The Roar

Gilbert High School's Principal Newsletter

2016 Spring Edition

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What's In The Roar?

Welcome to the Gilbert High School Principal Newsletter! You can expect to see dates for upcoming school events, information about programs and departments and recognition of staff and students. It is important for all parents, students, staff and community members to know what is going on at Gilbert High School and that is exactly what you will find in the Principal's Newsletter.


Principal's Message

February 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:

It is hard to believe that the 3rd Quarter is almost complete for the 2015-16 school year! I hope your holiday season was wonderful and that 2016 has brought blessings to you and your family!

As always, our Counseling Department is taking great care and pride in making sure your child is registered for the correct classes for next year. Our Seniors are starting to feel that natural excitement (and maybe even a little anxiety!) for the big moments that lay ahead in May and beyond. I have been meeting with our Seniors in the “Breakfast with the Principal” tradition. It has been an absolute honor getting to know the amazing and talented members of our Senior class! They have big plans and it is humbling to be a little part of their journey!

I want to thank and congratulate all of our Tiger students for a wonderful second and third quarter. They are working hard, competing in athletics and showcasing their amazing skills in the arts. All of their hard work brings great honor to themselves, their family and our school.

Starting March 28, the majority of GHS students will be taking the state AzMERIT exams for Writing and Reading and Math. In addition, other GHS students will be taking the AIMS Science exam in April. Our faculty and staff have been working hard in preparing our Tigers for these exams.

We know that success on all of these exams is a combination of our students’ effort, and the organizational skills of Mr. Basques, Mrs. Harvil and Mrs. Teaters in organizing and administering the exams. Kudos as well should go to our faculty and staff; they work hard to prepare students for success and they also work hard on those exam days to ensure that they go as smoothly as possible.

Please help ensure that for these exams your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before any and all of these exams; on the day of the exam help make sure they have a hearty breakfast and are focused on their success for the exam. GHS has a proud tradition of success on these exams and we expect to continue that success!

One last reminder about registration for the next school year: please make sure that you and your child choose their courses carefully. Once the selections are made, we will then take those course registration numbers and begin the work of constructing the GHS Master Schedule. In the Master Schedule, we will allocate teachers and resources according to the needs of our students. We appreciate your diligence in making sure your child chooses their courses wisely! Our wonderful Counseling Department is assisting students and is always here to help parents and students, so please reach out to them with any questions you may have!

In early February, we will be welcoming a team of visitors to our campus from AdvancEd. This group accredits GHS and ensures that we are performing as a top high school in Arizona. Our faculty have been hard at work preparing for their visit and I appreciate their tremendous efforts! The team will meet with faculty and staff, meet with students, and meet with parent representatives, as well (a huge shout-out to all of the parent volunteers who will be assisting in that effort!). We look forward to the visit and to receiving their feedback!

Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to all of our parents who work so very hard for our campus community. Whether you are a booster, a volunteer, or someone just helping your student with their homework, we appreciate you and all you do for our Tigers! I get to bear witness to many acts of genuine human kindness toward our faculty and staff and please know how much they appreciate that! Raising children, teaching them and preparing them for a life beyond the walls of Gilbert High School is what this place is all about. I am humbled and grateful to be a part of this amazing journey with you all!

Take care and Go Tigers!


Christopher Stroud



Upcoming Events

February 18 7:00 p.m. ................... Beginning Theatre Show

February 25-26 7:00 p.m. .............. Dance Concert

February 27 8:00 p.m. ................... MORP Dance

March 1 7:00 p.m. .......................... Orchestra Concert

March 3 7:00 p.m............................ Gilbert Band Concert

March 4 3:00 p.m. .......................... Advanced Theatre Show

March 7 6:00 p.m. .......................... Parent Advisory Meeting

March 7-8 ........................................ ABODA Festival

March 8 7:30 a.m-1:30 p.m............ Cap & Gown Pictures

March 10 7:00 p.m. ........................ Choir Concert

March 14-18 .................................... Spring Break

March 21 .......................................... School Resumes

March 22-23 .................................... Cap & Gown Distribution

March 23 .......................................... Stuco Elections: packets due

March 25 .......................................... Spring Holiday (no school)

March 28-April 1 .............................. Stuco Elections: Constitution Testing

