Highland High School

2nd Quarter

Melinda Murphy


Dear Hawk families,

Thank you for a great first semester. It has been a busy one, full of big successes for the Hawk Fam. State cross country champions, pom and cheer championships, great concert performances, community service activities, welding contests - you name it and we have probably done it! In the middle of it all, have been kids that we are so proud of and families that we are grateful to work alongside. If you'd like to see what has gone on around here, search the hashtag #riseandsoar on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook and you'll get an idea of the scope of what our kids are involved in.

As we wrap up the first semester and look into January, we'd appreciate it if you'd take a few minutes to talk to your kids about course selection and registration as we come back and start the process right away. We are proud to offer comprehensive programming. If you are looking for Career and Technical courses, performing arts, AP or Honors courses, we have something to offer. If you are interested in program choices, such as the AP Capstone program, Highland STEM Academy, or the new Global Studies program, please reach out to your child's counselor.

As I'm sure you're aware, schools across the country are struggling with teen vaping. As we have talked to students, it has become apparent that they are uninformed about the associated health risks from vaping nicotine as well as THC. In the second semester, we will be doing some presentations for students around vaping and the associated health risks. Details will be sent as we get further into January.

We are looking forward to a great second semester and are so grateful for your support and all that you do to ensure our success! Enjoy the Winter Break, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes for all that comes with the holiday season.

Melinda Murphy


Highland High

Reese Neal

Assistant Principal, Seniors

Seasons Greetings, Hawk Students and Families!

As our first semester comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to express how proud I am not only of the Highland High School community as a whole, but especially of the Class of 2020!

It has been a pleasure working with, and getting to know this year’s seniors, a fabulous group of young adults who have clearly learned what it means to rise and soar, showing up and showing off in pursuit of excellence both inside and outside the classroom. Follow us on social media (@highland_hawks or @highland.hawks) to stay up-to-date on everything Hawks, and to see examples of some of their inspirational performances and outstanding accomplishments!

I'm looking forward to a stellar second semester and can't wait to see what amazing things are yet to come. Students, keep soaring! Parents, thank you for your continued teamwork and support. I hope winter break is everything you need it to be and that you get to enjoy some time relaxing and recharging with family and friends.

Go Hawks!

ATTN: Seniors and Parents of Seniors!

  • If you have not yet ordered your Cap & Gown, please do so soon by visiting Jostens.com.
  • Please also take a look at the following Newsletter sections: “Message from the Registrar” for information regarding college applications and transcripts; "College and Career Center" for information on FAFSA and an exciting opportunity to participate in an upcoming TED-X event.


Dr. Lauren Harmon

Assistant Principal, Juniors

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Student Schedule Changes for Second Semester

This a reminder that we will NOT be printing schedules for the first day of school, January 6, 2020. If students want a copy of next semester’s schedule of classes, they should go to the portal on Infinite Campus and print or view their schedule. If students have a hole in their schedule next semester, please have them stop by the counseling office, during the hour they have a missing class. No other schedule changes will be made in January.

Students who do not have access to a computer will be able to obtain a copy of their schedule on January 6, 2020 through our attendance office. However, it is our goal at HHS to cut back on paper usage and your help in this matter is appreciated.

Registration for 2020-2021 School Year is just around the corner….

With course selection for the 2020-2021 school year starting in January, the following information will highlight important details that will be key to student and parent success when selecting classes.

Course selection will be a school wide event for current 9th -11th grade students. In addition, all teachers will address course sequencing specific to their department/content area and answer questions students may have. Students will attend informational presentations by counselors, which will include course selection information and training on entering their class selections into the Infinite Campus Student Portal. These presentations will take place through English classes on January 22nd-February 12th. Course Advisement will run from January 27th through March 3rd. All 9th, 10th and 11th grade students must enter their class selections during this time period. If students and parents experience any difficulties entering course selections, the Counseling Office will be open to students, for assistance before and after school and during lunch.

We highly encourage parents to assist their children with the course selection process by carefully looking over and discussing the materials with your child. Please note, schedule changes will not be made if your child receives a course they requested, an alternate course listed, or if they do not make selections in Infinite Campus This makes it imperative for students to choose their classes and alternates wisely. Highland’s master schedule is built from student requests during the course selection time frame.

Course Advisements dates are as follows:

Current 9th graders: January 27th - February 4th

Current 10th graders: February 6th - February 14th

Current 11th graders: February 24th - March 3rd

We understand there are many parents that would like to speak with their child’s counselor. Each counselor has over 450 students to meet with over the next month and a half, and we feel that it is very important to meet with each student individually. If you would like to meet with your child’s counselor regarding registration, we are requesting that appointments be made after Spring Break.

Thank you for your patience during this busy time.

Happy Holidays!

