High school ‘Stuff the Bus’ for Mesa-based United Food BankStudents 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.
Higley High 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 leadershipTwo 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.Higley Unified School District offering preschool for 'highly gifted' toddlersA 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.