Alpine Leadership Academy in Flagstaff impressed the Bookmans School Challenge committee with their application, video submission and site visit to earn a $15,000, no-strings attached cash award. Maxwell Middle School in Tucson and Desert Marigold School in Phoenix also won big by receiving $3,000 each for their deserving projects.

Students at Alpine Leadership Academy in Flagstaff impressed the Bookmans team by living their five core values.

Students at Alpine Leadership Academy, a magnet program within the Mount Elden Middle School, implement what they learn in the classroom into daily living and translate that learning into hands-on experience. These middle schoolers use inquiry, community, stewardship, critical thinking and reflection to comprehend the culture, history and environment of the Colorado Plateau through experiences inside and outside of the classroom. Alpine’s commitment to community (in the home, school and world at large) helps students create memories and internalize lessons. Many of these students would not otherwise have had these experiences.

Alpine will receive $15,000 to support their goal of purchasing a biofuel vehicle for field trips to save money, enable a flexible travel schedule and take smaller class sizes on expeditions. The Bookmans team is especially impressed with the Flagstaff School District’s support through matching funds.

“We are so excited! Thank you Bookmans for supporting Alpine Leadership Academy. We look forward to exploring the Colorado Plateau in a more ecologically responsible way with the B.E.A.M. [Bookmans Expeditionary Alpine Mobile],” says Josh Armstrong, an Alpine science teacher who applied for the School Challenge.

Maxwell Middle School in Tucson showed us how the shared experience of reading a book created community and changed lives.

Bookmans selected Maxwell Middle School in Tucson as a School Challenge finalist and $3,000 cash winner for their exemplary commitment to literacy, inspiring educational techniques and the staff and family dedication to the success of the program. Maxwell Middle represents Bookmans’ core value of literacy and creating a life-long love of reading through a school-wide, shared reading experience. Every student, teacher and staff member right down to the custodian read The Hunger Games. Teachers in every subject area including Math and Science integrated the book. The most compelling part of Maxwell’s application was hearing from family members who said having a child this excited about reading was a life-changing experience. Maxwell Middle not only gave all the students and staff free copies of the book to keep, they also instilled a desire for reading and reinforced their community.

Students at Desert Marigold School in Phoenix met the Bookmans team with an impressive tour of the grounds, performances and portfolios of their work including this collection of thank you notes.

The Bookmans team will award Desert Marigold School in Phoenix $3,000 to use towards their goal of purchasing a yurt. The written application and site visit confirms the school’s commitment to meeting students where they are through the Waldorf curriculum. Staff and students impressed Bookmans with their intelligence, creativity and kindness and the dedication of their teachers and community partners. The impressive way their students perform in traditional academics and on state tests while incorporating non-traditional learning techniques grants the students a well-rounded educational experience.

Alpine, Maxwell and Desert Marigold competed with other state-funded elementary, middle and high schools across Arizona. Bookmans honors all the schools in Arizona who go above and beyond, often on their own time and dime, for their exceptional students. Bookmans hopes to continue to hear from all the schools who participated in the School Challenge and to encourage conversations around what Arizona schools are doing to inspire students.