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1 March 17 - April 6, 2012

Section Name March 17 - April 6, 2012 Chandler schools change course

by Miriam Van Scott SanTan Sun area families are increasingly choosing to go

old school, opting to send their children to classrooms that more closely resemble the ones they attended themselves a generation ago. The trend is apparent in the growing popularity of Chandler

Traditional Academies (CTAs) offered to local students at both the elementary and high school levels. And as new facil- ities come online, Chandler school officials are expanding the amount of space dedicated to back-to-basics education. “These decisions are market-driven,” says Chandler

SCHOOL TIMES TWO: Carlson Elementary in the Valencia neighborhood opens in July and offers both classic learning model and traditional method classrooms. Submitted photo

Unified School District (CUSD) spokesman Terry Locke. “We survey our parents to see what kinds of programs they desire. We began by building CTAs regionally in 2002 with the opening of CTA Liberty in the northeast; followed by CTA

Independence in the southwest; CTA Freedom in the south- east and the conversion of Goodman Elementary School to CTA Goodman in the northwest, giving us a school of this nature in each of our quadrants.” CTAs differ from the CUSD classic learning model in sev-

eral ways. The throwback academies incorporate traditional methods of learning like phonics and Saxon math, empha- size individual work rather than group projects and teach at a highly accelerated pace. CTA classrooms even look differ- ent: desks are arranged in rows instead of in circled clusters, teachers instruct from the front of the room and all the stu- dents wear uniforms. In contrast, classic instruction offers a more relaxed atmosphere and standard mainstream class- rooms, with the average student-teacher ratio about 23 to 1.

See Schools, Page 8

The Kitchen boards cupcake train

by Ann N. Videan, APR Cupcakes. The very word sparks an image of delectable confections swirled

high with beautifully decorated icing. Joining the cupcake craze that has swept the country is Cutie’s Cupcakes and Coffee, doing business as The Kitchen, says owner Evelyn McKenzie.

A recent CNN Living arti-

cle credits “Sex and the City” with igniting the cupcake firestorm more than a decade ago, popu- larizing New York’s Magnolia Bakery and its sugary treats. The sweet treats’ popular-

SWEET DEAL: Evelyn McKenzie announces extended hours, cupcakes, ice cream and other treats in the new Cutie’s Cupcakes and Coffee section of The Kitchen this month. Submitted photo

ity has caused the sprouting of cupcake-specific shops in record numbers all over the U.S. and spawned shows like “Cupcake Wars” on The Food Channel. Many cup- cake devotees agree the main reason for the fame of these perfectly portioned desserts is their potential to offer individualized flavors to please any palate.

See Cupcakes, Page 9

Lucky Irish, lucky Chandler

by K. M. Lang St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate all that’s Irish, and area resi-

dents have another reason to raise a glass since Tullamore, Ireland officially became Chandler’s Sister City three years ago. Chandler, AZ / Tullamore, Ireland Sister Cities (CTSC) was the brain child of a group of local residents, some with ties to Tullamore, and all of them passionate about their Irish heritage. “I have Irish roots on both my mother and father’s side,” says CTSC President Ellen Harrington. “My husband’s grandparents came from

County Cork in Ireland in the early 1900s. The joke in our family was always, ‘What did you teach your children?

See Irish, Page 10

BEST BBQ: The Great American Barbecue Fest fires it up from noon to 8 p.m. Sat., March 24 in historic downtown Chandler. With barbecue, beer and music, there’s also family fun with kid zones, eating competitions and a farmer's market. See page 43 for details and for more information. Submitted photo

COOL CATS: Live jazz music takes over downtown Chandler Fri. and Sat., March 30 and 31 with the annual Chandler Jazz Festival. Headliners Dominick Farinacci Trio and the Hammond B3 organ jam on the main stage as more than 30 different groups play around the historic square and at local eateries. For details, see page 46 and visit www.Chandleraz/jazz. Submitted photo

COVER STORIES: Bash of the Century ............................COMMUNITY ......4 ICAN Fun Run, 5K seeks sponsors .......BUSINESS .......18 3rd time charm for HHS soccer ...........YOUTH ...........27 Hot dogs, cool music at Uncle Bear’s ..NEIGHBORS .....43 Easter activities...................................SPIRITUALITY ..55


Inside: Community .......4-17 Business.........18-25 Youth ..............26-36 Opinion ...........37-38 Neighbors .......43-54 Spirituality......55-60 AZ Arts............61-69 Directory.........70-72 Classifieds......73-74 Where to eat ...75-78

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