PHOENIX - The Balsz School District has announced that Balsz Elementary School will officially change its name to Pat Tillman Middle School next semester.
On Tuesday, the school held an assembly to reveal the new Pat Tillman Middle School logos. Pat’s brother Kevin Tillman, Sheriff Paul Penzone and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton were all in attendance.
The school is officially changing from Balsz Elementary to Pat Tillman Middle School at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester. The school has planned to switch to a middle school format for several months.
"We are incredibly humbled by the fact that the Tillman family is allowing us to honor their son through the naming of our new school," said Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Superintendent of the Balsz School District. "Pat embodied everything it is that we want to instill in our students - bravery, patriotism, commitment, selflessness - and these fundamentals will very much be a part of the core culture at Pat Tillman Middle School.”
Principal Dr. Chad Smith says the school will put an emphasis on elective offerings, including an Elite Sports Training pathway, a STEM program focusing on coding, rocketry and robotics, and a Digital Arts program that exposes students to video production, multimedia design and computer graphics.
"When students come to Tillman next year, they will experience an education that will prepare them for high school and beyond," Smith said. "Our kids will be some of the best-prepared students in the Valley."
Pat Tillman Middle School is already accepting students grades six through eight for the 2018-2019 school year, and all middle school students in the Balsz School District will attend beginning in the fall.
All Balsz Elementary School students from this year will be moved to one of three other elementary schools in the district. Families have been notified of their options and open houses have been held.