Cartel Coffee Lab Heads North with Two New Phoenix Locations

The longstanding Tempe-based coffee purveyor, Cartel Coffee Lab, known for sourcing and roasting some of the best coffee from around the world is launching new locations in Paradise Valley and Uptown Phoenix. Located at the northeast intersection of Tatum and Shea, the Paradise Valley location is scheduled for a grand opening Dec. 20 . (Open holiday hours 7am–3pm through Christmas Eve; 6am–8pm regular hours.) Visitors can look forward to free coffee all day and a chance for one winner to receive free coffee for a year. The 1,200 square foot Paradise Valley location features a state of the art La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine, draft cold brew and Chemex pour overs of rotating single origin coffees.

As a part of its continuing partnership with boutique hospitality brand ARRIVE Hotels, Cartel will be opening inside ARRIVE’s upcoming hotel at Fourth Avenue and Camelback in Uptown Phoenix in 2020. This will be the third in a series of successful cafe/hotel partnerships after locations in Palm Springs and Austin.

“We’ve always been cautious when it comes to choosing locations or partners; both of these new cafes represent a lot of consideration and these are two communities we are excited to grow with,” said Jason Silberschlag, owner and co-founder of Cartel.

Husband and wife Jason and Amy Silberschlag began Cartel 12 years ago with a mobile cart, which will now have expanded into 10 retail locations across three states supported by their two Arizona roasteries in Tempe and Tucson. “From day one, it’s been about neighborhood cafe culture first and foremost,” said Amy. “We can’t wait to make new friends in North Phoenix!”

It isn’t just the Silberschlags who are excited.

“I’m personally thrilled that they’ll be just across the street from me,” says Woo Jonathon, general manager of neighboring restaurant The Covenant. “I’m always up for more local business in Paradise Valley.”

The name Cartel Coffee Lab was inspired by oil cartels; instead of stifling competition, Cartel has an ambitious goal to band together like-minded coffee producers and professionals to drive customer appreciation for hard work and quality. To date, Cartel partners with 110 rotating coffee farms spread across the globe who are guaranteed to be paid 30 percent to 150 percent above their costs, far above pricing set by Fair Trade.

Through the years, Cartel has received recognition from the likes of Alton Brown, Vogue and Food & Wine as a gold standard in specialty coffee craft and service. The secret is in their 90 percent retail focus, which has allowed them to prioritize the experience of the end user in all their decisions.

For additional information, visit or find Cartel Coffee Lab on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Cartel Coffee Lab

NVAA Presents WILLY WONKA Nov. 7–9 at Shadow Mountain High School

The North Valley Arts Academy Theatre program (NVAA) and Shadow Mountain High School Drama Club present their fall musical, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Nov. 7–9.

The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on a visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. The story follows enigmatic candy manufacturer, Willy Wonka, as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likable young person named Charlie Bucket. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka’s rules in the factory…or suffer the consequences.

Over 60 cast and crew members, comprised of fifth- through 12th-grade NVAA Theatre students from Desert Cove Elementary, Shea Middle School and Shadow Mountain High School, will bring to life the beloved story of Charlie and Willy Wonka. The Saturday 2pm matinee will include an additional 20 special guest stars for the opening number — local kindergarten through fourth-grade students who participated in Wonka Experience workshops.

The play will be performed at Shadow Mountain High School’s Performing Arts Center Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7–9, with shows at 7pm each night, and a 2pm matinee Saturday Nov. 9. Tickets are available at the door for $5 for students, and $10 for adults (cash or check only). Shadow Mountain High School is located at 2902 East Shea Boulevard in North Phoenix.

NVAA’s production of Willy Wonka is proud to be one of 25 high school musicals selected to compete in the Gammage High School Musical Theatre awards this year. Willy Wonka is produced by special arrangement with MTI. More information about NVAA’s theatre program can be found at

Foothills Food Bank in Need of Food, Monetary Donations

Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center has too many empty shelves and is in need of non-perishable food donations and foods for the upcoming holidays.

