Commentary: Healthiest You, I Have a Dream at Camp Verde Unified

Dennis Goodwin

Dennis Goodwin

This week, we began offering an exciting new benefit to all District employees. Healthiest You is a telemedicine program offering doctor visits, prescription ordering and price comparisons, insurance connectivity, and many other medical services by smart phone, internet, or a regular phone call. 

This benefit is fully funded by the District and is another step toward the goal of supporting the awesome employees of our District.

Good news! Digital Media has won another contest, putting us on the map and have put money in our student’s pockets.

Say NO to underage drinking

As always, we entered one of the annual contests MATFORCE puts on for schools within Yavapai County. This particular contest is a design for pizza box art that conveys MATFORCE’s Underage Drinking Campaign.

Pizza restaurants from around the county place the winning art work on their boxes being delivered over the busy Super Bowl weekend ... what a fabulous way for our budding graphic designers to have their work displayed across our community!

Not only were we able to win the top prize again, but several other intermediate and advanced design students were able to clench a secondary prize. These are the winners are as follows:

-William Schultz-first place $100 (Advanced)

-Nick Daniels-$10 Amazon Gift Card (Advanced)

-Daniel Killman-$10 Amazon Gift Card (Advanced)

-Daniel Carley-$10 Amazon Gift Card (Intermediate)

-Colten Cecil-$10 Amazon Gift Card (Intermediate)

-Rafael Gonzales-$10 Amazon Gift Card (Intermediate)

If you happen to see one of our design students on campus please congratulate them.

Around the middle school

Camp Verde Middle School had some visitors on its campus this Wednesday. Debbie Witt had bragged to ADE about how successful our Title 1 program was at the middle school.  Another school who is struggling with their program was told by ADE to contact us.  

On Wednesday, the principal, assistant principal, mentor teacher, and two Title 1 teachers from that school observed our program and met with our Title 1 teachers to get ideas on how they could improve. They were also impressed with Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

Camp Verde Middle School would like to congratulate its Employee of the Month. Adrienne Wright is our seventh grade math teacher, one of the Student Council sponsors, serves on the Strategic Planning Committee and just recently became a long-term sub for one period of seventh grade Spanish. 

She is very energetic, committed to the school, and cares deeply about her students. We are proud of you Adrienne. Congratulations!

This week in Mrs. Monroe’s Teen Leadership class, the students presented their “I Have a Dream” group speeches. All of the groups were prepared with their parts memorized and there were some really creative group presentations.

On Jan. 16, Mrs. Wright and several other staff members went to a community event to support our students as they performed in the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and March on Main Street in Camp Verde.

Chandler Plante, a sixth grade middle schooler, organized the event and gave a very heartwarming speech on the impact of kindness and value of people.

A seventh-grader, Silas Gagnon, who won the speech contest and $50, read his speech aloud and brought most of the audience to tears with his story on the impact of MLK by, again, valuing people.

The Camp Verde High School senior choir performed as well as many students from the middle school in the KC Tae Kwan Do performances.

Sixth grade Teen Leadership is looking at the I-POSSESS skills: Self-control and Empathy.  Sixth graders have made the connection between self-control and how it controls laws and rules that are in place or being considered and the freedoms we have.

The seventh grade/eighth grade boys’ basketball season has come to an end. The season has had many highlights with some great victories. The boys’ biggest improvement was on defense, as they learned to play help man “D”, zone and a mix of man and zone. 

The boys also adopted a family of eight over the holiday season and bought the family clothes, food and toys. In the tournament, the boys were able to come out with the fourth place trophy along with Blake Chapman and Jose Santana receiving all-tournament honors.

Congratulations to the seventh and eighth grade girls’ basketball team for being crowned the Verde Valley League Champions. Congratulations as well to eighth grader Conrad Noone, who was crowned State Champion wrestler last weekend. Great job, Cowboys!

Elementary Girls’ Coding Club

In an effort to bring more young ladies into the science and engineering fields and into our own robotic programs, elementary technology teacher Shelley Surber is offering a Coding Club after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for girls in fourth and fifth grades.

The students will start learning with an online, block coding program called The program starts teaching JavaScript by dragging and dropping blocks of code into a work area. The program advances slowly to help students understand how the code works.

To participate, students must be in good standing with grades (C or higher), up to date on all assigned work by the teacher, and have no discipline referrals. There is no fee for this program.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts — Elementary Style

Our Capturing Kids’ Hearts program is going strong at the elementary school. In addition to our fifth-graders greeting students at the front door, we have a great implementation continuing.

Teachers are finding wonderful launches to share at our PLC meetings, which are organized using the EXCEL model. Classrooms have a wide array of social contracts and affirmation boards in use.

Students are using checking to help each other stay focused. The four questions are being used to guide students back on track. In all, the program is helping everyone to think about their words and actions, making our school a happier place to be.

These United States

Students in Mrs. Howe’s fifth grade class have finished tackling one of their biggest projects of the year. They have spent time creating a map of the United States, color coding each state by region, and labeling them with the state name and capital. This is time-consuming and meticulous work, but the payoff is worth the effort involved. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of United States geography while creating these works of art.

Our smallest students speak their minds

Seven-year-old Bayley Dykstra, a student in Mrs. Padilla’s second grade class, got a hands-on lesson in democracy on Tuesday evening when she expressed her opinion of our school schedule at the special board meeting forum.

Several students took time to speak to the board, and in doing so, exercised their rights as citizens to have a voice in the governing process.

Even though the crowd was large, Bayley waited her turn in line, signed in, and took the microphone in hand. We are proud of our students and of our board for creating an experience that was educational and empowering for everyone involved.

Special Education

Preschool had a Super Bowl Party on Thursday, Feb. 2. Students and teachers dressed up in their favorite sports jersey. 

We talked about teamwork, building blocks together, fine motor skills with finger painting, gross motor with playing football, and having fun finger snacks.

In middle school, our eighth grade students are enjoying planning their high school careers. Some of the students’ comments were:

“I want to get a good paying job, so I like planning. I want to make new friends and join a club.”

“I am excited about getting a locker. Also, learning about credits is kind of scary.”

I am excited about high school, being treated more maturely, making new friends, and learning new languages.”

“I hope to get good grades!”

Our high school’s special education teacher, Lisa Powers, has been participating in the Co-Teaching Book Study this semester.

Each time, Tammey Carter (special education teacher at the middle school) advertises the Co-Teaching book study class, Lisa sends out an email to her high school teachers to see if anyone would like to take the class together.

Becky Westfield took her up on the offer. Lisa and Becky began taking the Co-Teaching Book Study and hope that they will be able to participate in Co-Teaching some English courses next year.


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