Brandon Larson

Assistant Principal/Athletic Director, Sophomores

The fall season has wrapped up and winter has begun. So many exciting things have happened here at Highland in the Athletics Department. To kick it off, Our Boys Cross Country took state with the 2nd fasted time ever to be recorded in AIA State Championship history! Leo Daschbach ran through a leg injury to take the individual state title as well. It was amazing to watch those boys run and represent the Hawk Fam with class. The Girls Cross Country took state runner up, finishing behind the top two runners in the country. This couldn’t have been done without the courageous efforts of Caroline Mcleskey, who with 50 meters left collapsed with exhaustion. Caroline crawled, using every last inch of energy across the finish line to ensure a 2nd place finish at state, having to be carried off to the medical table to recover after the race. Next, our Football team had a very successful season going 8-4 and losing a very close game to Queen Creek on the final play of the game in the Quarterfinals. Football has kicked off the off season with the goal of making the Open Division Playoffs and continuing to build on the great foundation Coach Farrel has built. Girls Volleyball had the best season in school history this fall! The girls posted the best regular season record, most wins in a season, and made it to the final four in the AIA state playoffs. The girls lost a hard fought match to Perry in the Semi-Finals. When asked how the success came about, Coach Neal talked about culture and the girls playing with joy. Culture will lead to success! Badminton had a great season, posting a winning record in the regular season and securing a #8 seed in the AIA playoffs before losing in the final match in the final set to Chandler. Swim competed, making the state meet with several swimmers breaking personal records and setting new school records. Golf closes us out with a great showing at state finishing 4th for the girl’s team and 9th for the boy’s team in Division I. And last, but not least, our spirit line has crushed the competition this season! Cheer has won the AIA state qualifier and both USA Regional Qualifiers for both Team and 5 Girl Stunt. Pom took 3rd at the AIA State Qualifiers and first at the National Qualifier for USA. All of our fall sports have done a wonderful job representing what it means to #riseandsoar.

As the winter season kicks off, the winter sports are already making some noise. Boys Basketball beat Gilbert for the first time in 5 years, upsetting them at Gilbert with a score of 37-36. Girls Basketball took 1st place in the silver division at the annual Minor Webster Thanksgiving Classic over thanksgiving break. Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer both have started strong and are currently competing in the Coyote classic tournament at Campo Verde High School. Wrestling traveled to Las Vegas for an annual tournament and fished 5th out of hundreds of teams from across the western US. We look forward to our teams getting into region play and playoffs for the winter season, so come check out a game!

I would like to take this opportunity to also thank the Highland Community. Through my Son’s passing, I saw an amazing culmination of community from all over come to support me and my family at one of the lowest times you can imagine. From the “blue” out game, to the blue ribbons on campus, to the meals brought by several different families, to the athletes coming to mow the lawn… the love and support our family has received from the Highland community has blown us away. We are so happy to be a part of this family because it is something special. I hope that I will be able to make this community proud by continuing to build us to our vision of being an elite athletic program known not only for winning, but building young athletes of high character.

Go Hawks! Check out the sports section below for more info and pics!

Stacia Cantrell

Dean of Students, Freshmen

New Year, Fresh Start

Happy Holidays, Hawks! As the semester draws to a close, take a moment and reflect with your freshman on how they did this semester. Did they find a way to get involved on campus? Did their grades turn out the way they wanted? Did they make new friends? If they aren't happy with the answers to those questions or others, set some new goals with them for second semester. Here are some tips to consider while you are looking ahead:

1) Make a plan for grades. Set up regular tutoring times with teachers or classmates. Check in with your student every night about their homework. Help them make a study plan for big tests ahead of time rather than waiting to cram at the last minute.

2) Get involved and make a difference. Encourage your student to find a club or sport that interests them and check it out! They can talk to their teachers, counselor, or come see Ms. LaTurner in the front office if they need some ideas.

3) Encourage them to ask someone new to sit with them at lunch. It could be a classmate that they know or just a kid they see wandering around by themselves. Encourage them to seize the opportunity to make a new friend or just get to know someone outside their typical social network.

Summer School 2020

If your student is interested in taking summer school, check out the link to the website: https://www.gilbertschools.net/secondarysummerschool

In order to register, students must contact their counselor for a recommendation and then parents must go online and pay through their Parent Portal. You can start making payments for summer school on March 18th. Classes fill up quickly, so don't wait!

Dance Behavior

Please take a moment to review the HHS Dance Expectations below with your student. We appreciate your support as we promote a safe dance environment for all of our students.

Highland High Student Dance Expectations

  1. Students will wear clothing appropriate for a school dance at all times. They will not remove or alter their clothing at any point during the dance.

  2. Students will be respectful of all chaperones, administrators, and security personnel at all times. Students will follow the directions of these adults at all times.

  3. Students will treat the school with respect. Students will not damage, destroy, or vandalize any decorations, school property, or the school building at any time.

  4. Students will behave safety at all times. Students will not run, push, shove, crowd surf, or engage in any other dangerous physical activity during the dance. Students will not attend the dance under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


SENIORS: It is that time of year to start thinking about college applications.

The following information is the procedure when requesting transcripts:

If you are a current senior, please fill out the Transcript Release Form and return it to the registrar's office.

If you are a former graduate in need of your official transcript to be sent to a University/College you must provide the following information:

- full name when you attended HHS

- complete date of birth

- year you graduated

- the name and address of the University/College

** Processing time is 48 business hours.

Parchment.com is also available to send transcripts. Simply create an account and you can then make requests through their website.

**Parchment.com charges a small fee of $3.95 per official transcript and can be sent out within 24-48 hours electronically.

Please note per GPS policy: In order for a transcript to be considered official, it must be mailed directly to the college or institution. Also, HHS does not have copies of diplomas and cannot create a duplicate. If you need to prove that you have graduated, you can use your transcript. Your date of graduation is shown on the transcript.

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College and Career Center

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Are you still putting your plans together for after high school? One of the most important things you must-do if you are planning on attending any sort of post-secondary education (Vocational Training, Community College or University) is complete the FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid).

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If you have any questions while completing the FAFSA, just text Benji! There are so many options for you now that you are leaving HHS. If you are still undecided or need more information please contact Mrs. Dwyer or Mrs. Ward in the Career Center located in the Commons. Here are just a few choices -

Community College - Did you know that if your unweighted GPA is 3.25 or higher, you qualify for the President Honors Scholarship at any Maricopa Community College?

