! Computer glasses are not regular reading glasses or “cheaters” you can buy at the corner drug store. These prescription glasses are designed specifically for computer use and for a distance of about arms-length focal point. This puts the optimum lens power for viewing your monitor in a clear, wide field without focusing effort or unhealthy

posture or positions. Non-glare coating is also recommended to help reduce eye strain from extended computer-time. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of CVS, have a frank discussion with your eye care professional. Normal eye exams test your distance vision and your close reading vision of about 14 to 16 inches. Inform your doctor about your computer usage and request a test of your vision needs in the 20-26 inch range. [Editor’s note: Prior to your exam, measure the distance from your nose to your monitors in your normal chair position. My monitors are 30-inches from my chair.] Bifocals and progressive lenses eliminated the need for separate reading and distance glasses. But computer use has created a third requirement that isn’t normally addressed intermediate range glasses for computer use. You may need separate computer reading glasses. If so, your aching neck will thank you for using them!


The LIVING Interview (continued) ...continued from page 40 silver lining, and I think there’s still an opportunity for it for us as a college. When it came to the arts program, there’s a lot more to the story. Right now, we were having students, if they tried out for a play and got a part, we would say, “Enroll in theatre, and pay $89 tuition for a class that doesn’t count toward a degree and doesn’t transfer.” And, “Oh, by the way, you’re probably going to run out of financial aid, because if you do four plays, you’re going to end up with all these credits that you don’t need, and you’re going to leave us with more than 60 hours, and half of them won’t transfer.” So the whole movement was to move toward – and in fact, this is a better possibility for us – we’re going to hire a Director of Arts at CAC who will run the Pence Center, but also that person’s responsibility is to do two community productions a year and two student productions a year. And so we’re going to continue to have

then you need to go to a private liberal arts college, because that’s what they do, and that’s what they do well. And the students say, “Are you saying I shouldn’t be at CAC?” And I say, “I am, and I’ll help you transfer, and I’ll help you look for scholarships.” But we all know that private liberal arts colleges, like the one I attended, that’s what they do. They do the arts, and they do them very well. That’s not the role or the mission of a community college. And over the years, one of the things that community college has done is we’ve lost sight of our mission and we’ve turned ourselves into little universities. And that’s not who we are, and that’s not what we’re supposed to be. The community college mission – it came out of the G.I. Bill in the 1960s – we were designed to open our doors to anyone and everyone to come and learn a skill, and for the military to come back and learn a skill and go to work.

plays, but I’m not going to make you, as a student pay $89. Actually, it would be over $300 of tuition dollars, just because you want to act in a play. GC LIVING: So the arts program is not dead at Central Arizona College? DR. ELLIOTT: No. GC LIVING: We can still enjoy plays and musicals and other performances? DR. ELLIOTT: I think it’s going to be bigger and better, because we had students that didn’t try out for the play because they’re already enrolled in 15 hours and they didn’t want to have to take more hours, and you know, I had students say, “Well I never tried out, because I didn’t want to have to enroll and pay tuition to act in a play.” GC LIVING: It’s a big difference whether I want to have a degree in performing arts or theatre, versus I just like getting up on stage periodically. DR. ELLIOTT: Absolutely. And, you know, CAC is not the place for you to get the degree in fine arts. If you want a degree in fine arts,

continued on page 57...


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PINAL COUNTY PRESS A R IZONA CIT Y • C A SA GR A NDE • CO OLIDGE • ELOY • F LOR ENCE • M A R ICOPA CREATIVE COMMUNITIES...cont. from page 38 • Sharifa Rowe, CEO, SROWE Consulting, LLC Community: Tempe • Maja Aurora, Director of Arts Engagement, City of Tempe • Maggie Fountain, Fine Arts Curriculum/Instructional Specialist, Tempe USD • Gayle Shanks, Owner, Changing Hands Bookstore • Aaron Thacker, Public Affairs Officer, Arizona National Guard Community: Yuma • Lindsay Benacka, Arts and Culture Program Manager, City of Yuma • Maria McKivergan, Licensed Professional Counselor, Desert Counseling and Recovery Services • Cari Jean Nelson, Ceramics Instructor, Yuma High School District • Isaac Russell, Research Analyst, US Department of Defense; Co-Director, Littlewood Fine Art Co-op AZCCI Collaborators and Guides Representatives of the Arizona Commission on the Arts,

Herberger Institute, and Southwest Folklife Alliance will serve as key collaborators, alongside local and national experts in creative engagement. “Arizona is rapidly becoming a hub for the exploration of creative solutions, with internationally-renowned field leaders and experts converging here and engaging with the rich intellectual, artistic and cultural capital of our communities,” said Jake Pinholster, ASU HIDA’s Associate Dean of Policy and Initiatives. “One of ASU’s and the Herberger Institute’s fundamental responsibilities is to bring artists, university resources and community leaders together to help Arizona communities thrive. The AZCCI will provide a powerful opportunity to do just that.” Speaking on behalf of Southwest Folklife Alliance, a Tucson-based nonprofit affiliated with the University of Arizona, Executive Director Maribel Alvarez said, “We believe in building equity with artists and traditional culture bearers and the power of cross-sector partnerships with organizations and entities of all kinds. In the AZCCI, SFA sees an opportunity to advance our mission, engage in a vital exchange

Casa Grande City Manager Selects New Community Services Director


ollowing a comprehensive nationwide search, Casa Grande City Manager Larry Rains recently announced that Steve Hardesty was selected as the new Community Services Director, effective June 19, 2017. “The professional skills and expertise that Steve possesses in operations management, budget supervision and facility development and construction is a perfect fit for the current needs of our community,” said City Man-



ager Larry Rains. “I am confident that his extensive experience will ensure continuity and quality as we move forward with the many Community Services initiatives that benefit our residents.” As the Community Services Director, Hardesty will be responsible for the planning, coordination and direction of the Community Services operations, which include parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, libraries, golf courses, buildings and related facilities.

of knowledge with the field’s thought leaders and master practitioners and serve Arizona communities throughout the state.”


for Performance in Civic Practice.

Key collaborators include: – Maribel Alvarez Associate Research Professor, School of Anthropology, and Associate Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona; Executive Director, Southwest Folklife Alliance; ASU Cultural Policy Fellow; Community Arts Expert. – Maria Rosario Jackson Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Senior Advisor, Arts and Culture Program at the Kresge Foundation; Expert in Urban Planning and Community Revitalization. – Liz Lerman Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Founder, Dance Exchange; MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipient. – Michael Rohd Institute Professor, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Founding Artistic Director, Sojourn Theatre; Executive Director, Center

What’s Next? In addition to intensive training, network-building and ongoing consultation, selected teams will see from $15,000 to $20,000 invested in their communities over 12 months (in cash grants, artist services and support to participate in the program). In the second half of the 12-month institute, each participating community will host an embedded artist residency. The focus and format of each artist residency will be collaboratively-designed between the community team and embedded artists, selected through a forthcoming statewide call. “This is the first time we’ve engaged in an experiment like this, and we’re building as we go,” said Dempsey. “Fortunately, we have tremendous talent at the planning table, great resources to call upon, and an amazing cohort of participating communities represented by individuals whose passion, dedication, and creative vision are truly an inspiration to us. We look forward to learning with and from these amazing Arizonans.”

He will also be responsible for the evaluation of operations and activities as well as the analysis of trends, program requirements and resource utilization. “My wife and I are very excited to move to Casa Grande and become part of the community. We are looking forward to meeting new folks and tackling new challenges,” said Hardesty upon the announcement of his selection. “Community Services can have a positive influence in the lives of nearly every citizen in Casa Grande, and I am eager to get started.” Hardesty joins the City of Casa Grande from Salina, Kansas,

where he has served in numerous management roles since 1995. In his most recent capacity as Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, Hardesty was responsible for the supervision and management of eight divisions, including recreation programs, athletic programs and golf course and event center contract administration. During his tenure with Salina, Hardesty served as the division lead for the construction of a $13.1 million Salina Fieldhouse, as well as a $1.7 million project to complete a facility remodel of an event center. Hardesty holds a Bachelor of Science from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.


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“I TOAD YOU SO” by Gigi McWhirter

It only takes a few seconds for symptoms to appear, after a dog or cat comes in contact with the toad.



his is no fairy tale. Whoever said that you can kiss a toad to get a prince has never met the Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius). This desert dweller is, in fact, the largest toad in the United States. They can weigh over two pounds and grow up to eight inches in length. They have smooth, leathery, olive green skin. These beauties are at their peak during the Arizona monsoon season — and they are far from harmless. Also known as the Colorado River Toad, they are highly toxic to dogs and cats and, in fact, are responsible for more canine deaths than rattlesnakes in Arizona. When a dog or a cat licks or eats the toad, it will seep neurotoxins from the head and pores


containing bufotenine and 5-MeODMT. This can cause the animal’s mouth to foam as well as seizures, a high fever, dilated pupils and a rapid heartbeat. If not treated immediately, it can even lead to death. It only takes a few seconds for symptoms to appear, after a dog or cat comes in contact with the toad. Symptoms may include the following: • Crying or other vocalization • Pawing at the mouth and or eyes • Excessive drooling of saliva from the mouth • Membranes of the mouth may change color and may become pale and or inflamed • Difficulty breathing • Loss of balance or unsteady movements

• Seizures • High temperature • Collapse Your quick response is the animal’s best chance for survival. If you suspect your dog or cat has come into contact with one of these toads and is suffering from toxicity, and as long as your pet is conscious, immediately flush the pet’s mouth with clear water and try to get out as much of the traces of poison as possible. SEEK VETERINARY CARE IMMEDIATELY! As always, please consult your veterinarian if you have any more questions about this or other veterinary topics. Happy Tails to you!


RESTORING DIGNITY THROUGH WORK by Terri Durham, Office Coordinator


took up golf about five years ago. I bought a set of clubs, golf shoes, glove, sun visor and two dozen hot pink golf balls. The first time I debuted my head-to-toe golf ensemble, I had the confidence of professional golfer Michelle Wie. If only my golf game was as strong as my swag. Every time I played, I got frustrated and would quit. I couldn’t figure out how to golf on my own. For my birthday, this year, I got a golf lesson with a golf pro. In just one hour, I was hitting my driver further than I ever had! My coach, Jon, instructed me on the proper golf grip, where to line up the ball, how to do a 90-degree check, when to open or close the club face and how to finish strong. I had the ability in me all along; I just needed someone to come alongside me and show me I could do it. Jobs for Life is like coach Jon. It encourages and instructs learners on the foundations of being employable. By training and equipping, Jobs for Life prepares men and women for meaningful work through honest relationships, mentoring, Biblically-based training and an ongoing community of support. When people are able to work, it provides dignity, value and purpose. Work verifies ones identity through contribution to the team and the employer. Work creates community and renews cities. Work changes everything. A lack of work contributes to poverty, crime, homelessness,

domestic violence, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancies, divorce and suicide. Nothing attacks one’s dignity like a lack of work. Without work, many begin to identify themselves with their circumstances – like “welfare mom” and “deadbeat dad.” But, we were created in the image of God, with value and worth! We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, with gifts, talents and purpose. Seeds of Hope is making positive changes in our community and in the lives of individuals who go through the Jobs for Life eight-week course. The next semester begins in September. Now is the time we recruit a few coaches, who can instruct and encourage a new class of learners on how to be employable. Could that be you? The job description is simple – be available to come alongside a few participants who are trying to make a better future for themselves. We also connect our Jobs for Life graduates with employers who can offer entry level positions. Do you own a business or have hiring responsibilities? The ability to work is the foundation to creating a community that values one another. By offering employment to new Jobs for Life graduates, you create a culture of opportunity and begin the restoration of dignity in individuals. Jobs for Life restores dignity, changes lives and transforms communities. Contact our office to learn more about how you can be a part of offering this hope at 520-836-6335.


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works for your lifestyle and fits your schedule. If groups energize you, join a running club or a fitness class. With each of these, you will benefit from the built-in accountability and friendships. This would be good for people who can find clubs or classes that fit their schedules. (P.S. I know a great place!) Back-to-school can be a busy time, and some may only have time for workouts in the early morning or late at night, or even only very short workouts. If you fit that description, I recommend working out at home, so you don’t have to drive anywhere and can fit it in around your family’s schedule. 3. Schedule your workouts Whether or not you get an adrenaline rush from crossing things off a list, most parents need a to-do list and schedule to stay sane. Plan your workout times in advance and put it on a calendar or to-do list. Then, use the power of technology to remind yourself it’s time to exercise!

BACK-TO-SCHOOL FOR THE KIDS AND BACK-TO-HEALTHY FOR PARENTS by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, CPT/Certified Wellness Coach & Owner WickedFiTT


t’s back-to-school time again! And, whether you are the mom who cried dropping off the kiddos on the first day of school (yes, I have seen your Facebook pictures) or the mom who opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate (yours too), one thing is certain – it’s time. The start of a school year brings a flurry of activities and emotions, any of which can help or hurt your fitness goals. Here are five tips to help you maximize your time and energy and be the fittest you can be. These tips apply to working moms, homeschool moms and ordinary women, like you and me. Everyone can benefit! 1. Plan meals Meal planning can mean different things to different people, but doing some form of it will help you meet your goals. Planning out your meals will save time and stress, and will ensure that you eat healthy. The weeks I don’t meal plan are the weeks we eat out more,



eat fewer veggies and feel sluggish. Here are some ideas you can try: • Plan out 4-8 weeks’ worth of meal plans. • Make grocery lists, and rotate these plans throughout the school year. • Pick a day and spend an hour or so prepping things like lunches, snacks or dinners for the week. If your kids are old enough, teach them to help you! • Shop online. If you have a grocery store that offers this, order your food online and pick it up. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting and how much you will spend. Some stores even deliver, for a greater fee. Make freezer meals in advance to use on those busy nights. 2. Find an exercise that you enjoy If you hate what you’re doing, you will find every excuse in the world to avoid it. Find a way to do an exercise that you actually enjoy, and make sure it’s effective for your body,

4. Seek accountability Find a workout buddy. This holds you accountable, makes workouts more enjoyable and can even create a little fun competition to keep you going. If a workout buddy isn’t an option, find someone to check in with you about your exercising and eating habits. Knowing someone will ask is often a good enough motivator. Once again, group fitness is a great accountability route to take. Find what works for you and get started! 5. Play with your kids You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again – play with and enjoy your kiddos. So even if you aren’t a pro at sports, rebounding your son’s basketball, kicking a soccer ball or playing catch can be great quality time and a chance for you to MOVE! Bike rides and walks are also good options. And finally, do what you can and don’t put stress on yourself to be perfect. No one is perfect, even if their Pinterest pages make you feel like they are. Remember that your kids need a healthy mom, and exercise and eating healthy are great places to start. By making this a priority, it will show them a great example. Good luck and God speed! I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you on this journey. I believe in you!