Pam DiPietro, executive director for Foothills Food Bank, says that even more families and working individuals are in need of food due to changing economic forces and work transitions.

“Factors such as job change issues, the cost of living and other life changes have resulted in an increase in the nutritional needs of many in our communities,” says DiPietro. “We ask the public to provide us with food donations to increase our food inventory through spring.”

“The food bank also encourages area businesses, churches and individuals to host food drives and/or drop off food and toiletries to help the food bank,” adds DiPietro.

Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center provides emergency food, financial assistance and other life necessities and resources to individuals and families in the desert foothills, which encompasses a 180-square mile area that includes Anthem, Black Canyon City, Carefree, Cave Creek, Desert Hills, New River, North Phoenix and North Scottsdale.

Visit Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center online at or send an email to Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is located at 6038 East Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.488.1145.

Tavan, Mountainside Principals Named for 2019–20 School Year

New principals have been appointed to lead Tavan Elementary School in Phoenix and Mountainside Middle School in Scottsdale.

Tavan assistant principal Julie Ballard will take over from longtime principal Margaret Serna, who moves to the administration side of the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) as executive director of Title 1 Schools. Ballard has served as Tavan’s assistant principal for the past five years and has been a member of the Tavan community since 2001, starting as a special education teacher. She co-chairs Tavan’s Intervention Planning Team, serves as Leader of the Multi-Disciplinary Team and is a member of the school’s Literacy Team and Teaching and Learning/Leadership Committee.

Ballard calls the opportunity to lead Tavan an honor. “If we work to ‘do whatever it takes’ to develop kind, self-confident and growth-minded scholars who are able to see greatness in others and themselves, we have not only done our job, but also made the world an even greater place.”

The new principal says her predecessor, Serna, has been a great mentor, preparing her well for her new post. “Margaret has shown me that great school leadership requires the ability to build respectful relationships by listening, understanding and acknowledging others’ input.”

Tavan, part of the Arcadia Learning Community and located at 4610 East Osborn Road, Phoenix, is a Pre-K – 5th grade, Title 1 school with approximately 660 students.

Adam Kohnen will be the new principal of Mountainside Middle School, located at 11256 North 128th Street, Scottsdale. He takes over from retiring principal Terri Kellen, who has led the 575-student institution for the past seven years.

Kohnen comes most recently from an assistant principal’s post at SUSD’s Chaparral High School, which he has held for the past two school years. Previously, he taught history at Desert Mountain High School and was part of the school’s Pre-Diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) Program teaching staff. Mountainside is currently an IB Middle Years Programme Candidate School. Kohnen holds a B. A. in Fine Arts and M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Arizona State University.

“Professionally, I was born and raised with Scottsdale Unified School District, and I am thrilled to now be a part of the Cougar Nation in the Desert Mountain Learning Community,” says Kohnen. Although he has enjoyed his time at Chaparral, Kohnen shares that he is eager to serve SUSD in a new capacity. “I am excited to connect again with the community where my career began.”

“Parents, the community and staff at both Mountainside and Tavan provided input into their respective new principal’s selection,” says SUSD superintendent Dr. John Kriekard, and they were selected from a pool of high-quality candidates.

Superintendent Kriekard says he could not be more pleased with the Ballard and Kohnen appointments.

“It is especially gratifying when we have quality candidates from within our own District who have grown in their previous posts to become our next leaders.”

Ballard and Kohnen join Amy Palatucci and Todd Dreifort, who were both recently affirmed as the principals at Coronado High School and Chaparral High School, respectively, with the same community-driven process. Both served their schools as interim principals during the 2018–19 school year. All four principals officially start their new SUSD roles July 1.

