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Tolleson Union
High School District

Important News at TUHSD

So much is happening in our in our district! One of our goals is to help keep you informed of all the changes and positive activities taking place here at Tolleson Union High School District. Check back often, as we’ll be updating this page frequently with the latest news and events.

La Joya Community High School Physics Teacher Honored

It’s not always all about science when Zachary Kovach teaches his physics and environmental sciences classes at La Joya Community High School in Avondale. For example, Kovach recently appeared in class with his hair dyed pink, orange, and yellow to celebrate the fact that his students had exceeded their goal and raised $661 for a leukemia charity. “It showed the power of what a group can do together,” Kovach said. “Any teachable moment, I will take advantage of.” Putting that philosophy into practice perhaps contributed to Kovach recently being named one of nine regional teachers of the year by the Physics Teachers Education Coalition, or PhysTEC, a national organization that promotes physics education. Kovach was among those nominated for the award by more than 300 institutions dedicated to improving and promoting physics teacher education. “I want to be the best teacher I can for my students,” he said. “All I want to do is positively affect the most kids I can.”

In the four years he’s been teaching at La Joya, Kovach said the school has gone from two physics classes to 14, which required hiring two more teachers. It’s part of an overall expansion of science education at the school, Kovach said. “We have more science than we can handle,” he said. “Kids understand now that science can be fun.” Kovach, 35, said he was always attracted to physics for its insights on how the world works, but he came to teaching late.

Originally from Cleveland, he dropped out of Ohio University, then came to Arizona about 11 years ago to help a friend start a skateboard camp, which allowed him to work with children for the first time. Other careers followed before he discovered his passion. “Teaching, kids, science — I put those words together and it was a lightning bolt,” he said.

He returned to college at Arizona State University, and in 2013 he was the first graduate of the school’s PhysTEC program, which introduces science students to teaching in a field where there’s a shortage of teachers. His ASU professors nominated him for the award. Kovach’s students are juniors and seniors who are required to take three years of science in high school, but often take a fourth year even if they aren’t planning to attend college, he said.

“It’s fun and they want to learn more,” he said. But Kovach said there’s more than science to the lessons, which include critical thinking, problem solving, group dynamics, and public speaking. “If I can help them in those areas, that’s what’s important,” he said. Kovach said his students questions drive what happens in the classroom. “I call it organized chaos,” he said. “I’m responding to what kids need and what they want. My students are the reason for everything that happens.”

Kovach also serves on an Arizona Department of Education committee that’s working to rewrite the state’s standards for science education. Please see the complete story in the online edition of West Valley View.

Principal For A Day

Tolleson Union High School District recently hosted members of our community to participate in our principal for a day program. It was a great experience for all!

Public School Drinking Water

On January 3, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) launched a proactive statewide public school drinking water lead-screening program for more than 1,000 schools in Arizona. The purpose of this program is to ensure that our school children have access to safe drinking water facilities by screening water facilities for lead and when necessary, immediately taking action to correct any issues identified through the screening process. Please see these documents from ADEQ for more information on the quality of drinking water at your campus.

Tutor Bus Schedules

The tutor bus schedules for the 2016-2017 school year are now available. Please view them at your convenience.

Connect2Compete

Connect2Compete is a national nonprofit organization Cox Communications has partnered with to offer significantly discounted prices for cable broadband service and equipment for families with children in grades K–12 who participate in the National Free School Lunch Program. Check out Smart Tools for School Connect2Compete or visit Cox Communications.

Facility Rentals Information

Embracing the school/community partnership, TUHSD makes its facilities available to the public on a fee basis. To obtain information on facility rentals, contact Joanna Morse at (623) 478.4038.