Williams Field High School’s FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Robotics Club, the RoboHawks, won first place at the state qualifying tournament in Tucson in early December. The team was also awarded the Inspire Award, given to the team that embodies the challenge of the program, according to a release.Williams Field senior in running for Presidential Scholar nod
A Williams Field High School senior is in the running for a national Presidential Scholars award. Ruth Nyagaka is one of five Arizona students nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education award, thanks to a nomination by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office. For the past three years, Ruth has been vice president of Williams Field’s DECA club, which teaches leadership, marketing and business.Some people, things to watch in Gilbert in 2019
A new year is only two days away, but 2018 laid the groundwork for some of the people and things that will likely be impacting Gilbert in 2019. Here are 10 to watch. Jill Wilson Higley Unified School District Governing Board welcomes new member Jill Wilson, who takes office in January. Wison was appointed to the four-year position because there were only three candidates for three open seats last year. The Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent made the appointment, saving the district more than $22,000 by not having to hold an election in November. The superintendent also appointed incumbents Greg Wojtovich to a new two-year term and Amy Kaylor to a new four-year term. Board Member Rick Thornock, who was appointed in 2017, opted not to run for the seat.
Williams Field High School‘s FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Club, the RoboHawks, won first place at the state qualifying tournament in Tucson in early December.
Father figures help out at Power Ranch Elementary
The only thing better than visiting dad at work is bringing dad to school – at least in the eyes of an elementary-aged student. At Power Ranch Elementary in the Higley Unified School District, fathers, stepdads, grandfathers, uncles and other father figures are signing up as members of Watch D.O.G.S. to become role models at the school.
Higley's Ty Robinson signs with Nebraska Cornhuskers
As Ty Robinson signed his letter of intent with Nebraska on Wednesday, Gilbert Higley football coach Eddy Zubey said, "Get ready Lincoln, you're getting a beast."The transformation of Robinson, moving from tight end to defensive end to defensive tackle, packing on muscle, during his Higley football career, was amazing. He grew into an NFL body at 6-foot-6, 285 pounds with more room to grow, and into a player Zubey called, "the best defensive lineman in the nation," during the Early Signing Day ceremony at the school's performing arts center.
Four-star DE commits to Nebraska
The four-star defensive end from Gilbert (Ariz.) Higley announced his commitment to the Cornhuskers during a ceremony at his school on Wednesday, picking the Big Ten program over finalists Alabama, Oregon and USC and giving head coach Scott Frost a huge win on the recruiting trail on the first day of the early signing period.Knights sign college commitments
Three Knights made their official commitments to college sports Wednesday. Sydney Wesley signed a commitment to play softball for Mississippi Valley State University, where she will study forensic science. Spencer Brasch made his plans to play football at University of California, Berkeley official. He will study business. Ty Robinson's decision was unknown until signing time, when he put on a Nebraska hat. He will play football for the Huskers while he works on a degree in human biology and pre-med requirements. The signing event was held in the Higley Center for the Performing Arts Little Theater in front of family, friends and the media. Congratulations, Knights!Nick Saban visited Nebraska's top recruiting target. Then Nebraska went all out.
How badly do the Nebraska Cornhuskers want Higley High School (Gilbert, Arizona) defensive lineman Ty Robinson?
They sent 11 coaches to his home Thursday on the last night coaches were allowed to make home visits."You have 11 full-time coaches who are allowed to come out (to recruit)," Higley coach Eddy Zubey said. "They all came by the school and hung out with Ty all night."Williams Field athlete Tierra Brandt excels in soccer but is a rising star in Muay Thai
Tierra Brandt is a top soccer player but is also regarded as one of the nation’s best female boxers. She's also considered one of the top Muay Thai fighter in the world for her age.Four-star DB Noa Pola-Gates ready to make impact at All-American Bowl
Williams Field High School (Gilbert, Ariz.) four-star safety Noa Pola-Gates received his All-American Bowl jersey Thursday at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
With salaries up, schools eye funding for facilities
Like many school districts in Arizona the three public school districts that serve Gilbert are in an improved situation this school year; however, work remains to be done to restore their financial health, district officials said. State officials last spring committed to a three-year teacher salary increase program; an extension of Proposition 301 taxation, which is a 0.6-percent sales-tax increase dedicated to funding education; and the restoration of some District Additional Assistance, or DAA, funds, which are used for district capital costs—physical items like buildings and buses.
