What’s new for next year

NDP has several new developments for the 2016-17 school year. When the bell rings to start the new school year on Monday, Aug. 15, here are some of the changes–ranging from course selection to landscaping.


New classes

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Ms. Elizabeth Roper holds up the new course list for ’16-17.

New courses will be offered for the 2016-2017 school year, including Guitar Orchestra, Probability and Statistics and Intro to Digital Technology. The content for NDP’s future technology courses will provide a more rigorous curriculum. Guidance counselor Elizabeth Roper said, “We are staying a step ahead. The curriculum will be enhanced to meet the needs and abilities of the student.”


Gymnasium being revamped

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Athletic director Monica Barrett waits outside the gym, overseeing a volleyball tournament.

The gymnasium is being completely remodeled this summer. The banners in the gym will be revamped utilizing technology to display the athletic accomplishments of the student body. The floor in the gym will be replaced, and a new logo, a gold fleur de lis, much like what is featured on Bemis Field, will be added. Athletic director Monica Barrett said, “We won’t look as busy. The new banners will still have state championships on them, but we are going to invest in technicolor u-scrolling technology.”


PowerSchool will be integrated next year

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Ms. Bartlett sits at her desk, eagerly awaiting the coming year.

NDP administration is integrating a new system known as PowerSchool. “PowerSchool is just wonderful for administrators because it makes scheduling classes easier, and we can limit parameters that we like,” Tanya Bartlett, assistant principal for curriculum instruction and assessment, said. PowerSchool helps creates schedules, which allows most students to get their first choices in scheduling, which in turn makes for happier students, Bartlett said.


NDP will have a new principal 

Principal James Gmelich pretends to scold fellow Seraphim writer Emily Leinweber during an interview.

Assistant principal Mr. Jerry Zander will be the interim principal as the Diocese of Phoenix continues its search for a new principal to replace Mr. Jim Gmelich. Principal Gmelich has been named NDP’s first president as the school transitions to the president-principal administration model. He will oversee all aspects of the school, while the new principal will oversee academics.


New landscaping 

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The area in front of the chapel received a facelift last summer.
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The area between the buildings to the south of the chapel will get one this summer.

Some other physical changes are coming to campus. There will be artificial turf added between the 400 and 500 buildings as well as some trees and landscaping updates.

According to Mr. Ken Wilson, there will be light fixtures in the trees, imitating the famous look of Kierland Commons.


Expansion to the gym

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The workout area of NDP is expanding also. There will be a new workout area on the south side of the gym. NDP athletics is focusing on developing core training and expanding the capability of the weight room.


Farewell to teachers

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Ms. Julian teaches AP Lit class.

Several teachers have announced they will not be not be returning NDP, including 11-year veteran Ms. Siiri Julian, who will be teaching in Fountain Hills to be closer to her children, and Dr. Warren Laffey, who is retiring.


New security guard 

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NDP will have a new security guard next year. The current security guard Anthony Aranda is becoming an armed guard and will not be providing services to the school.