Member News & Updates

Valley Schools member districts make us so proud! They are always being recognized for hard work and dedication to students as well as achievement of prestigious wellness and workplace accomplishments.

Check back for regular member news! 


June 2017

Glendale Elementary School District

GESD was named one of Phoenix’s 2017 Healthiest Employers by the Phoenix Business Journal -thanks to Davita Solter’s hard work! According to a survey by the Global Wellness Institute, data has found that to understand what has the most profound impact on employee wellness, you need to look beyond the existence of wellness programs. The critical finding: if an employee identified their company as “caring about their health/wellness” (and a disturbingly low 37% did), that employee’s overall health, stress and job engagement/satisfaction improved significantly.

Check out the complete line up of those workplaces honored in the full issue HERE


June 2017

Alhambra Elementary School District

Alhambra ESD held an end of the year beach themed celebration! Named the Wellness Champions, everyone received a certificate for participation this year.  Each member brought a wellness partner that will help them lead our initiatives next year. We brainstormed new and innovative ideas for next year, and also had over 70% of employees complete their biometrics for the year and qualified to apply for the HAWP (Healthy Arizona Workplace) award!



May 2017

Deer Valley Unified School District

DVUSD is proud to announce that Barry Goldwater High School students Jason Forari and Michael Griffin took third place in the National Cooking Up Change competition. These extraordinary students won their local competition and then went on to represent the state of Arizona at the national finals in Washington, D.C. There they were able to put their culinary abilities to the test as they engaged with leaders from the education and health industries. Congratulations Jason and Michael!



April 2017

Maricopa Unified School District

The Maricopa Unified School District has earned IPM STAR certification after undergoing a thorough, 37-point evaluation of its integrated pest management (IPM) program. IPM STAR is a certification program for school systems that use IPM, which is a low-risk, common sense approach to solving pest problems with a minimum of pesticide use.

MUSD began its IPM program in 2012 when MUSD’s IPM coordinator Daniel Vezie approached Dr. Dawn Gouge, Professor and IPM Specialist with the University of Arizona (UA), with questions about managing pests. The UA IPM Team led by Dr. Shaku Nair, worked with the MUSD facilities management team to inform district staff about IPM and how best to implement best practices in the district.

Dr. Gouge praises the efforts of MUSD’s facility management team. “MUSD are lucky to have Dan Vezie, Chad Whittle and Jim Shoaf on their management team, all are dedicated to establishing nothing short of the most excellent standards.” Dr. Shaku Nair coordinates the UA Community IPM Team. She commends MUSD on their achievement and dedication to excellence. “Dan, Chad and Jim are a pleasure to work with, and have worked tirelessly as IPM champions for their school district.” Dr. Shujuan Li is also a UA Community IPM Team member and an expert on Public Health Pests. “I live in the wonderful town of Maricopa and understand the unique challenges the rural desert environment can bring,” says Dr. Li. “MUSD puts student health and safety first, and I am very happy they will be recognized for their commitment.”

IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. The only other school district to receive this award in 2017 was Milwaukee Public Schools, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


February 2017

Pendergast Elementary School District

Pendergast Elementary School District would like to invite you to join the Wellness Committee meetings! If you are interested in joining, meetings are held during the following dates: • October 4, 2016 ‐ District Office Boardroom at 3:30pm • December 6, 2016 ‐ District Office Boardroom at 3:30pm • February 21, 2017‐ District Office Boardroom at 3:30pm • April 11, 2017 ‐ District Office Boardroom at 3:30pm

Wellness Committee Members: Regina Robles • Dora Barrio • David Morales • Brian Collins • Gwendolyn Parker • Kerry Pohlmeyer • Lily DeBlieux • Kathy Leon Gil • Patti Tussey • Jami Christiansen • Jamie Triolo • Annette Moreno • Christopher Camacho • Margaret Santa Cruz • Cami Mitzen • Brian Winefsky • Superintendent Student Council • PTA Representatives


January 2017

Paradise Valley Unified School District

Copper Canyon Elementary School will host its first Farmers Market on Saturday, January 28th from 9 a.m.-noon in the outdoor Science Center.

At the Farmers Market, attendees will be able to purchase:

  • Vegetable plants, herbs and mammoth sunflowers
  • Sow, Grow, Think, Eat: Arizona Low Desert Planting Guide and Cookbook
  • 4×4 Garden Box with two bags of soil
  • 7-gallon fabric pot with five 3.5” potted plants (limited supply)

Additionally, there will be free gardening workshops given by students. All these items have been planted and loved in the school’s greenhouse by Copper Canyon students.


December 2016

Paradise Valley Unified School District

The 7th Annual PVSchools Community 5K Fun Run will be held on February 4, 2017 at Horizon High School. Our goal is to raise awareness and encourage district employees, their families, and the community they serve, to live a healthy, active lifestyle. All registered participants receive a t-shirt and souvenir chip timer. Join us in making our 7th year the best year yet! Event website


November 2016

Glendale Elementary School District

Glendale Elementary School District hosted a Wellness Champions fair that included a Valley Schools booth as well as multiple wellness education and product vendors, specific information on how to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, biometric screening on site and more. Their advocacy for wellness helps them offer more to staff and encourage healthy eating and exercise habits.