Benjamin Lebovitz, a choir and drama teacher at Walden Grove High School, was honored with the February Teacher Excellence Award from Tucson Values Teachers and OfficeMax/Office Depot.

Walden Grove teacher lauded for excellence

Benjamin Lebovitz, a choir and drama teacher at Walden Grove High School in the Sahuarita Unified School District, was honored with the February Teacher Excellence Award.

The recognition, from Tucson Values Teachers and OfficeMax/Office Depot, comes with a $250 cash award, a $100 gift card for school supplies, a plaque and flowers.

Ryan Carle-Ogren, a fellow teacher at Walden Grove, nominated Lebovitz, saying, “As the choir and drama teacher, Mr. Lebovitz focuses on excellence in both programs. Both programs have received top ratings at local and state festivals. Walden Grove High School would not be where it is without his dedication, enthusiasm, and unwavering support of all in everything he does.”

To nominate a teacher for the honor, visit

TUSD to hold safety community forums

The Tucson Unified School District will hold two school safety community forums this month.

District officials, community leaders and law enforcement will be on hand to discuss concerns regarding gun violence, how the district prepares for emergencies and how it partners with local agencies before, during and after instances such as school threats.

Both forums are from 6 to 8 p.m. The first gathering is at Cholla High School, 2001 W. Starr Pass Blvd., on Wednesday, March 7, followed by another on March 12 at Sahuaro High School, 545 N. Camino Seco.

The district will also Livestream the sessions for those who cannot attend on

Foothills students earn national music honors

Two Catalina Foothills High School band students have been selected for national performance ensembles.

Sophomore Caleb York was accepted to the percussion section of the National Youth Orchestra of America junior division. Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute selects young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. The orchestra will travel to Asia after performing the orchestra’s annual concert at Carnegie Hall on July 19.

Junior Thomas Gerald was selected from numerous applicants for membership in Music for All’s 2018 Honor Band of America. He plays the tuba and is a member of the Catalina Foothills High School Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Falcon Steele. The Honor Band of America is comprised of students from 23 states representing 69 high schools and will perform in concert on March 17 at Clowes Memorial Hall, on the campus of Butler University.

Sam Hughes holds annual Chuckwagon

Sam Hughes Elementary School will be hosting it’s historic 80th annual Chuckwagon on Saturday, March 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. at 700 N. Wilson Ave.

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The event will feature kids games, jumping castles, food trucks, face painting, a bake sale and a silent auction. Proceeds will support the Sam Hughes Elementary PTA, which funds the school’s music and chess programs, plus teacher stipends and field trips.

2 Tucson teachers named literacy champs

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona conferred two prestigious awards in education at the Business Leaders for Early Education Breakfast.

Literacy Champion Awards were presented to Marcia Zatarain, a preschool teacher at Sunnyside Headstart, and Mary Carroll, a first-grade teacher at Roadrunner Elementary School.

Saguaro National Park hosts astronomy camp

Saguaro National Park will host an astronomy camp in the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park East on March 24, from 3 to 9 p.m.

The event, which is open to students ages 8 to 12, will include indoor and outdoor activities and a hands-on telescope session when darkness falls.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register, call the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center at 733-5153. A fee of $15 per child will be due on the day of camp.

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