Seniors to participate in leadership confab

Two Ironwood Ridge High School seniors will be attending the Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program.

Glynnis Facciano and Molly Hansen will travel to Pennsylvania in April for the program, which stresses the need for youths to embrace the values and practices essential to responsible citizenship in a free and diverse society.

The trip is made possible in part by donations from the Jim Click Automotive Group, the Jim Crane Foundation and the Oro Valley Rotary, according to the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

The Spirit of America Youth Leadership Program is put on by the Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization promoting civics education.

Estes is 1 of 3 named 'Beat the Odds School'

Estes Elementary is one of three Arizona campuses to be designated a Beat the Odds School.

Beat the Odds Schools have overcome obstacles and improved academic performance through six keys to success:

• A strong and steady principal.

• A clear bottom line.

• Ongoing assessment.

• Collaborative solutions.

• A program built on individual student needs.

• A commitment to stick with the program.

Estes - in the Marana School District - was identified as a Gold Award winner, which requires demonstrated, consistent growth in math and reading over two or more consecutive years, among other criteria.

Fifteen schools received Silver and Bronze awards.

Build Sabino Canyon native plant nursery

Children are invited to build a native plant nursery and learn how to grow native plants.

The experience is part of the Sky Islands Children's Forest leadership team and is intended to prepare those participating to lead similar activities in the future.

Plants grown at the nursery will be used to restore several disturbed sites around Sabino Canyon and elsewhere on the forest.

The event - which is hosted by the Santa Catalina Ranger District, Coronado National Forest - is Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. for children ages 10 to 17.

Participants will meet in front of the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Road, at 1 p.m.

Bring water and wear sturdy shoes, long pants, a hat and sunscreen.

RSVP by Thursday to Shari Ketcham at or 749-7701, or Linda Stamer at or 749-7705.

Emily Gray to celebrate student achievements

Emily Gray Junior High and the National Junior Honor Society will host its ninth annual academic showcase Wednesday.

The event, which starts at 6 p.m., will celebrate student accomplishments this school year.

There will also be a free barbecue dinner for Emily Gray families and the community.

The school is at 11150 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Desert Sky hosting open house Saturday

Desert Sky Community School is hosting an open house Saturday for prospective students and parents.

The event, from 9 a.m. to noon, is open to families with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Desert Sky, 1350 N. Arcadia Ave., is a charter school inspired by Waldorf Education, which emphasizes teaching appropriate to the child's development level.

For more information, go to or call 745-3888.

Compiled by Alexis Huicochea. Contact Alexis at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea