Ponderosa High School

Hello and welcome to the Ponderosa High School (PHS) website!

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

Programs
Schedule
Staff

PHS Student Leadership Team

At 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 Theater

The 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 Trips

Ponderosa 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 Day

Curriculum 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 Program

Sustainability 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 Internships

Nowhere 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 Enrollment

Students also have the opportunity to earn college credits from Coconino Community College in select classes while earning graduation credits.

Kane Ranch Ecological Restoration

Native 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 Partnerships

Over 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
Regular School Day Schedule (Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri)
Period Time Minutes
1 8:05 - 9:25 80
2 (Reading) 9:30 - 9:50 20
2 9:50 - 11:10 80
Break 11:10 - 11:20 10
3 11:20 - 12:40 80
4 12:45 - 2:05 80
Early Release Schedule (Weds)
Period Time Minutes
1 8:05 - 9:10 65
2 9:15 - 10:20 65
3 10:25 - 11:30 65
4 11:35 - 12:40 65
Two Hour Delayed Start Schedule
Period Time Minutes
1 10:05 - 11:00 55
2 11:05 - 12:00 55
Break 12:00 - 12:10 10
3 12:10 - 1:05 55
4 1:10 - 2:05 55
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Josh Armstrong – Science Teacher

Mr. Armstrong teaches Biology and various creative electives at Ponderosa.  He has been teaching science in the Flagstaff community for fifteen years.  Mr. Armstrong has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Bilingual/Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University.

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.

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Emily Morton – Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Morton has been in the field of education for 16 years. She received her BA degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Mathematics from California State University, Bakersfield. She then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy Emphasis) and a second Masters Degree in Education/School Counseling. Mrs. Morton has taught a wide range of subjects and ages from 1st grade through Algebra at the Community College level and has served as a school counselor for over 10 years in both elementary/middle and high schools.
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!

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Pete Holloway – Math/Science Teacher

Originally from northern New England, he graduated from Falmouth High in 1984. He served a three year enlistment in the U.S. Army as a medic serving in South Korea and West Germany.  Using the G.I. Bill he enrolled in Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute's building construction program.  His interest and appreciation for the out of doors led to a program of study at the University of Maine in Forestry.

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.

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David Roth – Principal

droth@ccrasd.org
Mr. Roth has been Principal of Ponderosa High School since July 1, 2010. As a native of Chicago Illinois Dave moved to Arizona in the fall of 1972 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Secondary Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

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.

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John Taylor – Greenhouse Consultant / Instructor

John Taylor is a gardener and educator born and raised in Flagstaff, AZ. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in the History of Art from Yale University, and a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Texas at Austin. For ten years he owned and operated a landscape design, install and maintenance company; and also worked as an ecological restoration contractor. Since 2009 Mr. Taylor has worked in the Flagstaff Unified and Coconino County School Districts leading hands-on garden and sustainability programs.

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.

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Suzana Haertzen – English – Social Studies

shaertzen@ccrasd.org
Mrs. Haertzen teaches English and History at PHS. She has an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a M.Ed. from the University of Idaho. Suzanna grew up in the Midwest and has lived in Flagstaff since 2008. Before teaching at PHS, Suzanna enjoyed teaching juveniles at the Coconino County Jail for several years. In her spare time, Mrs. Haertzen likes to read, hike, mountain bike, and train for mud races.

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Rachel Steagall – Science and Social Studies – Leadership Teacher

rseagall@ccrasd.org
Ms. Steagall grew up in Northern California and immigrated to Flagstaff in 1992 to attend college at Northern Arizona University and earned her Bachelor's Degree in biochemistry in 1998. Rachel  received her 1st Master's degree in 2003, specializing in endocrinology and toxicology, and will be graduating with her Masters in Public Administration from Northern Arizona University this May.Besides being a student and life-long learner, Rachel is a mother to Tristan and Hannah, who both share her love of learning, travel and community service.

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

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Mary McCarron – Office Manager and Registrar

mmccarron@ccrasd.org
Mary McCarron (Ms. Mac) was born in Garden City Michigan and graduated from Marygrove College in the City of Detroit. She has been a life-long tiger fan. Mary moved to Flagstaff in 1980 and the proud mother of two grown daughters.

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.