Achievement Above All - Thunderbird High School

Achievement Above All - Thunderbird High School

Thunderbird High School Principal Matt Belden introducing Steve Waymire

Governing Board President Ian Hugh presenting Steve with his award

Support Staff of The Year – Steve Waymire

When Steve is not at school he enjoys changing diapers, making bottles, and when there is time, he likes to work with wood.

Steve graduated from Barry Goldwater High School and has taken college classes at GCC and Rio Solado.

Prior to working for Glendale Union, Steve had a very successful career with Discount Tire.  He worked his way through the ranks at Discount Tire, eventually becoming a manager.  In his time at Discount Tire he was named employee of the month for the entire state.  Thunderbird was lucky to hire Steve as maintenance 3, and he was quickly promoted to maintenance 1, and then to Facility Supervisor.  Steve is a great leader and his crew loves working with him.  Steve is a constant presence on campus, always willing to lend a hand.

Mr. Waymire is always thinking ahead and has done a great job insuring that THS students, faculty, and staff have clean, comfortable, and safe rooms on a daily basis.

Thunderbird Principal Matt Belden introducing Demetria

Governing Board member Patty Kennedy presenting Demetria her award

Teacher of The Year – Demetria Graham

Ms. Graham graduated from Barry Goldwater High School and received her BA in Education English at Arizona State University.  Ms. Graham continued her education at California State University, Fullerton, where she received a Master's in Reading Instruction.  Ms. Graham’s teaching career started in 1998 at Tustin High School in California where she taught English and produced the school yearbook.

She currently teaches one block of English 1-2 and Read180.  She is also our Literacy Coach.  Prior to becoming the Literacy Coach, she also taught publications and was the yearbook sponsor.

Mr. Davis, Marketing Teacher had this to say about Ms. Graham, "Demetria is one of the most hardworking and knowledgeable professionals I know. She is my first choice to bounce any plans or project ideas because I know she will give the feedback to make it work even better.  As the Literacy coach Ms. Graham provides resources to our teachers that help students become more fluent readers, better listeners, better writers and most importantly better learners and students.  The resources she provides are invaluable."

Thunderbird Principal Matt Belden introducing Alissa Sabatino

Alissa thanking the Governing Board

Governing Board member Rick Fields presenting Alissa with her award

Student of The Year – Alissa Sabatino

Alissa attended Lookout Mountain Elementary, Mountain Sky Junior High, and is finishing her senior year at Thunderbird High School.

At school Alissa is very busy with schoolwork, clubs, and activities.  Alissa is involved in many clubs and activities on campus.  She is the dance club President, a National Honor Society member, Student Body President, and peer tutor.  Ms. Sabatino is an amazing student on campus.  She has balanced a rigorous course load while maintaining the co-curricular classes she loves so much.

Outside of school she enjoys Bikram Hot Yoga, running, traveling, and teaching ballet.  Last year over spring break, she and her dad traveled to Nicaragua and stayed with some friends who own a house there.  While there, she saw people living in true poverty, yet still having positive attitudes toward each other and life.  She said that trip made her realize that she has so much to be thankful for and that she needs to take full advantage of every opportunity she has in life, always giving 110%.

Alissa plans to attend the Barret Honors college at ASU studying Business Finance.  After graduating she would like serve with the Peace Corps and own her own business.   

Governing Board member Pam Reicks presenting the THS football team their award

Student Group of The Year – THS Football

The Head Coach of the football program is Mr. Brent Wittenwyler, assisted by Coach Parker, Coach Nallette, Coach Stiak and Coach Jones.

After two disappointing 3 and 7 seasons, this group of young men and coaches came together to make a change in the Thunderbird football program.  From lifting weights last winter, to spring ball, to passing league, to summer lifting, and finally, during the season, one could tell something was different about this team.  Team Leaders Jake Stiak, Conner Magness, Jason Birtchfield, and James Matthews brought a competitive nature and an attitude that expected nothing but the best from each player.

Coach Wittenwyler and his staff were named the big school coaching staff of the year and several players earned individual honors.  Each player and the coaches would tell you that they would give up all the individual awards in order to win a state championship.  They were not always the biggest, strongest, fastest team on the field, but they were always the most disciplined, toughest, and most prepared team on the field.  In order to win the state championship they had to travel to the number 4 ranked Liberty High School, number 12 ranked Higley High School, play number 8 ranked Desert Edge at a Neutral site, and then defeat number 1 ranked Williams Field at SunDevil Stadium.