Dr. Quintin Boyce

Dr. Quintin Boyce served as principal of Camelback High School during the academic years 2014-16.

In the spring of 2016, during the second year of his tenure, Dr. Boyce was selected to serve as the new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning for the Phoenix Union High School District.

As a result of Boyce’s selection to serve at the district office, Camelback will have a new principal for the 2016-17 academic year, Dana Cook.

Dana Cook enters her 22nd year in public education in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. She has been an assistant principal at Maryvale High School for 9 years.

Dana Cook career notes

Ms. Cook came to the Phoenix Union district as a special education teacher in 1997 and became a special education facilitator in 2003. She began her career teaching in the Washington Elementary School District in 1995. She holds a B.S. in Education and Special Education from Northern Arizona University and a M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University. She is looking forward to working closely with the Camelback High School Community Network (CCN).

Dr. Boyce career notes

Prior to joining the Spartan family at Camelback, Dr. Boyce taught as a science teacher at South Mountain High School and then Bioscience High School – ultimately becoming principal of the school. Throughout these experiences he demonstrated a great degree of passion for both participating in and developing student-centered programs that aimed to help students maximize their academic and social potential.

While at South Mountain, Dr. Boyce helped develop several mentoring programs – one in particular which provided a vibrant science and travel experience for students. He served as the varsity baseball coach and actively participated in curriculum development at both the school and district level.

As a result of his success in the classroom, Dr. Boyce was offered the opportunity to teach at the Phoenix Bioscience High School. During his time in the classroom at Bioscience he taught the multiple subjects of Biology, Chemistry, Biotechnology and Forensic Science. He continued to be a teacher leader as he impacted the further development of the innovative learning experiences that have garnered Bioscience national attention and accolades.

While navigating his first year of teaching at Bioscience, Boyce began the pursuit of his doctoral degree at Arizona State University. The completion of his degree ultimately culminated with his ascension into the principalship at Bioscience.

Under the guidance and direction of Dr. Boyce, Bioscience strengthened significant relationships with the neighboring Phoenix Biomedical corridor. To date, graduates of Bioscience High School gain entrance into some of the most selective universities in the nation with some of the highest collective scholarships totals amassed in the Phoenix Union High School District.

Dr. Boyce subsequently was selected to succeed Dr. Chad Gestson as principal at Camelback High School when Dr. Gestson assumed a leadership role at the District level.

During his two years at Camelback, Dr. Boyce supported the growth of the Camelback Montessori College Preparatory program and celebrated the first graduating class for this special group of students.

Seeing a critical need for young positive male interaction in the learning community, Dr. Boyce created a “Men of Camelback” group, whose primary focus was to surround young high school-aged men with positive, loving, male adults. This program blossomed into genuine relationships between the multiple age groups represented.

Understanding the importance of community involvement and relationships, Dr. Boyce worked closely with the Camelback High School Community Network (CCN) to realize his vision for the community by engaging with this caring, committed group of individuals.

With the aid of the CCN, Dr. Boyce was able to create a professionally developed promotional video, which can be found on the successismandatory.org website. This video captured the essence of Camelback High School and will be used for soliciting donations for the Camelback scholars program (formerly known as the Camelback “gap scholarship” program) and also for the recruitment of future Camelback students from Camelback’s various feeder school districts.

Dr. Boyce worked closely with neighboring partner schools and specifically created collaboration opportunities between the math teachers from nearby middle schools and Camelback’s math teachers to strengthen the level of student support in math during the transition from middle to high school.

In addition, Dr. Boyce also developed a monthly teacher mentoring program where he met with a different group of Camelback teachers monthly to help bolster best-teaching practices while simultaneously developing relationships. This mentoring program was coupled with instituting quarterly teacher dinners, which provided a platform for teachers to engage with the CCN and also expand their professional network by engaging and developing relationships with other teachers on the campus.

These programs, in addition to Camelback’s very impactful peer tutoring program, the monthly CNN/student dinners, and its success-is-mandatory program, which fosters academic support throughout the school, all add to the special nature of the Camelback High School learning community.

Update from Support My Club

Here are additional school year updates from Amy Armstrong, Founder & CEO of Support My Club.
I am so proud of what the SVP Affinity group has accomplished! What a remarkable story of years of hard work and dedication.
I thought you might find the following additional information a valuable and interesting addition to the story, seeing that Support My Club originated as an idea in these early affinity group meetings! SVP reaches farther than it thinks!
At the end of each semester we send principals and superintendents a summary of the school year. In ADDITION to 23 other school districts (yes, that says 23 districts!) across the state that we serve, below is a summary of what Phoenix Union HSD received just this past 15/16 academic year.
We are very proud of what our community has rallied behind using our online service and look forward to expanding even more this next school year.
I should note (well, brag) that we are in the midst of a campaign to collaboratively pool donors to support items together for one “flash funding” in the fall semester (mid October) and have individuals/couples who have pledged over $60k already! Next semester proves to be an even greater success for our AZ students! And check out this Friday’s Phoenix Business Journal for a full page reveal of the first version of this “Collaborative Flash Funder” list!
Exciting times – thank you to SVPAZ for being the conduit to our start! 🙂


