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Lee Kondravy finished third in the CAA state meet for Leading Edge. Submitted photo

Leading Edge Academy Maricopa placed third at the recent Canyon Athletic Association (CAA) State Wrestling meet. Seven of 11 members of the Leading Edge team qualified for the state tournament Jan. 26.

Nia Lewis, a seventh grader in the 136-pound weight class, placed fourth after working her way through a competitive bracket and beating opponents she had lost to earlier in the season. Nia has always had the option to wrestle in the girls’ division at tournaments, but given the lack of competition, she opts to wrestle with the boys.

Lee Kondravy, a sixth grader, placed third in the 152-pound weight class, taking home the bronze medal. Lee is the brother of last year’s CAA state champion, Zach Kondravy, now wrestling for Maricopa High School.

Zeke Buboltz, a seventh grade at 98 pounds, fought a season-long knee injury and made it deep in to his bracket, wrestling with tenacity.

“The season started in late November, and the team practiced with Sequoia Pathway, which expanded our wrestler’s repertoire and gave them more diverse competition,” said Leading Edge head coach James Larson. “Pathway coach George Husick is tremendous and welcomed our team onto his mat with open arms. By the end of the season, it felt like we had one team rather than two. We attended numerous meets and tournaments throughout the season, celebrating our strengths and identifying our weaknesses with each match.

“Tournaments are grueling, all-day events starting weigh-in at 8 a.m. Athletes can wrestle anywhere from 2-6 matches depending on how they fare in their brackets. The time invested events, provide a great opportunity for the team to bond.”

Nia Lewis. Submitted photo
Zeke Buboltz. Submitted photo

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Zezar Lopez of Casa Grande gets the advantage of Robert Shepardson in the cage. Photo by Jim Headley

Ringside Unified Fighting (RUF) brought mixed martial arts back to UltraStar Multi-tainment Center for a 13-bout event Saturday. The card included fighters from Maricopa and Casa Grande. Maricopa’s Kody Wayne lost his fight with Theodore Nunez, but Zezar Lopez of Casa Grande defeated Robert Shepardson of Avondale.

Sponsored Content has recognized Liquidate AZ of Maricopa as one of the Top 10 estate companies in Arizona for the month of December 2018.

Liquidate AZ holds regular biweekly online estate auctions on Thursdays ( items including coins, jewelry, knives, tools, collectibles, furniture, hardware and more.

Auctions start at $1 and are starting at 10 a.m. There are also upcoming special auctions and sales located in the Mesquite Building at the Santa Cruz Commerce Center since relocating to Maricopa in July. Liquidate AZ deals mostly in reverse logistics – and sources much of its items from major retailers. It also auctions private estates and consignments.

“An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder,” said Liquidate AZ auctioneer Nathan Guilford. “Auctions are the purest form of buying and selling. Auctions bring buyers and sellers together to determine fair market value through competitive bidding.”

Liquidate AZ specializes in the quick disposal of excess inventory, both business and personal . For more information visit or call 480-415-9869.

Submitted photo

MHS Theatre Company took 30 students to compete in 20 events at the Arizona Thespian Regional competition known as CAFT Jan. 26.

Eleven Maricopa High School students qualified for nationals this summer in Lincoln, Nebraska. Theater instructor Alexandra Stahl said the group musical piece received a perfect score from all three judges.

Superior ratings went to:

Group Musical: Kjirsten Lemon, Aidyn Curtis, Taryn Story, Hannah Panter, Antonio Gonzales, Brandon Korittky, Alexia Esquivel, Kade Kruse, Alex Hurley, Haley Raffaele and Joey Russionello
Monologue: Antonio Gonzales
Monologue: Aidyn Curtis
Monologue: Emma Schrader
Monologue: Emmeline Boothe
Solo Musical: Taryn Story
Solo Musical: Genevieve Burno
Solo Musical: Fallon Fruchey
Duet Musical: Brandon Korittky and Antonio Gonzales
Duet Musical: Julie Goodrum and Chloe Seekings
Stage Management: Keara Burke

To raise money for the Nebraska trip, MHS Theatre Company is presenting three plays repertory-style in February. See all three for $5 in the Black Box Theatre inside the Performing Arts Center for the Winter Show Series:

Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: “The Curious Savage”
Feb. 13, 7 p.m.: “[Title of Show]”
Feb. 14, 7 p.m.: “Silent Sky”
Feb. 15, 7 p.m.: “The Curious Savage”
Feb. 16, 2 p.m.: “Silent Sky”
Feb. 16, 7 p.m.: “[Title of Show]”

The troupe will also have a presentation of event sometime before spring break to help raise money to send the students to Nebraska.

MHS Theatre Company’s spring musical will be “Fiddler on the Roof” April 25-27 in the PAC auditorium.

Sponsored Content

Children’s Learning Adventure enables students to discover their true potential through STEAM based learning. They encourage their students to take an innovative approach to learning with a wide variety of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics activities. This supports students with the development of both their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. As students engage in daily exposure to STEAM based learning, Children’s Learning Adventure supports and enhances every child’s opportunity for success and the ability to apply newly learned skills while developing in all academic areas.