Four-year Bachelor Degree - Where to find Scholarship Information

Certificate Programs - Careers and Technical Certificates at MCC

Apprenticeships - Earn while you learn, Arizona Apprenticeship Programs

Military - Talk with a recruiter on our campus during lunch

Mission - Apply and defer!!

Gap Year - Come to the Career Center and get help with job searching.

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Information on Ted X

Ted X Gilbert is looking for students who might have "An Idea Worth Sharing"!

If interested please apply at https://www.tedxgilbert.com/.

Also this year students and teachers are encouraged to attend the event held on 5/20/20 at Gilbert High School. The cost for students and teachers is $15, hope to see you there!

September S.O.A.R to Excellence

HHS Staff

Barb Dwyer & Francia Ward

I cannot say enough about these two women and how much help they have given countless parents and students with Dual Enrollment. Francia and Barb always take time out of their busy schedules to walk kids and parents through the process. Mrs. Ward and Mrs. Dwyer always go above and beyond providing service to others - they SOAR!!!

Jackie and Cael Figueroa

Jackie Haener-Figueroa

Fun Fridays - instigated by Jackie, carried out by the Social Studies Hall. We are dancing our way through every Friday. Gaming our way thru a few of them too! Kids are energized and excited - playing Four Square, doing the Limbo, learning the electric slide. This is SO great for morale!! Thanks Jackie, for lighting our "Fun, Spirited" Fire

Karen Childers

Jackie makes it fun to come to work. Each Friday she heads up a hallway activity to raise the heart rate, lift our spirits, and increase interactions between students, and faculty. Everyone is invited! Thanks, Jackie

Hawk Colleague

Jackie started "Hall Party Fridays" in the Social Studies hallway. It began with teachers dancing before 1st hour to start the day off with kids smiling, but has grown to include students in the dance parties during each passing period, as well as game days where all students and teachers are encouraged to participate in games like hopscotch and 4 square. Even the kids who don't actively participate have been overheard to say that this hallway is the most fun.

Rebecca Morrison

Jackie has, for many years, been a constant advocate for school spirit here at Highland. She constantly goes above and beyond to make Highland a wonderful place to work and learn. This year, she has taken it upon herself to organize a weekly "dance party" in the social studies hallway. Each Friday, she plays music during passing periods and we DANCE. The students get involved and all have fun. On home game days, Jackie organizes "game day" in the social studies hall, where students and staff play yard games in the passing periods. Again, this has created a fun and memorable atmosphere for adults and students alike. There is no person that I can think of that has demonstrated as much school spirit, dedication, and genuine passion for Highland and the people here, than Jackie. She is more than deserving of this award.

Marcus Hire


Laura Huddleston

Laura, as usual, is always helpful and takes on new challenges. Her willingness to share and support others is part of what makes our department the such a great one to work in at Highland.

Jason Lyons

Laura has been such an integral part in helping me to acclimate to the high school. Her subject knowledge and passion for teaching has truly been inspirational! I feel so fortunate to work side by side with her!

Sandra Somerstein

Laura has done a great job of taking on all of the co-taught World Studies classes this year while also implementing the Pre-AP framework. She is extremely creative in her approach to lesson planning and always makes her teaching accessible to all learners. Her willingness to share her ideas and work with her team is much appreciated!

Marcus Hire

Leigh-Anne Aller

Leigh-Anne supports me and the rest of our PLC & department every single day. Her instinct to help others is immediate and evident in everything she does, from helping a colleague set up a lab, picking up their copies from them, or lending a hand or an ear when it's needed. She has helped me grow as an educator so much in the short time I've been privileged to work with her and I'm so glad we're neighbors!!!

Hawk Colleague

Leigh-Anne is the most thoughtful coworker there is. She is always looking for opportunities to go out of her way to help others from being one of the first to offer class coverage, to bringing others their laminating, to offering support and guidance to others, to helping stop an asthma attack. Leigh-Anne will always be there for you. She will find a way to serve others every chance she gets.

Renee Chamberlain

HHS Students

Addy Woodman

Addy is awesome for MANY reasons. She is an excellent student, a caring friend, and a genuinely good person. I am nominating her for Hawk of the Month for a different reason today. Addy has always impressed me but this year, she has stepped up in several big ways. She has taken on the role of Fundraising Coordinator for the AVID club and helps to coordinate our club events. Addy joined NHS and regularly volunteers in the Productions room. And, on top of all of this, she is one of the team managers for our football team this year. This position requires her to help with the logistics of the football program and she has helped to contribute to their success. So, in addition to maintaining respectable grades in several AP courses, Addy goes above and beyond and is clearly a student leader on campus. Our community is better for her involvement and she is more than deserving of this award.

Marcus Hire

Alyssa Love

Alyssa is one of the many fantastic kids that walk the halls of Highland. She does what is asked of her exceeding the norm day in and day out. She is a light in my day as I get greeted when she enters and as she says"Thank you" exiting the door. I get to witness magic as she decorates her projects and makes amazing art. Outside of class, Alyssa participates in clubs and runs her own business of scrunchie creation. She is a great kid and I hope you will consider her for Hawk of the month.

Barb Barmettler

Asia Richardson

Asia has been an integral member of our new Student Service Team in the band program. She is the Manager for our Facility Crew. This isn't always the easiest or most fun job; she makes sure the building is clean and the bathrooms are stocked and does so with a smile. She's even been on top of keeping the music building locker room clean and that's quite the task! She is proactive and on top of things all the time. I can't think of a more deserving student for a SOAR award.

