- Higley Unified School District
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Higley Unified School District hopes upping security will stop vaping on campus
It wasn't as much of a problem in the 2016-2017 school year. Higley Unified School District officials say there were a total of 21 tobacco violations at Higley High School that year, 15 at Williams Field High School.
East Valley players showcase skills at Under Armour Camp
Nearly 200 of the best football players from across Arizona and six other states flocked to Williams Field High School in Gilbert Sunday morning to showcase their skills as part of invite-only camp. The Under Armour All-America Camp Series made its first and only stop in the Valley on Feb. 23, inviting athletes from Arizona, Utah, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Nevada to partake in a day of position specific drills being filmed to send off to college coaches across the country. It was also an evaluation period for those involved with the Under Armour All-America Game that takes place every January.
COOLEY STUDENTS COMPETE IN STATE ROBOTICS COMPETITION
Cooley Middle School students spent months designing, building and coding robots as part of the school’s robotics team this year.
After several rounds of weekend competitions, two qualifying teams made it to the Arizona VEX IQ middle school championships.
HIGLEY HIGH, COOLEY MIDDLE STUDENTS EARN TOP HONORS AT INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE FAIR
Higley Unified School District students took top honors at the recent Arizona State University International Language Fair. More than 2500 students and teachers participated in the 22nd event. Activities included a scavenger hunt, dance demonstrations, dozens of mini lessons in more than 18 languages, language exhibits, entertainment, poster contests, and, of course, the competitions. Higley High students dominated the competition. The French team won first place in the play category. The Spanish team won first place for improv. The Mandarin team took two first place honors, both in the speech category.
Higley football player turned to friend to announce Signing Day decision
Of all of the National Signing Day moments across Arizona high schools on Wednesday, one stood out.
It happened at Gilbert Higley's gym, where a long row of athletes sat at tables to announce their colleges.
When it came to offensive lineman A.J. Laux, he turned to the guy in the glasses sitting next to him, best friend Tyler Huff.
Signing Day moments in Arizona high school football: The reveals, the surprises, the non-signs
At Gilbert Higley, tight end Alex Lines, not wearing anything that would indicate which college he was committed to, announced UNLV. After the ceremony for all of the athletes at the Higley gym ended, Lines quickly left the gym.
Bugg returns to Arizona roots for Cheez-It Bowl
This Friday, several Air Force players will make a homecoming when the Falcons meet Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl at Chase Field at 8:15 p.m., including one defensive star whose family opened its doors to welcome him home for Christmas. It’s a scene that’s played over a thousand times in the Bugg household. Father and son talking over yet the next big game.
Signing Day: East Valley football players who signed NLI
National Signing Day has arrived as several athletes from across the East Valley officially sign their National Letter of Intents to play their respective sport at the next level.
Local players return home for Cheez-It Bowl
College football bowl games have long been viewed as a reward for a program’s success throughout the season. A select few have more impact than others on a national stage, but each provide their own unique experience for the all players involved.
Sports360AZ All-Academic Fall Sports Teams
For eight years, Sport360AZ has been committed to acknowledging the best and brightest student athletes in Arizona. We are excited to introduce the Sports360AZ All-Academic Football Teams brought to you by Venezia’s Pizzeria, IBEW 640 and Arrow Awards to recognize excellence of student-athletes not only on the field but in the classroom as well.
Four-Star DE Jason Harris set to announce his college choice
Higley defensive lineman Jason Harris is just days away from making his college commitment at the Under Armour All-American Game. Harris is one of the nation’s top defensive end prospects and is currently rated the No. 185 prospect in the 247Sports Composite. He has always been a standout two-sport standout and is a highly rated basketball player as well but said the plan is to focus solely on football in college. Despite an announcement date set, Harris said he still hasn’t made a final decision yet.
Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Early signing day a moment of truth for Wildcats' struggling football program
College football teams will sign the majority of their Class of 2020 recruits Wednesday, and for Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin the moment of truth will be the decision made by UA legacy prospect Jason Harris of Gilbert’s Higley High School.
My Story: Oklahoma Signee Noah Nelson (WFHS)
Note from Sports360AZ CEO Brad Cesmat:Wednesday is College Football National Letter of Intent Day. We asked Williams Field offensive lineman Noah Nelson, who’s signing with Oklahoma, to share his high school experiences on and off the field, as well as why OU was the best fit for him to continue his academic and athletic career.
Gilbert educators emphasize prevention over discipline in fight against vaping
Local school district administrators are taking action against students’ increasing e-cigarette and vaping device usage—a trend that follows along national lines. Data from the districts indicates each experienced a large increase from the 2016-17 school year to 2017-18 in tobacco-related discipline referrals: 253% at Gilbert Public Schools; 322% at Higley USD; and 166% at Chandler USD. Numbers have slightly declined in the following years, but they remain far above the number of 2016-17 referrals.
Fall sports wrap: Gilbert schools claim hardware
The end of the fall sports season has officially arrived, as athletes from all Gilbert schools have already jumped into winter sports seasons. The beginning of yet another round of prep sports allows the time to reflect on what was a successful season for several teams.
Higley USD in black on special education student outplacement
Despite high costs to pay private day schools to educate some Higley USD special education students, the district comes out slightly in the black when balanced against funding from the state, district officials said. Higley USD Special Education Director Shauna Miller showed the figures to the governing board at a work-study session Jan. 29 after a brief board meeting. Those figures showed the district pays 10 schools $2.37 million to educate the students.
Salaries on all levels remain topic of concern in town school districts
Salaries on all job levels remain in the forefront of public school educational concerns in 2020. Teachers' salaries in particular continue to be scrutinized as Arizona enters the final year of Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposed “20 by ‘20” three-year program to raise teacher salaries 20% from 2016-17 levels. That program, which came after a 2018 teacher walkout during that year’s legislative session, was to give districts an additional 10% for salaries in 2018-19, 5% in 2019-20 and 5% in 2020-21, based on the state’s median salary for teachers from 2016-17.
Higley’s Eddy Zubey to coach in Under Armour All-America Game
Higley High School head football coach Eddy Zubey has committed to be an assistant coach in the Under Armour All-America Game. Established in 2008, the Under Armour All-America Game has been one of the premier All-Star games for some of the most talented players in the country, several of which went on to play in the NFL.
5A football final coaches Max Ragsdale, Steve Campbell share bond that dates back to ASU
Arizona high school football championships media day - 2019. The AIA High School Championships Media Day was held at Dave & Buster's at the Tempe Marketplace, Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Williams Field High School coach Steve Campbell addresses the gathering.
Higley USD board hears update on high schools’ late start Wednesdays
Higley USD’s high schools plan to gather more feedback and refine the district’s pilot program for late start Wednesdays that create some professional development for faculty, officials told the governing board Dec. 4. The late starts move the first hour back from a 7:25 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. The time has been used for beginning-of-the-year mandatory trainings; staff meetings that include team building, celebrations and a review of upcoming events; site-specific development topics; professional learning community time with department and instructional coaches; timely data conversations and common assessments; and ongoing collaborative curriculum work.
Williams Field shuts out Campo Verde to win 5A state championship
For the Williams Field Black Hawks, Saturday's 5A state championship game was not just a chance at a state title, it was a chance at redeeming themselves. Just last season, the Black Hawks failed to reach the state title game in a close loss to Notre Dame Prep in the 5A semifinals. On Saturday, the Black Hawks routed the Campo Verde Coyotes 19-0 at Sun Devil Stadium to win their first state title since 2016.
Higley’s Jason Harris receives All-America jersey
It’s one of the premier high school football showcases in the country, where some of the nation’s most highly recruited players come together to form All-Star teams and battle one last time on the gridiron. Entering its 13th year, the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game has long been known to feature some of the top names in football.
Unified Sports helps strengthen student relationships
Higley Unified School District is looking to change the culture on its campuses to create a more inclusive environment. Through its Unified Sports program, members of the general student body are able to bond with special needs students over athletics. Those bonds get carried over outside of the class, and it helps to create a more welcoming and friendly environment on campus. For Ryan Clark, being an athlete on the Unified Sports team at Higley High School is about more than just physical activities.
Williams Field’s big three give Blackhawks edge up front
For Williams Field offensive tackle and Oklahoma commit Noah Nelson, this week’s film review on upcoming opponent Campo Verde brought back some bad memories. “We were giving Noah a hard time, I said ‘Noah this might be the worst game you played in your whole career’ and he was like ‘Coach it was’,” Williams Field head coach Steve Campbell said. “He played bad. “Mason (Bugg) was giving him a hard time like, ‘Wow look at that hit you gave up on the quarterback’ and I’ll tell him ‘Mason, you haven’t been hit like that at all’ and he says ‘No, because I have this year’s Noah, not last year’s Noah.’”
Early results show Higley school district budget override, ability to modify bonds projects passing
Two items before voters in the Higley Unified School District were approved in the Nov. 5 mail-only ballot, according to unofficial early results posted by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. The district had two questions: asking voters to modify the purpose or list of capital projects authorized by previous voter-approved bond authorization and authorizing the district to continue a maintenance and operations 15% budget override.
Conference playoffs breakdown: East Valley teams in the postseason
The final rankings released Saturday by the Arizona Interscholastic Association revealed two East Valley teams leading the way in their respective conferences.
Rocks, minerals, crystals take center stage in Higley KinderPrep class
KinderPrep students in Lisa Sharr’s Sossaman Early Childhood Development Center in Queen Creek took a recent geology lesson to the next level. Students were able to observe, experiment, sort, classify and think like a geologist thanks to the creative lesson Ms. Sharr designed, according to a release.
Students at Williams Field kicked off the annual “Stuff the Bus” food drive campaign October 21.
This has been the ninth year of Stuff the Bus, a project in which students at Williams Field collect enough canned food and nonperishable food items over the course of one month to “stuff a bus.” Items are donated to the United Food Bank in Mesa. The first big event will be “Trunk or Treat” on Wednesday, October 30. There will also be a big collection day at Basha’s on Higley and Elliot on Saturday, November 2 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Higley program helps middle school students transition
New faces and new places. Starting a new school is never easy, but Cooley and Sossaman middle schools in Higley Unified School District launched a program this year to ease the transition. Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) is a program that allows incoming middle school students to receive guidance and mentorship from older middle school students.
Unified Sports game in Higley all about bonding
Unified Sports – which allows students with unique learning styles and general education students to form a bond and play competitive sports together – will be in the spotlight in Higley Unified School District this week. In the biggest game of the year for both teams, Higley High will face Williams Field in flag football at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Higley High School, 4068 E. Pecos Road.
Higley students named National AP Scholars
Three Higley Unified School District graduates received national recognition this year for outstanding performance on the Advanced Placement exams in the spring. Higley High School Class of 2019 graduates Caleb Gooch and Connor Holmes, received the honor, along with Williams Field High School Class of 2019 graduate Jennifer Newcomb.
Centennial parents, students work on STEM
Sparked by an idea to provide students with a new way to process problems, Centennial Elementary School launched a campus-wide literature-based STEM program using parent volunteers, simple materials and a lot of creativity. The Future Engineer idea was developed in a partnership between the Centennial PTO and fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Ignacio. Ignacio created five unique engineering challenges based on stories for each grade level to conduct throughout the year.
Williams Field students ready to ‘Stuff the Bus’
For Williams Field High School students, the time to “Stuff the Bus” is drawing near. Students will kick off their ninth annual food drive campaign Oct. 21.They’ve already scheduled several special collection days to gather canned and other nonperishable food items over the course of a month for United Food Bank in Mesa.
Higley Unified School District is looking to change the culture on its campuses to create a more inclusive environment.
Through its Unified Sports program, members of the general student body are able to bond with special needs students over athletics. Those bonds get carried over outside of the class, and it helps to create a more welcoming and friendly environment on campus. For Ryan Clark, being an athlete on the Unified Sports team at Higley High School is about more than just physical activities. As a special needs student, it provides him the opportunity to bond with other students on campus through the inclusive environment created by the program and a chance to be involved in school activities that he otherwise might not be able to participate in.
Standout Arizona DE Jason Harris discusses trip to Aggieland
Higley defensive end Jason Harris entered his official visit weekend to Texas A&M ready to experience the environment. He wanted to take in the sights and the sounds, and he wanted to see what Aggieland was all about. He was joined on the trip by his mom, dad and sister, and he was hosted on his visit by defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal. After returning home from his visit, the impression the Aggies left has been lasting.
Register by Oct. 7 to vote in your school district’s election
It’s election time, when voters such as you and me receive, mark and mail-in our ballots for school-district questions. Voters in the Queen Creek and Higley unified school district boundaries will decide next month if they can continue maintenance and operations 15% budget overrides. HUSD is also asking to modify a list of previously approved capital projects.Voters will get say on districts’ financial requests
The three school districts that serve Gilbert residents are each bringing financial questions to voters this fall. Mail-in elections start Oct. 9, with Nov. 5 as the last day to hand in ballots. Each district is bringing something a little different to voters.
2021 QB Kai Millner has several offers inHigley 2021 quarterback Kai Millner continues to find his footing as the starting quarterback and filling in big shoes. Taking over for Spencer Brasch, who is now at Cal, Millner is finding his groove with the Knights.
Opinion: Ask the editor: Why do schools hold bond elections?
From Oct. 9-Nov. 5, voters will consider bond proposals for Gilbert Public Schools and Chandler USD and a bond reallocation for Higley USD. The Gilbert and Chandler bonds are designed to address the strain placed on the districts by fast-paced growth in the area or provide improvements for existing facilities and equipment
Gilbert organizations celebrate their best at Community Excellence Awards
More than 20 people were recognized Sept. 24 for their efforts with town organizations in the past year at the Gilbert Community Excellence Awards. The awards came from the town, the Gilbert and Higley school districts, participating charter schools, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and Community Impact Newspaper. Arizona Public Service sponsored the event.
Higley USD governing board approves annual financial report
The Higley USD governing board accepted the district’s annual financial report, which officials presented at the board’s Sept. 25 meeting. HUSD Chief Financial Officer Gary Holland told the board the district spent nearly $126.79 million during fiscal year 2018-19. The majority of spending was the more than $73.13 million spent for maintenance and operations, the funds that pay for items like salaries and utilities. Actual unrestricted capital spending—which pays for items like books, furniture and equipment—was reported at more than $9.2 million. The largest single expense in this category was $4.19 million for lease payments on district middle schools.HIGLEY MIDDLE SCHOOLS ADOPT “WHERE EVERYBODY BELONGS” PROGRAM
New faces and new places. Starting a new school is never easy, but Cooley and Sossaman Middle Schools in Higley Unified School District launched a program this year to ease the transition. Where Everybody Belongs (WEB) is a program that allows incoming middle school students to receive guidance and mentorship from older middle school students. WEB is the middle school version of Link Crew, which is offered at both Higley and Williams Field High Schools in the Higley Unified School District. Link Crew members provide mentorship and consultation to incoming freshmen students through regular meetings and events.
Higley football ready to turn corner with transfers eligible
Higley High School football coach Eddy Zubey has established a strong family culture within his football program during his nine-year tenure.As more players have bought into that culture every year, it’s resulted in wins. Zubey has led the Knights to the playoffs each year since 2013, including back-to-back appearances in the 4A semifinals in 2016-17 before the Knights moved up to 5A in 2018.Higley football’s Marcus Edwards meets Packers QB Aaron Rodgers through Make-A-Wish
While fighting through two surgeries and two strokes last year, Gilbert Higley football's Marcus Edwards received a signed football from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, his idol. Edwards, now a senior, traveled to Green Bay this weekend to get to meet Rodgers, his wish granted through the Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Four-star DE Jason Harris setting up official visits
Higley defensive end Jason Harris (6-7, 220), is focused in and and settled on his top six. Right now, I have my top six of Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, Arizona, Texas A&M and Arizona State," said Harris. "I'm pretty much focused on those six but I'm keeping my options open. But I really like those six."
Arizona’s Higley High Stuns Rainier Beach, 57-30
Friday night the jewel of South Seattle, The Rainier Beach Vikings (1-0) took on the Higley High Knights (1-1) of Gilbert, Arizona in a non -conference matchup. From the opening whistle, the Knights imposed their will on the Vikings utilizing a spread attack, and creating gapping lanes for senior running back Isaiah Eastman, who looked like a man amongst boys, to run through. Eastman led all rushers with 147 yards on 17 carries, and 8 receptions for 87 yards.
U.S. Air Force Airman Dezmen Moore graduates from basic military training
U.S. Air Force Airman Dezmen R. Moore graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Regan E. Tillar and Donald R. Moore of Gilbert and a 2019 graduate of Higley High School. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Football preview: Campo Verde enters season with underdog mentality
Every year, the senior class in Campo Verde High School’s football program hears different narratives for how their season will pan out. At times the Coyotes are viewed as contenders in the 5A San Tan Valley Region.
Cardinals surprise special Gilbert boys
Two Phoenix-area boys who love football got the surprise of a lifetime thanks to the Arizona Cardinals.
Higley High School football player Marcus Edwards and 10-year-old Nico Pulido have both battled with brain tumors.
Cade Cote ready to start at center for ASU football
For Cade Cote, playing time has been a long time coming. The 6-foot-3, 296-pound lineman came to Arizona State from Williams Field High School, but has seen action in only a handful of games in a backup capacityArizona high school football: Previewing regions 5A San Tan, 5A Northwest 5A San Tan Region
The teams: Gilbert Campo Verde, Queen Creek Casteel, Gilbert, Gilbert Higley, Maricopa, Gilbert Williams Field. The favorite: Williams Field. It has the biggest and potentially the best offensive line in Arizona with 6-8, 300-pound Andrew Garcia, 6-5, 300-pound Cooper Darling and 6-8, 305-pound Noah Nelson. The challenger: Higley. Great new synthetic turf has these speedy Knights on fast track to get to the Open Division. The sleeper: Casteel. It lost several players in transfer moves, but there is a lot of talent, especially along the defensive line that hardly makes it a rebuilding season. The star: Higley senior defensive end Jason Harris. Long and strong and ready to chase down quarterbacks. The date: Nov. 1, Williams Field plays at rival Higley for what could be for region title an Open Division spot.
Confidence, experience built into Williams Field offensive line
Williams Field High School football coach Steve Campbell admits there is some good and bad in regards to his offensive line heading into the 2019 season. The bad has to do with age. All five starters are seniors, meaning Campbell will have to find an entirely new group in 2020.
Higley USD approves new hiring schedule for classified employees
The Higley USD governing board unanimously approved a new hiring schedule for fiscal year 2019-20 at its Aug. 7 meeting. The hiring schedule was adapted to comply with Arizona Proposition 206, which will raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2020.Higley QB competition heats up on cool turf football field
Gilbert Higley football coach Eddy Zubey won't really know how much faster his players are until he sees them in action in the first game on the new surface. "The first time we break one down the sideline, we'll know," he said But with temperatures closing in on 110 degrees, he knows one thing. The new synthetic surface installed in the Higley Knights' stadium is cooler on the feet. A YouTube video shows off the field, the ingredients used, and how much cooler it is, as long as it is watered down the players begin practices in this summer heat. On a 108-degree day the field temperature was 97 degrees. A neighboring school with chrome rubber showed the field temperature at 150 degrees. The Higley district financed the project completed by Hellas. The Matrix turf has Geo Plus infill that consists of rice husk, coconut fibers, and cork. It requires a one-fifth of the water a grass field would require.
Higley football player Edwards fighting back after brain surgeries, strokes
In the last 18 months, Marcus Edwards has undergone two brain surgeries and suffered two strokes. At his most recent doctor's visit, he was told he wouldn't be able to play contact sports. Now a senior, that news doesn't dampen Edwards' spirit or keep him from making an impact on Gilbert Higley's football team.
He never misses a practice, shagging balls, offering encouragement and making suggestions to the defensive backs he helps coach. "My doctor said I won't be able to play again," Edwards said. "But at least being on the sideline, watching my team, that is important to me."
U.S. Air Force Airman Jack A. Fuchs graduates basic military training
U.S. Air Force Airman Jack A. Fuchs recently graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The son of Keith Fuchs of San Tan Valley and Cherylann Galdi of Gilbert, he is a 2018 graduate of Higley High School, according to a press release.
Arizona’s Higley High School is dealing with the heat thanks in part to Hellas Construction installing the first ever Geo PlusTM Organic Infill in the Grand Canyon State. The organic coconut and cork fibers reduce field temperatures by up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This premium infill retains moisture aiding in cooling the surface temperature similar to how human sweat cools the skin. The organic material is 100% recyclable, containing no industrial or artificial components.Higley High senior honored
A Higley High School senior has been selected for membership in the National Society of High School Scholars. Spencer Funkhouser, 17, said he was nominated by a teacher. “For me it offers scholarship opportunities to go to college,” said the Gilbert teen, who is looking to go to College of the Ozarks in Missouri to study accounting.
Top Colorado target Jason Harris releases his top six on Twitter
Two sport star Jason Harris revealed his top six on social media Sunday. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Texas A&M and UCLA are the colleges standing out to the four-star prospect from Gilbert (Ariz.) Higley.
Higley grad brings young age, experience to Cactus football
Mason Crossland could not stay away from the high school football field for long. The recent Higley graduate, who threw for 40 touchdowns and over 3,000 yards his senior year, recorded his last high school win on November 10, 2016, against west-side rival Cactus High School, and graduated in 2017.
Higley official in running for big award
Higley's own Jill Wilson is nominated for the LifeChanger of the Year award! Check out the great article by the local newspaper.Queen Creek teacher to go on weightless flight
Queen Creek 8th grade physics teacher Nancy Foote has won a trip in a weightless flight lab offered by Zero Gravity Corporation. On her flight, the Sossaman Middle School Teacher will test the impact of microgravity on common physics tools. We talk to Foote about her trip.Carson Abril and Zhiyuan Ren represented the Higley boys tennis program in the division II doubles tournament. The pair advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Harry Corrozza and Ryan Hildebrand from Cactus Shadows. On the track, Laci Simmons placed fourth in the girls division II 800-meter run at the state track and field meet. Emily Kahler placed fifth in pole vault. Williams Field junior Roy Vasquez represented the Black Hawks in the state track and field meet by placing second overall in the boys division II pole vault. On the girls side, Belle Huber also placed second in pole vault. Williams Field’s baseball program entered the state tournament as the 11-seed, but fell to Millennium in the first round.
Gilbert schools give students job opportunities
From freshman orientation, Parker Ferguson took an interest in the offerings of the agriscience and engineering class at Highland High School. Three years later, the 17-year-old junior has stuck with it, learned to weld, earned two internships and sold pieces he made at the school and at the county fair.“I like the freedom and that I get to work with my hands,”
WILLIAMS FIELD STUDENT COUNCIL EARNS NATIONAL HONOR
Williams Field High School’s Student Council earned the National Gold Council of Excellence honor this year from the National Student Councilorganization. This marks the second year in a row the school received the honor. The Black Hawks are one of only two schools in Arizona to receive the distinction this year.
SOSSAMAN’S NANCY FOOTE WINS ZERO GRAVITY CORP’S NATIONAL SCIENCE COMPETITION
When Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) announced their nationwide Mission: Microgravity competition for educators, one Arizona teacher dared to go where few have gone before. With a little ingenuity and assistance from her eighth-grade students, Sossaman Middle School’s Conceptual Physics teacher, Nancy Foote, was awarded the winner’s title and will be testing a variety of experiments on an upcoming weightless flight.
OT commitment Noah Nelson is latest example of Oklahoma’s recruiting forays into Arizona
Three-star offensive tackle Noah Nelson committed to Oklahoma last week, continuing a recent trend of the Sooners tapping into Arizona for recruiting purposes. Nelson (6 feet 8, 295 pounds), from Gilbert (Ariz.) Williams Field, in the Phoenix suburbs, also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Michigan, USC and Washington, among others. He visited OU earlier this month, and decided that between the campus, the Sooners’ overall history of success and the specific offensive line success recently under position coach Bill Bedenbaugh, Oklahoma was the place for him. Other recent Arizona natives recruited by OU are Mark Andrews, a 2017 first-team All-America tight end from Scottsdale Desert Mountain, and quarterback Spencer Rattler from Phoenix Pinnacle. Rattler, the No. 1-ranked quarterback nationally in the 2019 recruiting class, is scheduled to arrive at OU this summer.
OU football: Sooners pick up 2020 pledge from Arizona offensive lineman Noah Nelson
Noah Nelson, an offensive tackle from Gilbert (Arizona) Williams Field High School, announced his pledge to join Oklahoma’s 2020 recruiting class on Monday night. Nelson (6-7, 290 pounds), considered a four-star prospect by Rivals, held multiple scholarship offers from schools like Oklahoma State, Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Washington.
U.S. News & World Report names Higley, Williams Field to 2019 Best Schools list
Both Higley Unified School District high schools — Higley and Williams Field — are in the top 100 of the 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools list for Arizona.Each year, U.S. News examines more than 23,000 public high schools in the U.S. and District of Columbia, ranking those based on a number of factors. This marks the fifth year in a row the two Gilbert schools have been named to the list, according to a press release.
Recruiting storm blows through Valley with breakthrough Power 5 football offers
It has been breakthrough week for several Valley high school football players. From Goodyear Desert Edge freshman quarterback Adryan Lara picking up an Iowa State offer on Wednesday to Gilbert Williams Field junior offensive lineman Cooper Darling pulling in an Arizona State offer, players suddenly saw their recruiting shift into overdrive with their first Power 5 football scholarship offers.Iowa State offered another quarterback in the Valley, from the 2021 class, with Glendale Ironwood dual threat Will Haskell, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, picking up his second offer. His first offer came from Duke two weeks ago.
Williams Field senior named U.S. Presidential Scholar
Williams Field High School senior Ruth Nyagaka is a future University of California-Berkeley student, a National Geographic Expedition alumni and a QuestBridge National College match finalist. She can now add U.S. Presidential Scholar to the list.Williams Field High School collects $25K for Make A Wish
Students from Williams Field High School rallied to collect more than $25,000 for Make A Wish Arizona to grant a wish to a Gilbert student during the school’s second annual Wish Week. It is the most amount raised by a school this year and donations are still coming forth, according to a press release.“I am so proud of our campus, our community and everyone for their focus to give back and take care of others,” Principal Steve Tannenbaum said in a prepared statement. “Our students stepped up to the challenge.”HIGLEY’S WILLIAMS FIELD HIGH SCHOOL COLLECTS $25K FOR MAKE A WISH
Students from Williams Field High School rallied to collect more than $25,000 for Make A Wish Arizona to grant a wish to a Gilbert student during the school’s second annual Wish Week.It is the most amount raised by a school this year and donations are still coming forth.
Gilbert school districts weigh capital expenses
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the print edition to reflect action taken by the Higley USD governing board March 27. Repairs and replacements continue at public schools throughout Gilbert, utilizing bonds approved by voters in previous years. The bonds have allowed the districts to keep the schools operational, provide needed updates and upgrade areas such as security, district officials said. Universally, they credit voters with helping them through lean years and legislative cuts. However, the bond money is running short at Gilbert Public Schools, Higley USD and Chandler USD, and each district has areas of concern that officials say need addressing. All three districts are considering going before voters within the next two years for another set of bonds or an override of their capital budgets or to reapportion their current bonds.
Overall, Gilbert’s school spending gets good grades
When it comes to efficient use of public dollars, Gilbert’s two high-performing school districts got dinged by the state Auditor General – one for its administration costs and the other for transportation expenses.Overall, classroom spending in Arizona has increased for the second year in a row to 54 cents of every dollar in the past school year but remains lower than the highest level spent for instruction since monitoring began in 2001, according to the Auditor General’s annual report on school spending.ARIZONA DEPT. OF EDUCATION HONORS 31 SCHOOLS FOR HIGH QUALITY CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Thirty-one Arizona public schools are being recognized as 2017-18 Arizona Civic Engagement schools by the Arizona Department of Education’s Excellence in Civic Engagement Program. Now in its sixth year, Education’s Excellence in Civic Engagement Program recognizes and supports the important role schools play in ensuring that students are informed and engaged citizens. “I am immensely proud of these schools, teachers and especially the students for their outstanding achievement in the subject area of civics,” said Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Understanding one’s civic rights, roles and responsibilities is a critical component to becoming an informed and involved member of society.”App Connects Arizona Parents with Real-time Bus Notifications
Higley Unified School District in Arizona leverages technology to deliver a smarter school bus experience, with instantaneous tracking of bus location and student ridership. Imagine being able to create a scorecard system in which every bus driver was rated on their safe driving, punctuality and other variables that are essential to their success. And imagine knowing when a driver is faithfully fulfilling their responsibilities and not rushing through a pre-trip checklist that is critical to their job. Or what it means to adopt a flexible fleet tracking system that is powerful enough to deliver the information you need and nimble enough to grow with your district.
Higley looks to build on promising 2018 season
Off in a distance you can hear positive words and maximum effort from the softball field as Higley prepares for another season.Last year was like no other for the Knights, who finished tied for the most wins in school history since 2011.Sydney Wesley is hoping for a bigger finish in 2019
Sydney Wesley was awarded the Desert Sky Player of the Year last season. But the Higley star said it is not about her but her team. “It was a big moment for me,” said Wesley, who hit .561 with a .608 on base percentage and a total of 44 RBIs. “I was excited to be recognized not only by my coaches but all of the coaches.”Higley High senior Korben Pierce learned this week he is one of only 150 students nationwide selected to attend the 2019 Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy program. Pierce, an AFJROTC cadet, will receive a full scholarship to attend an accredited aviation university and participate in a private pilot license training program. More than 1,560 cadets applied for one of the 150 scholarships. There are more than 120,000 high school students enrolled in Air Force Junior ROTC at almost 900 high schools in the U.S and overseas.Higley High School is one of just 31 schools recognized in Arizona this year with a 2017-18 Civic Engagement award, receiving a “merit of excellence” award.
“It’s a schoolwide systematic approach to civic engagement in all aspects of the school function. It’s how we incorporate civics in all that we do,” Assistant Principal James Walker said in a prepared statement.
Higley senior wins full scholarship for flight academy program
Higley High School senior Korben Pierce recently learned he is one of only 150 students nationwide selected to attend the 2019 AFJROTC Flight Academy program. Mr. Pierce, an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, will receive a full scholarship to attend an accredited aviation university participating in a private pilot license training program, according to a press release.It was a surprise Marcus and Isaac MacDonald didn’t see coming.With Gilbert High’s boys basketball team leading Higley 42-30 late in the fourth quarter, Knights coach Jerome Joseph called timeout and walked over to Tigers coach Jay Caserio.“I had talked to coach (Caserio) earlier and he had told me what was going on,” Joseph said. “Obviously, when I saw the game was out of hand and there was an opportunity I wanted to give them that.”
Williams Field DB Noa Pola-Gates announces commitment to Nebraska Cornhuskers
Gilbert Williams Field senior defensive back Noa Pola-Gates announced during the first quarter of Saturday's late Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii that he will be attending Nebraska to play college football. He will join Gilbert Higley defensive lineman Ty Robinson and Chandler Hamilton defensive back Javin Wright, who both signed with the Cornhuskers on the Dec. 19 Early Signing Day.Williams Field safety Jadon Pearson honors late father with Air Force Academy commitment
There is a reason why Gilbert Williams Field senior safety Jadon Pearson wears No. 39 on the football field. His father Steven was 39 when he died in 2008.
It's primarily because of his dad that Pearson has chosen the Air Force Academy to play college football. Pearson, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound two-star prospect (247 composite) announced his commitment this week. His father, Steven Pearson, served in the Air Force and instilled the importance of hard work in his son at an early age.
TRILOGY RESIDENTS GATHER GIFTS FOR HIGLEY FAMILIES
A new doll. A new game. Some new clothes. This holiday season, 140 children from families in the Higley Unified School District received special surprises thanks to the love and care of Trilogy residents. It’s the result of a relationship formed years ago between Gilbert’s two school districts – Gilbert and Higley – and the desire of Trilogy residents to give back to the community.
BRIDGES PTO BRINGS VIRTUAL REALITY GLASSES TO CAMPUS
Students at Bridges Elementary School, a Higley Unified School District campus in Gilbert, can now “travel” around the globe, “see” inside the human body and create models of their own thanks to virtual reality glasses on campus. The addition of this new technology opens new windows of knowledge for students at the project-based learning campus. Todd Berg, assistant principal, said parent teacher organization purchased the order of 32 glasses. He is excited to see how the new tools will enhance classroom lessons.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.