Higley district students earn
Students from Higley High and Williams Field
High earned recognition recently for their
achievement on the spring 2015 AP exams.
Higley High 2015 graduates Megan Newcomb,
Michael Niu and Levi Pike, along with Higley
High senior Kyle Twitchell, achieved National
AP Scholar recognition for their test scores.
The College Board, which oversees the
Advanced Placement Program, grants National
AP Scholar status to students who receive an
average score of at least 4 (out of 5) on all AP
Exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight
or more of the exams.
In additional to national honors, 120 district
high school students earned AP Scholar status:
• 43 Higley High School students were named
• 12 Higley High School students were named
AP Scholars with Honor;
• 13 Higley High School students were named
AP Scholars with Distinction;
• 41 Williams Field High School students were
named AP Scholars;
• 7 Williams Field High School students were
named AP Scholars with Honor;
• 4 Williams Field High School students were
named AP Scholars with Distinction.
Last year, the district had three National AP
Scholars and 95 students earn AP Scholar
Students receive those honors when they
score an average of at least 3.25 on all AP
exams taken and take multiple exams.
Higley and Williams Field High Schools offer a
number of AP courses, including Human Geography,
English Language, Psychology, Physics,
Calculus, Biology and more.
The classes are rigorous with students
expected to spend extra time doing homework
and preparing for the exams.
Some colleges and universities award college
credit when students achieve a specific score
on AP exams, while others use the scores for
November Override Election
The Higley Unified Governing Board placed a
15 percent maintenance and operations budget
override election to be held on Nov. 3, 2015. If
approved, the maintenance and operations
override would allow the district to increase its
budget by 15 percent of the state’s Revenue
This is an all-mail ballot. Every registered voter
in the Higley Unified School District will receive
a ballot through the U.S. Post Service. Ballots
must be mailed no later than Oct. 30 in order to
meet the Nov. 3 deadline. Information can be
found at www.husd.org/override.
Director of Transportation
Awards and Accolades
Recently, there have been a number of awards
and accolades for students and staff. Here are
just a few:
• Higley High School senior Kyle Twitchell was
selected as a 2015 National Merit Scholar
• Higley Unified School District Director of
Transportation, Josh Crosby, was recognized
this summer as the 2015 Student Transportation
Professional of the Year by the Transportation
Administrators of Arizona.
• Higley High senior Nicholas Stull was
selected as one of only two students to represent
Arizona this year at Boys Nation.
We Appreciate Your Tax
Barbara’s group also organizes a gift drive
during the holiday season for Higley students in
Arizona State Law allows you to receive a tax
credit of up to $200 ($400 if marked filing
jointly), when you make a donation to our
schools. Your donation will be designated to
the school or program of your choice to provide
extracurricular activities such as field trips,
athletics, the arts, after school tutoring, intramural
activities and more. All individual taxpayers
qualify to donate. The new deadline is April
15. Information can be found at
Business Partner Breakfast
The Higley Unified School District held the first
Business Partner Breakfast of the year on Aug.
27. More than 60 companies from around
Gilbert and the East Valley took part in the
event to learn more about the district and
network with each other. We appreciate those
who attended the event and thank them for
Barbara Jester, a resident of the Trilogy community
in Power Ranch, helps lead the Creative
Designers at Trilogy.
“We craft for charity and give our proceeds to
area school districts,” Barbara once said about
The Creative Designers spend months making
designs to sell at a November holiday boutique
at Trilogy. With the proceeds from the holiday
event, the group purchases school supplies or
donates money to the schools.
Higley Unified School
District Earns Financial
The Higley Unified School District was recently
awarded a Certificate of Achievement for
Excellence in Financial reporting by the Government
Finance Officers Association of the
United States and Canada (GFOA). The award
was given for the comprehensive annual financial
report (CAFR) completed June 30, 2015. It
is the highest recognition in the area of governmental
accounting and financial reporting.