March 28-April 8 .............................. AzMERIT Standardized Testing

March 29 7:00 p.m. .......................... Jazz Solo Night

March 31-April 2 7:00 p.m. ............. Drama Spring Performance

April 4 6:00 p.m. .............................. Parent Advisory Meeting

April 5-9 ............................................ Concert Choir Tour (in Chicago)

April 5-12 .......................................... Stuco Elections: Campaigning

April 7 2:45 p.m. .............................. Stuco Elections: Returning Officers Interviews

April 8 2:45 p.m. .............................. Stuco Elections: New Officers Interviews

April 9 ............................................... Art Festival At The Tower

April 12 ............................................. AIMS Science Standardized Testing

April 13 ............................................. Stuco Elections: Voting Day

April 14 7:00 p.m. ............................ Intermediate One-Acts

April 18 8:30 a.m. ............................ Annual Golden Scholars Recognition Program

April 21 3:00 p.m. ............................ StuCo Election Results

April 21-23 ........................................ ABODA/ACE All-State Festival at NAU

April 23 8:00-11:00 p.m. ................. Prom Dance

April 28 ............................................. Honor Awards Ceremony

April 28-29 7:00 p.m. ...................... Spring Dance Concert



G'Day USA 2016

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During the past four years, Gilbert High School has participated in a cultural exchange through Educational World Travels. Over a ten day period, forty five Australian students and their group leaders stay in a student or teacher's home and have the opportunity to experience an American lifestyle. It allows the hosts to share their home and show some of their country's attractions to their Australian visitor. During this time the Australian student will encounter some of the diverse cultural differences between our respective nations. Cultural Exchange Programs foster greater cultural awareness, teach tolerance for other people and races and promote understanding and openness to new ideas and concepts. Adding to the cultural experience is the friendship gained through the common bond of school visits and classroom experiences. As a result, lifelong friendships develop and lives of all those involved are enriched.

Ms. Ida Gaumitz has organized and managed this year's amazing program. With the help from Mrs. Sara Lazar and the GHS Student Council, all Australian students were placed and had an positive and unforgettable experience.


Student Services


Students in the Academic SCILLS Programs at GHS are participating in the Art Masterpiece program this year. Mrs. Fisk and Mrs. Hillman's students study a famous artist and view a presentation by parent volunteer, Mrs. Jane Rucker. They are then instructed in completing their own version of the type of artwork they have learned about.

This year they have studied, Leonardo DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Hokusai and Kandinsky. In addition to creating their own "masterpieces" the students are treated to a food from their artist's country of origin.

SCILLS Field Trip

What a better way to work on social skills than to take a group of students to a bowling alley! About 50 students from the GHS Scills classes took a field trip in January. Not only did they work on manners, practice patience, and cheer each other on - they had a great time. Sometimes it is hard to wait your turn whether bowling or in the food line - it is not easy for many of us. Students showed they could step up and clean up. After an hour and a half of bowling and eating, they turned on their cleaning skills. After returning shoes and bowling balls, they cleaned up their eating areas. Our Gilbert High Tigers represented our school community in a very positive way and the bowling representatives enjoyed our visit. Thanks to Brunswick Zone XL Gilbert Lanes!!

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Holiday Toy Drive

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The Gilbert Police and Fire Departments show their appreciation to the GUESS Club for the donation made to the Gilbert Police/Fire Departments annual Holiday Toy/Clothing drive.



GHS Spencer Timothy

Big congratulations to Spencer Timothy for an OUTSTANDING performance at the Arizona All-State Jazz Band concert. He was 1st Chair in the top band and performed an amazing solo!

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Visual Arts Honors

The Shemer Art Center in Paradise Valley held it's annual New Horizons Art Show awards ceremony on Saturday, January 23rd. This event is by invitation only and GHS is always recognized by Shemer with an invitation to this prestigious show. This year, the visual arts department sent work by artists Michelle Quiggle from Digital Photography II and Isabel Scherrer from AP Studio Art 3D Design. It is an honor to be recognized by participating in the show, however Isabel Scherrer won a $50 award for her entry. Congratulations to both girls!

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We The People

The fifth hour We The People class went to the state competition on January 9 and finished unofficially fifth out of ten teams. The team won the Unit 6 Award at the state competition and proudly represented GHS with their knowledge of the Constitution.

The letter below was written about the GHS We The People team.

