Achievement Above All - Independence High School

Achievement Above All - Independence High School
Independence Principal Rob Ambrose introducing Diane VanDyke. 
Teacher of The Year Diane VanDyke

For 21 years now Diane has taught at Independence High School.  She currently teaches Math standards prep classes and Honors algebra 2.

Diane enjoys singing in her church choir, riding her bicycle and supporting the Patriot Pride Program.  Accolades for Diane include Achievement Above All in 1992, Arizona Student Council Advisor of the year in 1995, and the Golden Rule Award in 2005.

Diane’s coworkers had the following to say about her:

From Mary Pat Eul:
She’s one of the hardest working teachers I have ever known. She is a dear friend who is always willing to listen to our personal as well as professional problems. She is exceptionally generous. She works on district elections, has helped with GUEA, sells grocery certificates every payday to fund our patriot pride program.
I am proud not only to call her my colleague, but also my good friend.

Norb Schnieder said the following:
I have been truly fortunate to watch and have marveled at the quiet passion and dedication with which Diane performs her role as an educator.  The unassuming passion which she applies to her service to her students, both inside and outside the classroom, is palpable and unmistakable; even though always modestly applied.  She honestly cares for her students and it shows in all that she does.

Mike Siwek says:
Diane serves as a positive role model to all teachers.  Her dedication to her students and colleagues shines through all of her actions.
Richard Novak sums it up appropriately when he says:

Diane puts in untold hours of effort into making her classes and her school an outstanding representation of public education in America.  Our school, our district and our state should be proud to have her as a teacher.

Independence Principal Rob Ambrose introducing Brenda Puga.

Student of The Year Brenda Puga

Brenda is involved in student council, volleyball, key club and global awareness.

The Faculty and Staff at Independence cannot say enough about this young lady.  She has been described as, a shining example of much that is good about Independence students.  In the academic classroom, the halls and the student council chambers, Brenda has motivated students and teachers alike.

Brenda has received the following awards:

Pepsi Student of the Month, IBC student of the month, honor roll, and western sky region scholar athlete. She says her favorite subjects are Biology and Government and that she enjoys all of her teachers equally.

She is proud to have been elected class president for all four years of her high school experience.

football team
Governing Board member Kevin Clayborn presenting the Independence Football Team their award.

Student Group of The Year Varsity Football

Led by Dr. Gary Buer, the Independence High School Varsity Football Team won the region Championship.  Dr. Buer is dedicated to ensuring that his athletes are top performers both on and off the playing field.  He has instilled a strong work ethic in his athletes that he insists the students take into the classroom with them.  He is the first to demand that his players understand the necessity of academic performance first and foremost.  He works diligently with the Independence High School Faculty to make sure his athletes are fulfilling their duties and living up to high standards of achievement and behavior in the classroom.

Coach Buer is quick to volunteer his athletes to perform community service when necessary as well.  We have had the opportunity to witness his athletes giving back to the community both on and off campus, teaching students the importance of giving back to the neighborhood and school.

The varsity football team received many first and second team all region player awards and coach Buer was named Western Sky Region coach of the year. Independence High School is proud of the achievement and commitment to excellence, along with the school spirit and pride in Independence the varsity football season has brought to our campus.

support staff
Jose Brambila thanking the Governing Board and Independence Principal Rob Ambrose.

Support Staff of The Year Jose Brambila

Jose is a graduate from Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles, Ca.

He has worked as maintenance 3, night lead, maintenance 1 and is now our assistant foreman.  Jose aspires one day to be the facilities foreman.  Jose enjoys NB and NFL sports, and he likes to play basketball with his kids.

Our social worker, Barb Lynch says that Jose has a fantastic sense of humor and he always has a smile on his face.  He knows how to be part of a team and it is a pleasure to work with him.

Mike Siwek offered the following about Jose:

He has grown into a highly valued member of the Independence community.  In addition to all of the tasks he accomplishes as Assistant Facilities Supervisor his efforts in coordinating transportation from scheduling to actually driving critical bus runs have been awesome.

Click here for more photos of Independence High School's Achievement Above All recipients.