Desert Star Academy continues to support students
FT. MOHAVE – It’s about academics and creating community leaders at Desert Star Academy, located at 5744 Hwy 95, Fort Mohave. “Our mission is to create academic scholars who become community citizens and world leaders,” said Margie Montgomery, Director of Desert Star Academy. “All of our scholars have a direction after high school.”
The curriculum creates thinkers and includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). “They’re also active in Skills USA; we partner with River Valley.” Skills USA was founded in 1965 as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) and includes “training programs in trade technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations,” according to its website.
The extracurricular, elective courses create community. “Electives are strength and conditioning classes, traditional PE, art class, beginning and advanced
band, choir, drama, culinary arts, and technology,” said Montgomery. “Every year, our robotics team programs robots to do different functions.” Teachers meet with students frequently, and “they don’t get to be involved (in extracurricular activities) unless C or better,” she added.
“Culinary was incorporated into curriculum as an elective two years ago,” said Montgomery. “The kids have catered different events, entered Taste of Bullhead, and won awards.”
The Drama Club is especially active this time of year. Even when you know a song, adding in other performers and props and cues and lighting and sound equipment and stress, all in 24 hours, is a challenge. Maybe that’s why they call it the “24-hour Musical Challenge.” Performed by the student-thespians–who will have 24 hours to get it together–this spring’s challenge is “The Little Mermaid,” and it’ll be staged on June 3 at 6 p.m., Mohave High School Auditorium, 2251 Hwy 95. Tickets are $3 for adults, $1 for children. “They do the production overnight at the school, then perform at Mohave,” said Montgomery.
But there’s more. Drama Club students will participate in a community-wide staging of “Annie” on June 8 in the Mohave High School Auditorium, 2251 Hwy 95, Bullhead City. “We have a fantastic arts department,” said Montgomery, which is led by “director Josh Michele. He’s directed ‘Newsies,’ ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and Willy Wonka’.” The curtain rises at 6:30 pm.
“Each of the clubs does fundraising,” said Montgomery. “It’s an incredibly important part of their education. Every single student finds some extra curriculum outside of academics that they like to do.”
“Every grade gets at least one field trip that we pay for,” said Montgomery, with regular excursions including “the Colorado River Museum, the Museum of History in Las Vegas, and Odyssey, the marine museum.” The third grade went to the Titanic exhibit in Las Vegas while studying it in class.
“We just completed our ninth year,” said Montgomery. Offering preschool for the first two years, in the 2014-2015 school year, they added K-6; “in 2016-17, we added seventh and eighth grade,” she added.
Desert Star still supports its students after they graduate from eighth grade and continue in local high schools. “Our car show proceeds sponsor two scholarships. When they’re seniors, we invite them to apply,” said Montgomery. The annual February car show is the school’s biggest fundraiser. “We raised 16-20 thousand dollars at our car show,” added Montgomery.
“Academics is most important, then we layer all the other activities and add exposure to our community and our world,” said Montgomery. “We like to provide education to the whole child, to teach them to be citizens and leaders.”
The three schools of the Desert Star Academy campus are Desert Star Preschool (ages 2-5, 5635 Hwy 95, Fort Mohave), Desert Star Elementary (K-5, 5744 Hwy 95, Fort Mohave), and Desert Star Middle School (grades 6-8, 5744 Hwy 95, Fort Mohave). Reach out to Desert Star at 928-300-3207 and connect with them on Facebook.