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Congratulations to the Latest DVUSD Governing Board Honorees!

On Tuesday, May 14, we began with a group of athletes who have dominated the sand for three years in a row!

Sandra Day O’Connor’s beach volleyball proved once again this season they are soaring to victory! OC Beach has now tied the school-record for most state titles since 2006-2008 at Sandra Day O'Connor. These girls are 3-PEAT state champions on the sand!!! 

To achieve a 3-Peat State Championship is something to be proud of for these stellar group of athletes. Since its inaugural season when Coach Spartz started this program in 2016 to now, the team has a career record of 117-10. The program has earned 5 Region D1-Section 4 titles, 22 - Division 1 College Commits, and now three State Titles.

Congratulations, 3-peat STATE CHAMPIONS, Sandra Day O’Connors Girl’s Beach Volleyball! 

We also honored our final group of A-rated schools, bringing our total for the 2022-23 school year to a district-best 26 schools.

Sierra Verde STEAM Academy

Sonoran Foothills School

Stetson Hills School

Sunset Ridge School

Terramar Academy of the Arts

Traditional Academy at Bellair 

Union Park School

Village Meadows Elementary School

West Wing School

We honor two Class of 2024 scholars that are among the 20 Arizona students to earn the prestigious Flinn Foundation Scholarship. The Flinn Scholarship transforms the educational landscape for Arizona's brightest students by offering more than just a full-ride to Arizona's top universities. Valued at over $130,000, the scholarship includes comprehensive tuition, room, and board, plus funded opportunities for international study and research. 

Barry Goldwater High School senior Brendan Salisbury is absolutely honored to receive the Flinn Scholarship knowing that it will empower him to reach his goal of creating a foundation that bridges the funding gap between neurological institutes and pediatric hospitals for niche neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as creating Brain-Computer Interfaces to enhance the quality of life for those who struggle with them. Brendan will be double-majoring in Neuroscience and Business in Healthcare at Arizona State University, with hopes to complete a Master's in Neuroscience with an emphasis in neurodevelopmental disorders as well before he graduates.

Zahrah Ralph is the 6th student in the history of Mountain Ridge High School to be awarded the Flinn Scholarship. She is grateful for the Flinn Scholarship because it will allow her to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer and participating in study abroad programs, and she will be attending ASU in the fall. 

This year, DVUSD is proud to be home to the two students representing Phoenix City Council District 1, AND is also home to the Outstanding Phoenix Youth Leader of Phoenix!!! 

Barry Goldwater High School Senior, Brendan Salisbury, was recognized as an Outstanding Phoenix Youth Leader of the Year for his significant contributions to mental health, service-oriented, and research initiatives. 

From Sandra Day O’Connor High School, representing District 1 as well, is sophomore Elena Murrietta

Elena's choice to pursue a major in psychology at San Diego State University's Honors College program is a testament to her unwavering dedication to uplifting those in need. With her passion, commitment, and invaluable guidance from mentors like Ms.Ellis, Elena is poised to excel further and make a positive impact on the world around her. Congratulations to Elena on her exceptional journey, and heartfelt thanks to Ms.Ellis for her transformative mentorship.

Pravneet Chadha, a junior at Mountain Ridge High School, was recently named to Junior Achievement of Arizona’s 18 under 18 for his mental health research extensive involvement on the Mountain Ridge High School campus and his philanthropic efforts... all while maintaining a weighted GPA of 4.85.

Boulder Creek High School’s Nicholas Solla won big at this year's at the National Academic Decathalon competition: a gold medal in music, gold in science, gold in social science, gold in literature, silver in economics, bronze in art, bronze in essay. Congratulations, Academic Decathalon gold, silver AND bronze medalist, Nicholas Solla! 

Next, we recognized a Mountain Ridge High School senior who has been named a National Merit Scholar. Senior Appramey Akkiraju has been involved all over campus including involvement in  NHS, FBLA, HOSA, the Computer Science club, serving as a CTE ambassador, and even winning state championships in his DECA event competitions for Entrepreneurship. In fact, Apramey represented the entire state of Arizona’s DECA students serving as the DECA state president this year! 

Congratulations National Merit Scholarship winner, Apramey Akkiraju. 

Deer Valley High School’s "Toyin" Akinsipe! She was selected for the Black Alliance Georgie and Calvin Goode Student Scholarship by the Arizona School Boards Association. This scholarship is awarded to only two high school seniors throughout the state of Arizona who demonstrate an exceptional record of academic growth and a commitment to service to others.

This is the second year in a row that a DVUSD principal has been named a Maricopa County Exemplary Principal of the Year! For the 2024 school year, DVUSD is proud to recognize Diamond Canyon School principal Tara LeCount who earned this honor! 

We honored the five students whose artwork and artistic abilities wowed our DVUSD superintendent, Dr. Finch. Dr. Finch selects five pieces from the show to purchase and be on permanent display at the DVUSD District office.  

This year he selected: 

Bound By Trauma, a ceramics piece by Boulder Creek senior, Hagen Harris.  

Beyond the Facade, a Photography piece by Deer Valley High School junior Majid Alzainal 

Skittles, a color drawing by Mountain Ridge High school Sophomore, Nina Patel 

Temple, a black and white drawing by Sandra Day O'Connor Junior, Hayden Williams  

And a painting, Mystical Jellyfish, by Barry Goldwater High School Senior, Jhorlleny Lopez Roque 

12 high school gaming teams vied for the title of Esports state champion on April 27. It was the Eagles who would soar to victory earning a first ever DVUSD ESport state championship during the League of Legends competition.

In the 6A battle for the state championship title this year, two Boulder Creek High School Jaguars found themselves facing off against each other in a friendly match. Not only was this their first season of high school tennis, but the two girls are also doubles partners on the team, and friends! 

The friendly competition ended with Japneet Kaur topping Michelle Bullock for the 6A State Champion title. 

Lincoln- 6A Boys Singles

Mountain Ridge High School senior, Lincoln Baldonado made his mark at Mountain Ridge, with a 4.6 GPA and serving as President of the Spanish Honor Society. He has made an even bigger mark on the Ridge tennis program. Lincoln has been #1 on Varsity for four years, the team captain, and the 2023 High School Player of the Year.

This season Lincoln looked to defend his back-to-back state championships facing a tough Rincon/University opponent. After a bitter back and forth battle, Baldonado played his heart out and came up just shy, earning a state champion runner up after a high intensity match 7-6, 6-1. Lincoln will graduate from Mountain Ridge on Thursday afternoon and  will continue playing tennis at an even higher level, as he has committed to playing Division 1 tennis next year for Queens University of Charlotte.

This year DVUSD had 40 individual students or teams who earned either state championship, gold medals or runners up in their events during the annual state FCCLA, HOSA, and FBLA competitions! 

Mountain Ridge seniors Kord Rodeman and Joshua Cohon won first place in the SkillsUSA Mobile Robotics Competition this year. They will compete in the national competition this summer in Atlanta. 

We are thrilled to celebrate the exceptional achievements of our Gold winners at this year’s FCCLA State Leadership Conference. 

Congratulations to the Boulder Creek High School FCCLA winners:

Eden Anderson ~ Toys that Teach

Sadie Caldwell ~ Teach or Train

Neleah Estrada ~ Career Investigation

Julia Chabrowski ~ Art of Storytelling 


FBLA, or Future Business Leaders of America, inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences.  

This year DVUSD had 26 students who earned first place in their respective FBLA Events! 

Congratulations to all the Mountain Ridge High School first place finishers: 

Harshavardhan  Sidhwani, Sports and Education Management 

Akash Bellala, Advertising 

Apramey Akkiraju, Business Communications & Economics 

Nidhi Konnanur, Business Law 

Maanvik Poddar, Computer Applications & Introduction to Information Technology 

Bruce Ruan, Future Business Endeavors & Quick Serve Restaurant Management 

Mrida Igoor / Ananya Gandikota, Hospitality and Events Management 

Praneeth Kemburu, Introduction to Business Concepts 

Abaan Siddiqui, Introduction to Business Procedures 

Sehath Jaladi / Ruthvik Vunna, Introduction to Event Planning 

Edrees Sekandari, Introduction to FBLA 

Aditya Achar, Introduction to Marketing Concepts 

Abhinav Banda, Introduction to Parliamentary Procedures 

Ishaan Dixit, Network Design, Networking Infrastructures, Securities and Investment 

Esther Kim, Organizational Leadership

Saketh Padala / Anish Mathukumali / Azaan Raza / Abhinav Banda, Parliamentary Procedure 

Anish Padiyar, Supply Chain Management 


Three students from Sandra Day O’Connor High School also earned first place finishes in their events at the state FBLA event. 

Congratulations to:

Alison Paulos, Entrepreneurship

Victoria Kirova, Future Business Leader 

Harshavardhan  Sidhwani, Sports and Education Management 

HOSA, or Future Health Professionals, is a global student-led organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services and several federal and state agencies. DVUSD honored Sandra Day O’Connor junior Liliah Manfredi for earning a HOSA state championship title!

Lastly, the Inspiration Mountain Medieval Times Drama Club spent seven months rehearsing for their musical production this year, Willy Wonka Jr.  The Medieval Times Drama Club is only in its second year together and there are already 48 students in the club with the hope that it just continues to grow! Performing at the end of the awards and recoginition ceremony were lead characters Gabriella Willis, Santiago Lacey, Henry Komenda, Ayden Redick, Juliana Bracale, Teegan George, Emma Barnett, Ryan Twardoski, Kendyll Orr, and Ryan Duckwiler. 

Congratulations to all of our DVUSD Governing Board Award Winners and Honorees!