Children’s Learning Adventure understands that children are born with a vast capacity for learning. The early developmental years are critical for expanding a child’s brain. Their curriculum incorporates the latest brain development research and implements simple, yet intricate lessons to maximize learning for each child. STEAM-based curriculum is incorporated into all programs to ensure each child is learning valuable skills.

Science is an integral component of STEAM based learning curriculum. Students are presented with specific instruction providing opportunities for rich vocabulary learning, collaboration with peers, and acquisition of scientific knowledge. Children’s Learning Adventure’s Laboratory Lagoon® sets the stage for investigation, discovery, and experimentation; enabling students to take an in-depth look in to scientific procedures.

Children are prepared to live in a technology-driven world by incorporating the use of technology into STEAM based curriculum. Children’s Learning Adventure has brought technology into their classrooms to give their school age-students the opportunity to sharpen their technology skills through tablet based assessments.

Engineering is simply designing, building, and using structures and machines. By infusing engineering activities into the STEAM based curriculum, Children’s Learning Adventure builds on a child’s natural problem-solving skills building the foundation for critical thinkers.

Children’s Learning Adventure believes students should be given the opportunity to express themselves creatively. The arts are incorporated into their STEAM based learning curriculum, through the implementation of art, music, and drama lessons in the daily activities. We know that exposure to the arts is fundamental for early childhood brain development, as it allows children to express emotions and feelings in a positive and healthy way.

Mathematics provides the foundational building blocks for academic success. Mathematics can be applied to essential life skills and is incorporated into several other subjects and every day interactions. At Children’s Learning Adventure, students develop a conceptual understanding of numbers, combinations, and operations. In addition to number knowledge, students learn shapes and their structure, reasoning, measurement, classification, and patterns.

Children’s Learning Adventure’s CEO Rick Sodja, has encouraged his centers to embrace Lifetime Adventures® STEAM based curriculum, based on the latest brain development research, providing children with the activities and environment to greatly impact their capacity for learning and later success.

Children’s Learning Adventure-Maricopa is holding an open house on Saturday, February 9th, 2019. Families can stop by any time between 10:00am-1:00pm. To learn more about Children’s Learning Adventure or their STEAM based curriculum, please visit

DSPA Gems, Inc. announces the availability of a minimum of $5,000 in performing arts tuition grant money. This local nonprofit provides performing arts opportunities to children regardless of a family’s ability meet financial obligations.

Shannon Wallace, DSPA Gems, Inc. president, said these funds are available due to a variety of fundraising activities. Some of these fundraisers include Maricopa’s annual city-wide Daddy Daughter Dance, which almost 200 people attended, and the annual Sugar Plum Tea. Funds were raised from ticket sales, the generous bidding on silent auction items and the purchasing of flowers and song dedications.

All grant money awarded will be applied towards tuition for performing arts classes.

In order to qualify to receive grant money, an applicant MUST:
• be aged 2-18 years old and reside in Arizona
• show proof of enrollment in upcoming performing arts classes (if previously enrolled, must have followed all applicable class rules and have maintained regular class attendance)
• show financial need per the debt-to-income ratio worksheet or by providing qualifying papers for reduced or free lunch program through an Arizona public school for the current year
• provide the IRS tax returns of the parent(s) or guardian(s) from the 2 previous years
• write an age appropriate essay about why the child wants to participate in performing arts and how grant recipient requirements will be kept

Tuition grant recipients are selected by the DSPA Gems, Inc. selection committee based upon funds available and need. The selection committee has determined that programs in which the participant is involved in an activity considered a sport are not eligible.

Recipients are required to:
• attend performing arts classes regularly and follow all applicable rules
• maintain an account in good standing with the performing arts class provider
• complete the required number of community service hours determined by the grant selection committee upon award of the tuition grant

The grant application, as well as requirements for grant applicants and recipients can be picked up at Desert Sun Performing Arts, 19756 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 107.

Applications are due and must be post-marked, no later than Feb. 28. Grants will be awarded at DSPA’s 13th annual recital June 8.

Applications may be mailed to: DSPA Gems, Inc., PO Box 736, Maricopa 85139
For further information, email questions to:

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Maricopa Ace Hardware achieved designation as a “Pinnacle Performing Retailing” store for outstanding performance in the Ace corporation.

“What this means for our customers is that we are more committed than ever to providing our loyal shoppers with the best possible retail experience,” said owner Mike Richey, “from customer service to product offerings and more, we’re taking ‘Ace helpful’ to a new level.”

Pinnacle Performance Retailing was developed as part of Ace’s long-term retail growth strategy, 20/20 Vision. To achieve Pinnacle Performance Retailing, the team at Maricopa Ace Hardware successfully completed a number of key performance drivers that will help them provide a better overall shopping experience in their local community.

One example of a proven performance driver is “Helpful Certification,” the foundational element of Ace’s “Certified Ace Helpful” retail training curriculum. To become certified, Ace Hardware associates complete courses such as Helpful 101 and 201 and the store conducts a week-long team-based certification event.

Richey said his team was “incredibly pleased” to earn the status.

Maricopa Ace Hardware is one of only a few hundred stores among 5,200 in 65 countries to achieve the designation.