Once again, Williams Field students aid the hungry
Caring for their community – even folks they’ve never met – is the fall focus of students of Gilbert’s Williams Field High School. Of course, a little classroom competition never hurts.This month marks the eighth annual Williams Field Stuff the Bus Food Drive that last year totaled 13,000 pounds of nonperishable food items donated to the United Food Bank in Mesa.
Williams Field students raises 12,000 pounds of food donations
Williams Field High School students unpacked more than 12,000 pounds of food Monday, Nov. 19 at United Food Bank that will soon become meals for families in need. The effort was the culmination of the eighth annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive. Students from the Gilbert school spent more than four weeks gathering the food and donations at events, grocery stores, football games and in their classrooms. The result was enough food and money (more than $4,000) to provide 31,420 meals, according to a press release.
CENTENNIAL SHOWCASES 5TH-GRADE EARTH AND SPACE PROJECTS
Fifth graders at Centennial Elementary in the Higley Unified School District displayed their learning through research, STEM activities, creativity, and curiosity on all topics related to Earth and space science during the school’s second Earth and Space Independent Study Showcase. Casteel, Higley athletes earn Doherty Medallions
The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has announced the recipients of the Ed Doherty Award Week 10 Performance Medallions, which features athletes from Casteel and Higley High Schools. Of 14 players recognized for outstanding play during their respective games on Friday, Oct. 26, Zach Nelson of Casteel and Coleman Owen made the list, according to a press release.It’s been a banner year for Gilbert-area high school football
Take Williams Field, Casteel, Higley, Campo Verde and Gilbert. Add their 6A big brothers, Perry and Highland, and Mesquite of 4A to that slew of successful 5A programs and it becomes one of the best years ever in Gilbert-area high school football. East Valley schools continued their dominance of the rankings in state’s two largest divisions.
Williams Field QB Zack Shepherd taking humble road to success
As a freshman, Zack Shepherd and his Williams Field High football teammates visited Chaparral Elementary in Gilbert. A woman approached and asked if he would push her grandson around the track in his wheelchair during a fun run. Shepherd gladly obliged, not realizing the friendship that would grow with the boy, Zach Zuerlein. “Little Zach,” Shepherd said with a smile. “Since his name is Zach we made an instant connection. We got to talking and his favorite quarterback is Peyton Manning and that’s my favorite quarterback, so we just hit it off.”
Williams Field hangs on at Campo Verde
It was a rough night for offense as Williams Field High edged Campo Verde, 17-14, in Class 5A high school football in Gilbert. The Black Hawks have had sporadic moments when their highly-skilled offense has had trouble moving the ball. Friday was one of those. Williams Field completed just seven passes and struggled to block in the running game
Higley’s Maxwell earns Week 9 Doherty Award medallion
The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club has announced the recipients of the Ed Doherty Award Week 9 Performance Medallions and a Higley football player made the cut. Logan Maxwell was one of six players who were recognized for outstanding play during their respective games Friday, Oct. 19, according to a press release.
Knights’ senior teaching game to unified team
Higley High is off to a 4-1 start with quarterback Spencer Brasch and the offense scoring touchdowns at a record rate. Brasch leads the state with 22 touchdown passes and could eclipse Bryce Perkins' 5A record of 46 TD passes by season’s end. Spencer hopes to leave his mark with a state championship his senior season at Higley. How he plays on Friday nights will only be part of his story. Brasch spends Tuesdays helping out Unified Team. It’s a group of special needs students who play football. On the night the Arizona's Family camera followed Spencer, he pushed his friend Jake’s wheelchair. He also worked with his friends Ziggy on throwing and Jerry on catching.
Higley quarterback putting up Brasch numbers
Higley High quarterback Spencer Brasch left the field defeated in both score and spirit last Nov. 17 after a 37-31 overtime loss to Saguaro in the 4A football state semifinals. Brasch, then a junior, led the Knights to an 11-2 record with 33 touchdown passes and more than 1,900 passing yards. He threw for just 58 yards and suffered four interceptions in that season-ending game.
Smart phone apps, video games and website use are a part of daily life for most Gilbert and East Valley teens. Now, they’re also the ones developing them. Charged with creating an app, game or website to help make life “more effective,” Higley Unified School District students from Williams Field High School, Sossaman and Cooley Middle School took part in the Great Arizona Code Challenge this month. It was held at Infusionsoft in Chandler. The event competition presented students with an outline of the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and asked them to use that idea as a base to develop an app, website or game people may use to be more effective in life.