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THE BIRTH OF GRACE (PART III) The The Birth of Graceofis Grace the fouris part story of KVNG—91.1FM, Voice of Never-ending Grace”, the whole Birth the four-part story of“TheKVNG—91.1FM, “The VoiceEloyofand NeverCasa Grande Valley’s Hometown radio station, by H. David Landry and Eric Kruzel.

ending Grace,” Eloy and the whole Casa Grande Valley’s hometown radio station

by H. David Landry and Eric Kruzel

would have quencies is intense and the signal cov-Grace”, The birth of aofchild The Birth Graceisisan theamazing four part story of KVNG—91.1FM, “The Voice of Never-ending Eloy and the been whole a tremendously exeragebyarea extremely regulated miracle ofCasa God. The Valley’s birth ofHometown a non- radio station, Grande H. David Landry and Eric Kruzel.due to pensive venture. A copy of the Tohono n both life and ministry, walking by faith consider their next steps. Enter, Rob Branch. the studio for the origination of the broadtribal government notice was sent to large of the Phoe- casts. profit, can full-power FM,atChristian radioto theWith be very hectic times. You desire lesson-air than 12presence months remaining, would have With beenthe tremendously exquencies isEngineer intense Eric and Kruzel the signal cov- Rob Theeven birthwhen of a child is anthe amazing tower location only allowed accessible us to file trust God, it seems odds KVNG’s contacted theAaFCC, who in turn nix and Tucson markets. In granting the station, though definitely notofon the pensive venture. copy of the Tohono erage area extremely regulated due to miracle of God. The birth a nonby helicopter – it was expensive and not are stacked against you, yet your human Branch out of Lynchburg, Virginia. Rob is a for anotice change tower location and the application, the FCCofhas ahasprocess samereasoning level as the birth FM, of aChristian child, is still the tribal government was of sent to Davis large on-air presence the Phoeprofit, radio immediately available – Marv of MHD andfull-power the circumstances that surBroadcast Media Engineer who assisted the FCC, who in turn allowed us to file nix and Tucson markets. In granting the station, though definitely not on the City of Aswere it turns a new whereby advantage is given to new miraculous own right; particularly round you,inatits times, overwhelm the amount Surveying andLicense. an assistant flown out, to numerous Christian radio stations across the for a change of tower location andtothe the FCC has a process same level as the birth of a child, is still application, of faith you have. the top of the mountain acquire the new country, through a variety of difficulties, to location wasn’t the only birthing ownership andtothe of tower the birth miraculous of Casa Grande Valley’s locally stationadvantage City of License. it turns out, a new is given new longevity in its own right; isparticularly Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande not a big whereby tower As location coordinates, which were then get on-air for the Kingdom of God. The right tower the onlymanufacturer birthing ownership and the longevity of the birthare of no Casa Grande Valley’s locally station an owner’s in the area. The location owned and locally produced KVNG church. There deep pockets and no sentdifficulty. towasn’t the antennae for design location for thelocation tower needed to be found difficulty.modifications and manufacturing. The remote owner’s location in the area. The and locally produced KVNG vast reserves. The potential expenses of build- an and time was at a premium. Grace (KVNG – 91.1FM) would go result was that in June of 2008, Calvary 91.1FM –owned “The Voice of Never-ending (KVNG –of91.1FM) would gorequire the result that in June Calvary 91.1FM – “The Never-ending ing a full-powered FMVoice radio of station seemed the tower would So,was in January 2013of – 2008, through the grace ofGracelocation through many difficulties, of Chapel became the “tentative selectGrace” (known as Grace 91.1FM). through many difficulties, stretches of proof,”stretches became the “tentative select-a day 91.1FM). to rise Grace” before (known them as as anGrace enormous mountain Chapel on-sight equipment to be “bullet able God (and a miracle or two) – within or faith and the revealing of multiples of ee” to build the full powered FM staThe conception of Grace (KVNG) faiththe andharsh thelocation revealing of multiples of on theconception horizon. Mountains of obstruction powered FM sta- to handle and requiring so ofto hisbuild arrival,the Rob full had found and validated The of Grace (KVNG)can ee” themaintenance next several and months in theiraccording area. There howevcan be dated back to 2007 when at the tion drain your faith. That’s when the idea from minimal upkeep. a location to were, the FCC’s require-miracles over miracles being over the next several months tion in their area. were, howevcan be dated back to 2007 when at“It’sthe er, and complications yetthe to There overcome in on urging4:9-10 and encouragement of other ments. It turns out mountain rising theyears before We willfinally continue thebirthed fourth and final installEcclesiastes becomes very clear: on-air full birthing process.Peak, Christian radio stations around theofna- the and years finally er, complications yet to overcome in ment urging and of other of The Birth before of Grace in the nextbeing issue birthed horizon was Newman with availableand coming better to encouragement have the insight and assistance KVNG’s original Cityhighest of License was tion, Calvary Chapel offalls, Casathe Grande of the Golden Corridor Living magazine. In the towers located on its point. And as two over just one. If the one other and coming on-air the full birthing process. Christian radio stations around the na- Chuichu, on the an application for a nonmeantime, you can listen to KVNG – Grace the Lordlocated would have it, northern-most there was space on would (CCCG) be therefiled to help.” We will continue the next installment of The KVNG’s original City of was tion, Calvary Chapel ofobstacles Casa radio Grande portion of thetowers Tohono Na-License commercial educational station 91.1FM twenty-four hours a day throughout the the existing toO'odham rent. There were so many looming on Birth of Grace in the next issue of the Golden directlylocated south of Casa Grande. licensed with the to Federal CommunicaCasa GrandeInValley or via live-streaming on any Negotiations began for leasing the transthe horizon, began losefor hope that the tion, Corridor Living magazine. the meantime, you Chuichu, on the northern-most (CCCG) filed anthey application a nonWe– Grace will continue theatnext installment of The KVNG 91.1FM twenty-four Shortly theperforming FCC’s announcement Corporation (FCC). and get on mitter after site and any necessarycan sitelisten tocomputer or smart phone www.grace911. stationtions would come to fruition portion of the Tohono O'odham Na-a daycom. commercial educational radio station hours throughout theGrace Casa Grande the favorablerequired, selection, the soverThese windows are rare. ofmodifications Birth of in theValley next issue the Golden because of the new For further information about the of station, air within the timeFCC setfiling by the FCC’s requireor via live-streaming on any computer or smart tion, directly south Casa toGrande. licensed Federal Communicanation ofThe theengineers Tohonoof O’odham Although many who would like to ments.with Even the as they continued to pray, it build was eign equipment. needed design to make a donation, or sponsor a portion of our Corridor Living magazine. phone at For further infor- In the meantime, you notified Calvary Chapel thatforthey were operate a full-powered FM station, toand seek some(FCC). outside, professional help and order the equipment the transmitter programing you can at info@grace911. mation about the station, to make aemail donation, can listen to KVNG –usGrace 91.1FM twenty-four Shortly after the FCC’s announcement tionstime Corporation Grace, as a non-tribal the FCC only allows few openings and a new set of eyes (andaperhaps faith) toand not sitepleased on top with of the mountain, as well as build or call usprograming at (520) 426-7911. or sponsor acom portion of our you can hours a day throughout the Casa Grande Valley of theradio favorable selection, TheseatFCC rare. owned email us at or call us at station being located the soververy filing limitedwindows time frames.are Calvary their nation’s border. Although a (520) 426-7911.or via live-streaming on any computer or smart Casa would Grande was eign nation of the Tohono O’odham AlthoughChapel manyofwho likefortunate to build within phone at For further infor set-back, this notification would later to be ready and prepared when the Biblically Focused • Locally Produced • Community Minded • Broadcasting notified Calvary Chapel that they were and operate a full-powered FM station, mation about the 24/7 station, to make a donation, become a blessing in disguise. To build October 2007 window opened. not pleased with Grace, as a non-tribal the FCC onlyThe allows a fewfor openings and and maintain a tower in that location competition available freor sponsor a portion of our programing you can Streaming Live at email us at or call us at owned radio station being located at very limited time frames. Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande was fortunate within their nation’s border. Although a (520) 426-7911. set-back, this notification would later to be ready and prepared when the become a blessing in disguise. To build October 2007 window opened. The competition for available fre- and maintain a tower in that location



Like us at 54







u r y t r-





Calvary Chapel:

1867 N. Trekell Rd

962 W. Gila Bend Hwy.

Casa Grande Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande

Arizona City Ward

Kingdom Living Ministries

Genealogy Family History Center

Ministry Center

1555 N. Colorado

297 W. Rock Creek Place


Roman Catholic:

241 W. Cottonwood Ln, Ste 132

201 N. Picacho St.

Casa Grande Stake Office

Sun Valley Community Church

Liberal Catholic:


Universal La Iglesia Del Reino De Dios

Abundant Grace Church & Bible College Apostolic Tabernacle - United Pentecostal Church 432 W. Saguaro St.

Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus in the USA 16460 W. Ashmore Rd.

Torre Fuerte Strong Tower Church 409 W. Cholla St.

Unity of All Nations New Testament Church II 417 N. Trekell Rd.

Assemblies of God: First Assembly of God 501 E. Kortsen Rd.

Grace Assembly of God 200 S. Florence St.

Iglesia Apostolica Del Dios Vivo 220 N. Lincoln Ave.

St. Anthony Of Padua Catholic Church

St. Michael And All Angels Liberal Catholic Cathedral 545 E. Palm Parke Blvd.


1555 N. Colorado

1556 N. Arizola 412 N. Brown

Central Lutheran Church 324 N. Sacaton St.


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

400 E. 3rd St.

Conland Lutheran Church

Bethel Christian Community Christ Life Church

2016 N. Pinal Ave.

1805 E. Sierra Pkwy.

18171 W. Hopi Dr.

Trinity Lutheran Church and TLC Preschool

Living Waters Church Of God

1510 N. Casa Grande Ave.


Pentecostal Church Of God:

Indian Hills Community Church

3153 E. Cornman Rd.

Hwy 86, Milepost 90, Covered Wells AZ

Compass Christian Church

20110 W. Hopi Dr.

Victory Chapel Christian Fellowship Church

1482 N. Pueblo Dr.

Beit Roi


Pentecostal Holiness:

1576 E. Cottonwood Ln.

640 W. Ocotillo St.

109 E. 11th St.

People Of The Son Emc

Greater Evangelist Temple Church Of God In Christ

Church of Christ:

The United Methodist Church

More Than Conquerors Ministries


Outreach Church Of God In Christ INC.

1915 N. Casa Grande Ave.


805 W. Racine Place

Templo Cristiano

Desert Valley Church of Christ

212 S. Drylake

2172 N. Arizola Rd.



Nondenominational: 241 W. Cottonwood Ln., Ste 132

Calvary Southern Baptist Church

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

2492 N. Trekell Rd.

704 E. McMurray Blvd.

Eleven Mile Corner First Southern Baptist Church


Desert Sky Baptist Church 891 W Kortsen Rd.

First Shiloh Baptist 1121 N Pinal Ave

Grace Baptist Church

1319 E. Cottonwood Ln.

Iglesia Bautista Emanuel Church 112 N. Brown Ave

Landmark Missionary Baptist Church

Christ Assembly

411 Saguaro St.

Crossroads Church

3151 N. Piper Rd., Ste. 101

North Trekell Southern Baptist 2492 N. Trekell Rd.

Primera Iglesia Bautista Del Sur 305 E. 4th St. Tohono O’Odham Baptist Church 18280 W. Hanna Rd.

Trinity Southern Baptist Church 1100 E. Trinity Place

Victory Baptist Church of Casa Grande Independent 1225 E. Cottonwood Ln.

Faith Community Church

Off Rodeo Rd. on Kadota Ave.

Arizona Plaza, Ste ll

First Presbyterian Church 702 E. Cottonwood Ln.

1104 N. Pinal Ave.

Jesus Joy Jubilee National Fellowship 241 E. Cottonwood Ln., Ste. A

525 N. Peart Rd.

204. N. Trekell Rd.

Covenant Presbyterian Church

Abundant Grace Church

Iglesia Apostolica Centro De Fe

Religious Organizations: The Supreme Council Of The House Of Jacob Inc. 114 N. Amarillo St.


Cowboy Church

18171 W. Hopi Dr.

1300 E. Jimmie Kerr Rd.

Native Christian Fellowship 16816 W. Hanna Rd.

Redemption Church 275 W. Viola Dr.

Latter Day Saints:

950 N. Peart Rd.

New Beginnings Church Of The Nazarene

Harvest Family Church

10245 N. Pinal

Hope Baptist Church 9745 N. Trekell Rd.