“Achieving Pinnacle Performance Retailing is a tremendous accomplishment for an Ace store,” said John Tovar, vice president of Retail Operations and New Business for Ace Hardware Corporation. “We’re pleased to recognize Maricopa Ace Hardware and its associates for their outstanding achievements, and proud to say they are a part of the Ace family.”

Jasper Smith (left) and Tristan Marshell are set to represent Maricopa in the All-Arizona Slam.

What: All-Arizona Poetry Slam
When: Feb. 2, 5:45-9:30 p.m.
Where: Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza
How much: $10

Maricopa will host its own championship contest on Saturday of Super Bowl weekend when Maricopa Arts Council and Maricopa City Council present the 2019 All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship. Because of overwhelming response, the setting had to be changed from Honeycutt Coffee to the larger space at City Hall.

Poets from all over the state will join the top two prize-winning Maricopa poets in the three-round elimination contest – a 14-person “duel” in the art of performance of original poetry.

National Slam rules will prevail: Each poem must be the poet’s own creation and should be no longer than three minutes. Judges are chosen from the audience, and every performance is rated by each judge Olympics-style. At the close of both rounds 1 and 2, the competitors will successively be cut down in numbers until only five poets compete in the final round.

MAC is offering the top three money prizes, with the top prize set at $400.

The full list of 14 starting poets in the first round were selected from a two-month-long lottery run by MAC’s slam master, nationally known poet and shark enthusiast Bernard Schober, who performs as The Klute. He has led all MAC’s poetry slam events since Maricopa Arts Council introduced this type of event to the city in 2016.

The 14 All-Arizona Championship competitors include representatives of the Phoenix Slam, Sedona Slam and Flagstaff Slam, and the top two poets from MAC’s Maricopa Poetry Slam, Jasper Smith and Tristan Marshell. An additional four poets on the Wait List will be listed at the event Facebook site.

The slam is preceded by “art on the spot.” Paintings by Maricopa’s talented visual artists Kristal Hoeh and Lilly Hernandez Schuette will be created before your eyes in the lobby of City Hall from 5-6:30 p.m. These works will be added to the prize checks.

A $10 entrance fee will be charged at the door. Outdoor food trucks offer main meals for purchase, from 5:45-6:30, and Honeycutt Coffee will have dessert food service for purchase in the lobby. MAC personnel onsite will be aided by hospitality guides from Maricopa High School DECA.

Teens who need help putting together a resume in preparation for a job interview are invited to a free event Tuesday evening.

Maricopa Youth Council is hosting the Resume Writing Workshop at Copper Sky in Multipurpose Room A from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Focused on career prep, the workshop will cover best practices in writing a resume and offer interview tips. There will be pizza and drinks.

The event is free.

Below, Youth Council members Ariana Vaida and Hannah Paul Gindiri created an invitation video with classmate Erin Hildick and World History teacher Tyler Miller (posing as a sophomore):



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In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, Maricopans celebrated the dream Saturday with the first of two events that honor community service. It was a full house to enjoy music by A Touch of Class and DJ Kalil and a keynote address from life coach Jevin Hodge, at 24 a vice chairman for the Arizona Democratic Party. Monday, an event is planned at Copper Sky to honor youths who have contributed community service over the past year.

Submitted photos

Maricopa Wells Middle School students took first place in the Arizona Regional Future City competition at Casteel High School Saturday, and Desert Wind Middle School was right behind in second place.

The MWMS team, Arbre de la Vie, is now qualified to compete at the national level in Washington, D.C., in February. The team is comprised of Marley Polosky, Allison Rice and Camille Troyer, with Joseph Rice as engineer. Their teacher are Amy Hunt and Robyn Rice.

The DWMS team of Onagawa received the Walton Sustainable Community Award and the Rich Goewey Community Awareness Award before being named second place overall. Team members are Conner Manning, Isabella Ebner and Lauren Roman. Engineer is Steve Hull, and teachers are Shannon Hull and Jen Szoltysik

The DWMS team of Freiheit (Graci Guerra, Abigail Judd and Rachel Skousen) received the Public Choice Award and Best Multimodal Transportation System Award.

The DWMS team of Yokohama (Mara Fortunata, Baily Martinez and Christian Roman) received the Award of Distinction.

The DWMS team of Pingheng (Kya Hoskins, Joel Smith and Caeden Bolander) receivd awards for Best Team Presentation and Best Application of Quality Concepts.

The MWMS team Mi Lanna (Elin Dayley, Aubryana Pick and Zoie Zimleman) received the award for best team effort.

The DWMS team of Pasko Isla (Catalina Springstroh, Sadie Titus and Bryce Girouard) won the award for Best Communication System.

The DWMS team of Kapayapaan (Leilani Casarez, Brooklyn Stoker and America Rodarte) won the Sustainable Infrastructure Award.

The DWMS team of Ponta De Ouro (Kayla Thomas, Kenton Wilson and Arianna Cox) received the award for Excellent Use of Building Materials.

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Central Arizona College invites organizations and businesses to participate in the fourth annual Job Expo hosted at the Maricopa campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive. The expo is Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

This annual event provides a unique opportunity for employers to have direct access to educated adult students.

