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Dragon Digest - 2nd Issue



Connected Through Compassion

Our students have been all that I could have hoped for, and more.

Principal’s Message: Dr. Holly Batsell 


I closed my previous Principal’s message with our theme for the year: Connect with Compassion. It amazes me every day to see the ways in which Bioscience students are finding new ways to do just that. With Covid-19 still in the background, we were unsure what this year would look like, but my hope was that our Dragon family would come together to make this a positive place to be.

Our students have been all that I could have hoped for, and more. The Dragon family has been considerate of each other through the limitations of masking, social distancing, contact tracing, and quarantining; they have worked tirelessly with teachers and peers to stay up to date with studies and assignments; and they have been flexible through a semester that has seen multiple changes as the district works to keep up with our changing environment.

It is wonderful having the sounds of students back on campus. Whether it’s during rehearsals for music club, S’move on Fridays, NHS and Key Club community service projects, or one of Student Government’s many activities – including spirit weeks, Music Mondays, and Karaoke Thursdays – Bioscience feels whole once again. I know that for many it’s been a difficult transition to come back to campus after spending – for many of our students – over a year off campus. The ways in which the entire Dragon family has met this challenge fill me with a sense of hope for the future of our school and our community. After last year, the importance of this community is that much stronger for all of us.

As always, I am grateful to be a part of this community and for all of the students, families, and staff that make Bioscience High School the wonderful place we all know it to be. On campus or off, online or in-person, I’m lucky to be in this with all of you.

Have a wonderful, happy, and healthy new year,

Dr. Batsell



Interested in what Bioscience students are doing? Check us out at…










The freshman class has been having an amazing time on campus! They’ve been collaborating together on documentaries, getting to know each other through fun lair activities, and even got to go on a field trip to the Musical Instrument Museum. It hasn’t been all fun and trips though – freshmen have been working hard to create their personal documentaries, annotate and discuss complicated texts in English and Spanish, and practicing expressing both positive and negative emotions. We’re excited for freshmen to apply their newfound Bio skills to the Better World Project, making a plant-based dish, learning more about different cultures, and moving away from digital art to physical art practices like printmaking and ceramics!


The sophomore teachers are so proud of the academic and social emotional growth that we have seen in our students.  Throughout the semester we witnessed students create new bonds during Olympic games prep, dive into philosophical conversations while reading Ishmael, and learn to think critically while collaborating in their STEM classes.  We look forward to beginning our Better World Project during the second semester!


The Junior team is excited about learning and growing with and connecting to the incredible group of scholars that make up the Bioscience Class of 2023 in person. We have loved every moment we’ve spent with you so far, and we’re looking forward to continuing to get to know you throughout the rest of the year. We are hopeful that we will make it through the whole year in-person!  The Bioscience Class of 2023 should know that they are loved by all of their teachers already, and we will do what we can to help them be successful.


It’s been quite a semester for Bio’s senior class! The class of 2022 includes finalists for both the Flinn and Posse Scholarships, and also is second in the state for FAFSA completion! The seniors have worked through difficult challenges such as learning probability to understand the efficacy of vaccines and vaccine efforts and completing Long-Term financial plans. Seniors have loved being back on campus to bond, organize, create, and laugh together, and also supporting each other. The seniors – and their teachers – are looking forward to graduation and celebrating an amazing group of students and all of their accomplishments!





Upcoming iDays

Monday, January 10, 2022

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday, March 21, 2022

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022


Coming Soon… Theater Club Presents…



Friday, January 14, 5:00 – 7:00pm in Town Hall





Dragon News has been working really hard to create timely announcements to share with their fellow Dragons! Now that we’re back on campus, we’re bringing back features such as Question of the Week and Challenge of the Week! Don’t forget to submit an announcement request proposal any time you submit an event request proposal to STUGO. Interested in being in front or behind the camera? We meet in 2-East (Room 202) every Friday from 2:45 to 3:30!

Bioscience Publications is super excited to be talking and writing back on campus! We’re reorganizing and working hard to produce new content frequently for Bio peers and family to enjoy. We’re always accepting new members, and submissions can be sent to  

Dragon Robotics have been training for upcoming build season in January.  Members are learning how to use CAD to build the robot virtually.  We are still in safety training and got our first pair of goggles.  We are also building a baseball-throwing robot to participate in a competition at Chase Field in April for the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Be a Leader Senior officers have been busy discussing majors with underclassmen club members.  At the start of the second semester, they will share information about scholarships.  Each meeting we have an icebreaker, so it's always a good time to join!  Our first meeting of the semester will be January 6th after school in room 109.

Green Shovel We have been busy this semester! As a club, we decided to focus on three topics: Conservation, sustainability, and environmental awareness. We’ve discussed important issues such as our carbon footprint and the COP26 (climate conference). We have also researched what ways would be the most effective to restart a composting system here at Bioscience! In October we visited Garfield Elementary School’s garden! They have given us the amazing opportunity to work with them! We are meeting with the executive director of the Mollen Foundation in January to discuss and start implementing our ideas. In October we also planted two plants at Bioscience, for the tortoises, Isis and Hexi; one of them being their favorite to snack on, hibiscus! We have some exciting plans for the future. We have many projects that we are hoping to share with the Bioscience community later on in the school year, including Vertical Gardens and more!

Dragon Art Club In art club this year, we’ve tried to have a bit of variety in the projects we do as a club and coming back strong after this last virtual school year. In the beginning we played quite a few art related games with our members such as Pictionary to help everyone get more comfortable with each other. More recently, we’ve worked with clay in our meetings and it seems our members definitely enjoyed the hands-on part and just being able to create whatever their imagination came up with. This year we even have a sect of art clubbers who are learning and participating in photography!!

