Sunnyslope Vikings Celebrated at Annual Event

Sunnyslope honored at Achievement Above All Event
Posted on 04/06/2018
Sunnyslope Volunteer of the year

Sunnyslope Vikings Celebrated at Annual Event

Please enjoy this highlight video from the Achievement Above All event.

April 2018 – The annual Achievement Above All ceremony celebrates a teacher, student, support staff member, student group and volunteer who exhibit superior traits and representation. Sunnyslope High School celebrated their achievers on April 7.

“With pride – in our spirit and our culture as Vikings – it is my sincere pleasure to introduce four outstanding individuals and one outstanding student group and their sponsors,” Principal Steven Ducey said in his opening remarks.

Achievement Above All Teacher Recipient:

Amber LeTarte has taught at Sunnyslope since 2000, however, it is important to know that Mrs. LeTarte has been with Sunnyslope since the 90’s. Yes, Amber was first a student at Slope.

Amber has many great memories of her time as a student; painting “S” Mountain, square dancing with one of her best friends, and playing Volleyball in a state championship game with her fans cheering “no fear Geer” on the side lines.

LeTarte achieved many accomplishments during her time in high school, and she has continued being as successful as a teacher and coach. “Coaching since 2000, Amber become our head varsity girls’ volleyball coach in 2006 and what a legacy she has crafted,” Ducey said. “Eight state championship seasons with the longest consecutive run being a 4-peat, with some repeats mixed in there as well.”

“Amber is an amazing human being and I am thankful for the legacy she has created at Sunnyslope. Her spirit, passion, and leadership, which began as a student in the 90’s, has been an integral part of the Sunnyslope culture, pride, and honor ever since.”
Teacher at podium

Teacher accepting an award
Achievement Above All Student Recipient:

Jenna Drotzman performs at the top of her class, contributes to her community and shines as a positive role model to her peers.

“From the onset, Jenna has been an amazing student and a phenomenal human being. She excels in academics while taking in the full high school experience through her involvement in traditions, clubs, athletics, and community service,” Ducey said.

Jenna’s character is true and present in every setting. “She is persistent beyond measure. She is intrinsically motivated to become the best version of herself,” said one of her teachers.

Upon graduation, Jenna plans to attend Grand Canyon University. She will be studying early childhood development and speech pathology.
Student of the year accepting award
Girl student holding award

Achievement Above All Student Group Recipient:

The Sunnyslope Robotics Team, better known as Team Ra, is led by Tyler Bolen. Honored as the student group of the year, Team Ra is not only focused on robotics, but they are also focused on contributing to the community. With this is mind, they have been hard at work developing a program with local elementary schools. They invited the younger students to the school on Saturday and teach them the basic skills and tools involved in robotics.

“Students from every demographic of the school, with different backgrounds and many individual interests, come together to form this highly performing team,” Assistant Principal Tim Matteson said. “Their hard work and countless hours of planning, along with their amazing utilization of technology, is a testament to their team spirit, incredible perseverance, and willingness to embrace challenges in the pursuit of success.”
Student group at podium
Student group posing for picture at award ceremony

Achievement Above All Support Staff Recipient:

Sheila Yoder attended Three Rivers High School in Three Rivers Michigan. After high school, Sheila went on to earn her bachelors in psychology and sociology from Wichita State University in Kansas. Since then she has earned her Masters degree in social work from ASU. 

“It was clear from the beginning just how amazing and talented Sheila Yoder truly is,” Ducey said. “From the on-set, staff took note of Sheila’s kind nature, her service work ethic, and her vast knowledge and experience. Sheila instantly became an invaluable asset to the Sunnyslope campus and community.”

Sunnsyslope Assistant Principal of Discipline Dr. John Lovell has this to say about Mrs. Yoder: “Sheila exhibits extraordinary levels of empathy and compassion on a daily basis, and has gone far beyond expectations in terms of the service that she has provided to everyone that she encounters in her position.”
Teacher assistant giving speech at podium
Teacher assistant posing for picture at award ceremony

Achievement Above All Volunteer Recipient:

Glendale’s Volunteer of the Year has been a staple on the Viking campus for more than three decades. Ken Van Cott was a student at Sunnyslope and shortly after graduation; he was recruited by a parent to become one of the members of the football chain gang at varsity football games. That is where he has been on home varsity game nights for the past 35 years.

Coach Damen Pieri had this to say about Mr. Van Cott, “Ken has been a dedicated volunteer for the Sunnsylope High School football team for 35 years. Every home game Ken has been working as part of the chain crew. It is always refreshing to see Ken before each home game. He always shakes my hand and says ‘Good luck, Coach.’ It is nice to have such a loyal, consistent, and gracious man on the sidelines. Good season, bad season, ken never waivers on his enthusiasm for Sunnsylope High School.”

Thank you and congratulations to each of the Achievement Above All recipients. We are grateful for your contributions to Sunnyslope High School and the Glendale Union High School District community.
Volunteer of the year accepting award

 Volunteer posing for picture at award ceremony