“As an institution of higher education, we understand that employers want to hire employees that possess the skills and knowledge to succeed in the position and will help the company move forward,” Ann Mitchell, coordinator of Student Employment at CAC said. “Our event is different from other ‘job fairs.’ Employers have direct access with college-educated adults who have a desire to excel in the career of their choice, and who are investing today for a bright career tomorrow. The caliber of candidates that you will meet at the fair is comprised of currently enrolled adult students, CAC alumni and community members.”

A nominal fee of $30 will be assessed to each for-profit exhibitor and the fee for government and non-profit organizations is $20. Each exhibitor will be provided with a table, a chair and a light lunch for one representative. A fee of $10 is required for each additional representative.

Employers are encouraged to register today to take advantage of the opportunity to find employees that possess the skills and latest education required to help their business run smoothly and efficiently.

The last date to register for the expo is Feb. 4. Space is limited for this event and will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information on how to register for CAC’s Job Expo or to obtain a registration form, please contact Mitchell by phone at 520-494-5428, or by e-mail at

A study completed by AARP Travel found 94 percent of its respondents expecting to take personal time to travel in 2019. Among Baby Boomers planning vacations, more than half are traveling internationally.

Millennials, too, are heading overseas, but without the time or resources of the older generation, and not in the same numbers. Those Millennials who are going abroad are a little farther ahead in the planning process than Baby Boomers.

Patti Bradley from Far Horizons Travel provides the following international travel tips:

  1. Take empty water bottle or cup with a lid. Once you pass through security, you can fill the bottle with water and take it with you on the plane. Lots of airports even have the water bottle fill stations now. Buying water at the airport can be $3-$4 a bottle.
  2. Take a wash cloth. If you normally use a wash cloth, you may not find them in a lot of countries. I always put one in, just in case. I have been to several places that don’t use them. Or even if they do, they don’t always replace used ones when cleaning the room.
  3. Make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate place from the original. I do this just in case my passport gets misplaced. If you have a copy and need to go to the consulate to get a replacement, it takes a lot less time. It’s expensive to replace, so try very hard not to lose it.
  4. Separate your money. When taking cash, even if not a ton of it, put some in your purse or wallet, and some in your carry-on. That way if you get pick-pocketed or lose your wallet, you will still have some cash left. Also, buy foreign currency before you go. They do not take USD in most countries so if you want to tip your baggage handler, buy a soda or food or anything else, you have their money. You can exchange in most international airports upon arrival, but the exchange rate is not the best. Also, get smaller denominations if you can.
  5. Call your cell service provider, your credit card companies and your bank to let them know you will be gone. I do not take my debit card when I travel because you cannot replace cash. However, credit cards have a fraud clause that will safeguard you in case of theft. Take only a Visa or Mastercard. They don’t take American Express and Discover cards in most countries. Not all cell phones will work abroad, and some have a temporary international plan. I have AT&T and it’s $10 a day for when I use it for texting, talking and data. I do believe Verizon also has that. Otherwise you can pay over $3 a minute in most countries.

Far Horizons Travel
608 258-1600


Our readers also had tips for Maricopans planning to go international:

Donna Fisher

Definitely get a TSA precheck ID as well as a passport card. The passport card will also work when traveling domestically when the ID laws change soon.

Ev Glasser

Don’t forget your neighbours to the north; international travel doesn’t need to cross an ocean. As a Canadian with a home in Maricopa, I recommend visiting our Rocky Mountain national parks in the summer.

Jorge Antunez

TSA precheck/Global entry always helps, especially if you are connecting with different airlines, as in some cases you have to exit one terminal and go through a different one. And check in early as airlines have different cutoff times to check in on domestic and international flights.

Adriane Borrego

Put some toiletries in carry-on luggage; for long flights you may need to freshen up in the airport bathroom. Best experiences I have had was having drinks with new people and finding places off the beaten path.

More Tips:

This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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By Al Brandenburg

Everyone who lives in southern Arizona knows our soils can be difficult for producing healthy plants for the average home gardener. The challenge is hard soil and alkalinity.

Desert gardening demands the balancing of the environment, and desert soils are high in clay, calcium and sodium. They are extremely hard and impermeable to water. Before doing anything, you must open and balance your soil. If not, you waste water and nutrients (either already in your soil or from fertilizers).

There are three primary types of soil, determined by the amount of clay, silt or sand particles present.

  1. Clay soil contains a high percentage of clay and silt. The particles are small and cling together, holding water and nutrients well. However, clay soil is susceptible to compaction, which can make it difficult for the moisture and nutrients to reach plant roots and for roots to penetrate the soil. You can identify clay soil by its sticky, slippery feel and its tendency to cling to garden tools.
  2. Sandy soil is composed of larger, coarser particles. It drains quickly, but it isn’t effective at holding moisture and nutrients. This type of soil feels rough and doesn’t hold together well.
  3. Loam, however, has a good balance of clay, silt, sand and organic material. It’s the best type of soil for gardening, providing drainage and retention of moisture and nutrients. Loam holds its shape when you squeeze it lightly and is easier to dig than other types.

The soil in your landscape likely will not be ideal initially, but soil amendments can help you improve it, allowing your plants to thrive.

So, what are some of the fixes?

Sphagnum peat moss absorbs water, slowly releasing it for use by plant roots. It lightens clay soil, providing aeration, and adds mass to sandy soil, helping prevent the leaching of nutrients.