Mrs. Bock

Asia is in charge of our service crew leadership team. This team is in charge of keeping the performing arts building clean. This includes the classrooms, hallways, and the restroom/dressing room. Asia takes the time every day to make sure the building and the restrooms are clean and taken care of. Especially on weekends and nights that the band is using the building for rehearsals. She is always willing to put in the extra time to make sure all of the tasks are completed and done properly. We are very proud of how hard Asia is working to make sure the building is ready for all of the performing arts' students to be successful during the day and for all the after school activities.

Kevin Bennett

Bristyn Perkins

Bristyn is a fantastic student that helps others in the clay room, as well at the pool and at Towne Meadows. Every day she comes to class, gets to work and brings a positive spirit to the class. She is always willing to help fellow students and will help me whenever I ask. After school, she finds herself at the pool during swim season and this year, she has earned the job of captain to lead her fellow hawks in commitment, attitude and sportsmanship. Out of swim season, she finds herself at our feeder school Towne Meadows, helping out in her siblings classes and helping her mom with PTSO tasks. This young lady is exactly what embodies being a Hawk and I hope you will consider her for Hawk of the month!

Barb Barmettler

October S.O.A.R to Excellence

HHS Staff

Kathryn Hinshaw

Kathryn has stepped out of her comfort zone this year to join the Instructional Leadership Team, as well as the A+ team. She has embraced both challenges, and now, teachers in other disciplines around the school get a glimpse into to the amazing teacher she is and has always been. The fact is Kathryn was born to be an educator! She inspires me daily with her wit and innovation. Long before she joined the ILT committee, Kathryn dedicated her weekends to researching pedagogy, creating lessons, and finding new and innovative instructional strategies to engage her students. Her ability to reach troubled or struggling students with simple, yet profound, motherly instincts and empathy coupled with complete professionalism is truly a gift. Likewise, she can accelerate and challenge her brightest students because of her experience and innovations she has pursued and mastered. She has taken hold of her opportunity this year to share her knowledge and experience with the rest of the faculty. I participated in an engaging four corners strategy she helped facilitate during our last PD session. Although I have implemented this strategy in my classroom before, I walked away with new strategies and engaging techniques to help promote more meaningful discussions and participation from ALL students. We preach to our kids daily about the importance of a growth mindset and that it may be necessary to step out of their comfort zones and take risks; I admire Kathryn for taking on a challenge joining the ILT. I know this opportunity will allow her to grow in her leadership skills and in her knowledge. She deserves recognition for her tireless dedication to the field of education and her commitment to life-long learning.

Jamie LaBoissiere

Aaron Jarvis

Since Aaron has taken over the Computer Science and Game Development program last year, he has spent a great amount of effort and time helping his students gain expertise in the field. If you walk past his room after school, you will always see students excited to either be working on a project, or getting extra support from him, in order to prepare for a career in this field. Aaron is always looking for ways for his students to gain new experiences and become better coders, which there is certainly a high demand for in our society.

Michael Sassi

Jason Lyons

Jason is in the World Studies PLC and he has been incredibly helpful in helping us implement the Pre-AP curriculum. While we are all experienced teachers, this is the first time many of us are teaching geography as a stand alone unit. His geographical knowledge and ability to identify relevance has helped immensely. He's also been incredibly kind and patient while I have been adapting to the new curriculum.

Rebecca Morrison

Jason is constantly looking for ways to teach his content in a way that is relevant to his students. I also appreciate his willingness to share great lesson and project ideas with other teachers. Jason has many qualities that make him a worthy Soaring to Excellence recipient, including sharing his extensive content knowledge with his peers, and utilizing student relationships to create impactful learning experiences for his students, just to name a few.

Michael Sassi

David Montgomery

Monty has proven over and over again how much time and effort he has put in to the Highland Cross Country and Track & Field program. He spends hours of his time over the summer and school year committed to transferring his knowledge of running to his athletes as well as what it means to have great character. He has committed 22 years and more to this sport, spending hours before school, during the summer, and after school to make our students better people by pushing themselves beyond what they believe they are capable of. His dedication has been proven over and over as his team won the Gilbert City meet for the 22nd year in a row. He has been recognized from community members for the character he has instilled including parents of our athletes and athletes from other schools. He has athletes represented by the az.milesplit. He recently had Leo commit to running D1 Cross Country at University of Washington. He has athletes that are invited out to run regionals and nationals. He has done a tremendous amount of work for the cross country and track program for our school. In addition to this, he is committed to teaching our PE program.

Hawk Colleague :)


Trey Buckingham

Trey has worked so hard this year. He has struggled with math in the past and this continued at the beginning of the year. Trey has worked hard and has put forth his best effort. He has brought his grade up to a B through hard work and perseverance. I spoke with Trey's Dad at the JV football game and he told me he is so proud of the complete 180 Trey has made this year in all his classes. I would agree 100% with this statement. As a side note Trey also helps me in the classroom, he changes the water bottle on the cooler when ever it needs it.

Susan Schaefer

Rylie Jung

I am nominating Rylie Jung for many reasons, many of which fall under the O for opportunity category. Rylie is a student in my AP Seminar class and has done an excellent job of embracing the challenge. Along with my class she also takes at least two other AP classes which is no easy task. In class Rylie brings an awesome attitude, helpful disposition, and has a firecracker of an attitude! Love it! Another reason I am nominating Rylie is because she has also taken the Opportunity to participate in our newly formed Model UN club. Rylie has embraced the opportunity and I look forward to seeing her debate world issues against the best the state of Arizona has to offer. Again, in the club she is on top of the workload, not afraid of a challenge, and is just an overall pleasure to have on board. Rylie embodies every characteristic you think of when you think of being an outstanding Hawk, she is incredibly deserving of this award!

