Higley Happenings April
Higley High Students Selected as a National Merit Scholars
Higley High School’s Lindsey Giles and Taryn Trigler were named 2020 National Merit Scholars, an honor awarded to less than one percent of high school students nationwide. Both students are enrolled in a number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Trigler received a perfect score on the ACT and plans to study biomedical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also a Presidential Scholar semifinalist. Giles plays volleyball and is a member of Higley’s student council. She plans to pursue a career as a physical therapist.
Williams Field High School Student Council Earns National Honor
National Student Council named Williams Field High School’s Student Council as a 2020 National Gold Council of Excellence this week. The award is given to schools that demonstrate “the highest standards of quality” in operation, projects and activities. “NatStuCo Gold Councils of Excellence are the models of quality for which other student councils should strive to become,” the organization stated in a press release.
Williams Field High School earned this honor four years in a row. Williams Field is one of two high schools in the Higley Unified School District.
Higley Kids Club employee earns top state honor
Parker Hicks, an activity assistant in the Higley Unified School District, was named the Arizona Community Education Association (AZCEA) Program Line leader of the Year. Hill, who started with the district in May 2019, works with the before- and after-school Kids Care program at Higley’s Sossaman Early Childhood Development Center.
“Parker Hicks is a dedicated, loyal, hardworking staff,” said Emily Hill, who supervises Hicks as the preschool’s Kids Club program leader. “He goes above and beyond every day, coming up with creative crafts, science experiments, and group games. He is extremely flexible and always ready to change things up if needed.”
Hill nominated Hicks for the award.
“He is a one-of-a-kind staff who always incorporates fun into everything he does. He loves the kids and takes the time to get to know every one of them. The kids adore him and always look forward to getting to play with him. This award could not go to a better person.”
Hicks enjoys his job with Higley’s Community Education Department.
“I love working with kids because not only is it fun, but there is something special about making that special connection with a kid, whether it’s one kid or all of your kids,” Hicks said.
His favorite activity, he said, is reading stories to the children, specifically “The Book with No Pictures,” by BJ Novak.
“If you don’t know already, ‘The Book with No Pictures’ is a book that practically has you make a fool out of yourself by shouting nonsense words and phrases and other things among that realm. That book was the tool that I used to break out of my shell at Kids Club and ultimately that book is the reason a lot of my kids opened up to me, as well.
Hicks said interacting with the students in a number of ways builds engagement, which makes his job even better.
“Once you build that relationship with your kids then coming to work and interacting with them becomes all the more engaging and it gets to a point where you don’t really even feel like you’re working anymore.”
Bridges Elementary Teacher Awarded Intel Grant
Bridges Elementary teacher Shauna Hamman is one of 44 teachers who will receive a STEAM education grant from Intel this year. The program was set up to celebrate the technology giant’s recipient of 40th anniversary in Arizona.
The company partnered with the Arizona Educational Foundation to support Arizona teachers with 40 grants. The response was overwhelming, with more than 400 teachers submitting applications to help teachers put a focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM), according to the press release.
Hamman, a 15-year education veteran, is a fifth-grade teacher at Bridges, part of the Higley Unified School District.
She plans to use her grant toward a project called, “Sustainable STEAM Challenges.” She will purchase materials needed for students at Bridges to create model structures, machines and prototypes of inventions the school’s Maker’s Place.
“We will also purchase digital cameras so that they can record their progress as they work through steps of the engineering design process,” she wrote.
“Mrs. Hamman’s dedication to providing authentic, STEAM-related learning opportunities for our students is truly noteworthy. Shauna’s receipt of this award is yet another example of how she continually sets the bar high for catalyzing 21st Century learning in her classroom,” Principal Jeff Beickel said. “We are so excited for our students to get to experience the benefits of the Intel grant!”
Williams Field senior turns passion into scholarship
Megan Bulson senior earned one of six scholarships granted this year by Winter Guard Arizona (WGAZ). The honor is bestowed to students who stand out in “academic, artistic, and personal achievements.” Bulson first joined color guard in middle school.
In addition to being a member of the Black Hawk Regiment, Megan is a volunteer color guard coach at Higley Unified School District’s Gateway Pointe Elementary School, a feeder school into Williams Field. She also is treasure of her high school’s Best Buddies program. Williams Field is one of two high schools in the Higley Unified School District.
Megan plans to pursue a career in nursing following studies at Arizona State University.
The scholarship opportunity is open to high school seniors or college students. The WGAZ Scholarship Committee application includes an essay and video. This year, a total of $4,500 was awarded to color guard and drumline members who received the highest scores from the committee.
Higley, Williams Field named to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 ‘Best High Schools in America’ List
For the sixth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report named both Higley and Williams Field High Schools to its ‘Best High Schools in America’ list. The 2020 honor is based on the 2017-2018 school year’s data, including the number of students who take AP classes and exams. More than 23,000 public high schools were examined nationwide, with 17,000 receiving accolades. Both schools received a “gold medal” for their academic performance. There are 554 public high schools in Arizona. Higley was ranked No. 37. Williams Field was ranked No. 46.