Newlife Baptist Church

511 W. 1st St.

Desert Joy Church

The Salvation Army

83 N. Pueblo Dr.

1515 N. Trekell Rd.

Gateway Temple Of Worship Non-Demoninational Garden Chapel

201 E. Kortsen Rd.

New Hope Baptist Church

211 E. Date Ave.

Quijotoa Mission

815 E. 6th St.

Corner of 8th & Olive

425 N. Lincoln Ave.

Eagle Summit Ministries

423 W. Ocotillo St.

Casa Grande Church Of Christ

First Baptist Church

Victory Outreach Ministry


Love Fellowship Center

767 Castledale

1415 W. Trekell Rd.

Calvary Chapel Casa Grande

1333 N. Center

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1555 N. Colorado

Casa Grande First Ward 787 E. Kortsen Rd.

Casa Grande Second Ward 1555 N. Colorado

Casa Grande Third Ward 787 E. Kortsen Rd.

Casa Grande Fourth Branch Spanish 2841 N. Trekell Rd.

Casa Grande Fifth Ward 2841 N. Trekell Rd. Casa Grande Young Single Adult Branch 2841 N. Trekell Rd.

962 W. Gila Bend Highway David Landry, Senior Pastor Services

Saturday: 6:30pm Sunday: 9:00am & 11:00 am


Wednesday: 6:30pm Awana Club: 6:30pm Youth: 6:30pm • 520-836-9676



s a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator in Casa Grande for the past seven years, I have learned that being healthy isn’t always about food! Other factors impacting our lifestyle choices include habits, stress, time-management, family dynamics, failed dieting attempts eroding our confidence, lack of self-compassion, information overload… and the list goes on! Eating four to five cups of non-starchy vegetables, limiting sugar intake to no more than six teaspoons, drinking water and unsweetened beverages, eating out only once per week and reducing stress is not easy! It is also difficult to be physically active at least 150 minutes per week. I tell my patients, “I don’t wake up every day excited to exercise!” Most days I have to convince myself to just put on my shoes and go. Or, if I’m feeling ill or stressed, I want comfort food, not vegetables! I never give up, though. I strive to look back and ask myself, “What did I learn from that experience?” and remember why healthy eating,

by Sheri Steincamp MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC

being active and limiting stress are important. I imagine that many of you are experiencing this struggle yourself or are witnessing it among your family or friends. If you are concerned about your health and have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes/ diabetes or overweight/obesity, it is important to seek support from a professional and educate yourself about keeping your heart and other organs healthy. Most chronic diseases are managed through healthy eating, physical activity and limiting stress, and most insurance companies will pay for patients who have a chronic disease to see a registered dietitian. If your numbers are not where they should be and you need personalized support, have your doctor fax a referral to my office. Research shows that the more support someone has, the more successful they will be! Beginning in July, I will also be offering a free diabetes class from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays. Yoga can also help manage chronic disease by improving insulin sensitivity, cholesterol,

blood pressure and helping with pain management and chronic fatigue syndrome, just to name a few benefits. A consistent practice of yoga and meditation reduces stress, alleviates symptoms of disease and side effects of medications, boosts the immune system, and helps keep us more mindful regarding healthy lifestyle choices. Starting in August, I am offering two series of classes: a six-week Weighty Matters and a 10week Breathe Your Way to Inner Calm: An Introductory Series in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. If you feel like you need support with unwanted pounds or would like to cultivate inner calm, visit to learn more. Whether through a physician’s referral, free diabetes class or yoga series, I look forward to helping you feel confident about living a healthier lifestyle!

Sheri Steincamp

Casa Grande's Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator & Yogini

Divine Source Yoga with Akal Shakti (Sheri) Kaur

• • • • • •

Diabetes Pre-diabetes Chronic kidney disease High blood pressure High cholestoral Overweight or obesity (children & adults) • Bariatric surgery clearance

We take insurance. Ask your doctor to fax a referral!

Two class series starting in August! 1. Weighty Matters 2. Breathe Your Way to Inner Calm: An Introductory Series in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.

Class themes at: 56



The Interview (cont.) ...continued from page 47 So we were really started as a two-year degree to HVAC, welding, you know, auto technician and nursing studies. We were designed to be a two-year granting of a skill set for people to go to work. Then over the years we said, “We can do the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, the basics,” and that makes sense, and that works for us. But then we said, “Oh, let’s do a program in arts, and let’s do a program in this,” and we’ve turned ourselves into little universities and that’s not who we are. I’ve worked at two universities, and I’ve worked at three community colleges. And community colleges are designed to provide an employable skill that can help someone go and make a living wage, and/or the first two years of transfer and not full academic programs, and not offering courses that don’t transfer. And so that’s kind of what we’ve done to ourselves. And I say “we,” because I see it across the nation. I see a lot of community colleges have turned themselves into little universities, and that’s not who we are. So, do I think we should have a vibrant performing arts program? Absolutely. Do I think we should have an academic program in performing arts? No. It just doesn’t make sense, and we didn’t have one anyway. That was a misconception. GC LIVING: Do you view it as more of a release from academics and relaxation for the students to be able to go act in a play? DR. ELLIOTT: Well, I think any co-curricular activity is good for students. And, I put plays in that category; I put being in a band in that category and I put doing athletics in that category.

We don’t make students take college level credit courses to participate in sports. And for some of them, that’s a release. We have students involved in student government, student leadership. We don’t make them enroll in a credit bearing course for their release. And so we offer community education, Zumba classes and yoga classes for students to do that release. But I think that we have to get away from this mindset that college is a place where students can go and explore. I mean, I don’t want to go explore myself and have to give somebody money to do that. If I want to do a release in a play, I should be able to do that without having to pay to do it. If you sit and talk with students, they’re like, “Tell me what I need to take so that I can get a degree.” No student walks in the door of Central Arizona College and says, “I want to spend $2,000 per year, and walk away with nothing in hand that has any meaning.” And 29% of our students do that. They come and spend, or we scholarship them, to leave us with nothing. It would be like me walking into Walmart and giving them money and leaving with no groceries or no goods. And so we have to really get away from that mindset, and it’s a hard one. Because the liberal arts movement of the 60s, 70s and 80s was all about, “Go to college, and experience college life.” And less than half of the people who go to college leave with a degree. That tells you something’s broken. I recognize I’m an outlier in my thinking, but it just kind of makes sense to me that if a student is going to come and someone’s going to scholarship them, you want that student to leave with something that helps them get a job or that


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The LIVING Interview (continued) they’re able to transfer with junior status. GC LIVING: So what’s your five-year plan for CAC? Where do you see the college going? DR. ELLIOTT: I see each campus developing its own identity and right academic mix. I see us becoming a leader in how to design curriculum for employers and partnerships. I see us growing our capacity and capabilities in each campus so that we have a stable and steady enrollment of students at the campuses. I think that’s a pretty big thing. It’s not going to happen in five years. There’s no way we’re going to be able to get our academic mix right at every campus in five years. It’s a constant evolution. It’s going to be a constant evolution. Do I think we can do it? Absolutely. Is it a lofty goal and vision? Yes. I also see the vision for the college. I hope that we become known across the nation as an institution where over 80 percent of our students graduate within two years and, of those who transfer, 90 percent transfer

with junior status. They are big goals, but I think we can do that. And I think we should do that. I just don’t feel that we want to be known as an institution where only 29 percent of our students leave with a degree or certificate. Even if you’re going to transfer, you should leave with a degree or certificate from CAC. GC LIVING: Funding, of course, is the challenge along the way. How do you see the mix of property taxes, grants and student tuition? DR. ELLIOTT: Well, we’re lucky, because Pinal County is a growing county. So every time a new house goes up or a new business comes in, that helps us as a college. I think it’s a balance between finding efficiencies. (For example,) we go from 159 to 60 degrees in certificates. There’s a huge savings already there. What happened in 2008 and 2009 across the nation is the economy went like this (makes downward gesture) and when the economy tanks, people go back to col-

lege. So, our enrollment spiked in 2009 and ‘10. And when your enrollment spikes unexpectedly, what’s the first thing you do? GC LIVING: Hire more people. DR. ELLIOTT: You hire more people. Now we’re back down to where we were pre-spike, across the nation, and what have we done? GC LIVING: You still have those people working ... DR. ELLIOTT: We still have all those people. And so, as we start to cull through that, we will have those saves. We are overstaffed as an institution, and we have the opportunity to, through attrition when people leave us, really think about if a course is something we want to continue to offer? Do we really need this many part-time people? We’ve run classes with three and four students in them, which is kind of a problem, because you need at least 12 students in a class to even break even. We have to run our

continued on page 92...

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BANNER URGENT CARE TO OFFER ENHANCED SERVICES FOR CASA GRANDE by David Lozano, Banner Health – Earned Media Senior Manager


rgent care centers are designed to meet the health care needs of the community for illnesses or injuries that don’t appear to be life-threatening. If you look back at Casa Grande about 20 or even 30 years ago, options were limited for anyone who wanted relief from a cold, a sprain or a slight fever. If you didn’t want to travel to Phoenix or Tucson, your main options were the hospital or your primary care physician. As the community grew and the demands for quality health care increased, we saw a larger presence of urgent care centers starting to “spring up” before our eyes. Before Banner Health’s acquisition of Casa Grande Regional Medical Center a few years ago, you may have relied on the services of the hospital’s urgent care center for non-emergent medical conditions. After the acquisition,

those services continued under the umbrella of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. While those services will continue, they will do so with a slight name change starting Aug. 1. Banner Casa Grande Urgent Care will then be known as Banner Urgent Care, offering the same great service, treatment and a wide network of Banner Health providers. Banner Urgent Care will help in meeting consumer demands for affordability and quick and convenient health care. “It really made sense for us to enhance this service for the residents of Casa Grande,” said Rob Rohatsch, MD, CEO of Banner Urgent Care. “People can still expect the same exceptional care and treatment. We’re also adding some amazing additional services like online check-in. This reservation system allows patients to virtually save their spot in line, thus avoiding the need to sit in waiting

rooms for long periods of time.” Banner Urgent Care in Casa Grande will continue to fill the gap between seeing your primary physician or going to the emergency room. It certainly won’t replace either service, but instead will help supplement those services, and provide patients with a wide network of other Banner Health providers, should you need treatment for other medical issues. The other great thing about Banner Urgent Care is that you don’t need an appointment. Most insurance plans are accepted. We have ultra-convenient office hours, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (starting August 1, 2017, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.), seven days a week, and minimal wait times that work with your schedule in mind. Our experts will be able to treat you and your loved ones for common illnesses and injuries including: • Abdominal pain • Broken bones • Cuts in need of stitches • Physicals • Urinary tract infections • Animal bites • Cold and flu symptoms • Minor infections (ear, sinus, respiratory) • Simple fractures and sprains Banner Urgent Care also provides a host of screening and diagnostic tests including: • Flu shots and other vaccines • Eye exams • Urine pregnancy testing • On-site X-ray, including chest X-rays • Blood tests “We’re here if people ever need us,” said Dr. Rohatsch. “This will be our 44th Banner Urgent Care location in Arizona, and it will be a part of other Banner Urgent Care centers in the Phoenix and Tucson markets. We’re excited to be able to help people and give them more options when it comes to their health care needs for them and their loved ones.” Banner Urgent Care in Casa Grande will remain at its current location, 1676 E. McMurray Blvd., Suite 1. For questions about services offered, location and times of operation, please call 520-316-0688. For more information, please visit urgentcare.








Open 9am - 9pm • 7 days a week 1676 E. McMurray Blvd, Casa Grande (starting August 1, 2017, hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.)

Urgent Care

PUT PREVENTION ON YOUR LIST OF BACK-TO-SCHOOL NEEDS by Stephanie Collier, Project Coordinator, ACPP I, Casa Grande Alliance

Proper monitoring is another tool parents can use to lessen the chance that youth get into drug use and other problem behaviors.


he older your child gets, the more a child will start to act on his or her own beliefs and opinions. This is a natural part of growing up, and is necessary for them to become thriving independent adults. Likewise, the conversations between an adult and a child about alcohol and drugs need to mature too. While “Just Say No” might have been enough when they were younger, a conversation with pre-teens and teens needs to go further, like “Say no to drugs, because…” A parent or other caring adult (grandparent, teacher, coach, etc.) then needs to be prepared to finish that sentence with accurate facts about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. For example: • Heavy marijuana use by teens is linked to lower grades and exam scores, making them less likely to graduate from high school or college, and less likely to enroll in college.1 • Nine out of 10 people with substance abuse problems started using by age 18.2

Often, parents think that when their child nears the teen years, they no longer listen to them, and their peers have a greater influence. While this might be true about their fashion choices or favorite bands, statistics show that, when it comes to making decisions about drugs and alcohol, this is not the case. The Journal of Adolescent Health shared research that “suggests that only 19 percent of teens feel that parents should have a say in the music they listen to, and 26 percent believe their parents should influence what clothing they wear. However, the majority—around 80 percent—feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol. Adolescents do listen to their parents when it comes to issues such as drinking and smoking, particularly if the messages are conveyed consistently and with authority.”3 Local data supports this, as 52 percent of youth in Pinal County said they did not use drugs because they didn’t want to disappoint their parents, and 37.8 percent said it was because they didn’t want to disappoint another adult.4 Proper monitoring is another tool parents can use to lessen the chance that youth get into drug use and other MTF Survey; Cobb-Clark et al, 2013; Silins et al 2014; Tucker et al 2005; Homel et al, 2014; Volkow et al 2014; Fergusson and Boden 2008; Brooks et al 2013.




problem behaviors. As youth get older, they want more freedom and independence. Parents can balance giving more freedom and still being in control by knowing “who, what, where and when.” Ask your youth: • Who they’re going to be with? You may have a rule about meeting their friends and have their parent’s phone numbers. • What will they be doing? Are they going to see a movie, going bowling or some other activity? • Where will they be? Are you comfortable with them being without a responsible adult, or do you want them to have some supervision? • When will they return home? Make sure the time frame is appropriate for the activity. For example, if your child wants to go to a movie with a friend, but asks to be gone for five hours, the time frame doesn’t fit the activity and they need to let you know their plans for the rest of that time, or adjust the time frame to be appropriate. Parents who ask for this information from their child in a calm, conversational manner instead of making the feel like they are being interrogated will have easier, more open communication with their child about this and other things. How will you know if your child is telling you the truth? Periodically checking up to see if your child really doing what they said will let parents know if they can give more freedom or need to withhold privileges. Another way that parents can monitor their youth is by periodically checking their belongings. Parents should not be hesitant to go through their child’s room, backpack or vehicle. It’s not an invasion of their privacy – you’re doing it because you love them and want to help keep them safe, plus you share responsibility for their choices. Knowing what to look for can also help. Drug paraphernalia can be difficult to spot because it is often designed to look like another common item to escape detection. Parents and caring adults who are not sure what to look for or want more information on drug prevention can contact the Casa Grande Alliance for help at 520-836-5022. addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction. Accessed electronically May 30, 2017. 3 Jackson, C. Perceived legitimacy of parental authority and tobacco and alcohol 2

use during early adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health 31(5):425–432, 2002. 4 2016 Arizona Youth Survey, Reasons for not using in last 30 days among 8, 10 & 12 grades, Pinal County.