Schools Registered
Clubs Registered
Items Donated
Items’ Value
Alhambra High School
Betty H. Fairfax High School
Bioscience High School
Bostrom High School
Camelback High School
Carl Hayden High School
Central High School
Cesar Chavez High School
Desiderata Alternative High School
Franklin High School
Maryvale High School
Metro Tech High School
North High School
South Mountain High School
Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy
Trevor Browne High School


Highlights from SVPAZ Education Affinity Group

A message from John E. DeWulf from Social Venture Partners AZ about their success this school year.

While school is out for summer, I wanted to take the time to brief you on the SVPAZ Education Affinity Group’s amazing work this school year. Highlights include:

  • Partners worked closely with Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) administrators providing executive coaching, mentoring, and leadership.
  • Spearheaded tours of local major businesses including Alliance Bank and CopperPoint Mutual for PUSHD aspiring principals.
  • Important efforts in helping Dr. Chad Gestson getting appointed as Superintendent of PUHSD
  • Educated Partners and opinion leaders on the PUHSD Bond initiative that ultimately passed.
  • Toured Phoenix Coding Academy and Linda Abril Educational Academy as potential Investees
  • Hosted speakers from Elevate Phoenix and the Arizona Teacher of the Year
  • Discussed and analyzed SVPAZ’s role in public policy and advocacy in public education
  • Initiated a mini grant program that saw 30 high schools apply for grants of $500 dollars for innovative projects. Ultimately awarded $5,000 to 10 high school projects.

Our committed and dedicated Partners have devoted their time, talent, and dollars to strengthening Arizona schools, particularly those in the Phoenix Union High School District.

In the next year, we are looking to not only continue but expand our programming with a potential move to the Linda Abril Education Academy. With a strong interest in advocacy and public policy, we will bring in experts to help guide us on having a wider influence and a pulse on higher-level impact. Finally, as we look to move the needle in education in the heart of the Valley, we want to recruit additional Partners to this work.

With that in mind, please let us know if you want to join us for the 2016-17 school year. We will send out a formal invitation with calendar in August but wanted to gauge initial interest and answer any questions over the summer. If you have an interest or questions, please reach out to Sentari at sminor@svpaz.org.

CBHS Code Club Wins Top Overall

posted by Bruce Hilby, Communicator, Camelback High School Community Network

Maria Abrams, Camelback’s Marketing teacher, Code Club Advisor and DECA Co-Advisor, reports that “against 247 skilled competitors in coding apps, websites, and video games, CBHS code club wins Top Overall for their game “Brain Train” at the 2016 AZ 24 Hours of Code — so proud of this team!!”

codeclubTo follow the Camelback Code Club’s efforts, check out their new YouTube channel and Facebook page. Give a like and subscribe.



Phoenix Coding Academy

Download the Coding Academy flyer here (.pdf)

A unique high school is coming for the 2016-17 school year –

The Phoenix Coding Academy is Phoenix Union’s newest specialty small school, focusing on computer coding and technological skills.

Developed by tech-savvy educators and industry experts and housed in a brand-new high-tech facility, students will prepare for college and future careers learning software development, including game design, web and app development, networking, information security, IT support, automation and robotics and other STEM concepts in a student-centered, inquiry-based environment.

With hands-on learning with a one-to-one laptop to student ratio, and a Maker Lab featuring 3-D printers, programmable circuit boards, manufacturing mills, soldering stations and other industry-related equipment, Phoenix Coding Academy students will solve problems and innovate with tomorrow’s tools.

Students will receive a full high school curricula of core classes, electives, world languages, Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings, online courses and foundational computer science. Technology will integrate the coursework, and coding integration will grow with experience. Partnerships with the tech industry will facilitate guest instructors, field trips, internships and career pathways. Connecting with partner elementary districts will further develop computer science and coding education so that future students will be prepared for Phoenix Coding Academy.

The Phoenix Coding Academy’s inquiry-based instructional model values student curiosity, collaboration, critical thinking, innovation, engagement and relevance.

Extracurricular activities and clubs will be available, including robotics and other academic competition, such as coding contests. The arts, English as a Second Language (ESL) and Exceptional Student Services (ESS) will be provided.

Phoenix Coding Academy will begin with a freshman class of approximately 100 students and grow to a school of 400 as additional classes are added. To meet the diversity needs of the high tech industry, enrollment will be reflective of the Phoenix Union community.

– Enrollment begins November 7 –

Selection will be based on an application and interview process.

