Ponderosa High School
Ponderosa High School is a fully accredited high school that has been working with diverse student populations since 2005. PHS offers a supportive, non-traditional effective learning environment for students by providing a flexible education that takes into consideration the learning styles and individual needs of our students. Although flexible in our approach, the academic setting and curriculum of PHS addresses all of the Arizona Merit Standards as well as individual high school graduation requirements.
PHS offers small class sizes and highly qualified teachers, as well as individualized services for students and their families. PHS provides a caring and supportive environment where rules and regulations are clearly defined and fairly and consistently enforced.
PHS accepts students throughout Coconino County. Our mission is to prepare and motivate students to pursue entry into the world of work, professional programs, or educational opportunities after high school graduation.
Please take the time to explore our website, which provides you with useful and helpful information, as well as many community and school resources for both students and parents.
We look forward to getting to know you and your student this year. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student’s educational program, please contact us at (928) 526-5570 or at our e-mail at informationPHS@ccrasd.org
PHS Student Leadership TeamAt PHS, students are actively involved in our student council, which focuses on leadership development. Curriculum revolves around personal, community and world leaderships skills and culminates with a semester project. Semester projects are usually community activism projects for local non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, Toms Shoes or Feeding America. Check out our Leadership page now
NAU TheaterThe English Department provides the opportunity every semester for students to experience a play hosted by the NAU theater department. NAU student productions have included “Pride and Prejudice” and “Romeo and Juliet”.
Field TripsPonderosa prides itself on providing unique, interesting and curriculum-based field trips for all of our students. These day-long activities are based on a semester-long theme and serve to further ground our studies in hands-on academic opportunities, such as water sampling at Beaver Creek, cross-country skiing on the San Francisco Peaks or hiking the Grand Canyon.
Service Learning DayCurriculum at Ponderosa High school intertwines the foundations of sustainability, service and empowerment into all its subjects, and the school-wide service-learning day was created to allow students the opportunity to serve their community in a hands-on capacity. Students volunteer at local non-profits and have worked to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, stock shelves at Goodwill, produce food boxes at St. Mary’s Food Bank, or plant trees in the Schultz Pass burn area with the Forest Service.
Sustainability ProgramSustainability is the common thread which binds the innovative and challenging curriculum at PHS and our beautiful greenhouse and garden area is the flagship of our sustainability program. This self-sustained greenhouse allows students a practical hands-on learning experience, coupled with a gardening area, hoop house for high altitude gardening and aquaculture project – all designed with the help and innovation of students. Read more about our Sustainability Program
Community Learning and InternshipsNowhere is our commitment to community service more obvious than the internship program developed in partnership with the Coconino Career Centerto give PHS students valuable 21st century skills while benefiting many of the local organizations and businesses which serve our community.
Dual EnrollmentStudents also have the opportunity to earn college credits from Coconino Community College in select classes while earning graduation credits.
Kane Ranch Ecological RestorationNative plants grown under the supervision of our sustainability project need a home – and this collaborative with the Grand Canyon Trust has allowed students to grow, develop and transplant native plants to the lofty heights of the Kaibab Plateau. The Kane and Two Mile Ranches encompass an area of tremendous ecological importance, significant social value, and spectacular beauty, and PHS has teamed with Grand Canyon trust with the goal of maintaining and restoring the ecological, cultural, and scenic values of this amazing landscape.
Collaborations and PartnershipsOver nearly a decade, Ponderosa High school has worked to build and maintain collaborations and relationships with many agencies, businesses and leaders to provide a unique educational experience for our students. Some of these include:
- Coconino Community College
- Northern Arizona University
- Habitat for Humanity of Northern Arizona
- United States Forest Service
- Arizona Trails Foundation
- Arizona Conservation Experience
- Coconino County Career Center
- Flagstaff Cultural Partners
- Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona
- Humane Society of Northern Arizona
- Arizona Department of Game and Fish
- Flagstaff Food Link Network
- City of Flagstaff
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Josh Armstrong – Science Teacher
When outside the classroom Mr. Armstrong enjoys exploring the Colorado Plateau by boat, mountain bike, motorcycle or boot. He brings his enthusiasm for the outdoors and environmental education to the classroom and has taken scores of students on adventures ranging from backpacking trips and climbing adventures to rafting trips on the rivers of the plateau.
Emily Morton – Guidance Counselor
She grew up in Lancaster, CA , and then spent 9 years in Lake Havasu City, AZ before moving to Flagstaff in 2015.
Mrs. Morton is a big advocate for community involvement, visual and performing arts, and health and fitness. In her spare time you may find her teaching a yoga or fitness class at the gym, dancing ballet, playing the violin with the Flagstaff Symphony or leading a group at church. She is currently supporting her community by sitting on the board for both the Therapy Pets of Northern Arizona and also the Flagstaff Figure Skating Club.
Mrs. Morton’s family is made complete by her husband, 6 year old daughter, and 2 dogs. She loves the sunshine, the beach and all things coastal!
Pete Holloway – Math/Science Teacher
That decision eventually brought him to Arizona, for a position on the Grand Canyon's Fire Crew and then to the Blue Ridge Hot Shots. In 1997 he returned to school at Northern Arizona University for a post degree certification in secondary science. After teaching in Cochise and Gila Counties, he started his own business as a remodel and repair contractor. During the slow period of building he signed a two-month contract with CCASD. What originally started out as a winter fill in job has morphed into a career.
Mr. Holloway taught at Juvenile Detention for five years and just recently became a member of the Ponderosa High School faculty.
David Roth – Principal
Dave is a veteran educator with a career of over 35 years in Flagstaff. At Coconino High School he was a teacher, coach, and Assistant Principal and later served 20 years as that buildings principal. Dave currently is the educational leader for Ponderosa High School and Coconino County Juvenile Detention Education. Mr. Roth enjoys his work in education and enjoys traveling, photography, and hiking.
John Taylor – Greenhouse Consultant / Instructor
In 2012 Mr. Taylor founded Terra BIRDS, a non-profit organization with mission to educate and empower youth through gardening to help prepare them as the stewards of a sustainable future for humanity.
Suzana Haertzen – English – Social Studies
Rachel Steagall – Science and Social Studies – Leadership Teacher
Ms. Steagall helped open the doors to Ponderosa High School in the fall of 2005 and since that time has been the cornerstone for the quality education and innovative programs at Ponderosa High School. For her efforts, Ms. Steagall was awarded the Coconino County Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Rural Schools Association in 2009, as well as qualifying as a finalist for the State Teacher of the Year competition.
Hear the National Public Radio interview about Ponderosa High School here
Senior Economics Class Project
Mary McCarron – Office Manager and Registrar
Mary has worked as a school support staff person since 1995. Mary has been at Ponderosa High School since 2005 and is proud to be a founding member of our school.