Sunnyside accepting applications for Dollars for Scholars

Sunnyside Unified School District announced it has opened the application cycle for its Dollars for Scholars scholarship program.

The district will award more than 40 scholarships valued between $500 and $1,500 for students to invest towards their post-secondary education. Graduating seniors from Desert View, Sunnyside and STAR high schools can apply.

The scholarship opportunities are made possible through contributions from district employees, professional associates, community organizations, businesses and individual donors.

Students can fill out an application by visiting

Kindergarten roundup

Tanque Verde and Agua Caliente elementary schools will be hosting kindergarten open houses for prospective families for the 2023-2024 school year.

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Tanque Verde Unified School District offers a free, full-day kindergarten with new buildings and playgrounds that opened in August. Children who will be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2023 are eligible to enroll in kindergarten, the district said in a news release.

Tanque Verde Elementary School, at 2600 N. Fennimore Ave., will hold its Kindergarten Open House on Jan. 11 at 2 pm Interested parents/guardians should call (520) 749-4244 for more information.

Agua Caliente Elementary School, at 11420 E. Limberlost Road, will hold its Kindergarten Open House on Jan. 18 at 2 pm Interested parents/guardians should call (520) 749-2235 for more information.

Open Enrollment applications are accepted now through Jan. 30. Parents and guardians can fill out the online application by visiting

Teacher Excellence Award

Tucson Values ​​Teachers presented the November Teacher Excellence Award to Leticia Montero, a seventh- and eighth-grade English Language Development (ELD) teacher at Challenger Middle School.

Montero, who has taught in the Sunnyside Unified School District for 10 years, has been at Challenger the last five years.

She was previously recognized as a STAR teacher at Sierra Middle School in 2012 and at Challenger Middle School in 2022. Last year, she received a Teacher Appreciation Award from the Tucson Ward V office.

“I strongly believe that we all have the power to influence others in a positive way, and I take that to heart everyday with my students,” Montero said. “My goal is to empower them to believe in themselves and know that with hard work and discipline everything is within our reach.”

She was nominated by her colleague Kelley Brooks-Cavalleto, who said Montero has started to facilitate family nights, where families are invited to learn more about the ELD program, experience learning tasks as their children do, and build a deeper understanding of the middle school to high school transition.

Have any questions or news tips about K-12 education in Southern Arizona? Contact Genesis Lara at [email protected]