Ms. Julie Smith,

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, an impressive and intelligent group of students from high schools all over Arizona met to compete in the We the People competition to show off their skills and knowledge in government and civic competence. The national, state and local competitions are important culminating activities of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, the most extensive civic education program of its kind in the country.

The Program encourages active learning in and out of the classroom about contemporary constitutional issues, the history of democratic philosophy and the history surrounding the creation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. We the People also meets Arizona Academic Standards in Civics and Government and Language Arts. Each We the People team competing is a regularly-rostered class of juniors or seniors studying civics and government or history.

We are extremely proud of all of the students that competed on January 9, and are excited to announce that Gilbert Classical Academy and Gilbert High School both received a unit award for their hard work. Their dedication and motivation cannot be stressed enough, and the students and faculty deserve the utmost praise. It’s an honor to see what these students can accomplish.

The continued support of the program from our Legislative and Congressional members, city council members, County Board of Supervisors, our School Board Members, and our U.S. Senators, is greatly appreciated, and we hope you are as proud of the students as we are.

For more information on the Arizona We the People program, please visit or for further information on the Center for Civic Education.


The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education

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Regional Honor Band, Choir and Orchestra

Congratulations to the following GHS Students for auditioning and being selected for the Arizona Central Region Honor Band, Choir and Orchestra. They will prepare music and perform with other students from our region on February 20th at 2:30 p.m. at Mountain View High School in Mesa. It is a huge honor to be selected and GHS is proud of our Performing Arts Students. Way to Go!


Austin Westenskow - Spencer Timothy - Chance Price


Kayla Cross - Elizabeth Green - Macy LeCheminant - Ashlyn Hastings

Janie Geigle - Holly Lambert - Bayley Rutter - Mary Keeton

Jenna Cavenee - Abagail Price - Pete Geigle - Blake Wayment

Joe Boatwright - Sam Jones - Dennis Arthur - Stephen Ray - Caeden Williams


Elizabeth Green - Allison Jue - Grace Nagy - Michelle Reijonen

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Performance Theatre

Shout out to the students in Performance Theatre and their performance at the Central Acting Festival this past weekend at Mesa Community College. We received a Superior rating for our One-Act: The Other Room qualifying us to compete at State. Performance Theatre represented Gilbert High well this past weekend because in addition to our One-Act Superior Rating, three students qualified for Nationals!


Caitlin Brainard - Christopher Hashem-Williams

Lighting Design

Dane Kick

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Tiger Baseball Gives Back

On December 7, 2015, Head Coach Matt Gutierrez, gathered the members of his Gilbert Tiger baseball program at the warehouse of Feed My Starving Children in Mesa, where they prepared meals and packed boxes of food for needy families in Mexico and Central America. The group consisted of the baseball players (freshman through seniors), their parents and family members and the coaching staff. The baseball program prepared a record number of meals that evening. Even though they were exhausted at the end of this very worthy endeavor, everyone was excited to have participated in such a meaningful activity.

This is just one example of how the Gilbert Tiger baseball family gives back to the community and supports other families who are in need of assistance. We are very proud of this group of young men and their families and we look forward to more good things from them in the future.

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Gilbert FFA Gives Back

On January 26, 2016, Gilbert FFA members along with their advisor Mr. Bushong and fellow alumni Jodi Stewart went to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). FMSC is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to feed hungry children with the help of volunteers. The meals packed have reached more than 70 countries and their goal in sending these meals is to help end childhood hunger. Ninety two percent of total annual donations are spent directly on the food and 99 percent of meals safely reach their destination. Since 2003, FMSC has consistently grown nearly 50 percent each year.

Gilbert FFA students learned that 1 in every 5 children go hungry each day. This statistic inspired the students to pack over 20 boxes (720 meals). The whole group together fed 86 children for an entire year. The meals that were packaged on that day went to help children in the Philippines. The students who attended Feed My Starving Children agree that it was an awarding experience and it helped them realize how important it is to help those who are in need.

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GEF Teacher Scholarships

Two of GHS's very own have been awarded scholarships to purchase much needed equipment for their program. Gilbert High School's Physics teacher Mrs. Lynn Jorgensen is using the scholarship money to acquire two full sets of air tracks for the GHS Physics program. The air tracks are similar in design to an air hockey table but in a more useful size (4-inches by about 4 feet). Her students will be using them for simple harmonic motion, friction, impulse/momentum, and collisions. Thanks GEF for supporting technology and innovation at GHS!

