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CITY Center for Collaborative Learning designs, implements and advances exemplary practices in teaching and learning that transform the lives of young people and their educators.

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CITY Center News

CITY Schools All Earn High Marks

The Arizona Department of Education released the school letter grades, and once again our three CITY Center schools stand out. 

Paulo Freire Freedom School-University earned an A grade this year.  City High School and Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown earned B grades this year.  

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Sponsoship Opportunities Available for Music Mayhem at The Rialto Theatre

Join us at The Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, December 6th, for a night of live music performed by the students of CITY Center’s music workshop program. 

In partnership with The Rialto Theatre, we present to you Music Mayhem.  Come out for a fun night at a historic venue in beautiful downtown Tucson!  In addition to being an evening of making life-long memories for our musicians, Music Mayhem also raises money for the music workshop program, providing musical instruments and instruction to students at all three of our schools.  

We are looking for sponsors for this event.  If you are interested in having your company or organization sponsor Music Mayhem, please contact

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CITY Alumni Reunite and Reconnect

On October 21st, fifty CITY Center alums reunited at 37 Pennington for a fun night of memories, connections, food, and celebration.   

It was a joyful night, with alumni representing most of the graduating classes between 2004 and 2023.  The alumni reconnected with each other, told stories, participated in a CITY trivia contest, toured the schools, and enjoyed their shared experiences.

Also present were current and former teachers and administrators Eve Rifkin, JoAnn Groh, KC Engelmann, Erica Saunders, Carina Brokamp, Jade Barnes, Misa Gonzales, Rain Bousquet, John Sax, Gabe Rodriguez, Stephanie O'Halloran, Chad Blair, Jessica Melrose, Marisol Badilla and Santo Nicotera.

An alumni group is forming to support ongoing CITY projects and to plan future alumni events.  If you are an alumus and would like to reconnect, please share your story with us by clicking on our alumni page

Join Our Team: Become a Substitute Teacher

Our three schools are recruiting qualified and passionate substitute teachers to join our team.  Our subs earn $25/hour, which is significantly more money than other districts.

A valid Arizona IVP FCC is required. Please complete the substitute application form if you are interested.  We will follow up with a phone call to discuss next steps.

Carman Ryken and Misa Gonzales are Excited to Lead our Schools

Carman Ryken, the principal of PFFSU, and Misa Gonzales, the principal of both CHS and PFFSD, are both excited to lead our schools this year.

Carman served as a co-principal of PFFSU the past three years and now takes on this crucial leadership role by herself.  

Misa served as the principal of PFFSD the last two year and as a co-principal the year before.  She now takes over as the principal of both PFFSD and City High School. 

Misa and Carman will work closely together, along with Mariah Harvey and JoAnn Groh, to ensure powerful teaching and learning is happening in our 6-12 program. Every student at our three schools continues to have innovative and inclusive access to powerful personalized learning experiences and community connections unavailable at any other school. 

Meet Director of Academic Excellence Mariah Harvey

Mariah Harvey is already having a huge impact on teaching and learning as the Director of Academic Excellence.  The Director of Academic Excellence is a new position at CITY and is responsible for implementing CITY's Academic Framework, coaching teachers, analyzing student data, designing professional development, and ensuring equitable outcomes for all of our learners in grades 6-12.