What is in your child’s backpack?  Paper  Folders  Pencils  Textbooks …  Marijuana ?  E-cigarettes ?  Paraphernalia ? Regularly inspecting your child’s backpack and knowing what to look for can help ensure a more successful school year!

1460 N. Pinal Ave. Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 520-836-5022 Facebook: CGAlliance | Twitter: @CG_Alliance

Special Section:

CHARACTER COUNTS Kids teaching character through actions by Donna McBride Pinal County has much to be proud of when we have so many students who “get it.” They are creating a “culture of kindness” by setting their own examples – something we, as adults, can learn from.



ll the education degrees, money in the bank or professional attributes just can’t add up to the importance of a person’s integrity. The character of a person shows his or her true colors. Teaching good character is a responsibility of parents, schools and the community. The concept is simple. There are six characteristics that promote ethical values: • • • • • •

Trustworthiness Respect Responsibility Fairness Caring Citizenship.

In a world that has seen such


negativity of late, I say we dig a little deeper to inspire a “culture of kindness” to help our children feel safer and less scared. And let’s be honest – we all need that. How can these simple pillars make that happen? By being the example. By stepping up to do right. By not accepting the unacceptable behavior because it’s not “your problem.” It is your problem and my problem, because this is our community. The Pinal County Juvenile Court Community Advisory Board (CAB) hosted its Annual Character Counts Essay Contest Awards Ceremony recently at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse. This contest, now in its 12th year, is fully funded by donations through this special volunteer board.

ABOVE: Winners with Judge Daniel Washburn, Juvenile Court Director Denise Smith and Community Advisory Board Chair Debbie Martinez and members Carson McWilliams, Roy Edwards and Linda Bakker.

Students, family members, school personnel and court staff were in attendance during the ceremony with the Honorable Daniel Washburn as the guest speaker. Over 3,400 students participated in the countywide contest. Since the essay contest started, over 28,000 submissions have been accepted from students in Pinal County (grades K-12). Winners were chosen based on their essays about one of the six pillars of character. Congratulations to the top winners in each category. Pinal County has much to be proud of when we have so many students who “get it.” They are creating a “culture of kindness” by setting their own examples – something we, as adults, can learn from.


DIVISION 1 (K-2) 1st Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giana Piccirillo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magma Ranch K-8/Florence 2nd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ashlyn Pilkington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Red Rock Elementary/Red Rock 3rd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacqueline Chacon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magma Ranch K-8/Florence Honorable Mention:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kaiden Hurley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ranch Elementary/San Tan Valley DIVISION 2 (3-5) 1st Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Viviana Ramos Yanes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mesquite Elementary/Casa Grande 2nd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Katelin Kazmierczak. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Circle Cross Ranch K-8/Florence 3rd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eden Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Florence K – 8 School /Florence Honorable Mention:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Siennah Rios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magma Ranch K-8/Florence DIVISION 3 (6-8) 1st Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elizabeth Cook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cactus Middle School/Casa Grande 2nd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audrey Solomon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St. Anthony of Padua Catholic/Casa Grande 3rd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hannah Parker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Walker Butte Leadership School/San Tan Valley Honorable Mention:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kylie Kastl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St. Anthony of Padua Catholic/Casa Grande DIVISION 4 (9-12) 1st Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Caitlyn DeArman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Florence High School/ Florence 2rd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dalton Baker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Florence High School/ Florence 3rd Place:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emma O’Shea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Florence High School/ Florence Honorable Mention:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fernando Ramirez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maricopa High School/Maricopa

1st Place Winner – Division I (Grades K-2)

1st Place Winner – Division 2 (Grades 3-5)

1st Place Winner – Division 3 (Grades 6-8)

What Responsibility Means To Me

What Responsibility Means To Me

What Citizenship Means To Me

Responsibility is trying my best to get things right. I clean my room before I play my games. When my mom gets sick and in the hospital, I do all of her chores. I respond to my parents when they ask me something. I rely on people that I trust, like my friends and family. I return things on time and try not to lose them. I help take care of my little brother and help cook food. I help people get up when they trip and fall. If my parents say “no,” then I don’t do it. I do not keep begging to get my way. I never use bad language. People can trust me with anything. I feed my cat and dog when my parents ask me to. I let my brother play on my computer. I treat other people the same way I would like to be treated. I brush my teeth in the morning and at my bedtime. I turn in my homework on time I eat my food before I dive into the cookie jar. I wash my hand after I go to the restroom. Responsibility is important to me because without it I wouldn’t have any friends. RESPONSIBILITY IS AWESOME!!!

Responsibility means to do what you are told to do. An example of “responsibility” is when an adult or teacher at school gives you something to take care of. Another example is like if you were a babysitter you will have to take “responsibility” of the baby. Another idea of “responsibility” is when you are at school and your teacher gives you some supplies you need to take care of them because you might need them later. It’s your “responsibility” to take care of the supplies because they might be helpful. Responsibility also means to use “self–control” and “keep on trying” hard in everything. Responsibility also means to “think before you act and consider the consequence” because if you don’t think before you act and consider the consequence you might get in bad things—like if you lie to an adult they might get mad at you that’s why we don’t lie to adults.

Citizenship is an important character trait. To me, citizenship means being a good neighbor and helping make the community better. It is important to be a good citizen, and you can show citizenship by doing these things. One time, my brother’s Boy Scout troop went out and picked up litter in a little desert area near a road. Anyone was allowed to help, so my mom and I went. We picked up a lot of trash! After it was over, we took the trash– filled bags to the dump. Picking up all of the litter was tiring, but we were helping our community by protecting the environment. Everyone that participated was showing citizenship when they were picking up the litter. Doing this was helping make the community better and protecting the environment, which is part of what citizenship means to me. To help the community, one thing you can do is help out with community projects, even if you are just donating money to help carry out the project. You can also protect the

Giana Piccirillo Magma Ranch K-8 – Florence


Viviana Ramos Yanes Mesquite Elementary School – Casa Grande

Elizabeth Cook Cactus Middle School – Casa Grande

continued on page 70... GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


Special Section: Education

“What teacher most influenced your life, and why?”


I've had a few, but I'm going to go with the teacher that sparked the beginning of my transformation. I was a knucklehead in my early years, always trying to get a laugh and be the class clown. My 7th grade math teacher, Mrs. Winchester, back when CGMS was Casa Grande Junior High School, was the spark. During a parent-teacher conference, I expected her to speak about my behavior, (but) instead she told my parent that I was very intelligent and had unlimited potential. Academics were not my issue, and the day would come when I would turn it all around and really show everyone what I was capable of. I had good teachers before, but she was the first to comment on the positive, instead of the negative. It was like a light switch was flicked, and from that day forward, I wanted to do better, and I stopped being a knucklehead. I owe her a debt of gratitude, and I hope she knows her efforts and kind words didn't go to waste.


Gosh, I don't know! There were so many in my life who influenced me dearly. I just can't choose one. LOL They all have shown and taught me that I could do so much good in life and become a better person growing up. I just cannot choose one teacher, because to me, they were all amazing.




Special Section: Education


That's tough! I can't remember that far back. LOL


Mr. Guizar, of La Puente, California. He is my 6th grade teacher, who I still speak to. He was my teacher over 30 years ago.


Mr. Piña (CGUHS) and Mr. Arnold (CGUHS), both sadly passed away. They were outstanding teachers and friends to the students.

JULIE GOULD For my granddaughter, it was Mrs. Kortsen, from McCartney Ranch, she was an angel. She never gave up on her.


My youngest daughter had Mrs. Kortsen for her Kindergarten teacher. She was, by far, the best teacher any of my children ever had. Such a wonderful lady!


Nancy Buck Harrison, Beth Turner and Mary Marrinan-Menchaca have been with me through thick and thin. I wasn't the easiest student to get along with! To this day, we are still close.



Mrs. Hernandez, of Palo Verde, she was my Kindergarten teacher.


Mr. Tad Roberts, because he pushed us to be the best, even when we were struggling and feeling like giving up. He inspired me to keep pushing through. He was such an awesome teacher, (and) really made an impact in my life. I’d also like to mention Yvonne Johnson at CGUHS. I had her during second hour, and she was amazing. She always took her time with her students.


Mr. Mitchell, because he stood up for me in a situation my senior year.


Mrs. Purden, of Saguaro Elementary, always had patience and was very understanding. She always made sure, as a class, we understood the curriculum. She even remembered who I was even as an adult, which was special (because) she was my Kindergarten teacher. She also still works at Saguaro Elementary.



Special Section: Education

ASU PREPARATORY ACADEMY CASA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL “We met with our students several times throughout the year to find out what they wanted from their college prep experience, in addition to the classes and tutoring they received. They did not hesitate to take ownership of that question, and quickly instituted extracurriculars like student council, STEM club, robotics and intramurals."

by Stefanie Contreras


n August 1, ASU Preparatory Academy begins its second year in Casa Grande with a successful first year under its belt and a new group of faces who will join the students on campus. FC Barcelona (FCB) and Grande Sports Academy announced a new partnership on June 7 that created FCB’s first and only residential soccer academy in the U.S. – now named Barça Academy. High school soccer students from around the nation will join the ASU Prep Casa Grande students from the local and neighboring community on campus. “Barça Academy is a world-class soccer training academy, and ASU Prep Casa Grande will provide the world-class education our students need to round out their studies here,” said Sylvia Mejia, ASU Prep Casa Grande’s Principal. One of the top attractions of ASU Prep Casa Grande is its use of the Cambridge Curriculum, which is an

Learn more and take a tour! Attend an information session:

• Tuesday, July 25 from 5 – 6 p.m. • Tuesday, August 1 from 5 – 6 p.m.



internationally acclaimed curriculum that prepares students for university study, and is recognized by universities worldwide. ASU Prep Casa Grande embeds the Cambridge Curriculum in its blended learning format, which is a mix of digital and in-person class time. As juniors and seniors, ASU Prep Casa Grande students have the opportunity to take ASU Online courses from Arizona State University, with support from their teachers. As part of this learning, students receive a personal tablet to use and take home for their studies. Additionally, every student explores college majors through personalized apprenticeships with ASU faculty and community organizations. Students also have Capstone classes, which help them develop leadership skills, community service projects and explore possible future careers and college majors. In its first year, ASU Prep Casa Grande students embraced the school’s concept and curriculum. Two students qualified for the national math competition; the robotics team qualified for a state tournament, and the first three students graduated – all with post-secondary plans at either Arizona State University or Central Arizona College. “We are very proud of our first year in Casa Grande,” Mejia said. “We

met with our students several times throughout the year to find out what they wanted from their college prep experience, in addition to the classes and tutoring they received. They did not hesitate to take ownership of that question, and quickly instituted extracurriculars like student council, STEM club, robotics and intramurals. As we grow into our second year, I look forward to seeing how our school will thrive and change.” ASU Prep Casa Grande is one of five ASU Prep high schools. The others are in Phoenix, East Mesa, Tempe and at ASU Prep Digital – which is 100 percent online. Students at ASU Prep Casa Grande will utilize some of the online coursework provided by ASU Prep Digital and will learn and collaborate with peers at the other campuses. ASU Prep Casa Grande is a free, public charter high school, located onsite at Grande Sports World. Enrollment is ongoing for the 2017-18 school year. Families are welcome to come by and take a tour, or enroll online by visiting the school website at For questions, please email Sylvia.Mejia@asu. edu or call 520-374-4200 for more information. ASU Prep is chartered by Arizona State University, which U.S. News & World Report ranked No. 1 in Innovation for the second year in a row, ahead of MIT and Stanford.


Enroll now Classes Classes start start Aug. 1 ASU ASUPreparatory PreparatoryAcademy Academy Casa Casa Grande Grande is is aa free freecollege collegeprep prephigh high school school for for grades grades 9–12. 9–12. Call Callto toenroll enrollor orschedule schedule aa campus campus tour: tour: 520-374-4200. 520-374-4200.

ASU ASU Prep Prep students: students: Learn Learn in in aa flexible, flexible, hybrid learning environment environment on on a self-paced schedule schedule

Last Lastyear, year,ASU ASUPrep Prepgraduated graduated

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Benefit Benefit from from small small class sizes and personalized personalized learning learning 2612 2612 W. W.Gila Gila Bend Bend Highway, Highway, Casa Casa Grande, AZ 85193

Special Section: Education


Veteran educator Dr. JoEtta Gonzales joins Casa Grande Elementary School District by Bryan Harris, Ed.D., Director of Professional Development & Public Relations, Casa Grande Elementary School District


n April 2016, following an extensive nationwide search, Dr. JoEtta Gonzales was selected to follow Dr. Frank Davidson as the next superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District. Dr. Gonzales has served for 29 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, national equity assistance center director and district administrator. While in these roles, she introduced and implemented multiple initiatives related to educational equity and systemic school reform. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy development from Arizona State University, with a focus on leading diverse school communities. In addition to her work

in K-12 education, she also taught university courses in bilingual and multicultural special education at Arizona State University. Most recently, she served as an area school superintendent, supervising 18 schools in the Reno-Tahoe area. Immediately after her selection as superintendent, she began working with Dr. Davidson, district leaders and governing board members to map out a successful transition plan. She looks forward to working with staff, community leaders, parents and students to continue the tradition of excellence established in the district. “I am honored to be the next superintendent of this amazing organization,” Dr.

