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21 Arizona public schools earn Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence® Award

Phoenix, AZ, February 8, 2022 – The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF®) announced the names of 21 Arizona public schools receiving the coveted A+ School of Excellence® Award for the 2021–2022 academic year on Tuesday.

AEF has identified and honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona since 1983. The A+ School of Excellence® Award is the highest state-level recognition an Arizona public school may receive. The A+ School of Excellence® program is part of AEF’s mission to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in PK-12th grade Arizona public education.

The 2022 A+ School of Excellence® winning schools are:

· Cherokee Elementary School, Scottsdale Unified School District

· Corona Foothills Middle School, Vail Unified School District

· Cottonwood Elementary, Vail School District

· EDUPRIZE SCHOOLS - Gilbert, Eduprize Schools, LLC

· EDUPRIZE SCHOOLS - Queen Creek, Eduprize Schools, LLC

· Elvira Elementary School, Sunnyside Unified School District

· Frances Brandon Pickett Elementary, Queen Creek Unified School District

· George Washington Academy, Sequoia Village School

· Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary, Chandler Unified School District

· Jefferson Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools

· Laveen Elementary School, Laveen Elementary School District

· Linden Elementary School, Show Low Unified School District

· Mesquite Elementary, Gilbert Public Schools

· Metro-Tech High School, Phoenix Union High School District

· Mountain Shadows Elementary School, Deer Valley Unified School District

· Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School, Vail School District

· Pioneer Preparatory School; A Challenge Foundation Academy, Charter

· Pomeroy Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools

· Robert S. Richardson Elementary School, Flowing Wells Unified School District

· Superstition Springs Elementary, Gilbert Public Schools

· West Wing Elementary School, Deer Valley Unified School District

“The A+ School of Excellence program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona, calling attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” said AEF Executive Director, Kim Graham. “The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for exceeding expectations to meet their students’ needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide.”

Applicant schools are evaluated in the areas of student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement and assessment data.

Applications are made available to Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide. Evaluation of schools is based on a lengthy written application submitted by the school and a rigorous site visit conducted by a team of trained judges. In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and the school community’s commitment to excellence, equity, service and sustained high achievement. Preparation of each school’s application involves collaboration among all stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence® winner. Schools keep the award for four years and then must reapply at the end of that term to be considered for renewal status. Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence® program can help increase confidence in Arizona’s public schools and create greater parent and community support.

Visit our website to learn more about the A+ School of Excellence® program.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Dr. Teresa Hill, Deputy Director, at 520-591-0972, or email

A+ press release 2022
Download PDF • 173KB


About Arizona Educational Foundation:

The mission of AEF is to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education. This is accomplished through a variety of programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Some programs shine a spotlight on excellence; others provide a stepping stone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness. In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, AEF also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, Take Your Legislator to School, and Our World. AEF was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the great work of public school educators. AEF annually reaches over 500,000 students, teachers and administrators throughout Arizona. For more information, visit or contact

Media Contact:

Terri Bradford

Director of Communications & Digital Strategy, Arizona Educational Foundation

Mobile: 720-468-3996

Email address:


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