Coach Comp

Alec Rinsem

Alec has been the driving force in bringing a service club to Highland High School from his elementary days - Project Sleep Tight. He has been the point of the spear in the recent Comfort item drive they put on and is working tirelessly to make this new club as successful as possible.

Karen Childers

Caleb Woodruff

Caleb is always looking for opportunities to serve others. One of his classmates in first hour just got back from being out for surgery. On this student's first day back, Caleb jumped right up and helped get everything situated and comfortable for this student (who is currently in a wheelchair). Every day when this student first comes in, Caleb jumps right up and assists in any way he can. When it's time to go, Caleb jumps right back up to help make sure the student is all ready to leave and gets out of the classroom safely. Since he started doing this, his other classmates have joined in to help every day to make sure this student gets in and out efficiently and feels comfortable in the classroom. I love his willingness to help his classmates, especially without being asked.

Ms. Young

Student Council

Message from Student Council

Hey Hawks! Your HHS Student Council has been very busy making Highland the best school in the state of Arizona! Since we last talked, we successfully had our winter pep assembly and our winter formal dance! The theme was Frozen in the Fifties and we exceptionally resembled the spirit and decor of that era. As another endeavor to learn more about leadership and teamwork, we took a trip to California to attend the 2019 CADA Conference where we met many leaders and peers that we were able to learn so much from and many things we will be incorporating this next semester! Also while we were there, we went to the happiest place on earth a.k.a. Disneyland and attended the Disney YES program where we were taught more about how to be the best leader and the four C's that everyone should incorporate in their lives: Confidence, Curiosity, Courage, and Constancy. We hope you have a fantastic Winter break and prepare yourselves for the week back when we announce the theme for MORP and all of the exciting things coming next semester! Remember to Rise and Soar!


Badminton Team

The HHS Badminton team ended their season with a 10-4 record, and ranked 9th in State. They qualified for the state tournament and played their final match at Perry HS against a very tough Chandler team in the first-round action. The girls battled but came up just a bit short losing 5-4. Congratulations to the following players for their very successful season!


Rachel Incardone, Sage Nelson, Allison Teague, Kiley Cannegeiter, Emily Staker, Audrey Cluff


Ashley Bingham, and Payson Lynch

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Basketball is off to a great season!

Highland Varsity Cheer

Congratulations to the Varsity Cheer team who took 1st Place at USA Regionals and for the 5-Man Stunt Group who took 2nd!
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Highland Boy's Cross Country Team wins State Championship!

Congrats to the Boys XC team as they won the 2019 Arizona State Cross Country Championships yesterday at Cave Creek GC in Phoenix.

Leo Daschbach running with an injury won the race by 25 seconds in 15:27 on a hilly 5K course.

5th pl Caden Resendez

7th pl Ernest Green

9th pl Sam Green

18th Jagger Zlotoff, tripped and fell but still got up and finished strong.

23rd Carter Mayes

55th Brandon Ericson

They were overall the 2nd fastest overall time in Arizona history.

175 overall wins 4 loses.

They won 6 Invitationals and placed 5th in the prestigious Desert Twilight Invite.

All of them have a 3.5 or higher GPA.


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Lady Hawks Cross Country Team are the Runners-up for the State Championship!

Congrats to the Lady Hawks Cross Country Team. Finishing runner-up at the 2019 Arizona Cross Country Championships.

Top finisher in 10th was Jr. Emma Finchum in 18:57 for the hilly 5k course.

In a dramatic finish Caroline McLeskey took the lead with 800 meters to go but started to bonk and collapsed 50 yards from the finish but crawled to a 13th place, helping the Hawks to runner up placing.

22nd pl Marina Dear

25th Jariel Sebastian

30th Kate Sewell

33rd Story Alexander

40th Jordyn Carter

This is the highest finish by any HHS girls cross country team.

They had 155 wins and 14 losses.

They were ranked 4th all season.


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Highland Cross Country Team Wins Sectionals

Congrats to both Guys and Girls XC Teams winning their Sectional this morning qualifying for the State Meet next Saturday.

Top finishers were Caden Resendez finishing 2nd and Caroline McLeskey winning the girls race.

The girls places were 1,3, 4, 5, 6,7 - 19 points

Boys- 2,3,5,6,7,8,18 - 23 points

Scores are based on the first 5 places. Lowest score wins.

It's the 23rd year both teams have qualified for the State Meet. Hawks Never Quit!!

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Cross Country - Gilbert City Meet

Congrats to both teams for being the Gilbert City Meet Champs! This is the 22nd year that both teams have won this meet.Top Scorers were:

Freshman race: Jonah Alexander & Kate Sewell

Sophomores: Miles McLeskey & Jordan Carter

Juniors: Jagger Zlotoff & Emma Finchum

Seniors with the fastest 5k times: Leo Daschbach 15:15 for 3.1 miles & Caroline McLeskey 17:40.

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Freshman Football

Congratulations to the freshman football team who ended their season with a dramatic win over Queen Creek 10-7. They finished 7-2 and were Region Champions. (Photo courtesy of Donna Mundy Photography, photo may not be reproduced or copied)
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JV Football

Congratulations to our JV Football team who had an amazing season. They ended their season in a tie against Queen Creek, sharing the title of Regional Champions! (Photo courtesy of Donna Mundy Photography, photo may not be reproduced or copied)
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Varsity Football

Our Varsity Football team had a very successful season going 8-4 and losing a very close game to Queen Creek on the final play of the game in the Quarterfinals. Congratulations to all our players, it has been a great season! (Photo courtesy of Donna Mundy Photography, photo may not be reproduced or copied)
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6A Central All Region Athletes

Congratulations to our Highland Hawk Football players who were recognized as 6A All Region Athletes! We are proud of each of you!

