AEF 2013 A+ School of Excellence. Peralta Elementary School.

To receive A+ distinction, schools must submit a written application that shows proof of parent and community involvement, a description of the current programs and practices, demographic information, along with the principal's vision and commitment to excellence. Winning schools must demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement. The A+ distinction recognizes schools for their superior ability to meet the needs of their students. A+ status is retained for three years and upon expiration schools may reapply for the award. For more details visit the Arizona Education Foundation website.

Peralta was chosen by Heart of America for a library makeover!

Peralta is proud to be a Gold Level Beat the Odds school!
38 Phoenix and Tucson-Area K-12 Schools Receive Silver and Bronze Awards

PHOENIX (January 24, 2011) – Ten metro Phoenix-area schools with predominantly high-poverty, high-minority student populations on Wednesday evening, January 26 will be honored as "Beat the Odds Schools" – schools in which student academic achievement exceeds expectations.

The reception is being hosted by the Beat the Odds Institute, an initiative of the Center for the Future of Arizona, and sponsored by University of Phoenix. It will take place at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. 7th St., Phoenix.

Beat the Odds is a rigorous, multi-year school improvement program based upon CFA's nationally acclaimed "Beat the Odds" research study. The study found six elements that were associated with successful minority schools: a strong and steady principal, clear bottom line, ongoing assessment, collaboration, a program built on individual student needs, and a commitment to stay with successful instructional programs.

University of Phoenix prepares today’s working adults to compete and thrive in a changing global economy. The university offers a comprehensive approach to higher education, with more than 100 degree programs at the associate through doctoral levels.

"The Beat the Odds Institute was established to help K-12 principals move Arizona schools toward improved individual student achievement," said BTO Institute Director Marjorie Kaplan. An evaluation by WestEd, a national research agency, found that scores in reading and math on state tests were higher in BTO program schools compared to similar schools not in the program.

“University of Phoenix is built on the belief that education is one of the primary factors that enables individuals to improve their lives,” said Dr. Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. “We’re delighted to partner with Beat the Odds to celebrate our local schools’ commitment to education and youth enrichment.”

Only schools that attain BTO gold-medal status – the highest level of achievement in the Beat the Odds program – are conferred the title of a Beat the Odds School. It requires demonstrated, consistent growth in student academic achievement over at least three years, among other criteria. The ten schools to be honored January 26 are the first to receive gold awards since the inception of the BTO program four years ago.

University of Phoenix has committed $600,000 to help fund the implementation of the Beat the Odds program. Since 2007, it has grown from a pilot program at 27 metropolitan Phoenix-area K-12 public schools to 82 metro Phoenix, Tucson area and Yuma schools during the current school year.

Cartwright Elementary School District (Phoenix)
Holiday Park Elementary School/Deby Valadez
Peralta Elementary School/Mary Kay Radavich

Creighton Elementary School District (Phoenix)
Larry C. Kennedy Elementary School/Sean Hannafin

Deer Valley Unified School District (Phoenix)
Barry Goldwater High School/Mike Andersen

Gilbert Unified School District (School locations noted below)
Gilbert Junior High School (Gilbert)/Kevin Rainey
Harris Elementary School (Mesa)/Becky Henderson

Phoenix Elementary School District #1
Emerson Elementary School/Garthanne de Ocampo

Tempe School District #3
Gililland Middle School/Rick Horvath
Holdeman Elementary/Wendy Reeck

Washington Elementary School District (Phoenix)
Washington Elementary School/Dave McNeil

BTO Silver Partner Schools demonstrate academic growth in a majority of grades and subjects, plus they must meet the criteria for bronze award status.

Alhambra Elementary School District (Phoenix)
Catalina Ventura Elementary School/Melissa Gonzales
Cordova Middle School/Greg Gunn
James W. Rice Primary School/Jaime Camacho
Sevilla Primary School/Mandi Caudill

Creighton School District (Phoenix)
Excelencia School/Damon Twist

Dysart Unified School District (School location noted below)
Thompson Ranch Elementary School (El Mirage)/Fran Sperling

Isaac School District (Phoenix)
J.B. Sutton Elementary School/Marco Ruiz

Littleton Elementary School District (Avondale)
Quentin Elementary School/Jazmin Pacheco

Paradise Valley Unified School District (Phoenix)
Campo Bello Elementary School/Janice Moore
Echo Mountain Intermediate School/Bennett MacKinney
Echo Mountain Primary School/Cynthia Daniels

Pendergast School District (Phoenix)
Amberlea Elementary School/Brenda Martin
Copper King Elementary School/Molly Watson

Tempe Elementary School District (School locations noted below)
Arredondo Elementary School (Tempe)/Hilda Carr-Gaona
Carminati Elementary School (Tempe)/Vernice Sharp
Frank Elementary School (Guadalupe)/Amy Uchacz
Meyer Elementary School (Tempe)/Howard Oechsner

Tolleson Union High School District (School locations noted below)
La Joya Community High School (Avondale)/Cheryl Ingram
Sierra Linda High School (Phoenix)/Tim Madrid
Tolleson Union High School (Tolleson)/Tom Hernandez

BTO Bronze School Partners demonstrate implementation of the original six research-based BTO leadership principles school-wide. The school also must have received a “Performing” AZ LEARNS label from the Arizona Department of Education for the 2009-2010 school year.


Isaac School District #5 (Phoenix)
Esperanza Elementary School/Lina Munoz
Moya Elementary School/Linda Washington

Littleton Elementary School District (Avondale)
Littleton Elementary School/Juliet Mendez

Osborn Elementary School District (Phoenix)
Solano Elementary School/Karen Epps

Pendergast School District (Phoenix)
Westwind Primary School/Dani Williams

Phoenix Union High School District
Metro Tech High School/Kate McDonald

Roosevelt Elementary School District (Phoenix)
V.H. Lassen Elementary School/Hamed El-Afandi
Ed Pastor Elementary School/Pablo Curiel

Tolleson Elementary School District (School location noted below)
Desert Oasis Elementary School (Phoenix)/Clint Smith

METRO TUCSON AREA Marana Unified School District (School locations noted below) Estes Elementary School (Marana)/Nancy Paddock Roadrunner Elementary School (Marana)/Liz Armenta Thornydale Elementary School (Tucson)/Shirley Siedschlag

Sunnyside Unified School District (Tucson)
Apollo Middle School/Ray Chavez
Billy Lane Lauffer Middle School/Bob Miranda
Challenger Middle School/Wil Arias
Chaparral Middle School/John Benavidez

Tucson Unified School District
Grijalva Elementary School/Anna Rivera
Amelia Maldonado Elementary School/Mary Mercado

About the Center for the Future of Arizona
The Center for the Future of Arizona is a Phoenix-based, independent, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that combines public-policy research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives designed to create opportunities and quality of life for all Arizonans. The nonprofit was founded in 2002 by Arizona State University President Emeritus Lattie Coor, who is the center’s chairman and CEO. More information about CFA can be found at For more information about Beat the Odds, visit

About University of Phoenix University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

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Apollo Group, Inc.; 310-242-2051