Teacher of the Year- Charity Aguilera
Governing Board President Ian Hugh presents
Charity with her award
Charity has spent her entire GUHSD career teaching
at Washington High School.
Charity graduated from Apollo High School and then attended both ASU West and Grand Canyon University. Charity has been at Washington High School for the entire sixteen years of her employment with GUHSD. She even completed her student teaching at Washington High School. During this time, Charity has taught all levels of English as well as communication arts, enrichment seminar and reading standards prep. She currently teaches Honors English 1-2 and English 3-4, she is the English department chair, and she is Washington’s literacy coach. Charity is fully committed to Washington and wears many hats throughout the day.
Tami Strege, district Language Arts coordinator, states, ”Charity truly lives up to her name. She loves the students she teaches, she loves the colleagues that she guides and collaborates with, and she loves her job. Given her consistent, calm demeanor, it is no wonder that her students are so successful and that her colleagues seek her counsel.”
Charity is the English team’s confidante and counselor. Over the past few years as department chair, she has taken the English department to new heights, and they are now the model for what a true professional learning community can become.
Principal Carol Lippert says, "Charity exemplifies what it means to be a teacher-leader. She consistently models professionalism. She is never satisfied with the status-quo. She is a constant learner. She is simply outstanding."
Student of the Year- Lauren True
Governing Board Clerk Patty Kennedy presents
Lauren with her award.
Lauren poses for a photo with her family.
Lauren is Washington’s student leader. She takes this responsibility seriously and is involved in many activities, which allow her to lead by example including Link Crew, Student Government, Peer Tutoring, and Media Productions.
Mr. Leyba, Washington’s student government teacher, says, “Lauren is an amazing and indispensable part of my leadership class. Not only does she lead through her words, but also in her actions. I can always count on her to take care of small daily tasks such as turning in purchase requisition forms, to big events such as Prom and Homecoming. There are very few students who are so dedicated, trustworthy, and conscientious as Lauren and I'm so happy to have had the privilege of teaching her.”
Mrs. Granillo, social studies teacher adds, “She is never absent. She's never had a missing assignment in my class and ALWAYS take the opportunity to do extra credit and correctives for exams. She always participates and works well with other students. As my peer tutor, she loves working with the students and teaching them about World History. She makes school a priority."
Principal Carol Lippert says that when she is out on campus, she always looks forward to seeing Lauren because she invariably has a smile and a positive comment. Because she is so engaging, Lauren easily leads her peers, and her leadership is something to be emulated by all. Lauren is an amazing Washington representative. Congratulations, Lauren!
Support Staff of the Year- Mary Freeland
Governing Board Member Rick Fields presents Mary
with her award.
Mary Freeland poses with Principal Carol Lippert;
Assistant Principals Eric Zimmerman, Ed Barnes, and
Jeff Parsons; WHS teacher of the year Charity
Aguilera; and WHS teacher Kim St. Clair.
Mary is a graduate of West High, and she continued her nursing education through Glendale Community College, Boswell School of Nursing, and Ottawa University. Prior to starting at Washington in January of 2010, Mary worked as a nurse at Adobe Mountain juvenile correctional facility.
Mary is Washington's school nurse. She certainly takes care of sick students and administers medications as needed, but she is not content with simply reacting to situations as they are presented to her. Rather, Mary searches for proactive solutions to problems. As a result, she provides the following nursing services to our community: immunizations, assistance with setting up doctor’s appointments, helping diabetic students to set up care management plans, and assistance with obtaining low cost eye glasses. Her proactive approach even extends to fire drills and lock downs where she has prepared a special emergency bag which she brings with her in event of a medical need.
She, however, does not limit her activities to just nursing. Instead, Mary actively seeks out opportunities to assist outside of the nurse’s office. Some of the extra activities that Mary helps with are working with the social worker to organize the local clothing closet, attending summer band camp as a chaperone and camp nurse, assisting the band with fundraising activities, sewing spirit banners for the quad area, and assisting with district CPR classes. Mary has also helped schools around the district by providing immunizations to transitions students and using her contacts to help an Independence student to receive much needed health care. Additionally, because she just isn’t quite busy enough, Mary also continues to work at Adobe Mountain on the weekends.
Principal Carol Lippert says Mary’s addition to Washington High in January 2010 was one of the best things that has happened to the school because she has added a sense of community to the nursing office which permeates the rest of the campus.
Student Group of the Year- DECA
Washington's DECA students speak to the Governing
Board about their club.
Washington DECA students proudly pose with their
DECA is sponsored by Buck Nelson and Maryellen Coburn. The group consists of 142 members who concurrently take one of our marketing classes.
The national organizers of DECA describe the club in the following manner. “DECA is a national organization with the stated mission of preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, applying learning in the context of business, connecting to business and the community and promoting competition. Student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders.”
At Washington High School, DECA takes this stated mission and puts it into action through community service activities, school spirit activities, cross curricular activities, and both state and national competitions. DECA club members are active in the school and community. They adopt families at Christmas time, they raise money for Alzheimer’s research, they participate in Washington's annual tailgate, they volunteer at the Beatitudes Campus of Care, they provide incentives for students, and they participate in all assemblies.
Mr. Zimmerman, Assistant Principal for Operations and Resources, says, “DECA is more than just an organization at Washington. They are involved in many aspects of the school and none is more positive than what they do at assemblies. By using the various DECA food costumes they had the entire student body cheering for more. I have seen dozens of assemblies but never have I seen a group do more to get the students involved.”
DECA members also take their competitions seriously, and, as a result, have brought home many awards and recognitions.
Washington DECA is a group that on a daily basis exemplifies the tenets of Washington High School – personal best, relevant activities, involvement by all, respect for diversity, and commitment to education. Congratulations Washington DECA!
Volunteer of the Year- Mark Humphries
Governing Board Clerk Patty Kennedy presents
Mark Humphries with his award.
Mr. Humphries sees volunteering as something every
parent should do.
Mark would say that he doesn’t understand why he is getting this award. In fact, according to Principal Carol Lippert, it took a little bit of convincing to get him to the AAA awards ceremony. He sees his service to Washington High School as something that every parent should do, and, as a result, he was quite surprised when he was told that he would be recognized. What Mark does not see is that although others are definitely engaged at Washington, he is being recognized for those special qualities that makes a volunteer unique. Mark does not volunteer because it will bring his son special privileges, and Mark does not volunteer because he wants the administrators to like him. Rather, Mark volunteers because he truly wants to provide a selfless gift of service to the educators of Washington High School.
Mark is involved in Washington PTO, he assists with registration, he serves teachers at our back to school breakfast, he assists with Purple Pride sales, he helped to organize tailgates, he oversees the Kool Kash Program, he oversees the 50/50 raffle and, best of all, he volunteers in the copy room. Thanks to his generosity, Washington has consistent assistance in the copy room, which makes the lives of teachers easier, consistent help with fundraising, which makes the lives of students easier, and, most importantly, an ardent supporter of Washington High School, which makes everyone’s lives a lot easier. Congratulations, Mr. Humphries!