Arizona State Civics
Test - update
Beginning with the Class of 2017, all Arizona
students must pass a state Civics test in order
to graduate. The test covers American history,
government and geography.
Higley will administer the test this fall to 8th
grade students, as well as current sophomores
and juniors. Eighth grade social studies
classes include a mini instructional unit prior to
the 100-question exam, while sophomores and
juniors review the material during history
Students only need to pass the exam once to
meet the graduation requirement.
Tutoring and additional study materials will be
available to students who do not pass the
exam. Students will have multiple opportunities
to retake the exam.
HYSL - Soccer & Cheer
Learn more about Higley’s Mandarin Immersion
program for young students
When: 9:30 a.m. Thursdays
Where: Coronado Elementary School
RSVP: (480) 279-6911
Registration for the next season of Higley
Youth Sports League begins Sept. 28. Fifth and
sixth grade students may sign up for soccer.
Kindergarten through sixth grade students may
sign up for cheerleading – a two-season sport.
Practices are after school at the students’
On-Site Box Office Hours are Monday thru
Friday from 9 a.m. to noon -OR- purchase 24/7
on the web at www.higleycenter.org. For additional
information, call (480) 279.7194 during
box office hours.
Friday - Oct. 16
Tribute to British Invasion
All faithfully re-created to take you back in time
with exciting stories of the groups that led the
second invasion of the British to the American
shores. Catch “the Rave” as they perform a
Magical Journey of Songs and Stories of the
British Invasion 1964 to 1968.
Saturday - Oct. 10
A magical show for all ages
Eric Giliam’s award winning magic, illusions,
and popular stage show have become more in
demand, even taking him around the world.
The former World Teen Magic Champion has
been a guest on prime time TV shows in
London and Rome and recently performed his
show in Spain.
Saturday - Oct. 17
The Heartlight Show – The best of Neil
Jack Wright's natural voice and engaging
onstage presence capture the essence and
emotion of Neil Diamond's songs. He interprets
them the way Neil must have felt when he
wrote them -- and he connects with his audiences
the way Neil always has, while making
the songs his own.
Mrs. Venessa Whitener
Governing Board Column
Did you know that nearly half of all students
enrolled in Higley Unified School District’s high
schools enroll in at least one career and technical
Over the last few years, the district has seen
explosive growth in classes designed to give
students career skills. About 300 students
enrolled in a career and technical education
class during the 2007/2008 school year. Last
school year, more than 1,500 students chose to
take a CTE class. The district offers seven twoand
three-year programs between Higley and
Williams Field High School. Options include
Video Production, Graphic Design, Marketing,
Sports Medicine, Engineering, Digital Photography
and Bioscience. Within these programs,
the district offers a total of 26 classes.
Students are showing success within these
programs. Video production students at the two
high schools combined to score the highest
CTE Enrollment - Grades 9-12
average on last spring’s Arizona Career &
Technical Education assessment among
districts statewide. Engineering students at
Higley High can now earn dual credit through
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Bioscience
students at Williams Field High study
gene sequencing, with their work published
nationally a few years ago.
Overall, 92 percent of Higley students who took
a career and technical education skills assessment
last spring passed the exam.
The value of career and technical education
exists not only in the career skills gained, but
also in the “soft” skills that will benefit students
in whatever endeavor they seek. Students
learn collaboration, communication, prioritizing,
project management and more.
While there is a growing demand for these
courses, future state support may be in jeopardy.
Lawmakers discussed budget cuts in the
spring to career and technical education
programs such as the one in Higley. With the
technical skill required to teach the classes,
many teachers come from industry. However,
recruiting and retaining them is difficult with
stagnant teacher salaries.
As more students seek out these opportunities
in career and technical education, I hope
parents and the community see the benefit of
the programs. I hope we can all come together
locally and around the state to find ways to
enhance them. Let us grow today’s career and
technical education programs to develop
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