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More than 100 people gathered Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9, at Beaver Creek School in Rimrock to discuss strengthening education in the Verde Valley.

People from all walks of life attended: Current and former educators, as well as business, political and community leaders from throughout the area. The Verde Valley Forum for Public Affairs hosted the event, along with Arizona Town Hall moderating.

Monday, Aug. 21 marked the beginning of the fall semester at the renovated Yavapai College Sedona Center — the first semester to feature Culinary Arts Fundamentals certificate classes in two state-of-the-art teaching kitchens.

The history behind the renovation, which includes the aforementioned kitchens, expanded classrooms designed for flexibility of use, an enclosed atrium and a new orientation for entry, is one of community involvement and advocacy, said Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus executive dean James Perey.

As Beaver Creek School shows, four days of school each week doesn’t have to mean only four days of instruction.

Beaver Creek School District is one of two districts in the Verde Valley to run on a four-day schedule. From Monday through Thursday, K-8 students at Beaver Creek School learn the fundamentals according to district, state and federal guidelines. On Fridays, though, they are allowed to let loose a little.

A new principal greeted Beaver Creek School students on the first day of the academic year, Aug. 8. At 32, Katrina Sacco is the Verde Valley’s youngest principal.

Prior to taking on the role, she had devoted a substantial amount of time to the K-8 Beaver Creek: After relocating to the area from Flagstaff a decade ago, she started volunteering at the school, proceeded to do her practicum student teaching at the school and finally taught as a full-time teacher for three years.

The Camp Verde Unified School District Governing Board unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education for the 2017-18 school year at its meeting Aug. 8.

The IGA between the districts, which the VACTE Governing Board unanimously approved Aug. 4, stipulates no less than a 70/30 percent split in CVUSD’s favor: For the 2017-18 school year, at least 70 percent of funding generated through high school campus attendance in VACTE’s programs goes to the high school, while no more than 30 percent goes to VACTE.

This summer, nearly 200 kids went to college — but none of them had their high school diplomas yet.

In a joint effort between Yavapai College and the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, the College for Kids program offered a host of summer classes in subjects such as science, technology, nature, art and writing for kids age 5 to 17 at the college’s Verde Valley campus.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District teachers got a Christmas in August as members of the district community gave a little back.

The district gave out these back-to-school gifts at its annual Made in the Shade event, which welcomed staff and teachers back to school Aug. 4 at Mountain View Preparatory School.

Mingus Union High School District named a new member to its Governing Board July 31.

Cottonwood Police Chief Steve Gesell joins the board to replace Robb Williams, who resigned when he moved out of the school district.

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