Gonzales said. “Dr. Davidson and the other dedicated staff have established a tradition of excellence and an expectation of high achievement for all of our students.” She added, “My job will be to build on that foundation and help guide us to increased levels of success for our students and community.”

CHARACTER COUNTS Kids teaching character through actions (continued) ...continued from page 65 environment by picking up after yourself and even throwing away others’ litter. Another example of what citizenship means to me is being a good neighbor. Offer to help the people in your community if they look like they need help. Also, don’t disrespect others! You aren’t better than them, and you’re not the boss. You can’t act however you want. So be a good neighbor! In conclusion, to me, citizenship beings being a good neighbor and helping make the community better.



1st Place Winner – Division 4 (Grades 9-12)

Caitlyn DeArman Florence High School – Florence What Responsibility Means To Me

Responsibility means everything to me. It means prioritizing and spending your time wisely. It means to take charge in what you need and what you want to accomplish in life. Responsibility means accountability and it can correlate with all other pillars of character. Every day, I take the time to organize my schedule my tasks in order of importance, so that I can achieve as much as possible. Setting goals is another aspect I contribute with

responsibility. I have set long term and short term goals; long term being my ambition to graduate high school and go to college, short term being my objective to complete homework and class work. Being accountable is essential for being responsible. Admitting your shortcomings and taking humble pride in your triumph means responsibility. When I am in the wrong, I will admit it. When I have done something well, I will be proud of it. Responsibility ties in with all aspects of character; being fair, caring, trustworthy, and taking part in citizenship, whenever possible. It means taking control for your future and being accountable for your own actions. Responsibility is essential for living a productive life. Responsibility is everything.


Success for Everyone – The Responsibility is Yours and Mine ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT

. . . h g i H h c a Re

Casa Grande Elementary Schools Leading the Way

Visit Your Child’s School Today!

Percentage of Casa Grande Parents Providing the 12 Schools an “A” or “B” Rating 97

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520.836.2111 • WWW.CGESD.ORG

Special Section: Education

MISSION HEIGHTS PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL by Amanda Mace, School Leader It is important for me, as the new principal, to be a part of the enrollment process and interview each incoming student, so that I learn who each of them are before they even sit in a desk.



n August 8, 2011, Mission Heights Preparatory opened its doors for the first time to the Casa Grande community. The school opened with the intent of offering a smaller environment to students who desired to be challenged in classroom settings that would prepare them for the collegiate level. I started that year as the senior English teacher. Now, six years later, as the new school leader of MHP, I find myself asking whether we have fulfilled that vision. I have held many roles here, and I see it from all angles - I am a teacher; I am an administrator; and I am a parent. As a teacher, I see smaller classroom sizes, where I had the opportunity to know every student in class. If someone missed a day, I knew. I read everyone’s writing, and was able to not only know names, but to also know hearts. As educators here, we do not ask the question, “Are you going to college?” No. Our question is, “Where are you going to college?” It is the expectation and the mentality of every staff member here; we emphasize it continuously. In fact, out of 70 graduates in May, 94 percent of them went on to a university, community college or the military. We proudly push our students to not only learn and be engaged in the classroom settings now, but in their communities later.


As an administrator, I see a group of supporting staff members who have become more like family - all striving toward the same purpose. We have 16 highly qualified instructors who devote themselves to prepare students for their futures. It is important for me, as the new principal, to be a part of the enrollment process and interview each incoming student, so that I learn who each of them are before they even sit in a desk. It is valuable that they know my office is a safe place intended for support and guidance. As a parent, I see how MHP was one that prepared my son for higher learning. It was a proud moment for me in May to hug him as he walked the stage to receive his diploma. He, too, has a collegiate plan, and I am thankful for the staff at MHP who invested in his time here. Therefore, as I reflect on my initial question – “Is Mission Heights fulfilling our mission?” - I can proclaim with a confident “Yes!” We are here “to create an environment of academic success built on the pillars of college readiness, community service, civic duty and self discipline.” Are there areas needing improvement? Always. Are we misunderstood in the community? Maybe. Are we going to continue to grow, challenge and better this school? Absolutely. I stepped into this new role asking

the questions, “What makes us different?” and “How do we stand out?” It’s not just higher test scores. It’s not just increased rigor. It’s not just the small, safe environment. Then it hit me - we are a school where students can be truly known by the entire staff. When I walk down the hallways of MHP, I don’t just see faces. I see lives. I see stories. Whether we admit it or not, everyone has an innate desire to be known. We all want someone to know us, acknowledge us and realize that we exist. Statistics tell us that social media is one of the highest growing businesses in the world. In fact, Facebook announced in the month of June that they reached 2 billion users. Why? Because people want to be KNOWN! Your students are hungry to be in environments where they are not just a number. They want to feel that their lives have purpose. In showing students they have value and are a NEEDED part of society, they find that purpose. They want to walk in through the doors of classrooms and feel part of something. MHP is not just a building that students come to; it is a family that they are a part of. It pushes students, gives them purpose and promotes them to be an integral part of society. Students who come here can prepare to be known. They can prepare to have purpose. They can “PREPARE TO SUCCEED.”


p epaP e a re tr r e ” ” “Pr“ ! ! d d eoe ee

S u cc

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Mission Heights Preparatory High School is a tuition-free public college prep school with a family atmosphere featuring: • • • • • • • • • • •

Highly Qualified Teachers Top AzMerit Scores in the county Dual Enrollment and Early College Options on MHP's campus Digital Arts programs including cutting edge competitive EA Sports program and Photoshop Competitive sports including football, volleyball, cheerleading, wrestling, men and women's soccer, baseball, softball and track Music and Drama programs Youth Entrepreneurs program that teaches students business and encourages marketing of their own skills A Travel Club that experiences 20 days in Europe every couple of years Relationship with CAVIT A wide variety of clubs & extracurricular activities AVID Program

m/enroll Enroll Enroll today online today or at stoponline by for or stop aat bytour! formhp a tour! Out Out of 70 2017of Graduates, 70 94% 2017 went to a Graduates, university, 94% went to a university, How Prepared Your for College? How Prepared is Your Child for College? community community college or the military collegeis or the Child military 2015 Spring AZMerit Scores

2015 Spring AZMerit Scores









11th Grade Math

11th Grade Math 11th Grade English

State Average

MHP Average

State Average

11th Grade English

MHP Average

High Performance on AZMerit High Performance on Exams AZMerit Exams

Grades 9-12 Grades 9-12 1376 E. Cottonwood Ln. 1376 E. Cottonwood Ln. Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Accredited by AdvanceED Accredited by Advanc | 520.836.9383 | 520.836.9383 Amanda Mace, school leader Amanda Mace, school leader

Special Section: Education

CAC HOSTS INDUSTRY SKILLS SUMMIT by Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing


entral Arizona College recently hosted the Arizona Advanced Technologies Corridor Industry Skills Summit. More than 80 college representatives and manufacturers participated in the one-day technology session. Central Arizona College, Maricopa Community College District and Pima Community College heard from companies such as Raytheon, Intel, Lucid Motors, Abbott Nutrition, Honeywell, and others. The industry leaders in the room represented more than 18,000 employees and more than 400 years of personal experience in the manufacturing industry. A primary input from the industry leaders was their concern about finding the skilled workers upon which their success relies. A special technology-enabled process captured every response from the event’s participants. In February, the three community college districts signed a charter to create a uniform curriculum to support the advanced manu-

facturing sector in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, and the findings from this event are being used to inform that effort. Trevor Stokes, Workforce Program Manager with the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity stated, “Industry partners were appreciative and provided kudos to the colleges for doing something out of the box to address their needs.” He added, “The value of the manufacturing sector to our economy cannot be overstated, and we are very optimistic about these developing partnerships.” Attendees offered perspectives on the needed personal competencies and technical skills graduates should have as they enter the workforce and provided input as to what the curriculum should look like. The group was able to draw some valuable conclusions: 1. Attitude and teamwork were identified as critical skills for every stage of a manufacturing career.

Where do you see yourself

2. A large majority of participants are optimistic about the future of their industry in Arizona. 3. Manufacturing employers value personal and interpersonal skills, like work ethic and verbal communication very highly, especially in entry-level positions. 4. The value of a manufacturing career is not only in the entry-level position, but also in the likelihood that with a little perseverance, an individual can move quickly into more sophisticated and much higher-paying roles. 5. The manufacturing career of the future will require a willingness to learn and develop expertise in multiple disciplines. 6. Certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills are valued at every stage of career progression. For further information regarding the Arizona Advanced Technologies Corridor Industry Skills Summit please contact Trevor Stokes at trevor. or 602-771-0480.

Advanced Technology programs offer: ‣‣ 3 certificate pathways ‣‣ A.A.S. degrees ‣‣ Career counseling For more information E-mail: Call: 520-494-5308

in two years? 74


“Your Future Begins Today!”


4 BR 2 BA 2,649 SF Spacious covered patio, high ceilings & doors

321 E Quail Ct, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 $349,900 You will love this home the minute you walk through the door. High ceilings and doors. Lots of windows allows for natural light. Large open kitchen is great for entertaining. Upscale community in Coyote Ranch. • LOT IS OVER 20,000 SF • RV PARKING WITH FULL HOOK UPS • SIDE ENTRY 3 CAR GARAGE • 4BR 2BA HOME • 2,649 SF • GRANITE COUNTER TOPS-LARGE ISLAND


520.414.8268 | 520.423.8250 | ©2017 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.


Special Section: Education

CASA GRANDE UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 2017-18 Registration First day of school is Thursday, August 3

REGISTRATION SCHEDULE ALL STUDENTS MUST REGISTER If you are planning to attend Casa Grande Union High School 2730 N. Trekell Road 520-836-8500

If you are planning to attend Vista Grande High School 1556 N. Arizola Road 520-876-9400

Parents must have registered online starting Monday, July 17. Parents and students will also need to attend one of the registration dates below. Parents will receive the necessary information via email if valid email is on file, or it will be sent via U.S. Postal Service.

Parents must have registered online starting Monday, July 17. Parents and students will also need to attend one of the registration dates below. Parents will receive the necessary information via email if valid email is on file, or it will be sent via U.S. Postal Service.

8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 12 – 7 p.m. 8 .m. – 4 p.m. 12 – 7 p.m. 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday, July 24 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 25 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday, July 27 NO NEW ENROLLMENTS DURING PRE-ENROLLMENT REGISTRATION WEEK

Monday, July 24 Tuesday, July 25 Wednesday, July 26 Thursday, July 27 Friday, July 28

If you are planning to attend Desert Winds Learning Center 1362 N. Casa Grande Avenue 520-316-3361 Parents can pick up registration packets now through July 20, and then will need to also attend one of the registration dates below. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday, July 24 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 25 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday, July 27 NO NEW ENROLLMENTS DURING PRE-ENROLLMENT REGISTRATION WEEK

NEW ENROLLMENTS FOR ALL CGUHSD All new enrollments must have all required documents listed below: 1. Picture I.D. of parent/legal guardian (proof of guardianship required) 2. Proof of residence in the form of a current utility bill, rental agreement or purchase contract. 3. Student's birth certificate 4. Students immunization record 5. Transcripts from previous school (grades 10-12)

6. Withdrawal form from previous school (grades 10-12) 7. Eighth-grade promotion certificate (grade 9) 8. Documentation if student has special needs

A parent must attend with their student(s) through the entire registration process. Please understand the registration process may take at least an hour. All AP students will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit for each AP class they are enrolled in, and they must take the AP exam.





Casa Grande Union High School District

A 21st Century Education with 21st Century Choices!


Every Student Access 1:1 Schools Two comprehensive campuses, a STEM program and Learning Center Program


Led by 152 qualified teachers

COURSE OFFERINGS Over 200 course offerings


More than 10,000 volumes at two campuses


Professional Learning Communities with emphasis on effective instructional practices and 21st Century Skills and Student Based Learning



Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics


Websites, PowerSchool, Schoolway App, direct email to staff, weekly news


Choir and Drama, FFA, FBLA, FPS, Robotics, Marching Band, National FCCLA, DECA—state, national and international awards


CAVIT, CAC, private corporations, City of Casa Grande


Professional Culinary Arts Kitchen, FFA greenhouse, Art, Auto Shop, Computer Labs, Theater Arts Auditorium


Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Football, Track, Cross Country, Soccer, Golf, Spiritline, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Available four days a week on all campuses • (520) 316-3360

Special Section: Education

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH PRESCHOOL IS A RIGHT FIT FOR YOUR CHILD? by Patty Messer, Executive Director, Grande Innovation Academy and Little Innovator Preschool


o you think your child might be ready for preschool, but you’re not sure which school is best for your child. There are a lot of choices available, and it’s easy for parents to feel overwhelmed. As the Executive Director of the Grande Innovation Academy, we kept this in mind when developing the Little Innovators Preschool. We developed a preschool which would prepare young minds for entering elementary school, laying down the foundation to create open-minded, principled, inquisitive lifelong learners with a strong sense of pride in themselves. Here are a few questions to ask yourself while you do your due diligence: 1. Does the school offer small class sizes? The Little Innovators Preschool’s low student-to-teacher ratio provides our staff the opportunity to focus on each child’sFILE.pdf needs ROX LIVING AD 013017 PRINTER and provide individual attention.