For more information, visit www.PhoenixUnion.org/CodingAcademy, or call 602-764-1314.

Download the Coding Academy flyer here (.pdf)

Camelback High School Gap Scholarship Awards

posted by Bruce Hilby, Communicator, Camelback High School Community Network

Several months ago, up to 44 Camelback graduating seniors started their online applications at the Arizona Community Foundation (“ACF”) which provides a “common application”  for students to use to apply for all the many scholarships available through ACF and the funds it manages. Of these, 24 applicants provided sufficient information for their applications to be considered.

These applications were reviewed and scored on line by a group of Camelback Community Network participants and some additional volunteers, including Jim Widland, Esq. and Dr. Quintin Boyce, Camelback’s outstanding new principal.

22 of the applicants were then invited to interviews on May 12 at the school. Again, Community Network participants and other volunteers held these interviews, including Elliott Pollack, Janaki Ram, Rick West, Becky Wolf, Joyce Medina Harper, Grace Smith, Dick Wilson, Sentari Minor of Social Venture Partners and Bill Gosnell of the Camelback Alumni Association. Thank you to all these folks.

Several of these 22 students had already found sufficient funding for their college cost of attendance and elected not to be interviewed.

100% of those interviewed will receive gap scholarship awards.

ACF’s Director of Scholarships, Grace Smith, in her email below, provides a list of those students and their tentative awards.

ACF will then actually communicate with the institutions to which these award winners are matriculating this fall and arrange to forward the scholarship funds directly to those schools with directions as to the specific uses of each award.

Each award recipient will have executed the attached agreement which requires them to stay in touch so we can track their progress and successes over time. They also agree to welcome and help orient future Camelback graduates as they arrive at their colleges. Our goal is to create communities of Camelback graduates at these schools to support each other.

Camelback Community Network participants, primarily Rick West and Becky Wolf, raised over $55,000 this year for these awards, which funds are deposited at ACF in the Camelback High School Scholarship Fund. ACF provides all this service for 5% of the funds contributed.  There are zero other costs of the program. Fully 95% of all funds donated go directly to the scholarships.

These funds were contributed by 15 donors and more donations are still coming in. Many of these donors have contributed in previous years. Thank you so much!

This is the third year of this gap scholarship program that was originally conceived of and launched byCamelback’s visionary former principal, Dr. Chad Gestson, who, having launched a successful peer tutoring program at Camelback High School to support its struggling students, determined the school needed a way to also support its most successful students. Both of these programs are supported and funded via Camelback’s Community Network.

Personal note:

Reviewing the applications of these amazing students and interviewing them during this process is one of the most rewarding and awe inspiring experiences I can recall. Even though many times having to navigate their way through very challenging family and economic situations at home, these successful Camelback students each have demonstrated their determination, hope, and capability. I think this is called GRIT. 

They and all their school mates deserve our admiration and support.  These are our state’s future leaders.

Go Spartans!

Camelback DECA Takes the Biggest Win Ever

This post is submitted by Maria Abrams and Julia Bourdo.

Biggest DECA Win EverOn Monday, March 2 & Tuesday, March 3 our 46  Camelback Marketing and Entrepreneurship students competed with over 2000 students throughout the state at DECA State Career Development Conference. Nineteen of our amazing  students came home with a big win and are heading to Orlando, Florida on April  24-29 to the International Career Development Conference with 27,000 students from around the world.

All students won in areas of written events, research, and presentation to businessmen and women.  Our students spent hours outside of the school day to complete these projects in the evenings, weekends, and holidays.  Please join us in congratulating the following students:

  • Angelina Luangphone– Entrepreneurship 11 page written event
  • Jessica Ulloa & Alejandra Lugo–  5 page Innovation Project
  • Katherine Hill- 5 page innovation Project
  • Taciara Vega & Evelyn Vazquez– 30 page Entrepreneurship Project
  • Gilbert Lopez, Alejandro & Fernando Mata– 30 page Entrepreneurship Project
  • Miriam Ornelas, Julia Ortiz, and Miguel Palamares– 30 page Growing your Business
  • Juan Aguilar, Roberto Garcia, & Leslie Cisneros-30 page Sports and Entertainment Research Project
  • Ana Craft & Vanessa Castandea-30 page Hospitality and Tourism Research Project
  • Veronica Meza & Cecilia Mendez– 30 page Business Operation Research Project
Please congratulate these students!
Best, Maria Abrams & Julia Bourdo


Camelback Ranks 41st in AZ for Safety

Niche ranked Camelback High School 41st in AZ for Safest Public High Schools!

CBHS has come a LONG way in 6 years from the unsafe, “gang-infested” school it was years ago.  Now it ranks in the top 50 in the state, ahead of schools like Arcadia and Saguaro and other “reputationally” safer schools.

Go to https://k12.niche.com/rankings/public-high-schools/safest/s/arizona/ for details.