For additional information, visit


PVSchools To Hold Public Hearing for Proposed Tax Increase

Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) announced the intention to raise its primary property taxes over the current level to pay for increased expenditures in those areas where the governing board has the authority to increase property taxes for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019. The Paradise Valley Unified School District is proposing an increase in its primary property tax levy of $1,951,552.

The amount proposed above will cause Paradise Valley Unified School District’s primary property taxes on a $100,000 home to be $5.4071. Without the tax increase, the total taxes that would be owed would have been $0.00.

These amounts proposed are above the qualifying tax levies as prescribed by state law, if applicable. The increase is also exclusive of any changes that may occur from property tax levies for voter approved bonded indebtedness or budget and tax overrides.

All interested citizens are invited to attend the public hearing on the proposed tax increase scheduled to be held June 27, 2019 at 5pm at the District Administrative Center, 15002 North 32nd Street, Phoenix.

For additional information, call 602.449.2000 or visit

Abrazo Scottsdale To Hold Cereal Drive June 7-14

Drop off healthy cereal donations in hospital cafeteria

Donations of healthy cereal to benefit local food banks will be accepted June 7–14 at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus, 3929 East Bell Road. Abrazo Health is leading a community effort to provide area children and adults struggling with hunger with a healthy breakfast during the summer.

Abrazo’s Healthy Over Hungry cereal drive will benefit the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. Whole-grain cereal, when part of a healthy, balanced breakfast including dairy, fruit and lean protein, is a popular food item that experts say can easily address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school.

“Summer is a particularly difficult time because many children in need can no longer rely on their school meals for a nutritious breakfast, so their families often turn to food banks for help,” said Ed Staren, chief administrative officer, Abrazo Scottsdale Campus. “We recognize the importance of beginning each day with a nutritious breakfast and, through this drive, we hope to help those in our community struggling with food insecurity.”

The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive is supported by Abrazo Health’s parent organization, Tenet Healthcare, which in 2018 collected five million servings of cereal and donated $380,000 through the efforts of its facilities across the U.S.

Packages of healthy breakfast cereal may be donated June 7-14 at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus. For additional information, visit

North Valley Arts Academy Presents Retelling of THE ODYSSEY, April 25–27

The North Valley Arts Academy theatre program (NVAA) and Shadow Mountain High School Drama Club will present their spring production, Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka.

Anon(ymus), Iizuka’s entrancing contemporary adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey, retells the classic story through the eyes of a young refugee. Separated from family and in a strange place far from a home lost forever, Anon goes on a quest for belonging, encountering a wide variety of people — some kind, some dangerous and cruel. Guided by a goddess and the memory of a mother’s warm embrace and wise voice, Anon must navigate through a chaotic, ever-changing landscape searching for something or someone to call home.

The play will perform at Shadow Mountain High School’s Performing Art Center Thursday through Friday, April 25, 26, and 27 at 7pm. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Shadow Mountain High School is located at 2902 East Shea Boulevard in Phoenix. Anon(ymous) is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts Inc. More information about NVAA’s theatre program can be found at

Players will be accepting donations for the International Rescue Committee Phoenix (IRC) to support the work they do helping refugees settle into their new homes in Phoenix. Donations of unscented/mildly scented laundry detergent (32 oz or less), spray cleaner, and diapers (sizes 4, 5, and 6) are welcome at the theatre’s lobby. Those who wish to make a monetary donation, donate time, or find other ways to help may visit

PVCC To Host Literacy Event Providing Thousands of Free Children’s Books

Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) and Southwest Human Development will again partner in hosting the Spring Festival of Tales, a free community literacy event offering storytelling and cultural activities for children and families from 9am to 2pm Saturday, April 27, at Paradise Valley Community College.

The bi-annual festival brings reading to life through the “Art of Storytelling” and provides free books to children who participate in the day’s activities, which include demonstrations, vendors, arts and crafts, games, face painting, live music, food trucks and much more.