Humus consists of decayed organic matter. It improves fertility and aeration and helps soil hold moisture.

Composted manure is an odorless farm byproduct. In addition to improving aeration and moisture retention, it enriches the soil. Dehydrated manure is a similar product that contains less moisture.

Garden topsoil is a commercially produced compost usually partially decomposed. Because of its rough texture, you use topsoil in the yard or mixed with other products, but not as a potting soil.

Organic soil amendments: Many gardeners choose to make their own soil amendment by composting dead leaves, coffee grounds and other organic materials (not weeds) to add to their existing soil.

If you have questions that aren’t covered here, call the local Master Gardener problem office at 520-374-6263 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. You can also e-mail

This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Sponsored content

By Dayv Morgan

Dayv Morgan

To say the least, 2018 was a good year for housing in Maricopa. Prices went up, availability tightened a bit and 101 more houses sold compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, house construction continued at a rapid rate, proving builders are bullish on Maricopa. The month of May was particularly hot, with 106 building permits filed. Year-over-year, building permits increased 34 percent.

The number of active listings stayed fairly consistent, as did the average number of days on the market, which is slightly above the Valley average. The average selling price in Maricopa by year’s end had increased to $214,000, still well below the Valley average of $235,200, which might explain the continued housing demand in Maricopa.

While the number of homes for sale was shrinking, it was even more difficult to find a house to rent in Maricopa, and rents climbed to an average of $1,300.

The nationwide shortages in construction supplies and labor were felt in Maricopa and may contribute to higher home prices when houses currently under construction go on the market in 2019. Mortgage rates also went up during 2018, putting more pressure on buyers.

For the most part, 2018 was a seller’s market in Maricopa. That will likely continue in 2019. Potential homebuyers are expected to enter the market by spring to get ahead of rising prices.

Maricopa data:

                                                                            Jan. 1, 2018                          Dec. 1, 2018
Median sold price                                                  $190,000                                $212,000
Average sold price                                                 $204,000                                $214,000
Ratio of original list price to sold price              97.7%                                        97.4%
Active Listings                                                         428                                            406
Average days on market                                         60                                               66

                                                                                                           2017                       2018
Homes sold in first 11 months                                                           1,805                     1,906
Single-family house building permits in first 11 months              708                         951

Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success.

This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.


Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel

In October, Arizona Department of Education released school letter grades. Three Maricopa schools received the highest grade of A: Legacy Traditional, Pima Butte Elementary School and Butterfield Elementary School, the latter two being Maricopa Unified School District schools.

Butterfield reached the A grade after having been a C school last year. What does it take to obtain the A grade?

Principal Janel Hildick said there were many contributing factors, including:

– A new math curriculum

– Override funds, which reduced class size

– An advanced fifth-grade math class

– An on-site school counselor

– The implementation of the PBIS Program to reduce discipline issues and keep children in classrooms learning

With these important tools, teachers could enhance student learning in English Language Arts, math and science. The school received 49.3 out of 50 points in the student-growth evaluation.

I sought reaction from Butterfield parents and faculty. One parent replied three of her children had attended Butterfield with one currently in fourth grade.

“For the last 10 years we have had the joy of watching Butterfield grow, change and excel,” she said. “The teachers we have had along the way have such a connection and personal interest in our children. Their passion and dedication prove their desire to see the student succeed.”

One teacher, who is the parent of three Butterfield students, said, “As a parent, you want the best for your children, and Butterfield has now officially proven what we have always felt about the school, which is that it provides an outstanding education for its students. I have so much invested in this school and we as a staff have worked so hard to achieve this kind of success. I know that my children are getting the absolute best education possible at Butterfield and It is a privilege to be a teacher there.”

Another teacher, who has one son at Butterfield and another in middle school, wrote, “The staff and students at the school are some of the most incredible people in Maricopa.”

She and her husband, both actively involved at the school, are proud to be Butterfield parents. Another teacher who is the parent of a third grader and whose daughter is at the middle school, responded, “I know that my child is more than just a number on a test; he is a student that deserves every opportunity to succeed. As a parent, I can’t picture my child at a better school. I am proud of what the staff and students have accomplished.”

One more Butterfield parent said she had a daughter at Butterfield in third grade and another daughter now at middle school. She wrote, “I didn’t need a grade to know how wonderful the faculty and staff were.”

Murray Siegel, Ph.D., has 44 years of experience teaching mathematics. He is in his fourth year as a volunteer at Butterfield E.S.

This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Bernadette Russoniello

By Bernadette Russoniello

At Maricopa High School, the No. 1 reason students cite for not planning to attend a two-year or four-year college after graduation is “I cannot afford to go to college.” Yet the federal government offers billions of dollars in aid for students, while private foundations and businesses offer hundreds of millions in scholarship dollars. Where is the disconnect?

Grants and scholarships are free money. They do not get reported as income, they are tax-free, and never have to be paid back as long as students meet the qualifications.

Here is a quick overview of some of Arizona’s most generous scholarship programs.

Flinn Foundation: Students must be in the top 5 percent of their class, have an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or better and earn top test scores to be eligible to apply. Twenty Flinn Scholars will be awarded a full tuition waiver, housing, meal plans, books, technology and foreign travel stipends at any of the three state universities.