On Monday, Sept. 10, the bell rang at Williams Field High School, signaling the end of classes for the day. A group of students gathered in the school’s courtyard as the sun’s blaze echoed off the surrounding pavement. Packages were opened and small flags were distributed. Students tenderly placed American flags into the soil, one at a time.
SOSSAMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER USES FUN TO TEACH LAB SAFETY
How best to teach an “old” lesson to “new” students? Design a puzzle room lesson! To teach lab safety, Sossaman Middle School Teacher Nancy Foote designed the fun, interactive lesson for her eighth-grade science students at the Higley Unified School District school in Queen Creek. “It’s interesting to see the kids’ reactions. The kids who tend to be introverted and don’t want to volunteer are getting very into it. The other kids are getting very into it,” she said.
Higley students fare better than GPS in AzMERIT scores
Nearly half of the students in Gilbert’s two public school systems aren’t adept at reading, writing and math, according to the latest AzMERIT test scores. While Higley Unified School District saw more students passing English Language Arts and math in 2018, Gilbert Public School District saw no improvement in students tested in English and fewer students passing math from the prior year, according to data from the Arizona Department of Education.
I have been playing for around five years now. I began playing because I would watch my sister play it and at every game. I would be at the edge of my seat and never want to see the game end. I then knew that I would want to be the person that creates that feeling for others
The Higley Unified School District still has spots available in its preschool program, which offer a plethora of programs for young children.
The makeup of most East Valley school boards will be changing next January after current members decided not to seek another term and newcomers threw their hat in the ring. Last Wednesday, Aug. 8, was the last day for candidates to file petitions to get on the Nov. 6 ballot, setting up election contests in virtually every district except Higley and Queen Creek, where just enough candidates filed for the number of board vacancies.
Williams Field's Steve Campbell returns to football roots planted by his dad at Norco
Steve Campbell is going home, but he said his trip next week to Norco, Calif., isn't about him, but Gilbert Williams Field and everybody he ever coached at the school since it began playing varsity games 10 years ago. On Aug. 17, when the season opens, it will mark the first time the Black Hawks have ever played a football game outside of Arizona. It's the mark of an established, elite program, to travel out of state for games. Two years ago, Campbell led Williams Field to its first state championship, taking down mighty Peoria Centennial in the final.
Higley seniors earned more than $31 million in scholarships
More than 900 Higley Unified School District students picked up their diplomas last week as Higley and Williams Field high schools hailed the Class of 2018.With total scholarship earnings of $16.3 million, 410 seniors from Higley High graduated while Williams Field High bid adieu to 415 grads, who earned $15.1 million in scholarship offers.
Higley holds off Queen Creek American Leadership for 5A boys volleyball crown
The noise never let up. The students never stopped standing. And Gilbert Higley's boys volleyball players never stopped believing.
After Queen Creek American Leadership twice fought back from one-set deficits, Higley, powered by middle blocker Dreyson Cattani, finally put it away in the fifth set to take its first 5A championship at an overflow Gilbert Mesquite gym on Friday night.
Red Mountain among four Arizona high schools creating new way to attract college football recruiters
Gilbert Williams Field coach Steve Campbell instantly fell in love with the idea when Mesa Red Mountain approached him about having his school be part of four programs in one location during one day in spring football.
Williams Field, Queen Creek and Queen Creek Casteel will be at Red Mountain on May 8 from 5 to 7 p.m., for a spring practice. The Arizona Interscholastic Association signed off on it, as long as the teams didn't practice against each other. They have to practice separately.
Arizona Prep Spotlight
(includes feature of Blackhawks’s Lacee Jenkins, as well as the boys basketball team)
This episode includes Best Moments, an interview with Black Hawk Lacee Jenkis and Basketball Round Up with the boy’s Black Hawk basketball team).
Students at Williams Field High School in Gilbert are in the midst of an important competition that takes place off the athletic fields. Each grade level at the school is trying to collect the most non-perishable food items to literally “Stuff the Bus” for the people in need who are served by Mesa-based United Food Bank. The winning class receives the honor of riding in a secondary bus to the food bank to help unload the Stuff the Bus donations and tour the warehouse.
This year’s drive runs goes through Nov. 20. Think about how much food can be packed into a traditional school bus. By the end of this year’s drive, the school expects to fill the bus from the floor to the ceiling, helping United Food Bank stock its warehouse shelves heading into the holidays. Through their previous drives, the school has collected a total of nearly 65,000 pounds (32.5 tons) of food that is equivalent to more than 55,300 meals.
