Desert Vista High School

Desert Vista High School
Desert Vista High School
We strive for excellence by engaging our community, promoting accountability, fostering responsibility, and encouraging life-long learning.
16440 S. 32nd St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85048

United States
Coordinates 33°17′48″N 112°00′56″W / 33.296628°N 112.015583°W / 33.296628; -112.015583Coordinates: 33°17′48″N 112°00′56″W / 33.296628°N 112.015583°W / 33.296628; -112.015583
Type Public
School district Tempe Union High School District
Principal Dr. Anna Battle
Staff Over 200
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,929 students (Oct. 1, 2010)[1]
Language English
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Athletics conference 5A-I, Central Region[2]
Mascot Thunder
Rival Mountain Pointe High School
Information (480) 706-7900

Desert Vista High School is located in the Ahwatukee neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, was established in 1996, and is a part of the Tempe Union High School District.



Desert Vista High School offers courses covering math, science, social studies, English, foreign languages, and fine arts among others. There are courses at the regular, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) level. There are summer academies for math, English, and fine arts.

Several students in the past have won distinguished honors and awards such as the Flinn Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and National Merit Scholarship.


The Desert Vista High School Thunder Marching Band is one of several extracurricular activities offered at the school. In the 2008-2009 season, the Thunder Marching Band took 7th place in the Bands of America Los Angeles regional final, against top ranked bands from across the Western United States. The Thunder Band also took first place at the 2010 Arizona State Marching Band Championships. The Thunder Band performs at all varsity football games, including the "Ahwatukee Bowl"; the annual football game between Desert Vista and rival Mountain Pointe.

The Thunder Speech Theater and Debate Company has won three School of Excellence Awards in Speech (National Championship) and has won eight consecutive state championships. The team also won its first NFL School of Excellence Award in Debate during the summer of 2010. The team has finished in the top 4 in the United States twice and top 10 three times.

The Choir, currently directed by Andrew De Valk, has had the honor to work with composer Ola Gjeilo. The commission was for the 2009-2010 Choir 5-6 "A Cappella" group, entitled "The Ground" (this was originally taken from Gjeilo's "Sunrise Mass"). The original recording of this version also had the composer playing piano. The song is written for eight-part voice, string quartet, and piano. The 2010-2011 Honors Music Exploration and Performance: Jazz and Madrigal Choir was invited to work with composer Eric Whitacre in New York.

The Orchestra program has also earned high distinction in statewide and national festivals. The Chamber Orchestra has been invited to participate in London in April 2012 and have previously invited to various other festivals in Chicago, New York, and Russia. Members of the Desert Vista orchestras have been concertmasters, principals, and participants in state orchestras such as the All-Region (North Central Region) Orchestra, All-State Orchestra, and summer music programs such as Interlochen Arts Camp, Brevard Music Center, Walnut Hill, Charlie Castleman's Quartet Program, and Northern Arizona University's Summer Music Festival.

With the help of several dedicated teachers and many students, the science program has earned numerous honors in the past few years. Most recently, the science bowl team took first place in the 2011 Arizona Regional Science Bowl and participated in the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C [3] Desert Vista students have placed either 1st or 2nd at the Arizona Regional Brain Bee in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and have taken home the top team award in 2010 and in 2011.[4] In June 2011, the nine members of the robotics team took first place in the National Underwater Robotics Challenge.[5] The junior/senior team for the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) TEAMS competition has achieved the best score in Arizona in 2008, 2010, and 2011. Other honors include 1st place at the 2011 Math and Science Field Day at Scottsdale Community College and the best score in the state in the JETS TEAMS competition's freshman/sophomore division in 2011.

The Desert Vista chapter of Health Occupations Students of America also performs well at the state conference and qualifies students regularly for the national competition. This year, out of the 13 students who competed at the National Leadership Conference, 9 of them placed in the top 10 in the U.S with one student placing 2nd in the nation.[6]


In the 2005-2006 season the men's basketball team made the final four of the state tournament and the same in 2006-2007.[7] In the 2006-2007 season the team was ranked top 25 in the USA Today Men's High School basketball poll. The boys basketball team won the state championship in 2008, as did the boys volleyball team.[8] The track team has received three national championships but lost their two-time state title this past season and ended up claiming third place. The girls, however, had a successful season, claiming second place to national-champ Chandler High School as well as obtaining a paid trip to the Nike Track Nationals held in Eugene, Oregon. The football, soccer, and cross country teams were state runner-ups in the 2007-2008 school year. The Boys and Girl's Swim and Dive team were state runner-ups in 2007 and 2008. The girls' volleyball and basketball teams were state runner-ups in 2004. Also in 2004, girls' track and field finished with its first state championship win since 1999, with runner up finishes in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006. The boys cross country team were undefeated in the city meet until 2002, where the varsity team lost for the first time the city trophy to Corona del Sol High School.

The school's football program turned around from a 2-8 season in 2009 to a semifinal appearance in 2010. They lost to Desert Ridge High School, which in turn lost to incumbent Hamilton High School in the 5A Division I championship game.

Notable alumni

  • Max Crumm, 2003: Actor and singer best known for his lead role in current Grease musical.[9][10]
  • Zach Miller, 2004: American football player[11]
  • Bobby Wade, professional American football player.[12]


  1. ^ Arizona Interscholastic Association enrollment records
  2. ^ Note: As part of the realignment of the Arizona Interscholastic Association system, this currently does not apply to some sports; in those sports, Desert Vista will be in Division I, the highest ranking.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Thunder down Knights in Glendale". Ahwatukee Foothills News. 2008-02-29. 
  9. ^ Tso, Susanne (2007-01-20). "Actor seeks 'Grease' role on Broadway". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2008-04-29. "Crumm, a 2003 graduate of Desert Vista High" 
  10. ^ "Max Crumm - About Max". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  11. ^ "Player Bio: Zach Miller :: Football". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Wade". NFL. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 

External links

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