Yearbook: The yearbook is coming together! We have chosen the theme, and can’t wait to make the big reveal later in the year! We have taken some incredible pictures throughout the year, and have some of the most dedicated yearbook officers and members who plan to create an unforgettable yearbook!

Student Government: Student Government has had a busy couple of months! Olympic Games was one of the best ever, followed by an awesome Homecoming Dance! We hosted successful spirit weeks and are looking forward to the next one! This year we have taken advantage of lunch time by playing music in Town Hall and had our first karaoke of the year in November! We are very excited to begin planning the various senior celebrations when we return from winter break.

National Honor Society has been working really hard to improve the Bioscience community! We completed a food drive to collect food for Bioscience and PXU families, ran the blood drive, and participated in numerous community events such as the Alzheimer’s Walk. We’re looking forward to continuing to perform acts of service throughout the second semester!

Key Club has been thrilled to help out the community by providing volunteer opportunities for members every week! So far we have provided tours at the PXU Expo, run a variety of booths for elementary students at Madison Camelview Elementary Hero Night, partnered with FIBCO family services, and ushered at the Madison Camelview Annual Holiday Concert. We have also hosted small but impactful volunteer opportunities where we have made cards for St. Judes kids and partake in neighborhood trash pickups every Friday to improve the quality of not only the campus but our environment.




Changes to Valedictorian, Salutatorian

Phoenix Union High School District has stopped using the designation of “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” at graduation. These titles recognized the students with the highest and second highest GPAs (respectively) in the school. This change is included in the district’s board-approved Marks and Grading Manual and taking place across the district.

Bioscience High School will continue to honor, celebrate, and recognize our amazing graduates for their academic achievements through our Honors and Awards assembly, Senior Banquet, and a verbal recognition of students who were ranked top in their class at graduation.

This change may take some time to get used to, however it also signifies the importance that is placed on the process of learning, as opposed to the grades achieved. Students will still be rewarded through scholarships, awards, and other personal achievements, along with the satisfaction of an incredibly difficult task very well done.


I’m virtually learning… Now what?

To ensure learning doesn’t stop when physical attendance does, Phoenix Union is now working with students who are required to stay home due to Covid-19, thanks to recent changes in Arizona’s laws on what is considered “seat time.” The process is designed with student health and success at the center, ensuring that students have every opportunity to continue learning even when they cannot come to campus.

Students who are absent due to Covid-19 must communicate with their teachers to find out what needs to be done that day. Some days, a teacher may simply need to have that initial conversation. On other days, a teacher may want students to complete an activity located on Canvas or Teams in order to have access to similar learning experiences.

Though specific steps may vary between grade levels, or even teachers, what is the same across Bioscience – and the district – is that students who are designated as virtual learners are expected to communicate with their teachers on a daily basis. In this way, students who are at home can remain connected to their teachers, and their education, until they’re able to return to campus.

Students who have not completed the required steps for their teachers by the end of the school day will be marked absent (DLE) the following day.

When students are able to return to campus, they must begin their day in the office checking in with Mr. Arollo, the school EMT. He releases students returning to campus back to their classes.





2021 – 2022 QUARTER 1 AWARDS



Creative Thinker – Heidi Hong

Problem Solver – Edgerrin Piechocki

Leadership – Ronan Lord

Collaborator – Dexter Johnson

Academic Excellence – Vincent Huizar

Compassionate Citizen – Yamilet Garcia Johnson

Self-Advocate  – Valentin Montoya Pena

Creative Thinker – ZionJones

Problem Solver – Ian Erickson

Collaborator – Mushfiqur Raman

Academic Excellence – Kelly Nguyen

Compassionate Citizen – Conner Gilliam

Leadership – Taylor Price



Creative Thinker – Dylan Michaelree

Problem Solver – Pedro Cabrera

Collaborator – Venezia Figueroa

Academic Excellence – Matthew Peruelo

Compassionate Citizen – Akshaya Lord

Leadership – Kaesy Diaz

Risk-Taker – Ariana Delgadillo

Creative Thinker – Kaede Castillo Martinez

Problem Solver – Anthony Velasquez Cruz

Collaborator – Destiny Arroyo

Academic Excellence – Safiya Goff

Compassionate Citizen – Christian Dupont

Leadership – Cal Pandeluakis

Risk Taker – Stephanie Valtierra

2021 – 2022 QUARTER 2 AWARDS



Creative Thinker – Antony Pereira

Problem Solver – Jesus Hernandez

Leadership – Emily Salgado

Collaborator – William Garis

Academic Excellence – Ahtziri Lara Anguiano

Compassionate Citizen – Frida Zacarias Acosta

Self-Advocate  – Ethan Edmunds

Creative Thinker – Ronald Tran

Problem Solver – Santiago Lopez

Collaborator – Oliver Xum

Academic Excellence – Arionna Smith

Compassionate Citizen – Maritza Rojas

Leadership – Maya Martin

Perseverance – Juan Gutierrez



Creative Thinker – Angela Sanchez

Problem Solver – Sherlin Perez Gonzalez

Collaborator – Angel Vega

Academic Excellence – Sajad Mohammed

Compassionate Citizen – Vanessa Fonseca German

Leadership –Alexandra Park

Risk-Taker – Carlos Real Escalante

Creative Thinker – Drohan Lord

Problem Solver – T’yr Simmons-LaRose

Collaborator – Jennifer Alvarado

Academic Excellence – Aditya Kamalabhavanam

Compassionate Citizen – Yulianna Arias, Melina Morales Aguilar, and Samantha Munoz

Leadership – Michelle Padilla

Risk Takers – Nataly Alvarez and Liz Rodriguez Sehara