2. Does the preschool focus on education? The Little Innovators Preschool follows the HighScope® model for our curriculum. The HighScope® curriculum uses a carefully designed process — called “active participatory learning” — to achieve powerful, positive outcomes. The Little Innovator Preschool focuses on the whole child – health, fitness, structured activities, intellectual stimulation, extracurricular activities and academic achievements are all considered important elements of a child’s development. Children will think they’re just having fun, but they’re really learning the necessary skills for a seamless transition into elementary school. 3. What kind of a facility am I looking for? The Little Innovators Preschool is located in the Grande Innovation Academy’s stand-alone schoolPMbuilding. We are not 1 2/1/2017 1:13:54 in a storefront. We have large play areas

and centers. The classrooms are created to foster gross motor and fine motor skills, and lunch is included. 4. Is the facility safe? The Little Innovators Preschool staff, with their small class sizes, gets to know every family. We have a firm child guidance and disciplinary policy. Please download a copy of the Little Innovators Preschool Handbook for additional information. 5. Does the school allow for parent involvement? The Little Innovators Preschool encourages parents to contribute to their school by assisting with special projects and sharing their time and talents. Parents are invited to share holidays and other cultural traditions with the children. If you’d like to read more about what to look for in a preschool, or want to learn more about the Little Innovators Preschool, visit our website at

Expand your child’s education! The Grande Innovation Academy is a state chartered, tuition free Kindergarten through 8th grade school. We foster a creative campus designed to develop individual thinkers, offering an academic culture that takes education beyond the textbook reading, writing, and arithmetic. We focus on the skills scholars will need throughout their lives. C






Tuition Free

Full Day Kindergarten

Bus Transportation

Full Time Gifted Program

Lunch Program

After School Enrichment

Small Class Sizes

Spanish, Arts and Sports

Outdoor Garden

Fab Lab


We are now accepting enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year.


Enroll today at:


We are proud to announce the opening of the Little Innovators Preschool, offering a full-time and part-time program with 5, 4 and 3 day schedule options. For information on tuition, schedules and enrollment, visit

950 N. Peart Rd, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 • (520) 381-2360 78



Special Section: Education


10 Tips to help you and your child prepare


new school year can be both fun and scary for students. But there are steps parents can take to help their children succeed. 1.

Talk with your child. If your child seems nervous, let your child know that many students are also nervous about the first day of school. Point out the positive aspects of going back to school, such as seeing friends, participating in fun activities and going on exciting field trips.

2. Plan and practice how to get to school. Will your child be taking the school bus, walking or riding in the car? Discuss safety measures for each of these methods, such as ensuring there are crossing guards, looking both ways before crossing the street, wearing seatbelts and other important measures. 3. Get to know the teachers. Go a step further than attending back-to-school night or orientations. Introduce yourself to teachers and ask questions that help you, as a parent, understand the expectations for the school year.

4. Don’t forget breakfast. Prepare a healthy meal for your child in the morning to get his or her day started off right. A healthy breakfast every day is important for student success. 5. Create a routine. Build a routine for school days, such as bed times and wake times and getting ready patterns. Designate a homework time and quiet location. Turn TV and cell phones off. 6. Pack safely. A child’s backpack should never weigh more than 10-20 percent of his or her body weight. Wide, padded shoulder straps are ideal. Adjust the pack so the bottom sits at the waist and tell your child to wear it on both shoulders. If a child must carry a heavy load, then consider a rolling backpack, if permitted. 7.

Stay involved. Consider volunteering at your child’s school or parent organization.

8. Make homework a priority. Schedule enough time for homework, taking into account after-school activities. Help your child as needed, but never do his or her homework yourself.



Make sleep a priority, too. Ensure your child is getting adequate rest for his or her age. For example, most adolescents require eight to ten hours of sleep, and younger children need even more.

• Serving Pre-Kindergarten (4 years old by Sept. 1st) through 8th Grade students from Casa Grande, Coolidge, Arizona City, Eloy and Maricopa • National test MAPS taken three times a year for students in Kindergarten - 8th Grade.

10. Talk with your kids about online safety. Teach your children about identity theft, online bullying and dealing with threats that happen over the Internet and social media.

• Catholic Religion taught daily. Children's Mass on Tuesdays.

• Scholarships are available to make tuition affordable • Fully accredited by NWEA and First Things First

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

Sister Carol Seidl, Principal • Diana Peck, Scholarship and Enrollment Manager 501 E. 2nd Street, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 • (520) 836-7247



Special Section: Education



egacy Traditional School Casa Grande’s Principal Mia Vega recently attended the annual National Charter School Conference in Washington, D.C. with district leaders and other administrators from Legacy campuses across the state. Keynote speakers included Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Steve Perry of Capital Preparatory Schools and Netflix co-founder/CEO and charter school founder Reed Hastings, who delivered insights into what the new administration’s policies may hold, encouraged school leaders and teachers to challenge inequities and injustice

in learning and offered predictions about how innovation and advancements in technology will impact and shape future learning. “Regardless of your politics, listening to Betsy DeVos was inspiring, and I felt I was witnessing history unfold before me,” Vega said. “These are exciting times in our profession.” In addition to myriad breakout sessions centering on best practices from the classroom to the boardroom, funding school facilities and expanding charter networks to other states, attendees from across the country also met with their congressional repre-

Principal Mia Vega (5th from the right) with Legacy delegation at U.S. Capitol building

sentatives. Principal Vega and the Legacy delegation met with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ 5th District) to discuss his recent legislation, and received a tour of the Capitol from Rep. Biggs and his staff. “The energy was incredible

throughout the conference, and being able to share in this experience with Legacy Administrators and CFE was an honor,” Vega said. “The trip was amazing...we got to sit in the seats on the floor of Congress!”

Traditional, not ordinary. Find out why Legacy continues to be the #1 K-8 school district in Arizona.

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520.560.0957 | 520.423.8250 | Š2016 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Special Section: Education

CATCHING UP WITH JEFF LAVENDER Veteran Casa Grande principal discusses school successes and building a culture of achievement LIVING: Tell us a little about your background in education. Jeff Lavender: I became the principal at Ironwood Elementary School in 1996 after being a classroom teacher for five years in the Balsz School District in East Phoenix. After my first year as a principal at Ironwood, Dr. Frank Davidson became District Superintendent and Dr. Garry Bond joined him on the district staff as Assistant Superintendent. This movement created an administrative vacancy at Casa Grande Junior High, and Dr. Davidson selected me to fill the vacancy. I served as principal at Casa Grande Junior High School for four years before being selected to open Cactus Middle School in 2001. In 2007, I was selected to open Villago Middle School, where I presently serve as principal. LIVING: We understand that you’ve been involved in three different A+ School of Excellence Awards. Jeff Lavender: In 2007, Cactus Middle School was named an “A+ School of Excellence” by the Arizona Education Foundation during its first year of eligibility, becoming the first school in Pinal County and only middle school in Arizona to receive the honor that year. Since I’ve been at Villago Middle School, we’ve twice been recognized as an “A+ School of Excellence” – the first in 2013 and again this year. LIVING: Tell us more about the A+ recognition program. Jeff Lavender: The Arizona Education Foundation started the “A+ School of Excellence” recognition program in 1983 as an avenue to highlight and share the great things taking place in public schools. There is an extensive and time-consuming application process that requires schools to evaluate themselves on every aspect of their culture, programs, academics and leadership. LIVING: It sounds like quite a rigorous process to complete and submit the application. Jeff Lavender: You are correct. The application process is lengthy and requires us to address seven key 82


factors that impact a school’s success: instructional leadership, curriculum, support programs, professional development, school culture, parent/community support and indicators of success like academic achievement. The application requires that we provide a summary of those seven key areas along with the mission and vision of the school. Each of the three applications we have submitted totaled about 25 full pages of narrative information about the school and took a couple of months to complete. LIVING: How is a school selected to receive the A+ Award? Jeff Lavender: Applications are due in mid-January and a team of judges reviews the applications and selects schools to receive visits. A+ School Visits consist of a team of practicing educators from other A+ Schools who spend one full day and second half-day at the school verifying the information that was written in the application. The judges start the visit with a tour from student leaders. They spend the rest of the full day visiting classrooms and observing the school procedures and culture. The second day the judges meet with stakeholders in separate meetings. Those separate meetings include certified staff, support staff, students, parent/community members and the final meeting is with the administration. The judges report their observations and make recommendations to the Arizona Education Foundation, which makes the final decision. LIVING: With all the other demands on your time, why do you take on this process? Jeff Lavender: The greatest benefit of the A+ application process is the reflection and analysis it requires of us. Our students deserve the very best schools we can create, and the application makes us do some serious reflection. We must analyze and scrutinize every aspect of our school and ask ourselves the tough questions. As you can imagine, writing a 25-page narrative is extensive. As we write and review the application, we realize the things we are doing very well and the things we are not focusing on that are important. The visit from the judges is also the best external evaluation of a school that I have seen in my 21 years of being a principal. The judges are only here for one-and-a-half days, but they do get a real sense of the school and the culture during their time on campus. The feedback we received from the judges is very valuable in improving the school. Although we are an A+ School, we are far from perfect and we gain helpful insights on what it takes to be a great school. In 2013, one of the things the judges shared with me about Villago THE EDUCATION EDITION • LATE SUMMER 2017

Special Section: Education

was that we had a tight academic focus, but that students who are dealing with emotional struggles may not be getting the tools they need to cope with the stress they have in their lives. As a result of that feedback, we stepped up our efforts to address social and emotional intelligence and that was highlighted by the judges as a strength this year



LIVING: You have received three A+ Awards at two different schools. How have you managed to experience high levels of success at two different schools? Jeff Lavender: As a principal I always try to base decisions on what is in the best interest of students. I also try to focus on why educators got into the profession in the first place. Our teachers and our support staff love our students and we genuinely want to do what is best for them. We refer to this as teaching from the heart. It is also important that we recognize and celebrate that our educators are making a difference in the lives of the students they teach each day. Casa Grande is very fortunate to have dedicated educators who teach from the heart and unleash their power to make a difference each day in our schools. When teachers and staff feel supported and are given the tools to make a difference, great things happen. The credit truly belongs to the dedicated staff and the great support we receive from the community. LIVING: Speaking of the community, how do you go about engaging staff, parents and community members in the A+ process? Jeff Lavender: Each year I provide the staff, parents and community members, and students an update on how we are performing. I complete a “State of the School” report that is shared with various stakeholders. We track key indicators of success to ensure we are doing what is necessary to increase academic achievement and adhere to our District Mission Statement of, “Success for Everyone, the Responsibility is Yours and Mine.” We are always open to suggestions from stakeholders on how we can improve the school. While we love the awards and the recognition, the real power of the A+ program is that it makes us get better and requires that we listen to staff, students, parents and members of the community. LIVING: Why is it important for schools to be recognized with awards like this? Jeff Lavender: Quite simply, success creates a success. Research supports that the way you think is one of the most powerful predictors of your success. At Villago, we focus on a growth mindset as our tool to drive home the importance of positive and successful thinking and LATE SUMMER 2017 • THE EDUCATION EDITION

actions. For example, even though the Arizona Cardinals have won more playoff games in the last 20 years than the Dallas Cowboys, 6-to- 2, nobody could reasonably argue that the Cardinals are a better franchise than the Cowboys, given that Dallas has five Super Bowl rings and the Cardinals zero. I am not comparing the A+ Award to winning a Super Bowl other than it is the highest award we can achieve as a school. Because of our success as a two-time A+ School,” we can use phrases like “Once a Titan Always a Titan,” “The Titan Way” and “Villago Strong,” and have them signify our legacy of success. We celebrate A+ Awards like NFL teams celebrate championships, and we display the banners as proudly as the Cowboys display their five Lombardi Trophies. I have seen a positive shift in the mindsets of our students and staff as a result of the A+ Awards we have achieved. LIVING: The Casa Grande Elementary School District has received more A+ awards than any other school district in Pinal County. What do you think is special about the school district? Jeff Lavender: Dr. Todd Whitaker, an educational leadership expert, says one of the things that great school districts do is focus on people, not programs. When I first came to Casa Grande in 1996, my plan was to stay for a couple of years in order to gain the experience I needed to pursue a high school principal position in the Valley. What I found in Casa Grande made me stay. We have dedicated educators and a community that supports its children. We have, and have had, wonderful governing board members, who have served and supported education and who have been key factors in our success. The administrators and district office staff also support each other in pursuing the best interests of students. It is also really important to take note of the impact of our superintendent, Dr. Frank Davidson. He has been the driving force for the past 24 years. Because of his leadership and guidance, the Casa Grande Elementary School District is the most awarded and recognized school district in Pinal County. Frank will be missed after he retires in June. However, I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with our new Superintendent, Dr. JoEtta Gonzales, and I am very confident she is the right choice to replace Dr. Davidson.