“We are so honored to be part of this amazing cause. It’s a great opportunity for our family at Williams Field to give back to the community.” said Steve Tannenbaum, principal, Williams Field High School.”
Higley cruises past Seton Catholic, advances to 4A semifinals
Gilbert Higley cruised to the semifinals in the 4A state playoffs with a 65-19 win over Chandler Seton Catholic Prep that included 44 points scored by the Higley offense in the first quarter.
Higley and Seton Catholic met each other two weeks ago for a regular season finale that ended 50-0 in favor of Higley. So when both teams scored touchdowns on their opening offensive drives, including a 10-yard touchdown pass from Seton Catholic quarterback Vincent Wallace to Michael Van Bruwaene, it teased that Friday may be a surprising challenge for Higley in the quarterfinals.
Desperation can be a huge motivator – just ask any coach. It’s an even bigger motivator when you’re the defending 5A state champs and you’re at risk of not even making the playoffs. Fortunately for Gilbert Williams Field, they don’t have to worry about that any more.
Who knew Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels could sing? She and good-natured Gilbert Police Officer Paul Alaniz released a spoof of James Corden's wildly popular "Carpool Karaoke." Alaniz cruised Gilbert and jammed to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." Alaniz, a 13-year veteran of the police force, is a resource officer at Williams Field High School.
seniors Wyatt Woffinden and Katherine Nguyen, both 17, are part of an elite group of students in Arizona. The two join Higley High graduates Brooke Lindsey, AnaLisa Ortiz, Brian Ray and Abhiram Tadepalli as National AP Scholars
, the most ever for the Gilbert School.
Preschool students gain Spanish skills in dual language program
It’s the first year of the Spanish Dual Language Kinder Prep class at Sossaman Early Childhood Development Center
in Queen Creek, Ariz., which is part of the Higley Unified School District
. “The district opened the Spanish Kinder Prep program to help prepare children and give them a foundation for the Spanish Dual Language program at San Tan Elementary School,” Patti Gleason, Early Childhood Director said. Higley Unified also has a preschool Mandarin Exploration program at Cooley Early Childhood Development Center, along with an elementary Mandarin Dual Language program at Coronado Elementary School
, both in Gilbert.Yoga guru keeps high school football players healthy
It's 7:30 in the morning, and about 70 Queen Creek Casteel football players, their shoes off, are stretched out in a darkened wrestling room with soft music playing. They have yoga instructor Donna Chasan's full attention. "Let's get down in child pose," she says. "Keep your knees nice and wide. You've got tight hips. Try to get your forehead to touch the mat."The roughly 50-minute class has players feeling stretched, limber, at peace, as they come out and are better prepared to take on the day.
Bridges Makers Place connects students to creative thinking
At Bridges Elementary School in Gilbert, students have a place of their own to think, make, play, learn and create. It is called Makers Place.
In a room filled with materials for building, drawing, constructing, experimenting, and assembling, students can design and put those designs to the test. The room is open every morning for about 25 minutes.
It all starts with a challenge.Freshman uses summer to get a step ahead in future tech security career
Eyeing a future career path in technology, Higley High freshman Dane Shillingburg sought a summer opportunity in computer coding that led him to UCLA.
Shillingburg spent part of his vacation learning “different coding and programming languages. It was the fundamentals of it, but we were learning the programming for defending against hackers,” he said of his time at the iD Coding & Engineering Academy at UCLA.Skyhawks battle but fall to defending state champs
There are high expectations for the Deer Valley football team this season, but the first game on Deer Valley High School’s schedule was against the defending 5A state champions Gilbert Williams Field.
Deer Valley’s defense held the Black Hawks’ offense to 13 points, but the Skyhawks were unable to get into the end zone as the Skyhawks dropped their season opener 13-0 Aug. 25 at Deer Valley High School.Defenses stand out
Defending 5A champion Gilbert Williams Field has outscored its first two opponents 81-0, including a 13-0 win Friday at Glendale Deer Valley in a battle of the trenches. Williams Field's defense has been the early surprise of the season as the Black Hawks ran their win streak to 16 games. Coach Steve Campbell had to replace nine starters from last year's 14-0 team. He came into Friday's game without three offensive starters, then lost a key running back to another injury early in the second quarter.Higley's Draycen Hall receives Arizona offer after making preseason All-American team
If Gilbert Higley senior running back Draycen Hall wasn't thrilled enough Wednesday when he was the only Arizona high school player named to USA Today Sports' preseason All-American football team, it got better on Thursday afternoon.
Hall opened up a piece of mail from the University of Arizona, and it was an official scholarship offers.
It was his first from a major college.
Sossaman Student attended Camp O’Connor
Sossaman Middle School seventh-grader Caroline Simpson was one of only 48 students nationwide selected to attend the inaugural Camp O’Connor in Phoenix from June 5 to 9.
Created by the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to solving high-impact issues through civil discussion and civic action, the tuition-free camp helps seventh and eighth graders understand civics and develop leadership skills.
When Scottsdale Saguaro was on its way to a third consecutive football title last season, there was chatter about an open division and pitting the Sabercats against the likes of 6A champion Chandler.
Saguaro will likely be ranked atop 4A again this season. But it won't be a cakewalk. Not with what coach Eddy Zubey is building at Gilbert Higley.
Williams Field students motivate others to leadership
Two Gilbert students are motivating students toward leadership at their school.
Williams Field High School senior Alexa Lemke and junior Erin Alibrandi are transforming student leadership through clubs inspired by Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership’s effective and compassionate leadership vision.
HOBY is an international nonprofit that hosts annual leadership seminars for sophomores that school counselors select for their outstanding leadership potential.
Eighth-grader Penda Ba from Sossaman Middle School (Maricopa Region 6) outspelled 26 other competitors to win the 2017 Arizona State Spelling Bee March 25.
Penda correctly spelled the word “gigue” in the 29th round to win the bee, which was hosted by the Arizona Educational Foundation in Phoenix.
Penda, 13, attends Sossaman Middle School, 18655 Jacaranda Blvd. in Queen Creek. This was her first time competing in the state spelling bee.
School district adds gifted program for preschoolers
The Higley Unified School District (HUSD) is adding a new "gifted" preschool program.
"The program will be an opportunity for gifted children who are coming into pre-school with advanced academic qualities." said Kim Dobbs-Keran, gifted and talented education coordinator for HUSD.
The gifted students will be with like-minded peers so they can explore and discover new concepts and build relationships.
"Teachers will have the flexibility to follow the lead of the student and then wherever they're going, build on that opportunity," said Patti Gleason.
Here comes the bus: School bus app gives parents peace of mind
A new app could give lots of parents in the Higley Unified School District some peace of mind.
The new app, called "Here Comes The Bus", provides parents real-time bus locations and updates. The app was released last month, and it is free to use.
Higley Unified is the first district in the state to use the app. The app tells parents where a particular bus is, and when it is picking up kids. The school is also able to track its buses, using the app.
The Higley Unified School District is giving its students and their parents a way to track school buses in real time.
The Here Comes the Bus app works on computers, tablets and smartphones, and HUSD is the first district in the state to use it.
Students can use the app or their bus pass card to scan on and off of their buses. Each scan send an alert to their parents' cell phones, letting them know when they've been picked up, and when they've arrived.
Higley Unified School District offering preschool for 'highly gifted' toddlers
A new preschool with a 20-student class of 4- and 5-year-olds is set to open in the Higley Unified School District for the 2017-2018 school year, but it comes with a catch: You have to be really, really smart.
The admission requirement is an IQ of 130 or higher.
The Higley district is adding the "highly gifted" program to its existing specialized preschool lineup at the Sossaman Early Childhood Development Center in Queen Creek, which includes Spanish and Mandarin dual-language programs.
Higley High School Invites Students To Bring Laptops, Tablets To Class
Schools across the Valley are adding tablets and laptops to the classroom.
One Gilbert school hopes to speed up the process by allowing students to bring their own devices to class.
“I truly believe it will benefit across the board, whether you’re in an English class for the research aspect, whether you’re in science, we can do some virtual labs for the students,” said Nancy Diab Scott, principal at Higley High School.
As the state Legislature begins a new session, funding for all-day kindergarten appears to be unlikely as conservative Republicans raise questions about its value and the absence of standards.
“The research is strong that students who attend full-day as opposed to a half-day kindergarten program outperform their peers with their academic achievement and growth. Our students consistently perform at the top of the state, and we believe the full-day kindergarten experience is part of this success,” said Higley Assistant Superintendent Warren Shillingburg.
– America’s Big Band brought its show to Higley last weekend with a special performance that included members of the Higley High School music program.
The Jazz Ambassadors is the official touring big band of the United States Army.