“Events like Festival of Tales are important for everyone who participates because it helps develop an awareness, understanding and respect for other cultures and new ideas through the art of storytelling,” says PVCC education faculty and event organizer, Meggin Kirk. “Not only does this event enhance literacy skills and spark the imaginations of children, but it also ignites the passion in PVCC students by giving them opportunities to interact with community member and apply their learning in an authentic setting.”

Since its inception in 2009, Festival of Tales has attracted more than 17,000 people from Maricopa County and more than 25,000 books have been given away to children from low-income families. In 2019, Festival of Tales was recognized with two distinguished awards from the Maricopa County Community College District, including the Diversity Advisory Council award and the Paul M. Pair Innovation of the Year award.

Paradise Valley Community College is located at 18401 North 32nd Street in Phoenix. Event activities will take place in and around the Kranitz Student Center (KSC). Free parking is available. Festival of Tales is free and open to the public.

For more information, including registration and performance times, visit or call 602.787.6562.

PVSchools Governing Board Selects Next Superintendent

Dr. Jesse Welsh

The PVSchools Governing Board has selected Jesse Welsh, Ed.D., assistant superintendent of Clark County School District, to serve as superintendent of the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) beginning July 1, 2019 and will vote to approve Dr. Welsh’s contract at its March 7 meeting.

“The Governing Board is excited and honored to welcome Dr. Welsh as the next superintendent of PVSchools.” said Julie Bacon, Governing Board president. “Dr. Welsh has a proven ability to work with diverse populations and developed programming that attracted thousands of students back to district schools from charter schools within Clark County. He is thrilled to be joining the collaborative culture that is a hallmark of our school district.”

Dr. Welsh has experience working in a large, diverse school district, is conversationally fluent in Spanish, has worked in high needs schools with at risk students, and is committed to continuing the vital work around equity in our schools.

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with our great team of educators and professionals who serve our students in PVSchools,” said Dr. Welsh. “As superintendent, I express my commitment to begin the work by engaging and listening to stakeholders so that we can continue the many great things already going on and collaborate on how we can continue to improve. I look forward to visiting schools to connect with our administrators, teachers, staff and students and meeting with our parents and community groups. Together, we will continue the tradition of excellence within PVSchools and build upon its success.”

Dr. Welsh has more than 23 years in K–12 education serving in a wide variety of roles. Most recently, he has served as the assistant superintendent of Clark County School District in Las Vegas since 2017. During his tenure, he has held a variety of school-based and central-based administrative roles including assistant superintendent, interim assistant superintendent, academic manager, principal, assistant principal, region data coordinator, dean of students, math teacher and Spanish teacher. Dr. Welsh’s experiences include expertise in curriculum and professional development, online/digital learning, magnet programs, career and technical education, athletics, assessment, accountability, research, and school improvement.

Dr. Welsh will be succeeding Dr. James P. Lee who is retiring June 30. Dr. Lee’s 10-year tenure as superintendent, which began in July 2009, is the longest of any superintendent in the district’s 106-year history. Dr. Welsh and Dr. Lee will work together in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

For additional information, call 602.449.2000 or visit

PVEA Collecting Prom Attire for PVSchools Girls & Guys

Spring is just around the corner and it’s a great time to clean out those closets. The Paradise Valley Education Association (PVEA) is collecting prom attire for its annual Prom Dresses & Ties for PV Girls & Guys event. PVSchools students are invited to visit the boutique prior to prom to select an outfit of his or her dreams — for free.

PVEA is seeking the following items:

  • Dresses
  • Women’s shoes
  • Necklaces
  • Purses
  • Earrings
  • Tuxedos
  • Bow ties
  • Formal vests
  • Men’s shoes

Items may be dropped off through April 2 at the PVSchools’ District Administrative Center, Monday–Friday from 8am–4:30pm. (Get directions to PVSchools.) Prom attire will be donated to students who attend PVSchools.

The Dresses & Ties for PV Girls & Guys event is organized and run by volunteer teachers who collect prom attire donations throughout the year from the community.

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