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.

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.



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 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.

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.