Excelencia’s Groundbreaking was on the 27th of April, 2000 and the Grand Opening was 9am the 5th of May, 2001 in the school’s multi-purpose room. It was deliberately opened on Cinco de Mayo because of its neighborhood makeup and Hispanic sounding name.
Dr. Donna Cranswick was the Superintendent. Reynaldo (Rey) Cruz was the first Principal. Attached is the original Excelencia Eagle. I chose the Eagle because the first letter is an E and we designed it to look like the letter E. Rey Cruz liked it and it became the school’s mascot. The school colors are red and black.
Over 30 houses were purchased and demolished to make room for the school and campus grounds. Phoenix Fire Department was given the opportunity to set fire to many of the homes for training purposes. I have files of photos of the demo and fires. With all the homes which were burned to make room for the school, we could have used the Phoenix Bird as a mascot.
The governing board during the construction and at the time the school opened included: Joanne Butterfield, Curtis Coghill, Mary Harris, Joe Nolan, Rhonda Reed, Suzanne Schweiger-Nitchals, Raul Urquidi and Dayna Vaughn. Hofman-Dietz Architects; D.L.Withers General Contractor. The school is a one-story 110,000 square foot complex of three main buildings containing the school’s administrative offices, a welcome center, 45 classrooms, special area classrooms, 4 teacher preparation centers, a library-media center, technology lab and a multipurpose room/cafeteria. The school was built to house 1200 students in grades K-8. Excelencia is the ninth school to open in the Creighton School District.