Dorrance Foundation: Awards up to 36 students $12,000 per year to assist with their studies at one of the three state universities. Students must be the first generation to attend college, minimum 3.0 GPA, minimum 1120 SAT or 22 ACT and demonstrate financial need.

National Merit Scholarship is awarded to the top 1 percent of test scores in the state. Students must take the Fall PSAT as juniors to be considered for this award. Typically, universities waive tuition and give generous scholarship packages to both National Merit finalists and even semi-finalists. At our in-state universities, the typical package is about $18,000 per year.

Barack Obama’s Scholarship at Arizona State: Students applying to ASU must have a family income below $42,400 and meet one of the three academic competencies for ASU – 3.0 GPA, top 25 percent of class or 1040 SAT/22 ACT. The Obama Scholarship covers all direct costs of attendance (tuition, housing, food). Candidates must apply to ASU and submit FAFSA before Jan. 1.

Lumberjack Scholarship: Students attending NAU will receive a full tuition waiver ($10,000 per year) for maintaining all A’s and B’s through their high school career. This year, MHS has 18 Lumberjack Scholars earning more than $1 million in academic scholarships.

In addition to these major scholarships, there are hundreds of local scholarships ranging from $500-$2,500 that students can seek out and apply for. Scholars who want the dollars need to start planning and researching now, not wait until the spring semester of senior year to look for assistance.

Bernadette Russoniello is the Career and College coordinator at Maricopa High School. She can be reached 520-568-8100, ext. 4218.

This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Zach Kondravy goes upside-down in winning two matches. Photos by Kyle Norby

Maricopa High School wrestling hosted two teams Wednesday in a home dual that was also Senior Night. The Rams defeated Camelback 29-20 and McClintock 45-9.

Zach Kondravy defeated both of his opponents on the day in the 138-pound class. Rams who defeated one opponent were Gabriel Garcia at 106 pounds, Xavier Rose (113), Jonathan Childers (126), Connor Paine (145), Hunter Taylor (182) and David Onquist (152).

MHS is scheduled for the Doc Wright Invitational Friday and host Horizon and Notre Dame Prep Jan. 23 at 4 p.m.

By Brian Petersheim, Realtor

Brian Petersheim, Realtor. Photo by Victor Moreno

In the past, blogging topics have focused on buying/selling homes and the real estate market in general, but this time I wanted to change things up and focus on renters.

Renters in Maricopa have always been an asset to our community. People rent homes for many reasons instead of buying a home. The most common reasons that are mentioned are getting the “lay of the land” in Maricopa, maybe making sure the commute is acceptable, and deciding on a specific community to lay their roots down. Another common reason to rent is to work on credit scores and employment history to be able to qualify for a home purchase.

I have broken down this blog post into two parts. The first is the Maricopa rental market in general and the second will be tips and tricks to increase your chances of getting into the rental home of your choice.

At the current time there are about 18,000 homes built in Maricopa, but there are only about 33 homes for rent right now, which is a very low inventory.

Total number of homes for rent 33
Rentals allowing pets 23
Rentals with pools 5
Short term/seasonal rentals 11
Monthly lease prices of the 33 homes

With the rental market as tight as it currently is with supply, a prospective tenant needs to put their best foot forward when applying to rent a home. These are some tips and tricks to help a tenant get into the rental home of their dreams and set them above the competition.

1. Know what your credit report looks like before you find the home of your dreams. The landlord will receive a copy of your credit report and you want to make sure there are no surprises. If there are any extenuating circumstances or errors on your credit report, write a note to the homeowner to be submitted with the application explaining the issue. If they don’t see the note they won’t know the reason and may be more likely to pass on you for renting. The landlord may also run a criminal background check.

2. In in a landlord’s market, where the landlord may have multiple choices of tenants it would be wise to have a positive letter on hand from previous landlords. In cases where you don’t have a previous landlord, a letter from your direct supervisor at work telling what a great and long-term employee you are may help . Submit the letter with your application. That letter will weigh greatly with the prospective new landlord’s decision.

3. Make sure you invest in renters insurance. The homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover anything that doesn’t belong to the homeowner. The insurance is relatively inexpensive and covers everything that you own in the house, in case of some kind of disaster you and your belongings will be covered.

4. Have your real estate agent reach out to the landlord’s real estate agent to confirm the house is still available and ask if there are any applications pending. Generally when you apply to rent a house there is a fee involved for each applicant over the age of 18. If there are multiple applications already submitted, knowing that would be important for someone, before using their hard earned dollars for an application fee.

5. Any Real estate agent can help you find a rental. There is no “commission” for a tenant to pay the agent helping them. The commission is paid by the homeowner. There may be fees for the tenant to pay to the property management company, but those fees will need to be paid by the renter either way. A good source for a tenant to start the rental search on their own is

Welcome to Maricopa– “the Friendliest City in Arizona.”

Brian Petersheim
Realtor-Homesmart Success

The Maricopa Unified School District has officially begun their recruitment efforts for the upcoming school year.

