Top High Schools in the Phoenix, AZ Metro (page 4)

Top High Schools in the Phoenix, AZ Metro

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Updated on Aug 24, 2011


Pinnacle High School

Paradise Valley Unified District


At Pinnacle High School, the teachers and staff work to ensure the success of each student. Each student looking for a challenge can enroll in Advanced Placement classes, and the program looks for ways to include all students. The special education program works to meet the needs of each student.

As a freshman, each student develops a four-year Education & Career Action Plan (ECAP) that maps out their plan for high school. Students heading to college can either follow a College/University Preparatory curriculum or the Advanced Academic University Preparatory, which requires more foreign language and math.

Stands at sports games are always full and students participate in many clubs – there's no shortage of school spirit at Pinnacle! The popular theater department also puts on a number of productions each year. “We believe that it is our mission to provide each student the most rigorous curriculum appropriate to him or her. We have also worked extremely hard to make our community feel welcome on the Pinnacle campus and a part of the decision making process,” said Principal Jason Reynolds.


Phoenix Union Bioscience High School

Phoenix Union High School District


Phoenix Union Bioscience High School provides a student centered magnet school that is geared towards STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education.

With less than 300 students at the school, teachers develop relationships with each student and play the role of facilitators to encourage students explore. To balance the science focus, humanities programs are very prevalent on campus and give students a well-rounded view. Each year students host an Evening at the Arts to showcase the arts programs at Pheonix Union.

By their junior year, students select a focus in biomedical or engineering and take specific courses geared to their future careers. For example, a student who wants to be a medical practitioner will take anatomy, while a student headed towards a research career may take forensic science. Each senior completes an internship with a mentor in the field they hope to pursue.

While competitive sports are not offered, students can play intramural sports or sign up for one of the many extracurricular clubs, such as student government, chess, and animation.

“Our main goal is to teach the students how to think and reason. If you can teach students to reason and think, then they will perform.” said Quinton Boyce, Science teacher, acting Assistant Principal.



Tempe Preparatory Academy School District


Tempe Preparatory Academy differs from traditional high schools; The school follows the Great Books curriculum and exclusively uses the Socratic method in the classroom. In this teaching style, the teacher asks the questions, but does not give answers. Instead, the students discuss and debate with the effect of teaching each other.

With under 500 students in the school and maximum class sizes of 22 students, the kids form great connections with faculty and each other while gaining a clear understanding of the topics. Because each teacher only teaches 66-88 kids, they have time to prepare lessons and develop personal relationships with their students. Each student attends a two-hour seminar class called Humane Letters that combines history, economics, and literature.

The school has a full range of sports and was recently moved to a division for larger schools because of their winning percentage. The football team and track team recently competed for state championships. Those interested in the arts can participate in drama productions, play in the orchestra, or sing in the choir.

“The focus of our school is what we teach and the intensity of how we teach it,” said Principal Hugh Hallman, who is also the Mayor of Tempe.



Please note that only schools in the following Arizona counties were considered for this article: Maricopa and Pinal

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