6A Central Region Player of the year: Daniel Wood

6A Central Region, All Region 1st Team:

Kyle Olsen

Tru Tanner

Noah Boone

Jackson Ray

6A Central Region, All Region 2nd Team:

Ja'Sean Lee

Ammon Allen

Monai West

Robert Kingsford

Tanner Crandall

Zach Schroeder

6A Central Region, All Region Honorable Mention:

Brigham Bent

Kam Cullimore

Max Davis

Gage Dayley

Jackson Delsi

Colton Ellsworth

Chance Hanks

Logan MacGregor

Makue Pule

Jackson Tewalt

Dawson White

Logan Wills

6A Sportsmanship of the Year Award

Congratulations to our Varsity Football team and coaches who won the 6A sportsmanship of the year award for 2019 season. Great job representing @highland.hawks! #riseandsoar
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Boys Golf Team

Congratulations to the boys golf team who finished 9th in Division 1 at State.
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Girls Golf Team

Congratulations to the girls golf team that finished 4th in the state behind Pinnacle, Xavier and Hamilton.


Senior - Leah Skaar +6 (76,73)

Sophomore - Kendall Hayward +14 (81,75)

Senior - Taylor Naumann +15 (80,77)

Junior - Presley Pickron +22 (82,82)

Senior - Anna Stock +41 (95,88)

These ladies had a great season winning the Tempe invitational and Prescott invitational tournaments. They are all amazing individuals who work hard on the course as well as in the classroom.

Varsity Pom Team

Hawkettes take 1st in Pom and Jazz at USA National Qualifiers! They are excited for the rest of the season!
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Swim & Dive Team

State Awards:

** Girls: Team-8th place

Ashley Catchpole - 100 Butterfly: 2nd place, 100 Backstroke: 5th place

Kacey Roten - 100 Freestyle: 15th place, 100 Breaststroke: 11th place

Sevilla Groebe - 200 Freestyle: 21st place, 100 Butterfly: 15th place

Sadie Khalil - 200 IM: 16th place, 100 Breaststroke: 15th place

Amanda Johnsen - 50 Freestyle: 15th place

200 Medley Relay 5th place

Ashley Catchpole, Kacey Roten, Sadie Khalil, Sevilla Groebe

200 Free Relay 10th place

Amanda Johnsen, Ebey Thurmond, Hailey Price, Sevilla Groebe

400 Free Relay 9th place

Amanda Johnsen, Kacey Roten, Sadie Khalil, Ashley Catchpole

** Boys: Team-24th place

Tucker Powell Diving 16th place

Easton Martin 100 Backstroke 27th place

Carson McDonald 200 IM 24th place

200 Medley Relay 21st place

Easton Martin, Josh Poit, Nick Armstrong, Cole Gustafson

200 Free Relay 21st place

Carson McDonald, Cole Gustafson, Nick Armstrong, Lukas Kie

400 Free Relay 22nd place

Carson McDonald, Henry Petersen, Lukas Kie, Easton Martin

State….Meet of Champions

Ashley Catchpole - 100 Butterfly: 6th place, 100 Backstroke: 8th place

200 Medley Relay 7th place

Ashley Catchpole, Kacey Roten, Sadie Khalil, Sevilla Groebe

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Girls Varsity Volleyball

What an incredible year for Highland Volleyball. Our varsity team finished 36-10, setting school records for wins, kills, digs, assists and aces. Our 36 wins were also the most of any team in Arizona. We had 6 athletes receive All Region honors and 3 athletes receive All State honors. As a coach, the competition is important, but the people make the experience incredible. This group of players and coaches has certainly put together one of the best years of volleyball that Highland has ever seen. Each of our teams have shown tremendous growth and competed at a high level. I’m so proud of every one of our athletes and their effort. There is no question that 2019 Highland Volleyball would be described as Relentless, Engaged and Joyful.
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Girls Volleyball

Highland Girls Volleyball take home a win against Mountain Pointe on Thursday, October 17th. The team honored cancer survivors and also raised money for a good cause!
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Performing Arts

Highland Band - Winter Concert


All-State Jazz Festival

The Highland Choirs would like to congratulate the following students for an amazing weekend at the All-State Jazz Festival: Cody Johnston, Ryan McBride, Joseph Duncan, Aidan Matthews, Harrison Maxwell, Zach Brown, Lindsey Stevens, Kalei Cotecson , Nadia Gilbert, and Arianna Cortinas. They spent the weekend singing Jazz music with students all around the state, and worked with two amazing clinicians, Matt Falkner and Rita Scholz.
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Concert Choir

Concert Choir sang beautifully at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Choir festival!! They also had the opportunity to work with the amazing Professor Bruce Rogers from Mt. San Antonio College!

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Christmas Choir Concert


All State Jazz Choir

Congratulations to the following students who made the All State Jazz Choir: Zach Brown, Kalei Cotecson, Joseph Duncan, Nadia Gilbert, Aidan Matthews, and Harrison Maxwell. And congratulations to the following students who made the All State Jazz Clinic Choir: Ariana Cortinas, Cody Johnston, Ryan McBride, and Lindsey Stevens. We are so proud of them and all the students who auditioned!!!
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Highland Dance

The Highland Dance Fam had their fall concert November 20th and 21st. Over one hundred dancers participated in the throwback concert "Deja Vu". The concert included some workshop guests, Intermediate, Elite, Advanced and One Image Dance Company. You can catch more of these talented dancers for the Student Showcase February 6th and 7th and our spring concert April 23rd and 24th.

