Thunderbird High School's Achievement Above All Event

Thunderbird High School's Achievement Above All Event
Ian Hugh and Amy DiMeola
Governing Board President Ian Hugh presents Ms.
DiMeola with her award.
Amy DiMeola
Amy DiMeola is not only a teacher at THS, but she
is also a THS graduate.

Teacher of the Year- Amy DiMeola

Amy DiMeola graduated from Thunderbird High School and received her BA in Education with an emphasis in Math at Arizona State University.  Ms. DiMeola continued her education at the University of Phoenix, where she received a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. 

Her teaching career started at Moon Valley High School, where she served as a Title 1 aide.  For the past six years, she has been at Thunderbird, working wonders in the math department.  She stepped into the Title 1 coordinator position two years ago and successfully helped with the creation of the school-wide Title 1 program at Thunderbird.  She is also a soccer coach and National Honors Society sponsor.

Friend and colleague Lauren Colombo had the following to say about Amy: “I haven't met a single person who works harder than Amy.  Student reactions to teachers are always a good benchmark by which to judge teacher effectiveness, and Amy's students have always proclaimed their love for her.  Every semester post-finals, my students wrote notes to their favorite teachers, and her students filled her mailbox semester after semester.  They explained that they appreciated her style of teaching, they appreciated that she genuinely cared for them, and they appreciated her self-deprecating humor.  Amy goes to great lengths to make Math interesting, and there are certain lessons that her students will never forget thanks to her zany, innovative lessons, including the Quadratic Formula and dealing with perpendicular lines and their angles.  The world would be better with more Amys teaching our youth, that's for sure.”

Congratulations, Ms. DiMeola!

Connor Hustead and Pam Reicks
Governing Board Clerk Pam Reicks presents
Connor with his award.
Connor Hustead
Connor poses for a photo with his family.

Student of the Year- Connor Hustead

Connor Hustead attended Lookout Mountain Elementary, then Mountain Sky Junior High, and is finishing his senior year at Thunderbird High School.

Connor stays very busy with schoolwork, Student Council, and sports.  Although his extracurricular activities keep him occupied, he carries all A’s and B’s. Connor is the example for all student-athletes.  He gets good grades, teachers enjoy having him in class, and he always gives 100%.   

As an athlete, Connor led the state championship football team and state runner-up baseball team as a junior and as a senior led the football team to the quarterfinals of the state championship.  His many accomplishments in football include being named 2011 All-Division III Running Back, 2011 All-Division Section III Section III East Running Back and Returner, 2011 GUHSD Offensive Player of the Year, 2011Team Captain, 2010 AZFCA All-State Running Back, 2010 1st Team All-Region Running Back and Returner, 2010 AZ Republic 4A-II All-State Running Back, and the 2010 Championship Game MVP. In baseball, he was named an all-region center fielder.

Coach Parker football coach says, “Connor has a gift for transforming sure losses into positive gains, for recognizing that he enjoys a special talent that can carry a team, yet making sure to recognize all the others that contribute to his success.”

In his role in Student Council, he has shown willingness to help others, and he has always been a positive influence. Every other week, the Student Council joins the special education students for their adaptive PE class. Connor takes the time to interact and be a friend to the special needs kids and goes out of his way to ensure they have a good time.

Congratulations, Connor!

Matt Belden speaks about Anna Torres
Principal Matt Belden presents Anna Torres with
her award.
Anna Torres
Anna Torres proudly represents Thunderbird.

Support Staff of the Year- Anna Torres

Anna started at Thunderbird in 2001 as a part-time ELL aide and attendance secretary.  In 2002, she stayed in the ELL department, but also worked with the bookstore.  In 2007 she became a full-time ELL aide, and in 2010 she was hired as the counseling secretary. 

Assistant Principal for Student Services Tiela Schurman says, “Ms. Torres is an integral part of the counseling office’s success.  Her dedication and commitment to the office is commendable.  Students and parents are made to feel welcome, and Anna has a knack for easing parents’ anxiety about facing high school.  She consistently takes on projects with a smile and confidence.” 

Prior to coming to THS, she had experience as an aide in Liberal, Kansas and Hereford, Texas. In Liberal, she was awarded a lifetime achievement award for raising $40,000 for Apples for Schools.

Outside of school, Ms. Torres is all about family.  From 1985-1992 she was a stay-at-home mom, but volunteered at every school her students attended.

Her colleagues say she is patient and kind when working with parents and students, especially those enrolling for the first time at Thunderbird.  The first impression often starts at Anna's desk, and she does an amazing job of letting families know what a great school Thunderbird is. 

Congratulations, Ms. Torres!

Thunderbird NJROTC
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Johnson presents the
cadets with their award.
Thunderbird's NJROTC cadets pose with their award.

Student Group of the Year- NJROTC

Sponsored by Chief Warrant Officer Chris Houston and BMCS Glenn Shepher, NJROTC seeks to develop leaders, promote patriotism, and encourage personal honor, self-reliance, and community service. 

Thunderbird’s NJROTC unit has received the Naval Service Training Command Distinguished Unit award three years in a row and is within the top 20% of NJROTC programs nationwide.  The drill team ranks in the top 3% of all competing drill teams in Arizona.  
NJROTC students are active at all school activities, presenting colors, providing directions, and serving as gophers.  No matter how the late the request, one can always count on NJROTC students to step forward and be leaders on campus.

When asked what they thought about NJROTC, almost all teachers said something like, “they are always here.  I look forward to each morning when I turn the corner by ROTC at 6:30-6:45am and Chris or Glenn and students are starting class and wave to me as I drive in to start my day.”

Congratulations to Chief Warrant Officer Chris Houston, BMCS Glenn Shepher, and the NJROTC students.

Rick Fields and Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes
Rick Fields presents Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes with
their award.
Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes
Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes are an important part of what
makes THS NJROTC so great.

Volunteer of the Year- Rosalio and Normalisa Fuentes

Every successful group relies on volunteers. Thunderbird NJROTC has benefitted from the countless hours that the Fuentes family has volunteered.

Just as the NJROTC students can always be counted on, so too can the Fuentes family.  Cooking, preparing for outings, and chaperoning for overnight campouts are just a few of things Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes help with.  They are outstanding role models for the cadets and show that volunteerism does not stop when you leave high school.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Fuentes!