For more information about the schools, programs, or employment opportunities in the Casa Grande Elementary School District go to www.cgesd. org or call 520-836-2111.




by Tori Ward, ROX Travel, Cruise & Resort Specialist


or years, I’ve been told that my husband, whose last name is Chinn, is a descendant of the first emperor of China, from which China got its name. I’ve always been skeptical, but rather than let him lose face, I just smile and remark that he still has to unload the dishwasher. When an opportunity came up this year for us to travel to China, I decided to see for myself if he resembled any of the Terra Cotta Warriors. Our trip included three cities: Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. We arrived in Beijing to discover that it wasn’t as polluted as we feared, but more commercial than we expected, with most people able to communicate in English and ready to negotiate on just about any transaction. We visited the Summer Palace, a beautifully maintained imperial garden dating back to 1750. With its stately Foo Dog Statutes guarding the ancient structures, we spent a pleasant morning strolling along the Long Corridor and Kunming Lake. The intricately painted wooden beams of the corridor depict hundreds of stories along the nearly 800yard breezeway. On a hillside overlooking the river, senior citizens – singing with enthusiasm and ignoring intruding tourists and their cameras – gathered under the protection of a temple. The afternoon found us trooping across Tiananmen Square toward the Forbidden City. There were many young Chinese soldiers, who looked intimidating, and the forbidden was illustrated when a tourist tried to take a picture of one of them. I snickered and suggested to my husband that he mention to the young man his important connection to the first emperor. He wasn’t amused. The Forbidden City itself was an overwhelming experience, covering over 180 acres with 980 buildings contained within the walls. The gardens in the north section were one of the few areas where the concubines, brought to the city as mere children, were permitted to wander. An imposing moat surrounds the city, and a nearby manmade hill lays testament to the amount of material removed from the land




Traveling • Dining • Entertainment

Photos by Jerry Chinn to build this giant fortress. Our final day in Beijing was a busy one, with the morning spent at the Great Wall. Nearly 5,000 miles in length, the Great Wall is not only a must-see for foreign visitors, but Chinese people are encouraged to visit at least once in their lifetime. Although the wall that we see today has had much reinforcement and cosmetic work done to ensure it’s structural integrity and appeal to tourists, the work, which began thousands of years ago, demonstrates their determination to erect a structure to surpass any known at that time. We ended our day in a Chinese hutong, a series of narrow allies that form a collective residential area mostly navigated by bicycle or man-powered carts. As we dashed up and down the narrow streets, a peddler paced us on his own bike, swerving so close we were afraid of crashing as he attempted to sell us chopsticks for $1. Our visit to Xian was the highlight of my trip, as I finally stood over the pits that contained hundreds of unearthed Terra Cotta Warriors and their horses. My heart was heavy as I looked at the work completed by thousands during the reign of Emperor Qin, that famous first emperor who united China. It is said that the multitudes who worked on this project were put to death, and many were buried with the Warriors to protect the secret location of the burial tomb of Qin, (pronounced Chin) some miles away. We spent time wandering the area around our hotel in Xian on our last night. In this small neighborhood, we encountered people, still dressed in business clothes, gathered in a park at 10 P.M. practicing Tai Chi. We saw seniors crouched under a streetlight playing Chinese Chess. We strolled through a farmers market hopping late into the evening with vibrant vegetables lining the stalls. Our final destination, Shanghai, was a city that looks like Vegas on steroids at night. Our favorite area was the old Chinese town around the Yuyuan Bazzaar. Although it has been rebuilt to resemble old China town, within its boundaries lies another hidden treasure – the beautiful and peaceful


Yu Garden. For a few hours, you can escape the noise and pace of the city and simply relax and meditate among its rockeries and koi ponds. It was a good place to end our visit to China before we boarded the plane for home. We were amazed at the quality of our hotels, meals and flights compared to the low prices we paid. If you’ve wanted to visit China and would like help putting your own trip together contact me and I’ll help you book a trip to remember. Victoria “Tori” Ward is a cruise and resort specialist with an interest in traveling and seeing the world since she first began to crawl. For more information on these trips and others, contact Tori at or 928-254-9968.

Our final destination, Shanghai, was a city that looks like Vegas on steroids at night.

Tips from the Expert : 1. Many common websites are blocked in China. If you go you will not be able to Google, Facebook or Tweet. Also, most Western news stations are blocked. 2. Be prepared to negotiate prices for anything for sale in the markets. If you ask the price and someone hands you a calculator with a figure on it, feel free to enter your own figure and reduce the asking price by at least 50 percent as a starting point. 3. Western toilets are becoming more common, but often lack tissue or soap and running water to clean your hands. Pack disposables and always take them with you. The facilities themselves will rarely meet Western standards. 4. Always insist on and buy bottled water. None of the cities we visited recommended drinking tap water and we saw no locals drinking it either. 5. Avoid Chinese holidays. The overcrowding, pushing and shoving plus alcohol consumed contribute to security issues. Many Chinese take these days off from work and it leads to a lack of options for lodging, dining and transportation.





he only constant is change,” and that has been the truth for the Artisan Village of Coolidge Children’s Theatre, which has made the change to ACT 1 Arizona Community Theatre in Coolidge. Their goal to bring theatre arts and performance opportunities to the youth of Pinal County began in 2015 with a cast of 15 in a production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” The entire program, led by mother and daughter team Kristi Freader and Rebecca Freader, has evolved and changed, filling a need in the local community for youth theatre. Their



final production as the Artisan Village Children’s Theatre of “Peter Pan Jr.,” in April of 2017, closed with a cast of 42. With consistent growth, the need to set up as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) was apparent. In spring 2017, the announcement was made that fall 2017 would be the debut of ACT 1. With the expansion, came a new space and new partnerships with the Cool Image Dance Studio. Since moving into the new space, ACT 1 has held summer camps centered around art and theatre for a variety of ages. The first show to be produced by ACT 1 will be an unprec-

edented production of the hit musical “The Addam’s Family.” This will be the first production that will feature ages 12 through adult. Auditions dates are planned for Oct. 20-22 at the Coolidge Performing Arts Center. Director Rebecca Freader has elaborate design plans for the show and plans to further community partnerships as part of the show. ACT 1 is located at 670 W. Pima Ave. Coolidge, AZ 85128. For more information on camps, auditions and upcoming performances, email, call 520-7091337 or visit us on Facebook.


...continued from page 32 and creates a culture of high expectations in schools. • Aids in building a pipeline for leadership talent within schools and school districts, while enhancing teacher recruitment, retention and quality. What enrolled participants can expect Program Curriculum: • Nationally-researched, evidence-based and locally-delivered in a cohort model.

• Improves the practice of leadership and transforms instruction and student achievement in schools. • Coursework spans strategic leadership, standards-based educational systems and instructional practices in math, English, history and science. • Consists of 12 two-day units, delivered in 12 to 15 months. • Bridged with online coursework, reading and job-embedded application of key concepts.

Puzzles Answers

Enrollment for the BTO Academy is now open. School leaders can find out more by contacting the Center for the Future of Arizona. Learn more about CFA’s program at Amanda Burke, Ed.D., is Senior Director of Education and Workforce with the Center for the Future of Arizona, a nonpartisan, nonprofit “do tank” that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life and civic health, and create a better future for all Arizonans.

• Title & Escrow Services • Commercial Services • Direct Title Services • 1031 Exchange • Account Servicing • Land Development / Trust 421 East Cottonwood Lane Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 Office: 520-426-4600 Fax: 520-426-4699 LATE SUMMER 2017 • THE EDUCATION EDITION



A visit to Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch by Bea Lueck, Editor-in-Chief


ave you ever driven the long stretch of highway to Tucson, and wondered about the unexpected place in Picacho called Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch? Well, one day, make it your destination. What you will find is simply amazing! This family-operated business is located just off I-10 and Picacho Peak Road, at the base of Picacho Peak. And as the name implies, you will find ostriches – lots of ostriches. But, there is more to experience than you might expect. Get the whole package for feeding the various critters - and the monster truck tour too! Our visit included our 4-year-old granddaughter as well as grandpa, and both were kept entertained for several hours. The ranch is on summer hours and open Friday through Monday until November 15. With the heat, go at 9 a.m. when they open. It is recommended to wear a hat and sunscreen. A snack area has beverages available to purchase. The monster truck tour is only on Saturday and Sunday. Space is limited, and you will be called by your ticket color for boarding. Our driver was an amazing tour guide - GIRL POWER! Yes, a petite young woman was our monster truck driver! Avoid stopping in the gift shop on your way out to the farm area. Carrying the various food is difficult and requires two hands. Plan on visiting the gift shop on the way out instead! Outside, you will find a wide assortment of animals to feed, pet and photograph, including miniature donkeys, fallow deer, parakeets, goats, rabbits, sheep and ducks. Each has a special diet found in your feed cups, and they eagerly await visitors. The squeals of enjoyment as the animals nibble and lick the food from your hand is amusing coming from the adults and delightful coming from the children. One surprise I didn’t mention - the lorikeets. Step inside the lorikeet aviary carrying your cup of nectar and you will be instantly targeted by several of the birds in search of a meal. Everyone was amazed at the colorful birds landing on visitors. It’s magical - just like Cinderella and the bluebirds! And of course, there are the ostriches.



Ostriches are really BIG birds! And when you climb atop the viewing platform, you are eyeto-eye with these giant prehistoric, flightless birds. Standing taller than the average man at up to 9 feet in height, these birds can weigh as much as 350 pounds. Capable of killing lions with a kick and the sharp nails on their feet, ostriches are also able to reach speeds up to 40 mph, and can run for sustained periods of time. Signs warned that the ostriches can bite. I found this out when one reached out and grabbed my cup of alfalfa pellets right out of

my hands. So much for feeding a little at a time! It was more of a few-seconds feeding-frenzy. On the way out, you will find the stingray tank, where they gracefully swim up for their piece of calamari. I’ve been to several attractions with feeding tanks. This is the first where they came up to you and stayed for several seconds at a time. Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch is an entertaining and affordable place to spend a few hours. It’s perfect for children and adults. Consider it when family visits. It’s worthy of a bucket-list stop.



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SPECIAL EVENTS Sponsored by Ochoa’s

Doggie Dive-In

Attention all dog owners! Get your swimsuits ready for you and your favorite four-legged friend and join us for the 9th Annual Doggie Dive-In! Held 2 – 4 p.m., Saturday, September 17 at the Palm Island Family Aquatic Park, the annual event is open to all dogs and humans alike. While only the dogs will be allowed in the water, we encourage everyone to come out and soak up some rays and take in the sights of this unique event. Admission is $2.00 per dog. Humans are free. Contests for the day include the best doggie bathing suit and the best dressed family (this one includes humans!). The event and prizes are sponsored by the city’s Community Services Department. There will also be vendors onsite selling merchandise and pet-related items and services.

For more information about this event, or to reserve a vendor space please call Jeff State at 520- 421-8677 ext. 4550. The Palm Island Family Aquatic Park is located at 1115 N. Brown Avenue inside of Carr McNatt Park. We hope to see you there!

9-11 Remembrance

Honoring the anniversary of September 11, the Casa Grande Youth Commission sponsors this candlelight ceremony to pay tribute to local fire and police personnel and to support our troops and pay gratitude to those who gave their lives for our freedom. The event is held every year on September 11 at Peart Park, 350 E. 6th St., and begins at 6:30 p.m.

Party in the Park Concert Series: 3rd Friday A series of free concerts are held at Peart Park from 6 - 8 p.m. in the

spring and fall seasons. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, and start your weekend off right with an evening in the park.

Play Day: 3rd Friday

The Annual Day of Playtopia is held on the third Friday in September at Carr McNatt Park, 1115 N. Brown Avenue, from 6- 8 p.m. Join us as we celebrate Casa Grande’s “Playful City USA” designation. Free music and activities throughout the evening include informational booths, games for youth, such as four square, tetherball, Wiffle ball, relay races, giant hopscotch, disc golf, archery, bocce ball, group Zumba and more. So, GET UP off the couch and GET OUT of the house and join us as we take part with many others across the world by encouraging our children to be active and healthy.

For registration information please contact Casa Grande Parks & Recreation at 520-421-8677.

YOUR HOSTS: Lucy Garcia & Jazzmyn Rutledge

512 E. COTTONWOOD LANE, CASA GRANDE • 520-836-9867

Casa Grande's Oldest and Finest Mexican Restaurant Serving the Valley since 1950




WATER IS FUN, BUT SAFETY IS SERIOUS by Barbara Rice, Fire Marshall, Casa Grande Fire Department


very body of water and every warm Arizona day provides an opportunity for fun summer experiences – but also the potential for a death by drowning. On average, twice as many children drown in Arizona than in the rest of the nation. Approximately five of every 100,000 children in Arizona die due to drowning. The majority of these drowning deaths occur between June and Labor Day. Children under the age of 5 are most likely to drown, but it is also the second-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. Drownings occur in water buckets, irrigation ditches, bathtubs, rivers, lakes and swimming pools. A child can drown in a very small amount of water, however most drownings occur in swimming pools and happen when children are unattended for just an instant. Distractions make for tragedies, so it is important to never leave young children unattended. There have been instances of children access backyard swimming pools from pet doors. To protect your children and prevent drownings it is important to always be with your children. Some other water safety precautions include: • Enroll yourself or your children in swim lessons. • Don’t let children play unattended around bodies of water. • Never let children play around drains and suction fittings in pools. • If a child is missing, check water sources first! • If you must leave your child for even just a second, assign a responsible adult to watch them or take the child with you if there is no one around. • Learn CPR. In the last five years in Casa Grande, there have been near drownings, but in every case someone performed CPR on a child who was sub-


merged until help could arrive, saving that child’s life. Performing CPR saves lives! Be sure to use lifejackets or other Coast Guard-a proved personal flotation devices. Arm floats and inflatable toys will not protect someone from drowning. They are toys, not life-saving devices. Have pool barriers installed to prevent entry.

To ensure safety for older family members, regardless of the water sport, there are important safety tips to follow, as well: • Wear Coast Guard-approved safety vests when boating, fishing, skiing or participating in other water sports. • Never swim alone. • Don’t go in the water unless you know how to swim. • Swim in bodies of water that do not exceed your skill level. Areas subject to currents or undertows are deadly, and a great deal of strength is required to swim in current. • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. • Don’t dive in areas you are not familiar with. • Do not drink alcohol when swimming. Alcohol is involved in nearly half of all male teen and young adult drownings. • Know your limitations. Don’t swim when you are tired. Our state provides year-round recreational opportunities and it just makes sense to enjoy the natural and man-made water bodies during the warm days. Just following a few safety tips can ensure those fun summer days do not turn tragic.

A child can drown in a very small amount of water, however most drownings occur in swimming pools and happen when children are unattended for just an instant. Distractions make for tragedies, so it is important to never leave young children unattended.