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Highland Orchesta & United Sound

Congratulations to all of the Highland Orchestra students, including our special guests - United Sound for three outstanding holiday concerts!
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Starlight Serenade

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Theatre Club

Congratulations to @highlandhawktheatre on a Superior finish! Way to bring home the gold! #riseandsoar
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Highland Theatre knocks it out of the park with Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

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Highland Chess Team - State Championship

The HHS team was ranked 14th going into the tournament but with wins over the 5th, 8th and 23rd ranked teams and a draw with the 7th ranked team, our chess team came in fifth place at the State Team Chess Championships. Our only loss was to the state champions.

The varsity team members are Micheal Lord, Liam Sauve, Andrew Pertersen, Brody Eversole and Trevor Hunter. In the alternate section, which had over 80 players, Alec Peterson took second place.

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Highland Chess Team

Congratulations to the Highland Chess Team for their outstanding effort at the Region I Invitational Tournament in Flagstaff. The team came in ranked 7th out of the 14 teams but because of the excellent play they scored upsets against the second, third and fourth rated teams and a win against the eleventh rated team to come in second at the tournament. The varsity players were Michael Lord, Andrew Petersen, Liam Sauve, Trevor Hunter and Brody Eversol. Micheal Lord also won the "Best Upset Award" by defeating a player who was rated 400 points higher than Micheal. In the alternate section which had +70 participants , Alec Peterson took 1st, Hunter Beals took 4th and Gideon Newitt came in 7th.

The team also competed in the Region III Qualifier for the State Individual Chess Championship. With over 70 participants, Micheal Lord, Liam Sauve and Andrew Peterson qualified for the Championship in November. These students qualified by being among the top 14 players. Micheal Lord came in 5th, Liam Sauve was 9th and Andrew Peterson was thirteenth. William (Brody) Eversole will be playing in the alternate section at the state tournament after playing five outstanding rounds against strong players. The Region III season awards were also handed out at this tournament. The varsity team qualified for the State Team Championship by coming in 4th in the region out of twenty teams with a score of ten wins and four losses. Liam Sauve also received an award for most improved ( 238 point increase). The ten season awards for the best JV of the region went to the following students: John Kayton 2nd, Dustin Kayton 4th, Justine Indrizzo 5th, Gideon Newitt 9th and Jasmine Morris 10th.

These were the best results we have had in the last five years as we have been building a competitive program.

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Highland Culinary

The Highland Culinary FCCLA chapter won the district Chopped competition at Mesquite HS last month. The students pictured (Amy Snow, Sydney Clark, Brooklyn Marlow, and Megan MaCammon) prepared a Hawaiian-inspired entree using pineapple, coconut milk, and Spam.

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Veterinary Science practicing injections.
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A shout out to some of our yearbook/journalism students who participated in the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association Fall Contests and Conferences. Overall our HawkLife Magazine from last year took 3rd in the state.

Individual winners include:

Caitlyn Osborne (graduated) Honorable Mention for Student Life Photography

Maddie Fell Superior for Student Life Spread Design

Megan Kernaghan Excellent in Academic Photography

Matthew Heidenblut Excellent in Sports Action Photography

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Link Crew

Link Crew attended a leadership conference at Campo Verde. Highland Leaders worked on strategies to help freshmen both this year and to get ready for our new freshmen next year.
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National Honor Society - Angel Tree

This year Highland High School, lead by the Highland National Honor Society, adopted hundreds of Christmas Angels. The annual event put on by the Salvation Army allows for individuals to adopt an Angel for Christmas, and provide them with gifts so that they have something under the tree when they wake Christmas morning. The Highland High School National Honor Society took on this opportunity and adopted 410 tags to support this amazing cause. The team, lead by Brooklyn Bopp, Sogol Omidian, Halle Arnett, Jenan Zeid, Jolsna Joseph, and Athulya Manoj, made a tremendous difference and ensured that each Angel was adopted and had gifts. The combined effort took over 200 hours of time, and an army of volunteers. Teachers, classrooms, individuals, and the Highland community all pitched in to make this amazing event happen.

When the due date for the tags arrived, the work really kicked into high gear. Hours were spent after school sorting the gifts, placing them in bags, checking them off, organizing the families, and finally buying gifts for angel’s that had been forgotten. There were over 350 tags complete, but enough angels were left for a hefty Walmart trip to make sure each child got a Christmas. Through sweat, tears, a prayer in their hearts that everything would go smoothly, and extra volunteers to help with the process, the toys, totaling over 1,200, with an estimated value of over $15,000, were picked up on December 10th, filling the truck. Brooklyn wrote to the Highland community, “We are so grateful to everyone who participated in this event and made it happen. Whether you took a tag, gave money or gifts, or even offered a hand in packing up the truck, we appreciate you. Every little bit made a difference, and now 410 kids can wake up Christmas morning to exciting new gifts. Thanks!”

The efforts of these amazing students, staff, and community made all the difference in ensuring a very Merry Christmas for our Angels. The countless hours dedicated to this project only help to show how dedicated our Highland students and community are to making a difference beyond the walls of this school. These gifts will be distributed throughout the valley to those children and families in need and will brighten their holiday and change their lives. However, I believe the biggest change that this project makes is in the hearts and lives of those who dedicated so much to make it happen. Each person who donated gifts, money, time, or space gave a little piece of themselves to make a miracle happen in the lives of others. That is an amazing gift they gave, and the opportunity to grow and learn the value of service is the amazing gift they get in return. Thank you Highland High School, the Highland Community, and the Highland National Honor Society for your dedication to an amazing cause.

