Accomplishments and Testimonials

Accolades and Accomplishments

Congratulations to Megan Bird, our Gifted Self-contained teacher for grades 5/6 at Fireside, for receiving the Arizona Council on Economic Education's '2017 Economic Education Teacher of the Year'! She was selected based upon her continuous improvement as a teacher through professional development, engaging students and supporting peers in the teaching or learning of economics and financial literacy. Congratulations!

gifted winnersAbove: Wesley Jarman (left), and Madeline Himlin with her crayon box entry.

PVSchools is proud to have two gifted students place in the 2015 International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards.

Madeline Himlin, a 3rd-grade student at North Ranch Elementary School, received 2nd Place in the Arts and Leisure component of Inventions category for her Crayon Box Essay and Art entry.

Wesley Jarman, a 6th-grade student at Fireside Elementary School, also received 2nd Place in the Science and Engineering category for his Mass Water Filter Entry.

The award-winning students were featured in the 2015 Torrance Award booklet and were honored during a special award session at the 2015 National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Convention and Conference, November 12th-15th in downtown Phoenix.

The International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards offers students, aged 8 - 18, from all over the world the opportunity to submit creative works and inventions in four major areas: Creative Writing, Visual Arts, Music Composition and Invention.

Three students from Sonoran Sky Elementary School, are finalists in the City of Scottsdale Constitution Day Essay Contest, hosted by the mayor of Scottsdale, Jim Lane.

  • First Place - Kunal Sharma
  • Second Place - Anika Mahajan
  • Third Place - Kai Angelchik
  • Teacher - Jen Hegreness - Gifted Self Contained 3rd-grade class

Congratulations to all!


"Thank you for creating the Gifted Preschool and for giving our daughter the opportunity to experience this amazing learning environment!  Our daughter has shown growth that we didn't even know she was capable of.  The loving environment that Mrs. G. has created is so far beyond our expectations that I'm not sure how we will get her to leave her classroom on the last day of school.  She is so fulfilled mentally that she is brimming about the new knowledge she has learned each day and her excitement at her own ability brings tears to my eyes." - T.N.

"Placing my son in PV's gifted preschool was no doubt one of the best decisions we could have ever made. Coming out of a Montessori school where he was able to do math and reading at the level that suited him made us a little nervous about moving to a more "traditional approach." we needn't have worried! The Gifted Preschool has provided an EXCELLENT mix of group learning time as well as individual tailored instruction. He has excelled in the atmosphere both socially and academically. I can't possibly thank his teacher and the school for this amazing year they have given us." - V.M.

"The Gifted Preschool Program provides an amazing learning environment.  When you walk in, the dedication, enthusiasm, and energy is palpable. The level of instruction is unparalleled.  Everyday my daughter eagerly enters the classroom and engages in morning work, I can barely get a hug and kiss out of her before she is off and running.  The transformation we have seen over the course of the school year is staggering!" - A.O.

"My son’s teacher in the Kindergarten Gifted Program was an absolute delight to work with all year! Her patience, knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness were contagious. She kept all of us in-the-loop of how the kids were progressing, what they were working on, what was going on in the school, etc. She even made SmileBoxes which were a visual (photos & videos) of the kids in action learning. She made it easy to participate and stay informed. I am truly flabbergasted by how much my son learned/gained in academic, social, emotional and critical thinking skills in only a year!"

"Once again, the district was behind us 100%.  They have done whatever was necessary to keep my daughter engaged and challenged.  Because of the district's efforts, my daughter discovered a passion for math and science that simply didn't exist before.  We have been fortunate to have exceptional teachers who "get" gifted kids and make the PV program something that I can whole-heartedly endorse." - A.W.

"Paradise Valley gifted programs continue to be a beacon throughout the valley for Arizona's gifted children.  It is second to none within the public school system.  Most importantly, the program far exceeds even the most expensive private schools in the valley. Rather than simply being pushed ahead, students within the Paradise Valley gifted education system learn to analyze the depths of each topic.  Students learn critical thinking skills and the application of known information to innovative topics.  As a result of the effective teaching methods, the Paradise Valley gifted program exceeds any other available public or private opportunity in Arizona."  - D.W.

"My daughter is gifted but has struggled with attention in the classroom. Her Honors teacher has been an integral part of turning my daughter’s school experience around. She pushes students to reach their potential and holds students accountable for their actions, work and behavior and above all instills in them confidence and a desire to learn. I have a new daughter this year! She absolutely loves school now!" - R.A.

"Our family feels so fortunate to have found PVSchools’ gifted programs! Both of our children are identified as gifted and we had been searching for the right learning environment for several years when we learned about Paradise Valley district’s comprehensive gifted programming. Our son and our daughter have benefited greatly from their gifted classrooms over the last five years - cluster, pull-out and self-contained. It is such a relief when your child is in the appropriate educational environment that meets their needs, offers challenges and provides support for each child as an individual. We will forever be thankful!" - S.M.

"I cannot believe my good fortune to live in a school district with someone like Dr. B., who with the support of the district has made Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) one of the best places in the state for gifted children to be educated. Both my children benefited from placement in early elementary school into gifted cluster classrooms with teachers that understood them.  In later elementary school, both my children benefited from pull out gifted classes in math and reading where they could learn with peers and with knowledgeable teachers.  My oldest child just completed two years at the Digital Learning Center (DLC) surrounded by children just like her and had a middle school experience feeling comfortable being herself - amazing experience!   She will now be  going on to the high school program, the Digital Academy of Advanced Placement (DAAPS), and I know she will thrive.  The teachers and programs for gifted children in PVSchools are unsurpassed." - G.K.