2019 marks the 20th Anniversary of our amazing school and we are asking for your support in commemorating this milestone! We have lots of fun events planned for our students and staff (including an assembly) as well as the community!
Here is how you can participate:
- Attend our Spirit event at the Horny Toad on 11/6. Mark your calendars now!
20% of tickets will be donated back to DWES from 12pm-close.
Diners must tell Server that they are with Desert Willow Elementary.
- Donate to our $20 for 20 campaign!
Each $20 donation enters you into a raffle to win a lunch with Principal Wiese and a picture of the event for our 20-year time capsule that will be buried on campus. To donate, visit our DIRECT DONATION page or send cash or a check to the PTO office.
Your donation helps set DWES up for another 20 years of success!DWES truly is a special school within a special community. This celebration is for all of us!
Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to celebrating with you!
Desert Willow Elementary School is 20 years old!
Did you know these 20 fun facts about DWES?
- The boundary lines as they exist today are the same ones that were used when the school opened.
- DWES sits on 8 acres, compared to the normal 15 of other schools in the area at the time. That is why it was built as 2 stories. It was the first CCUSD school to be built as a 2 story campus.
- DWES was K-5th Grade when it opened. It was not until 2010 (with the closure of Desert Arroyo Middle School) that 6th graders attended any CCUSD elementary campus.
- Five Time Capsules were buried on property to celebrate the opening. They are still buried. As part of the 20-year celebration, a commemorative Time Capsule will be created and buried on campus.
- Beth Hatcher, current CCUSD Board Member, completed her entire teaching career at DWES (including student teaching).
- DWES PTO has raised over $1,000,000 for DWES since the school opened. This has funded many items on campus, such as the playground shade structures, smart boards and projectors for classrooms, the Accelerated Reader (AR) program, Chrome books, and the Library aide, Kindergarten aide, and Lunch aide salaries.
- The Spanish Immersion program started based off of the suggestion of a parent at DWES who had recently relocated from Utah and participated in similar programs there. Parent input has always been welcomed at DWES.
- Although groundwork was laid before, the Immersion program as we know it today began in 2003 after the school was awarded a FLAP Grant from the Federal government. Cristina Ladas, current CCUSD World Language & Immersion Programs Director, was a parent at DWES at the time and wrote the winning Grant application.
- When the Immersion program started, it was the first of its kind (1-way immersion) in the State of Arizona. Many Immersion programs in the state (and beyond) have been modeled after DWES.
- Jill Machin, current DWES Records Secretary, was a parent of a Kindergartener and 5th grader at DWES when the school opened.
- Eight current staff members opened the school and have been with DWES for 20 years: Trish Verde (Assistant to the Principal), Tahlie Peterson (1st Grade), Melody Carpenter (2nd Grade), Lisa Tibbits (2nd Grade), Sara Jahns (3rd Grade), Kristine Ketchen (5th Grade), Eric Niebch (5th Grade), Tiffany Daniels (6th Grade).
- DWES was inducted into the International Spanish Academies Network in 2017.
- DWES was accredited by the Embassy of Spain in 2018.
- Dr. Jana Miller, current CCUSD Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, was the first Principal of DWES. She held that position for 9 years before moving into CCUSD Administration.
- An average of 600 students have attended DWES each year since 1999.
- DWES has promoted over 2,000 kids to Middle School/Junior High.
- Ricky Roadrunner (DWES mascot) visits a new Country each week and introduces DWES kids to new places and cultures.
- DWES uses PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) as “a system or framework for supporting the social, emotional and behavioral needs of all students in school. “– Koi Education
- Mrs. Tahlie Peterson, an original DWES teacher and current 1st Grade teacher, holds a National Board Certification in the category of Early Childhood Generalist.
- ‘Celebrate Learning’ was the motto used when DWES opened.