As a Hawk family we hope that you have a happy holiday, thank you for your angel tree contribution, and we hope that you will carry this service and giving spirit that these students have demonstrated into the new year.

Brooklyn Bopp and Brian Duncan

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STEM Class

ASU holds an annual conference where students present their STEM projects to a panel of Engineers. This conference is normally reserved for ASU students, however, this year they chose 3 teams of high schoolers to come and present. HHS took 2 of the 3 coveted spots! Our team projects were: Horsing Around - building a special horse stall for horses that are sick or hurt and unwrAPPing Gilbert - helping the Gilbert Historical Museum write a mobile app that museum patrons can use while walking around downtown Gilbert. The students that went are: Tyler Barrett, Thomas Blunt, Preston Finch, Justin Johnson, Jolsna Joseph, Athulya Manoj, Carter Nelson, Skylar Sassone
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The STEM Club got to visit the Mesa Community College Planetarium!
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STEM Club girls at the "Girls Get IT" Conference at Mesa Community College.
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Student Recognition

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Leo Daschbach

Congratulations to Senior Leo Daschbach who decided to sign with University of Washington.
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National FFA Convention

Way to go Ag Business team for earning bronze at the National FFA Convention. Brody, Kevin, and Rachel - bronze and Isabella was ranked silver for individual scores. Congratulations also @highlandffaaz on their entrepreneurship awards!
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Antonio Flores & Dane Van Wagenen

Senior boys Antonio Flores and Dane VanWagenen were awarded free suits by the East Valley Women's League (selected by teachers, counselors, and administrators for their outstanding effort, character, leadership, and friendship, displayed daily to the students and staff of Highland High School. #riseandsoar
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Interior Design Students

Thanks to some amazing interior design students, 5 faculty restrooms got a new makeover.

Leah Skaar

Congrats to Leah Skaar on signing to play golf at North Dakota State University! #riseandsoar
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Walk of Champions

There they are! Your @highlandtrackxc Boys State Champions and Girls State Runner Up teams!! So proud of these kids! #riseandsoar

Staff Recognition

Ms. Hardy

Congratulations to Ms. Hardy who was one lucky winner of the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers!

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Power of One Campaign

Thank you to the staff of Highland High for their generous contributions to the @gilberteducationfoundation Power of One Campaign! Not only did you support GEF, you made a $1,000 scholarship possible for a graduating Hawk! #riseandsoar
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Little Hawk Cheer Clinic

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Advanced Culinary Students

The Advanced Culinary Hawks spent a day at the Uptown Phoenix Farmer’s Market. There were lots of great demonstrations, vendors and FOOD!!
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Homecoming Week - October 21st - 25th

Monday - Pajama Day

Tuesday - 80's Day

Workout Wednesday

Thursday - Jersey Day

Homecoming Parade

Swim and Dive Team

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Link Crew

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Pep Assembly

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Homecoming Court

Homecoming Queen Lily Meaux and King Daniel Wood! Congratulations to all our Homecoming royalty!

Ms. Charto's Freshman English Class

For the student's assessment over the short story "Powder" the 9th graders were looking closely at the telling details about the father's character. For each body part, they were given a task card which required them to write a paragraph, using evidence from the story, about the father and his character traits. They had a blast!

Animal Science & Veterinary Science

Highland alumnus, Mike Smith (Sheri Smith’s son) presented to the Animal Science and Vet Science classes yesterday about his role as a K9 handler with Phoenix Fire Department. Mike and his K9 partner, Tallon, demonstrated various commands, performance test maneuvers, and a live find of a ‘victim’. It was so cool!
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Marketing Class

The Marketing Class hosted Market Days on December 5th and 6th. Students were required to research consumer preferences, source their own products, create incentives for customers, and use their marketing expertise to promote and sell. Congratulations to Alyssa Love, who earned the most revenue during Market Days! Alyssa generated over $640 in sales in just a few short hours! This is just a small sample of the success that Alyssa will continue to have, due to her commitment to building a reputable brand, providing great customer service, and becoming an exceptional entrepreneur.
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Gilbert Days Parade

Great day for @highlandbands at the Gilbert Days Parade! Thanks for reppin’ is well! @townofgilbert #riseandsoar

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Winter Formal


Orchestra - Angel Tree

The orchestras adopted 8 wonderful children through the Christmas Angels program at HHS. We love how generous our students are! Here’s a picture of the elves shopping last night!
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Spanish 4 Hawks - Angel Tree

Spanish 4 Hawks are out there making a list and checking it twice so that Christmas dreams will come true for Angel Tree families!! Giving back is what it’s all about! #riseandsoar #angeltree2019 @salvationarmyus
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Photos & Videos

Our Hawk Family

Highland Students & Staff wore blue in remembrance of Bohdie Larson and in support of our Athletic Director, Mr. Brandon Larson and his family.
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Highland's Women's Choir

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Halloween Pic

Students, Zack Forse and Ian Shelton, both fans of the police department dressed up for Halloween and requested a picture with Highland's SRO officer, Officer Rich.
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Mr. Neal is taking Happy Turkey Day to a whole new level!

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Wellness week: Therapy animals in The Commons

Ms. Cheret, Mr. Hire & Staff boogie down with students between classes.


AP Capstone kids at the U of A! #riseandsoar

A little friendly competition in Mr. Bell's class.. Highland High Auto style


Holiday Visitors in the Front Office!

Caroling by the Spanish Speaking Hawks!


Strolling Strings





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Highland’s Annual Deck the Door competition!

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