Update from Marketing and Entrepreneurship Teachers

Julie Bourdo and Maria Abrams, Marketing and Entrepreneurship teachers, recap some recent events at Camelback:

  1. Toastmasters Luncheon, December 3, 2014

    The Toastmaster’s Luncheon was held at the historic Wrigley Manson with 200 guests in attendance.  Over 150 Marketing and Entrepreneurship students toured the Manson prior to the luncheon.Jeff Stephens, Lore Simonson, Johanna Miller and Molly Sosa teach a weekly Toastmaster’s Program in Ms. Abram’s and Ms. Bourdo’s classes where these students learn public speaking, listening and writing skills that will be useful throughout their lives. This program is an excellent opportunity to hear what our students believe in strongly and for them to build personal relationship with one another.Leading up to the Toastmaster’s Luncheon, the speakers have a classroom contest and the eight winners compete at the luncheon.  We are told by our guests, who include counselors, administration, and friends of Camelback DECA, that the event gets better each year.

    Thanks to a local foundation for its kind donation that was given to help with the costs of the luncheon.

  2. DECA District Competition, January 13, 2015

    Camelback’s Marketing and Entrepreneur students competed in this DECA District Competition against 700 students from the Bradshaw Mountain, Cactus Shadows, Paradise Valley, Dear Valley, Payson, Window Rock and Scottsdale districts, along with other Phoenix Union High Schools.Having already taken a 100-question on-line exam, these students presented to industry judges their solutions to real-world scenarios in the areas of marketing, finance, hospitality, sports & entertainment, retail and management.They all did an amazing job and in the end our Spartans took home 28 medals. They represented their school, district and most importantly themselves with self assurance and pride.

    Teachers and administration, thank you for all your support and encouragement as our students prepared for and participated in this competition.

    In addition, all of this could not have been accomplished without the support of several Camelback High School Community Network participants who volunteered as judges at this event. Thank you so much for making this possible and making a difference in the lives of these students here at Camelback High School. Now it’s on to State!

  3. Coding Club January 22, 2015

    Arnie Edwards the Advisor for the coding club is committed to increasing membership.  Arnie met with the Marketing and Entrepreneur teachers Maria Abrams and Julie Bourdo and they agreed to assist with the promoting and recruitment activities along side Arnie and the club members.Students began to create a plan to recruit more students and raise funds. They are looking at a few articles about some local organizations: “Hackers 4 Humanity” and Angel Hackers.

    They discussed a competition coming up: 24 hours of coding and they are all going! Maria introduced them to Trello (a project management site) and they organized tasks and assigned responsibilities for recruiting members. They are even planning a big “kick-off event.”  They’re off and running!

Be a Leader Program

Here is a description of the Be a Leader program at Camelback High School:

This club empowers students to become college bound through leadership training and mentoring. Tools to help students be focused and prepared for college testing and admission are discussed at meetings and workshops. The club encourages giving back to the community.  Special events include a walk-a-thon, college visits, guest speakers, and more.

Sponsors: Blass/Tucker


Changing Lives

This post is an update from Julie Bourdo.

My son went to Vincent’s with his YPO group and Central High School Students on Tuesday. He was so moved and inspired by the students and their personal stories. Thank you for doing what you do. Scott said he just wanted to take out his checkbook. I told him that Central HS was not his school of choice if that checkbook is coming out. He shared last night with me that he now understands why I do what I do and work so hard for these kiddos. I am not sure if you realized how many lives that you have changed, but thank you for changing my son’s life. Your idea of sharing with our urban high school students really has made such a difference.

Franklin was here today working with Brian and gave him a laptop computer to work on his research report. This one on one with Franklin is changing his life. He told me today he has never felt so cared for in his entire life. Wow…this is so unbelievable and I get to see my students and my own child’s life change.

Words cannot tell you what you have done for me and ALL of my children.


Julie Bourdo

Annual Alumni Day

Jeff Stevens, the Toastmasters’ coach, held his annual alumni day August 12, 2014 at CBHS at which he brought back about 40 alums dating from 1988 to 2013 to advise the current students. Here are the questions he asked the alumni to answer and a summary of the advice provided to the current students.

  1. Tell us your name, what year you are at in college or work and the year you graduated from Camelback.
  2. How did you pay for college?
  3. Did your study habits change from High School to College? What did you have to do to overcome any obstacles or shortcomings?
  4. What is the one thing you wish you could have done to prepare for college and the workplace, when you were a Junior or Senior in High School?
  5. Do you have any personal stories or experiences you want to share?
  6. Imagine that you are sitting in the audience, same history, and same obstacles in your future. What would have been the most helpful advice for you to hear when you were age 16-18 year’s old, getting ready to leave Camelback?
  • Get involved with clubs
  • Keep your grades up
  • Take good notes
  • Utilize tutors
  • Write a good Personal Statement
  • Apply for scholarships as early as possible – even as a sophomore or junior in High School
  • Remember the future and stay focused on why you are in school
  • Make good choices
  • Make and keep good friends
  • Get college credit while in High School
  • Think about your profession and plan accordingly
  • Get to know your counselor – if you do not get along, get a new one!
  • Tell your story to as many people as you can
  • People will invest in you and believe in you
  • Believe in yourself
  • Understand and use time management
  • Learn to use a calendar
  • Get used to deadlines
  • Pay attention
  • Use resources that are available to you
  • Read the Book – “Do What You Are.”
  • Ask questions (no question is a stupid question)
  • Get a realistic degree
  • Take AP courses
  • Use the 20-40-60 rule (see below)*
  • Use “Rate My Professor.com”
  • Take classes seriously
  • Be your own cheerleader
  • Get a Mentor
  • Live at home as long as you can
  • Stay away from “For Profit” schools
  • Get grants not loans – if you have to get a loan get a Federally Insured Student Loan (FISL)
  • Adjust your schedule around when YOU are the most productive and creative
  • Understand that the biggest cause of roommate conflicts is a failure to communicate


*The ’20-40-60 Rule’ is:

  • At 20 years of age, you care about what everybody thinks.
  • At 40 years of age, you don’t care about what anybody thinks.
  • At 60 years of age, you realize that people were not thinking about you to begin with!!