Mrs. Shalei Webb was awarded a grant by the Gilbert Education Foundation. The grant money will be used to purchase a 3-D printer to use in the Metals Jewelry lab to print jewelry and casting models. Thank you to the GEF for helping us to bring new technologies to Gilbert High School and the visual arts.

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Auditorium Manager Damon Carvalho

Mr. Blanchard:

It is not often the Gilbert Lions Club has the opportunity to commend someone for extraordinary good works and contribution to our cause and purpose. Our Club produced a benefit concert to the public on Saturday, January 16, 2016 which was overseen by your Auditorium Manager employee Damon Carvalho. Damon was responsible for ensuring the Gilbert High School facility was prepared and ready for our program and that everything proceeded without a hitch. He certainly fulfilled that assignment and more by exceeding our expectations. Gilbert Public Schools is fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional employee and we thank you and the District for allowing our Club to utilize the facility for the evening.

A.A. (Tony) Hyland
President-Gilbert Lions Club

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GHS Athletics Signing Day

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The following student athletes recently participated in Gilbert High School's 2015-2016 Signing Day ceremony. The Athletics department congratulates these students and their families and wishes them good luck in their future endeavors!


Thayne Jackson - Montana

Girls Golf

Megan and Ashley Ohland - Eastern Washington

Boys Golf

Ali Hameed - Southern Utah University

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Town Of Gilbert Student of the Month

Every month, the Town of Gilbert recognizes one student from Gilbert High School as the Student of the Month. Students chosen for this award exhibit positive character traits, work hard academically and show pride in their school. These character traits are Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

Town of Gilbert Town Council website:

September 2015 - Abby Boatwright

October 2015 - Alexxis Grant

November 2015 - Amanda Rosenberg

December 2015 - Kaylen Sanders

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Department Students of the Month

In addition to the Town of Gilbert Student of the Month recognition, Gilbert High School's academic departments celebrate their student's achievements. The following students have been recognized as Gilbert High Students of the Month.
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Taylor Kwasneski and Zane Overly


Naomi Hurtado and Hunter Waslaski


Zoe Biggs and Alex Affas


Victoria Martinez and Joe Lucero


Passion Lovato and Chris Gioffree

Fine Arts - Performing

Grace Nagy and Dane Kirk

Fine Arts - Visual

Coco Schneider and Bailey Gonzales

Industrial Education

Patience A Brakeman-Pedrosa and Austin Seals


Kourey Jensen and Sharon Nguyen


Yasmine Dana and Bryan McClure

Modern Language

Kieran Godard and Tyler Kerby

Physical Education

Austyn Simmons and Bralynn Watts


Alexa Avenetti and Zachary Farnsworth

Social Studies

Janae Slette and Mark Johnson

Student Services

Wendy Lopez-Flores and James Messner


Health Office News

Please notify the Health Office when your student has a health related issue. Recent hospitalizations, surgeries, or injuries requiring limited activity are some examples of these issues. A physician clearance to return to school is needed after surgeries, hospitalizations, or lengthy illnesses.

Does your student need to use crutches at school? If so, District Policy requires a doctor’s note be supplied to the Health Office. This also applies to the use of wheelchairs, canes, and knee walkers. All equipment must be supplied by the parent/guardian.

Screenings for Vision and Hearing are ongoing. If you have received a letter regarding your student’s hearing or vision, please let the Health Office know when it is resolved. We can then remove them from the “follow-up” list.

All medications need to be brought to the Health Office by a parent or responsible adult and signed in with the nurse. The medication needs to be in the original container or current prescription bottle. Narcotic pain medication will not be accepted or administered in the school setting. Students are not allowed to take narcotic pain medication and come to school. If this type of pain medication is needed, the student should stay at home. Inhalers and Epi-Pens can be carried by the student, but the parent will need to sign a consent form annually.


Tradition and Excellence since 1918

Our Mission

Gilbert High School is dedicated to providing a safe, collaborative learning community that challenges individuals to achieve their full potential.


Gilbert High School believes in:

  • the worth and dignity of each individual.
  • the ability of all students to learn.
  • the use of teaching strategies that foster responsibility, critical thinking, and life-long learning.
  • the development of skills that will enable students to compete in a global and technological society.
  • the development of career and college ready students.


Gilbert High School, continuing a tradition of excellence one student at a time.