The District will be recruiting for both classified and certified staff members to join their team.  The District is asking for support from the community and encouraging all internal and external stakeholders to share the news with family, friends, and professional acquaintances.  As part of this effort, the District will be hosting a Job Fair on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the district’s Administrative Office Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Administrators and supervisors will be present to discuss opportunities and also to conduct interviews for the projected openings.  Interested candidates should access the District’s online application at and complete the appropriate application prior to the Job Fair.

For more information about career opportunities with the Maricopa Unified School District please call 520-568-5100 or visit the District’s website at

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The first girder stretches above the railroad tracks and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Photo by Jim Headley

The first girder was placed  Saturday night as construction of the overpass advances. The 82-foot girders are support beams for the bridge that will carry traffic over the railroad tracks and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The girders arrived on flatbead trucks and were placed with cranes by Southwest Industrial Rigging, which teamed with Arizona Department of Transportation on the overnight work.

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Photos by Kyle Norby

The City of Maricopa and Arizona Game & Fish Department hosted the annual Family Fishing Day at Copper Sky Lake on a mostly sunny Saturday morning. Participants could fish license-free, and AGFD loaned out rods and tackle. It was the 14th year of the event. Families also received a free lunch.

Narrating the proceedings, David Vargas is "The Writer" in "The Good Doctor." Photos by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Community Theatre is performing “The Good Doctor,” one of Neil Simon’s lesser-known comedies, this weekend. Made of a series of vignettes based on Anton Chekhov’s satirical short stories set in Russia, the play exposes hypocrisy, self-delusion, irony and human frailty, all with trademark Simon witticisms. The cast is comprised of veteran local performers and talented teens under the eye of assorted directors. Final performances are Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy.

A two-story home caught fire on Lucera Lane Friday afternoon. Reported before 5 p.m., the fire in the Glennwide subdivision drove young members of a family out of the home as smoke poured from a top-story window. No injuries were reported. Marcicopa Fire/Medical Department put down the fire and continued mop up. The cause is under investigation. SEE UPDATE

This week, Maricopa Unified School District rolled out a new safety alert system district-wide.  SafeSchools Alert is a tip reporting service designed to give students, parents, and employees easy ways to report any concerns that may need to be addressed by school leaders.

The tip reporting service allows students, staff, and parents to submit safety concerns by:

APP: Search for “SafeSchools Alert” in the App Store to download for free
PHONE: 833-284-6770
TEXT: 833-284-6770

Users can easily report tips on bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism, threats of violence, or any safety issue they are concerned about at MUSD schools.  When users submit tips, they are asked to reference the district’s unique identification code, 1679, to ensure the message is routed to the district’s account.

Every tip SafeSchools Alert receives is immediately logged in the system and a school administrator is notified so they can take appropriate action.  Tips may also be submitted anonymously, if the reporting party prefers.

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Sunrise Preschool, owned by Legacy Charter, is in the late stages of construction on Porter Road.

The following briefs appeared in the January issue of InMaricopa.

T&K Contracting received a permit for grading and drainage at the northeast corner of Costa del Sol Boulevard and Honeycutt Road for Tortosa Homeowners Association. Tortosa also was approved for right-of-way use for a waterline extension for a proposed lake and a lake pump.

Rosati’s Pizza opened Dec. 12 at Maricopa Station, 21423 N. John Wayne Parkway. It previously received permit for sprinkler system remodel as it took over the space from the former Zoyo Yogurt.

Escape Room Maricopa opened Dec. 7 at Stagestop Marketplace, 44301 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy., in space once occupied by the former Camino Montesssori charter school.

On the other hand, Carl’s Jr. abruptly closed its doors Dec. 13 in anticipation of a change in franchise ownership. It was removed from the corporate map, and no formal announcement has been made about a re-opening.

Sacate Pellet Mills, 38743 W. Cowtown Road, received a zoning change from CI2 to CI1 as it moves its operations to Maricopa from Laveen.

IHOP, 20429 N. John Wayne Parkway in Edison Pointe, was permitted a wet fire sprinkler system Dec. 10 and a fire suppression system Dec. 14 before opening New Year’s Day.

Also in Edison Pointe, WingStop opened its doors Nov. 15, and Wynn Nails & Hair Salon opened next door Dec. 7.

Legacy Charter’s Sunrise Preschool, under construction at 19287 N. Porter Road, was approved for four shade structures at $4,320 each. It also received the OK for a monument sign.

East Valley Cardiology, 20924 N. John Wayne Parkway, was given a commercial tenant improvement permit for a project valued at $188,960.

Walmart and Fry’s Marketplace were given permission to sell fireworks in anticipation of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Fry’s was also permitted for Christmas tree sales in its parking lot.

Dutch Bros., planned for Sonoran Creek Marketplace at 20232 N. John Wayne Parkway, received an on-site improvement permit, valued at $147,388.

The City of Maricopa was permitted a real estate sign for Copper Sky Commercial Development.

Rehoboth Residential, a group home, received a zoning permit for a Rosa Drive residence in Santa Rosa Springs.

The same company that moved the Zephyr will move girders for the overpass, causing overnight road closures this weekend.

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers who use Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway (MCGH) to plan for overnight road closures this weekend while construction continues on the State Route 347 overpass project.

MCGH will be closed in both directions from SR 347 to Pershing Street from 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, to 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, to 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13.

