Apollo Achievers Honored during Annual Event

GUHSD Governing Board Honors 2020-2021 Apollo Achievement Above All Recipients during Virtual Event
Posted on 11/05/2020
AHS AAA 20-21November 2020 – Excellence continues at the Glendale Union High School District with its monthly Achievement Above All events, where individuals from each GUHSD school are recognized for their achievements. It was an evening to celebrate as the GUHSD Governing Board recently honored Apollo High School’s 2020-2021 top teacher, student, student group, support staff member and volunteer. The governing board honored each Achievement Above All recipient for their outstanding contributions to the Apollo Hawk community during a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Apollo Principal Brooke Parsons introduced each recipient to the governing board to share about their individual accomplishments. 

Apollo Achievement Above All Teacher Recipient: Lindsey Peterson

Ms. Peterson is a product of the Glendale Union High School District. After graduating from Greenway High School, she attended Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in History. She then went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in English from Grand Canyon University. Shortly after, she began her teaching career at Apollo where she currently serves as the literacy coach and English Department Chair. Other experience she gained at Apollo derives from coaching Spiritline from 2002-2005 and sponsoring the College Club. 

Ms. Peterson’s peers have shared that she plays an important, creative role on campus.

“Lindsey is an inspiration,” Apollo English Teacher Jessica Jarrell said. “Her knowledge of literacy and how to motivate and reach students is vast. Her creative and innovative ideas are endless, and I can only hope to be half as exceptional as she is. Her passion for education is unmatched.”

Ms. Peterson also shared why she is passionate about teaching.

“I am a teacher because I love learning, and I believe in the power of education,” Peterson said. “I love the act of breaking learning down into manageable steps and helping my students to access each piece of it. I believe that education lifts people from where they are, and I am passionate about lifting my students and our community to higher, better places. Education is a hopeful profession, and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

In her spare time, Ms. Peterson enjoys spending time with her family, reading and listening to podcasts. 

Apollo Achievement Above All Student Recipient: Haylee Weathersby   

Haylee Weathersby has proven to be a successful student athlete on campus. She has been a member of the swim and dive team, girl’s basketball team and unified sports, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Her athletic talent has earned her many recognitions including Basketball Region Recognition, AZ Central Academic Athlete of the Month and AZ Central Athlete of the Week. 

Weathersby’s Basketball Coach and Apollo P.E. Teacher, Sue Prado, boasted her opportunity to coach Haylee during her high school experience. 

“Occasionally, we are fortunate to have a student athlete that just excels in everything that she does and that is Haylee,” Prado said. “She has made her mark on the hearts of us all and will be ‘the student athlete’ that others will want to emulate. She has had tremendous support from her family and will always be a part of our basketball family.”

Weathersby credited her teachers and coaches for their desire to help students accomplish their goals.

“All of the teachers that I have had I have loved,” Weathersby said. “Apollo is filled with amazing teachers that each have their own unique and fun personalities that want nothing but to help their students succeed. I am forever grateful to be a hawk and I have loved all four of my years at Apollo. Once a hawk always a hawk.”

Weathersby will attend Black Hills State University in South Dakota on a full-ride athlete scholarship to play women’s basketball. She plans to major in Sports Psychology and minor in Coaching as an aspiring future collegiate basketball coach. 

Apollo Achievement Above All Student Group Recipient: Best Buddies

Apollo Best Buddies Club, sponsored by Apollo Teaches Christie Watson and Toni Cook, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The club’s programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers.

Some of the group’s arranged activities include matching parties, movie nights, game nights and organizing a Best Buddies prom. 

In addition, Best Buddies has received honorable awards in the past for their dedication to inclusivity such as the State of Arizona’s Outstanding Chapter and winning the Achievement Above All Student Group of the Year at Apollo two prior times. 

Sponsor Christie Watson shared that the best award however, is not a recognition, but the relationships built within the club. 

“The best accomplishment of our club is the wonderful, heartwarming and meaningful friendships we create,” Watson said, “The character of our Apollo community shines brightly year after year with the new members who continue to make Best Buddies a wonderful experience.”

Despite the challenges at hand due to the global pandemic, Apollo Best Buddies is determined to continue to create meaningful and lasting friendships on campus.

Apollo Achievement Above All Support Staff Recipient: Kathy Farrell 

Kathy Farrell is a long-time member of the Apollo community. Having worked in the attendance office for over eight years, Farrell has had the opportunity to work alongside many different principals, teachers and staff members to help better the school. 

Apollo Principal Brooke Parsons acknowledged Farrell for her positive reputation on campus.

“Ms. Kathy, as she is known by everyone, is a no nonsense straight shooter with a strong work ethic,” Parsons said. “She communicates effectively with parents and students. Our parents trust her and our students adore her.”

Apollo Assistant Principal Ben White also shared more about Farrell’s personality.

“Kathy understands her job and is such a great listener,” White said. “She always wants to know how you are doing and encourages you along the way. She makes jokes about her age and she truly cares for people.”

Farrell stated that although she’s grateful for this honor, she believes the entire department is worthy of this achievement. 

“This award is a wonderful honor for myself and the attendance department, and I am so grateful,” Farrell said. “We work as a team and I believe we all deserve it.”

Aside from her role at Apollo, some of Farrell’s personal interests include enjoying time with her grandchildren, cooking, singing and playing her guitar. 

Apollo Achievement Above All Volunteer Recipients: Amy and Barnaby Wasson
Amy and Barnaby Wasson have strong ties to Apollo, as they have had one child attending the school almost every year for the past 17 years. They have four Apollo graduates, one current senior, and their last child will be joining the Hawk family in a couple of years. 

Throughout their years as volunteers, Amy and Barnaby participated in several activities around campus. Some of the ways they have contributed to the school include participating in site council, hiring committees, bond committees, and attending governing board study sessions. 

Amy and Barnaby also encourage their children to get involved on campus. Their whole family has participated in helping student council with candy sales, making posters, flipping burgers, assisting in car washes, building homecoming floats, chaperoning homecoming dances, and creating costumes for the student council state convention.

Amy and Barnaby shared the importance of volunteering to them.

“Making a difference and being a part of a community is extremely important to us,” the Wasson’s said. “Volunteering has given us a chance to stay connected to our teenagers and to be part of the Apollo community in a way that provides impact and meaning. It has provided us with the opportunity to give back to the teachers, staff and community. One person truly does make a difference.”

Apart from their volunteer efforts, Amy enjoys movies, hiking and shopping, while Barnaby enjoys photography, gardening and skate boarding. 

Congratulations to Apollo High School’s 2020-2021 Achievement Above All recipients! 

Excellence: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow #WeAreGUHSD #ExcellenceContinues