Black Mountain Elementary School (BMES), located in the Cave Creek Unified School District, has been named one of 44 Arizona public schools receiving the coveted A+ School of Excellence Award by the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF).

“The A+ School of Excellence Award shines a spotlight on the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” says AEF Executive Director Kim Graham. “The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for exceeding expectations to meet their students’ needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide.”

BMES offers its students drama, dance, music, and art. BMES believes that their students are special and deserve the very best. They believe that they must develop the whole child through advanced academics and the arts. Their students will be community-minded and globally prepared due in large part to these amazing programs that they have built, according to the school.

“It feels great when others, especially administrators from award winning schools, recognize your school as one of the best in Arizona,” says BMES Principal Matt Owsley. “We are thrilled to receive the well-deserved distinction that our staff have earned through their hard work and dedication to the advanced educational opportunities and distinguished programs that make BMES what it is. This prestigious award recognizes the exceptional work by BMES teachers, staff, students, family, and community. I am so proud to be a part of something so special.”

AEF has been championing public schools with the A+ School of Excellence Award program since 1983. The A+ Award is a way to identify, celebrate, and recognize educational excellence in PreK-12th grade schools throughout Arizona. In addition to showcasing outstanding public schools, the A+ program provides school teams with an extensive comprehensive framework that serves as a basis for school self-assessment and planning. The A+ School of Excellence award is a powerful energizer for increasing public confidence in recognized schools. A+ schools are celebrated and recognized as exceptional. Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence winner.

“We are thrilled to see the amazing school community that BMES has cultivated, honored with the prestigious AEF A+ School of Excellence Award,” says Superintendent Burdick. “BMES’ staff, students, PTO, and families focus all their energy and resources on students to make their educational experiences supportive and interactive. Congratulations, Bobcats!”

For more information regarding Black Mountain Elementary School, please contact Principal Owsley at or by calling 480-575-2100.