Motorists driving northeast on MCGH can use Maricopa Groves Parkway to access north- and southbound SR 347. Motorists driving southbound on SR 347 can travel east on Edison Road and follow the detour signs to access MCGH.

Flaggers will direct traffic and limit access to local traffic only. SR 347 will remain open while the overnight closures on MCGH are in effect.

The full closure of MCGH is needed for the delivery and placement of large concrete support beams, called girders, onto the overpass structure currently under construction at SR 347.

The 82-foot-long girders will be delivered on special 18-wheel flatbed trailers and then erected into place using cranes. The placement of the girders represents a major milestone of the project.

The future above-grade structure will resolve traffic congestion created at the existing street-level intersection of SR 347 with the Union Pacific Railroad track.

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A child’s social development involves learning the values, knowledge and skills that enable him/her to relate to others effectively. Building these relationships impacts a child’s positive contributions in the community, with family and at school. At Children’s Learning Adventure, children develop these interpersonal skills in Imagination Island, a uniquely designed miniature city created to enhance social interactions and development. This play-based learning environment supports and influences children’s social development.

Children’s Learning Adventure has also created monthly themes related to their curriculum. Students are introduced to various learning activities in each classroom that focus on a monthly theme such as “Things That Go,” “Health and Nutrition” and “Tropical Adventures.”

Children’s Learning Adventure also promotes life-long health and well-being to their students, as it begins in early childhood. Children experience a variety of meaningful, physical activities in a climate-controlled indoor gym and outdoor play area. Children develop socially and physically as they interact with peers and teachers daily, building understanding of team and individual sports.

To instill a love for learning, Children’s Learning Adventure has created fun and interactive activities for their students. These activities allow them to discover and explore areas they are interested in while learning about something new. Founder and CEO Rick Sodja explains, “What separates Children’s Learning Adventure from others is that we champion working collaboratively with parents to develop students into lifelong learners.”

Children’s Learning Adventure believes it is important to provide a fun, positive and engaging atmosphere for both their students and parents. They offer innovative lesson plans and enjoyable learning activities that are developmentally appropriate. Children’s Learning Adventure creates a welcoming and nurturing environment that encourages parents and families to be actively involved with their children’s learning experiences throughout the year.

Children’s Learning Adventure in Maricopa holds open houses every month for families to explore the campus and engage with the teachers. To learn more about Children’s Learning Adventure, please visit

Bucky Heard (left) has joined Hall of Famer Bill Medley to comprise the Righteous Brothers. They will perform at Harrah's Ak-Chin in March. Submitted photo

The Righteous Brothers, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame duo, will be headlining the first concert in the all new Harrah’s Ak-Chin concert venue on March 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster starting Friday.

What: The Righteous Brothers – Live in Concert
When: March 23, doors open at 7 p.m., showtime 8 p.m.
Where: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Concert Venue
Tickets on sale Jan. 11: $34.50; $49.50; $64.50
Ages: All

With a string of No. 1 classics, including the most played song in radio history, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield topped the charts in four decades. After Bobby’s death in 2003, Bill Medley continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but when fans and friends pleaded with him to keep The Righteous Brothers alive; he approached Bucky Heard to recreate the magic of the original duo.

The concert experience features their biggest hits – Lovin’ Feelin’, Soul & Inspiration, Unchained Melody, Rock and Roll Heaven, Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme, The Time of My Life, and much, much more.

Bill Medley is truly one of the iconic figures in American music history. His instantly recognizable baritone voice has anchored some of the biggest recordings of all time. He’s won a Grammy, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and an American Music Award.

Bucky Heard’s reputation as a gutsy rock ‘n’ roll singer, with an incredible vocal range, has garnered much critical praise and a legion of fans.

The Harrah’s Ak-Chin Concert Venue seats 2,000 and is part of the property’s multi-million dollar expansion. The Righteous Brothers will be the first open-to-the-public concert in this new venue.


Christian Price (submitted photo)

The 2019 Legislative session begins on Jan. 14, and our newly elected legislators will join their incumbent colleagues to begin the hard and critically important work of representing their constituents in the Arizona House and Senate. And the League of Arizona Cities and Towns is ready to help.

The League exists to promote local self-government and municipal independence and this mission has never been more important in the State of Arizona than it is today.

Our primary focus is to represent the interests of cities and towns before the Arizona Legislature, and to strengthen the quality of life and common good of all citizens of Arizona municipalities. We do this through advocacy of legislative and administrative policy that help to make our municipalities more efficient and responsive to our citizens’ needs, and also through review of any policy proposals that could be counter to these goals. When appropriate we seek effective compromise.

Whether elected at the local or state level, we all are bound by our common desire and duty to do what is right for all Arizonans, and it is this shared value that should bring us together to work for the benefit of every citizen that we collectively represent.

As president of the Arizona League, I join with our 25-member Executive Committee and all member cities and towns across our state, to work with our colleagues at the state legislature to find common ground in good policy-making and to ensure that the best interests of our cities and towns are represented.  Together, we can continue to build an even better Arizona – a state that we all love and revere.

Christian Price is the president of League of Arizona Cities and Towns and the mayor of Maricopa.