Tutors at Tontozona Camp

campCamelback High School’s lead tutors and mentors took a magnificent 3-day trip to Tontozona camp to find out how to become better tutors. Our objective was to organize and plan for the 2014-2015 tutoring school year. We also planned on forming bonds between the lead tutors and mentors so our communications can improve to be at use within ourselves throughout this year’s tutoring sessions. A couple of dedicated counselors and teachers at Camelback High School joined us in this amazing trip. They helped organize and execute both the tutors and their newly achieved mentality along with the trip itself. Because of them, we are now much stronger tutors for the future tutees.

20140823_161409At Retreat at Tontozona, we were immediately greeted with all the nice people and staff of the camp. It felt pleasing to know we were welcome to a new environment where we will be spending our weekend. We all were very comfortable and were enjoying the nature surrounding us. Our cabins were really nice; they had a full living room, a television set, and a kitchen, and nobody had any problems with the rooms and food.

We were handed out schedules of our days at camp and we started to get into new groups of tutors for a new year of tutoring. It was a great opportunity to meet new tutors from our school in our groups. With these groups we started to do fun activities to get to know each other. Then with these groups we attended seminars to reflect on what we can do to improve our school’s tutoring system. We wrote down ideas and shared them with our group and other groups.

We were also introduced to some new technology and skills to better serve our future tutees. We attended an iPad seminar to learn how to use iPad and helpful applications on the iPad, to enhance our teaching abilities. All the lead tutors have their iPad, and it is a great way of communication and teaching.

It was relaxing to be out in Tontozona, so all of our tutors and mentors took the time to both relax and focus on next year’s objectives. Our activities were from making delicious smores and enjoying other meals at Tontozona, to intense matches of gaga ball. It’s safe to say that everyone had a great time in Retreat at Tontozona. We spent hours doing fun and amazing activities in Tontozona on how to become better leaders and tutors, and on organizing a successful year of Camelback High School tutoring sessions.

Where do students go if they have been long term suspended at CB?

  1. Bostrom High School, part of the Phoenix Union High School District 

    From their website:

    Bostrom’s mission is to offer a non-traditional student-centered experience. This experience, built upon high expectations, will provide a supportive and collaborative atmosphere in which students learn the skills to succeed in college, career and life. 

    Since 1976, Bostrom has provided opportunities for students to find success in a small school environment that focuses on academic achievement in reading, writing, and math as well as helping students develop appropriate social and interpersonal skills. Bostrom is structured and disciplined, with a concentrated focus on academic success. We have outstanding staff members who care, and who hold each student (and parent) accountable for his/her education. Bostrom is available to 10th, 11th and 12th graders who reside in the Phoenix Union High School District. Instruction is delivered in six-week sessions in which students concentrate on two block classes at a time. Regular and Special Education students may take classes in Math, English, Social Studies, Science and some elective classes. Students that are eligible may attend Evening School. Students are selected for admission based on an application and interview process and parents must attend a mandatory orientation.


  1. Desiderata Program- part of the Phoenix Union High School District

    From their website:

    Max Ehrmann’s Poem “Desiderata” (latin for “desired things”) is a prose poem that has an positive message, and was used as the moniker for a unique alternative program that has served Phoenix Union High School District since 1977.Desiderata Alternative Program serves special education students who have needs that are more effectively addressed in a small school environment. Students are referred to Desiderata by their home school campuses. The Desiderata program emphasizes academic achievements and helps to support the social, emotional and behavioral development and growth of students. All students are taught district approved curriculum that meets Arizona Common Core Standards and content specific Arizona Academic Standards. Classroom activities stress student acquisition of literacy skills.Desiderata Alternative Program is housed in a 30,000-square foot facility near 35th Avenue and Thomas and was opened in 2006. The campus is designed to be functional and supportive: there are 11 classrooms, library, fitness center, sports court, cafetorium, group therapy room, instructional kitchen, and assistive technology support.


  1. Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy


    From their website:Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy (SDEA), in cooperation with our families and educational partners will provide quality personalized learning programs to prepare every student for success in college, career, and life.


    The Suns-Diamondbacks Education Academy (SDEA) is the only school in the nation named after two professional sports teams and is currently located at 2920 North Seventh Street in Phoenix.

    This alternative program is designed to help students complete their high school education in a small learning environment with specialized classes and schedules. Since 2001, SDEA has increased student enrollment from 30 to 250 and has graduated over 1,100 students.  Graduation ceremonies are held twice a year in December and May. Graduates are recognized at the end of every term during an awards ceremony.

    SDEA is intended for juniors and seniors who have fallen behind in their credits and will benefit from the small school environment. Students are selected for admission based on transcript, discipline, and an interview process. Students are admitted at the start of each 6-week term throughout the school year.

    The daily class schedule consists of two 145 minute classes. Regular classes are offered in Math, English, Social Studies, Business and Technology, Science, Health, as well as a limited selection of electives. Minimum assistance and resources are offered to our special education students. Students will also have the opportunity to earn extra credits by enrolling in a third period online credit-recovery class as part of their schedule. 

    SDEA will relocate to a new state-of-the-art facility on Central Avenue starting the 2015-2016 school year and will accommodate up to 400 students.