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Ironwood graduate returns as paralympic gold medalist


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  • Erin Dunsey/Peoria Unified School District

Josh Sweeney

Josh Sweeney, a 2005 graduate of Ironwood High School, is planning to visit his old stomping grounds at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 28.

What the former U.S. Marine and Paralympic Gold Medalist does not know is that his former high school at 6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue in Glendale is planning an assembly to induct Sweeney into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Ironwood graduate returns as paralympic gold medalist JoshSweeneyCloseUpHP2

Josh Sweeney scored the only goal of the gold-medal game between Team USA and Russia at the Paralympics. Photo by Getty Images

Sgt. Sweeney was injured by an improvised explosive device in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan.

He recently traveled to Sochi, Russia to play ice hockey on Team USA in the Paralympic Games.

It was there that Sweeney scored the game-winning goal, capturing the gold medal for Team USA in a 1-0 win over Russia.

Sweeney was asked to stop by and visit his former high school campus this week.

The school planned the surprise assembly so that Sweeney may be recognized not only for his service, but for his outstanding athletic abilities, making him a local Olympic hockey hero.

Ironwood graduate returns as paralympic gold medalist JoshSweeneyAtIronwood

Ironwood High School honored Paralympic gold medalist Josh Sweeney during an assembly. Pictured here (from left to right) is Assistant Principal Caitlin Filleman, Assistant Principal Mark Borkowski, Principal Vance Setka and Assistant Principal Russ Dunham with Josh Sweeney in the front. Photo courtesy Peoria Unified School District

The Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional school.

With ongoing open enrollment and alternative educational opportunities, the district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate.

Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.

For more information, visit the district’s website at www.peoriaud.k12.az.us.