As school choice continues to be an
important issue for parents and students
alike, here are profiles of two private
high schools in the Kyrene Corridor that
offer rigorous college preparatory
academics along with an emphasis on
service to others.
Valley Christian High School
Valley Christian is celebrating its 25th
anniversary this year as “a place that
instills the same Christian values that
students are taught in their homes and
churches,” explains development director
Over the next two years, plans call for
a 20,000-square-foot worship and
performing arts center to be built on
the west Chandler campus.
In addition to challenging academics,
community service is one of the
hallmarks at Valley Christian.
For example, through required Bible
classes every student must perform at
least three hours of unpaid community
service during each nine-week school
session. Organizations that benefit from
these service efforts include St. Mary’s
Food Bank, the Salvation Army, schools
in the town of Guadalupe, St. Vincent de
Paul, the city of Tempe and various
outreach facilities in downtown Phoenix.
“By giving of themselves through
community service while they’re in high
school, our students feel a
responsibility as they get older to
continue serving and giving back to
those who are less fortunate,” Andresen
This summer, student groups from Valley
Christian will travel to the Dominican
Republic and Costa Rica to help build
This non-denominational high school’s
student body of nearly 400 is made up of
students who belong to more than 80
Christian churches throughout the
Valley. About 20 to 25 percent of Valley
Christian’s students reside in
Wrangler News’ Kyrene Corridor
Valley Christian also has strong
programs in athletics and music. The
school is dominant in both boys and
girls track, for example.
In fact, Valley Christian’s girls’ track
team has earned an amazing 11
consecutive state championships at the
AIA’s 2A level.
The boys’ basketball team just clinched another state
championship on Feb. 24 and lost only
one game in the regular season. That
loss came during the finals of the
Flagstaff High School Basketball
Tournament, which was made up of mostly
On the music front, the school’s
60-member choir has been invited to
perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall
in the spring of 2008.
Unusual for a private school is the fact
that Valley Christian started offering a
program for special education students
in 2006; the program is already at
And while Kyrene Corridor families might
think the school’s tuition would be
costly, Andresen points out that,
“thanks to our financial aid program,
families from all walks of life are part
of this school community.”
www.vchstrojans.org or call (480)
Seton Catholic High School
In addition to their daily classes,
Seton students are actively involved in
service to their parishes, various local
agencies and non-profit organizations
like Paz de Cristo during every year of
At spring break, Seton students annually
embark on a mission trip to Agua Prieta,
Mexico, where they build homes and help
with other community projects.
Thanks to a recent partnership with the
New Directions Institute of Phoenix,
Seton is equipping its students with
valuable knowledge about infant brain
development that they can use in working
with youngsters at Agua Prieta’s
childcare center and later in life when
the students become parents.
Each young person’s spiritual formation
is a key component of Seton’s mission,
and the school is named for the
foundress of Catholic education in the
United States, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
According to Paula Osterday,
Seton’s director of institutional
advancement, the Southeast Valley’s
tremendous growth has created a “huge
demand” for Catholic education at the
high school level.
With more than 20 percent of the
school’s applicants currently being
turned away due to space limitations,
Seton has launched a major expansion.
Over the next three to five years, a new
campus will be built in phases adjacent
to the current Seton campus on Dobson
Road north of Ray Road in Chandler.
Plans call for a new chapel, 21
additional classrooms, physics/robotics
and chemistry labs, a cafeteria and an
arts center. When completed, the new
campus will accommodate 1,000 students –
twice Seton’s current capacity.
“While many of our students like
attending high school in a smaller
environment, many of our parents
appreciate being able to build real
relationships with their child’s
teachers and the emphasis on
discipline,” Osterday said.
“We also have a very welcoming parent
One of the special academic offerings at
Seton is its growing robotics program,
which has won regional championships.
Even students with no previous interest
in computer science or engineering end
up getting hooked on robotics, Osterday
Seton also has a strong athletic
tradition, as evidenced by the new
football field that is part of the
school’s expansion efforts. In the past
three years, the school’s various sports
teams have won 14 state championships
and 21 AIA region championships.
For the 2007-08 school year. Seton’s
sports teams will move from the AIA’s 3A
to 4A athletic division, which will
allow the teams to compete with Arizona
schools that are “closer to home.”
or call (480) 963-1900.