Vikings Honored at Governing Board Meeting

Sunnyslope High School's Achievement Above All Recipients Honored at Governing Board Meeting
Posted on 02/17/2022
Sunnyslope AAA Recipients

February 2022- Excellence continues at Glendale Union High School District as the Governing Board honored Sunnyslope High School’s Achievement Above All recipients, including Teacher of the Year, Student of the Year, Student Group of the Year, Support Staff of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year during their latest meeting. Principal Jonathan Parker spoke about all recipients as well as presented them with a certificate or award for their achievements.

With over 30 years of teaching experience, Tamara Krause is this year’s Teacher of the Year for Sunnyslope High School. Krause first started her music education career teaching elementary school, middle school, running a piano and voice studio, and serving as a musical director for several Phoenix churches. For the last decade, Krause has taught four different choir and piano classes at Sunnyslope. Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Michelle Pisarcik says, “Tamara is a shining example of a teacher who puts her whole heart into the work she is doing with kids. There is such a strong sense of community and ownership in her group, and we have all witnessed the results of this through their performances.”

When asked what makes Krause passionate about teaching, Krause said, “There is nothing better than seeing that light bulb moment when a student finally gets a concept they have struggled with, or when a student enjoys the satisfaction of acquiring a new skill.”


In the top one percent of his senior class and a National Merit Finalist, Henry Calkins is Sunnyslope’s Student of the Year. Calkins has taken 12 Advanced Placement classes during his time at Sunnyslope, and he has never earned a B in any class. He currently serves as the Student Body President, founder and President of the Mountain Bike Club, and Captain of the Cross Country team. In addition, Calkins is involved in the Student Council, National Honor Society, Speech and Debate, Future Business Leaders of America, and Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, Calkins has earned distinction as a Boy Scout, an Irish Dancer, and a bagpipe player.

Calkins says his goal for the future is to study Mechanical Engineering in college.


Sunnyslope High School Principal Jonathan Parker describes this year’s Student Group of the Year, Boys’ Basketball, as selfless, humble, and role models for community service. Coach Portela and his staff care about competing and winning, but they care first and foremost about shaping young men to serve their community. On and off the court the team succeeds. Last year the team won the 6A State Championship title, their first year in the highest level of AIA competition. This year the team begins a new tournament this week.

Coach Portela says his goal for the team is to continue the legacy built by former players and students and keep the pride of Sunnyslope going.

Boys' Basketball

A district graduate, Josephine Sardinha is Sunnyslope High School’s Support Staff of the Year. Sardinha, also known as Nurse Jo, is not only Sunnyslope’s school nurse but also the lead nurse for the district. Assistant Principal Demetria Graham says, “Nurse Jo has been a calming presence amid the uncertainty of the past two years. She has helped enormously to navigate the uncertain waters we have found ourselves in. Her contributions have been invaluable. We could not have made it without her.”

Nurse Jo says she plans to further her nursing skill set with Maricopa Medical Reserve Corps.

Support Staff

A Sunnyslope alum and now parent, Robin Cotto is Sunnyslope’s Volunteer of the Year. Cotto spends her time volunteering at registration, Open House, Future Freshman Night, and football games. Cotto is also an active member and Vice President of the Viking Parent Club. She is in charge of all social media content for the club. In addition, she also helps organize events such as Homecoming tailgate, Staff Winter Luncheon, and Teacher Appreciation Week.

With her dedication to volunteerism, Cotto says volunteering is important to her because as a former educator, she is aware of the impact parent volunteers can have on a school.