The LIVING Interview (continued) ...continued from page 58 college more like a business. That was what the board told me when they hired me, “We want you to run the college more like a business.” And if we run the college more like a business, the funding, the tuition and efficiencies gained, we are definitely going to be in a better position than most community colleges across the nation now, because we don’t rely on state funding. And, it’s going to go away, and I’m planning for that. GC LIVING: Where do you see the growth happening with the college? Is it the Signal Peak Campus? Is it Aravaipa? Is it San Tan, Maricopa or Apache Junction? DR. ELLIOTT: I’m not really focused on growing enrollment. I’m focused on figuring out the capacity and capabilities for each campus that makes sense for those communities. The enrollment growth is going to come from the San Tan area, maybe some in Maricopa. I think we can grow our enrollment at Aravaipa if we put the right academic programs up there. Right now, we don’t have a program at all that attracts students to that campus, a single program. And I think that campus lends itself really well to maybe drone technology or welding. Maybe something with environmental science, because we have a lot of Alabaster up there at that campus and mining and ecosystem-type questions, when it comes to the mines, and



I think that campus could be a really good botany campus or science. I’m a big believer if you put the right thing in the right place for the right outcome, people will come, and that it isn’t just about building. It’s what’s going to attract people to those programs at those campuses. And I think, when we do that, all of our campuses will be very attractive to students and employers, based on what we’re offering there. Does that make sense? GC LIVING: It does. So are you here for the long haul? DR. ELLIOTT: You know, it’s funny. My son was just here. He goes to college in Missouri, and he was here for two weeks, and he asked me, “Mom, how long is going to take you to do everything that you want to do at CAC?” And I said, “Probably eight years.” I want to be here eight to 10 years, and as long as the community and the college still want me, because I want to see it through. When I arrived at North Arkansas, they had lots of challenges. They had financial challenges; they had accreditation challenges; they had things that had to get fixed right away. I said, “Well, this is going to take us about three years.” And we fixed it, and I was there five years, and we won some awards and then I was like, “OK, they don’t need me anymore.” GC LIVING: The challenge was over. DR. ELLIOTT: The challenge was over. The ba-

bies had grown up. You know, they don’t need me. So when I was looking for a new opportunity, I wasn’t looking for an institution with huge problems, financial problems or accreditation problems. I had been there and done that. I was looking for an institution that was really struggling with figuring out who they were and their identity, but had resources to be able to do that. And that was what attracted me to CAC. Now that I’ve been here a year, you know, and I see…it’s always easier from the outside to kind of see the potential and the possibilities. So, every morning I wake up seeing the potential and the possibility, and then I get to work and I see where we’re at, and I’m like, “It’s going to take us a while. This doesn’t happen overnight.” But I’m going to stay as long as we’re making the progress, and I think once we get there, you know, then maybe it will be time. But like I said, North Arkansas would be three years, and it was – three years righting the ship and two years getting it on the right path. It’s going to take us six to seven years to get on the right path here, which is kind of fun and exciting. GC LIVING: I look forward to our next interview, where we’re looking back on all of these accomplishments that you’re envisioning. DR. ELLIOTT: We’ve done a lot in a year, already. I mean, I was sitting with somebody the other day and we’ve already, in less than a year, developed two new academic programs that are growing and busting at the seams, and normally it takes three years to get an academic program through. So, you know, I’m really proud of the people at CAC. I’m grateful for the people we work with. We’re going to make changes, and people are going to be upset. People get upset when it impacts them and we have to say, “I understand that this might impact you personally, but this is what’s in the best interest of our students and our community.” Change is hard, and there are people already who aren’t happy with some of the change that’s happened, but if it’s the right thing to do. I always used to say, “I wasn’t hired to make everyone happy; I was hired to do the right thing by students.” And I think we have to start with the student in mind and do those things, but I think we can do it. 


Puzzles Sudoku

Word Search

Answers to puzzles on page 87 LATE SUMMER 2017 • THE EDUCATION EDITION



SWEET SUMMER RECIPE Margarita Cheesecake Bites

Don’t be wasting away again in Dessertville! With this salty, sweet treat, you’ll be the hit of any summer party.


1 1/2 c. crushed pretzels 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 3 tbsp. granulated sugar 16 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 c. powdered sugar

• • • •

Juice and zest of 1 lime, reserving some zest for topping 2 tbsp. tequila 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract Large pinch of kosher salt


1. Line a 9”-x-9” baking dish with two strips of parchment paper, leaving an overhang. 2. In a large bowl, mix together pretzels, butter, and granulated sugar until combined. Press in an even layer into the bottom of the baking dish. Freeze for 10 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then, mix in lime juice and zest, tequila, vanilla, and salt until creamy and smooth. Spread evenly on top of the pretzel crust. Top with more lime zest. 4. Freeze until set, about 1 hour more. Once firm, remove from baking dish and cut into 16 bite-size pieces. Keep in freezer until ready to serve. Serves: 16 Recipe originally from





Maricopa Mud Run 2017 registration open


egistration for the Maricopa Mud Run 2017 and the Mini-Copa Mud Run 2017 is now open. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 28. This year includes an exciting new costume contest theme, Mayor’s Challenge, Mini-Copa Mud Run and amazing obstacles organizers have been planning all year! There will also be great local food vendors and some energizing music to help you finish the course. The costume contest theme is a super hero theme! Over the last four years of the event, organizers have seen amazing and inspiring acts of heroism as participants helped family, friends and even total strangers get through the course. With this in mind, the logo for the event was rebranded and the super hero theme was created. Anyone who finishes the course in a super hero costume, this year, will receive a bag of treats and super hero cape. The Mayor’s Challenge is now an awesome team challenge! This year, organizers decided they wanted to see more teamwork and com-

munity in this event, so they made the Mayor’s Challenge a two-person team challenge. You and another friend or family member will have to beat Mayor Christian Price and his highly motivated partner through this well-improved course. Beat the Mayor’s Team time and win a limited edition coin! The Mini-Copa Mud Run 2017 promises to be exciting this year. After extensive testing, with kids running the full course last year, organizers have decided to make the Mini-Copa Mud Run the entire full course. Parents or older siblings will have to help their young-mudders navigate the course and lead by example. Parents are encouraged to start training for this now, because kids do amazing on this course with the proper encouragement! This year, all paid contestants will get an awesome headband and a finisher T-shirt. The earlier you sign-up the more cash you save! To register, visit mud-run-event-info.

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CHECKLIST FOR HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH HOMEWORK Helping your child with homework is an opportunity to improve your child’s chances of doing well in school and life. 1. Show that you think education and homework are important • Do you set a regular time every day for homework? • Does your child have the papers, books, pencils and other things needed to do assignments? • Does your child have a well-lit, fairly quiet place to study? • Do you set a good example by showing your child that the skills he is learning are an important part of the

things he will do as an adult? Do you stay in touch with your child’s teacher?

2. Monitor assignments • Do you know what your child’s homework assignments are? How long they should take? How the teacher wants you to be involved in them? • Do you see that your child starts and completes assignments? • Do you read the teacher’s comments on assignments

that are returned? Is TV viewing or video game playing cutting into your child’s homework time?

3. Provide guidance • Do you help your child to get organized? Does your child need a schedule or assignment book? A book bag or backpack and a folder for papers? • Do you encourage your child to develop good study habits (for example, scheduling enough time for big assignments and making up practice tests)? • Do you talk with your child about homework assign-

ments? Does he or she understand them? 4. Talk with teachers to resolve problems • Do you meet with the teacher early in the year before any problems arise? • If a problem comes up, do you meet with the teacher? • Do you cooperate with the teacher to work out a plan and a schedule to solve homework problems? • Do you follow up with the teacher and with your child to make sure the plan is working? Information provided by the U.S. Department of Education

395 N Sacaton St Casa Grande, AZ 85122 520-371-1280

Registration for the 2017-2018 season is July 29th from 10am – 2pm at The Studio. Classes start on August 7th. 96



HABOOB... A dust storm by another name!

TOMMY’S ON THE GO 861 W. Gila Bend Hwy. Casa Grande (Located in the CG Auto Plex) Phone: (520) 836-1440 Fax: (520) 836-1670

by Bea Lueck


fter a recent discussion on CG CHAT about whether to call our summer monsoon storms a “dust storm” or a “haboob,” I thought this would be a timely and informational bit of useless trivia! Haboob [huh-boob] noun: a thick dust storm or sandstorm that blows in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia or on the plains of India. [1] A violent dust storm or sandstorm, especially of Sudan. First known use: 1897. Origin and Etymology of HABOOB: Arabic habūb violent storm. [2] An intense sandstorm or duststorm caused by strong winds, with sand and/or dust often lofted to heights as high as 5,000 feet, resulting in a “wall of dust” that can be visually stunning, along the leading edge of the haboob. There is commonly a rapid and significant reduction in visibility and an increase in wind speed following the passage of the leading edge of a haboob, which can last for tens of minutes to a few hours. Haboobs are often caused by an atmospheric gravity or density current, such as thunderstorm outflow, but can also occur as a result of strong synoptic gradient winds, such as following a dryline or dry frontal passage. Haboobs occur fairly regularly in the arid and semiarid regions of the world, and can occur in any dry region. Sometimes they deposit enormous quantities of sand and/or dust. The name comes from the Arabic word habb, meaning “to blow.” The term “haboob” originated as a description for wind and sandstorms/ duststorms in central and northern Sudan, especially around the Khartoum area, where the average number is about 24 per year, with the most frequent occurrences from May through September. However, the term is now commonly used to describe any wind-driven sandstorm or dust storm in arid or semiarid regions around the world, and haboobs have been LATE SUMMER 2017 • THE EDUCATION EDITION

observed in the Middle East/Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, central Australia and the arid regions of Southwest in North America, from the Sonoran Desert of northwest Mexico and Arizona to the western portions of the Great Plains of the United States. [3] Like many of the CG "Chatters," I'm in the “dust storm” crowd. I can't remember who the weatherman was in the 1990s, who first began using the term “haboob” on air during the weather report. While a bona fide meteorological term, to me it always seemed to be a silly, sophomoric way to say "boob" on television! I found these definitions on - and I like these: • • •

Haboob: “A violent and oppressive wind, blowing in summer, especially in Sudan, bringing sand from the desert.” Sandstorm: “A windstorm, especially in a desert, that blows along great clouds of sand.” Dust storm: “A storm of strong winds and dust-filled air over an extensive area during a period of drought over normally arable land.”

The difference between a “sand storm” and “haboob” all comes down to the area covered. A haboob is localized, and is caused by strong thunderstorm winds, which can lift dust as high as 5,000 feet. A dust storm covers a much larger area, and blows across the lowest few feet of the landscape. [4] So what does that mean as far as what to call that severe blowing cloud of blinding dirt? Call it whatever you want - every dust storm is not a haboob, but every haboob is a dust storm! [1] [2] [3] [4]

We Do Full Catering Monday - Friday 10AM - 2PM

Daily Blackboard Specials


New Summer Hours Wednesday - Saturday 4PM - 9PM storm-isnt-haboob-every-haboob-dust-storm/ GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center 405 East Sixth Street Casa Grande, AZ 85122


orothy Powell Senior Adult Center provides area residents the opportunity to experience recreational, cultural and educational programming in a friendly atmosphere. Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center is open to individuals 50 years of age or older. Tours and an explanation of our programs are available during our normal operating hours. All Senior Center participants are required to have a Participant Information Card on file. Once on file, participants will be issued a participant usage card which will be used to scan in upon visiting. Most programs are offered free of charge unless otherwise indicated. General Information: 520-421-8760 Senior Meals Program & Transportation: 520-421-8765 Open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. LUNCH PROGRAM Nutritious lunches available. Menus are available at the beginning of each month. Reservations must be made in person one week in advance. Meals prepared by Isaac Davis. When: Time: Fee:

Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – Noon $4.00 (Sugg. Donation – 60+) $6.00 (Under 60)

MEALS ON WHEELS (Home Delivered Meals) The Senior Center provides home-delivered meals to home bound individuals. For more information on receiving meals, contact Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens at (520) 424-2800. The Senior Meals programs are a collaborative effort funded by Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens – Area Agency on Aging, United Way of Pinal County, Older Americans Act, ADOT, and the City of Casa Grande.

MINI-BUS TRANSPORTATION Transportation is available for individuals 50 years of age or older and for those 18 years of age or older with a disability (proof of disability required). Rides are available to and from the Senior Center, doctor appointments, shopping trips, etc. Transportation is scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Advanced reservations are accepted and recommended. The transportation vehicle is ADA accessible. When: Monday – Friday Time: 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Fee: Adults 60+ Donation Based Adults 50-59 $3 (per stop) Disabled Adults 18+ $3 (per stop) RIDERS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RAP) The Riders Assistance Program is a mileage reimbursement program for Casa Grande residents who are 60 years of age or older or 18 years of

age or older with a disability (proof of disability required) who rely on relatives, friends or neighbors for transportation. Mileage is paid to the RAP participant at 50 cents per mile for the purpose of reimbursing their chosen driver for providing transportation services. RAP does not provide drivers. Approved RAP travel within Casa Grande will be reimbursed with a maximum of 300 miles for individuals and 400 miles for married couples per calendar month. Please see the Front Desk for a RAP application. Applications will be reviewed by the RAP Coordinator, and participants will be contacted once their application has been reviewed. The Rider Assistance Program is a collaborative effort funded by State of Arizona LTAF II and the City of Casa Grande. The Rider Assistance Program is a grant-funded program. Continuance of the program is dependent upon funding.

For more info visit: 98



Casa Grande Lakes

2089 N Lakeshore Dr. Casa Grande, AZ 85122 $279,000 Large single level home with views of Dave White Golf Course. Plenty of room for everyone. Master bedroom is split from the others which makes it very private. Shutters on all the windows. Come make this home yours. • 3 BD, 2.5 BA PLUS A DEN/OFFICE








520.414.8268 | 520.423.8250 | ©2017 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.




Profile for ROX Media Group

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine  

Late Summer 2017

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine  

Late Summer 2017