School Briefs


Payson students win 15 state awards and six now advance to tough, national competition

Payson High School’s high-tech students scored fresh victories in April in tough, statewide competitions.

The Payson High School Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America dominated many high-tech categories in collecting 15 awards in eight different events at the Arizona State FBLA Leadership Conference in Tucson.  

Twenty-three students competed against nearly 1,500 other Arizona high school students from throughout the state. The students were all enrolled in the computer and high-tech vocational program taught by Bud Evans, a computer teacher and the FBLA adviser.

For the first time, the Payson award-winners included a slew of women.

For instance, Amber Bucanek and Savannah Flores won fifth place in the Desktop Publishing event. All told, six students qualified to attend and compete at the FBLA National Leadership Conference June 26 to July 2 in Orlando, Fla.

In Florida, the winners will face even tougher competition — some 7,000 students who all already won at the state level.

The Arizona award winners from Payson include:

Amber Bucanek: 5th, Desktop Publishing

Savannah Flores: 5th, Desktop Publishing

Nikolas Curi: 1st, Network Design Team (national)

Trenton Hodges: 3rd, Business Math (national)

Ty McGinnis-Kennedy: 1st, PC Problem Solving (national); 1st, Networking Concepts; 2nd, Cyber Security

Harrison McKinney: 1st, Network Design Team (national); 1st, Technology Concepts; 3rd, Networking Concepts

Joseph Smith: 5th, Technology Concepts (national)

Dillon Walker: 1st, Network Design Team (national); 2nd, Technology Concepts; 5th, Client Services; 5th, Networking Concepts

Student chef hoping to stir up donations to attend culinary training

An award-winning Payson High School culinary student is hoping to raise money for further culinary training this summer.


Shoshanah Wright

Shoshanah Wright, who was recently elected a state officer for the Arizona Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) organization, is hoping to train in California this summer, but needs money to help fund the trip, said PHS culinary teacher Devon Wells.

With the National Leadership Conference in July, Wright hopes to use her baking skills to raise money throughout June.

“If anyone in the community is in need of baked items like cookies, pies, breads or cakes or if they would like Wright to provide baked goods for an event, she would be more than willingly to help,” Wells said.

Wright started baking when she found she couldn’t eat most desserts due to food allergies.

Just this fall, Wright entered the “Getting Your Just Desserts” gingerbread house competition and came in third place in the state.

“Her creativity building an RV (gingerbread) in Barstow, Calif. earned her not only the Chefs’ Choice but the People’s Choice medals,” Wells said.

Contact Wright by e-mailing Wells at or calling (928) 978-1102.

Dusty Bunch gives computer to Tonto Basin student

Chris Millican was the recipient of a laptop computer at eighth-grade graduation ceremonies in Tonto Basin on May 25.


Courtesy photo

Chris Millican with members of the Dusty Bunch who gave the student a computer.

The computer was donated by a group of Tonto Basin residents who belong to a group called “The Dusty Bunch.” 

They meet once a month and take quad rides in the area. They decided that giving a computer to a deserving eighth-grade student would be a way to give back to this community for the pleasure they all share here.

Chris received this award because of his hard-working, friendly and helpful attitude in the community.


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