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The Glendale Union High School District Governing Board recently shone a light on the accomplished individuals honored at Thunderbird High School's Achievement Above All event. This annual celebration recognizes outstanding members of the Thunderbird community, including a teacher, a student, a student group, a support staff member, and a dedicated volunteer. Principal Jason Latham of Thunderbird High School had the honor of introducing the recipients to the community, governing board, and superintendent as they were each presented with certificates or awards in recognition of their remarkable achievements.


Teacher of the Year: Katelin Gill

GUHSD alumni, Katelin Gill is Thunderbird’s Teacher of the Year. Ms. Gill teaches Honors Integrated Science and Biology. She has been teaching at Thunderbird since 2015. In addition to working in the classroom, Ms. Gill has served as an assistant track coach and will be taking over the program as head girls’ and boys’ track coach this year. 

Science Department Chair Shannon Miller says, “Katie is extremely dedicated to students and works very hard to reach all students for academic success. She finds ways to relate her science curriculum to real life experiences for students. She truly believes all students can learn. 

Katelin Gill

Student of the Year: Alison Miller

Described as smart, kind and compassionate, Alison Miller is this year’s Student of the Year. Miller lists AP Calculus, AP Biology, and English as her favorite subjects. Outside the classroom, Miller has been dedicated to volleyball for the past four years. She made varsity as a Freshman. She recently committed to the Oregon Institute of Technology to play volleyball at the collegiate level and major in Biological Health Sciences.

Volleyball Coach Carly Price had the following to say, “I have had the pleasure of knowing Alison for over four years through the sport we both love - volleyball. She has been on varsity for the past four years and truly plays with fire, grit, and determination that should be emulated. She has worked so hard to improve her game, both mentally and physically, the past four years.”

Alison Miller

Student Group of the Year: Outdoors Club, Sponsor Eric Smith

With more than 90 active members, Outdoors Club is Thunderbird’s Student Group of the Year. Each month, the club conducts community service by facilitating Thunderbird’s recycling program and maintaining the Joe Clements Nature Trail on the north end of campus. In addition, the club members go for an adventure such as hiking a local mountain, kayaking lakes, visiting zoos and animal sanctuaries, ice skating, geocaching, and visiting state and national parks. 

Athletic Director Layne Peterson says, “The Outdoors Club is one of the largest and most active clubs on our campus. Mr. Smith has created a welcoming environment that attracts students from all walks of life. He provides them with experiences in the outdoors that create lifetime memories and allows them to develop a love for nature and a feeling of camaraderie.”

Outdoors Club

Support Staff of the Year: Cody Gailey

Instructional Assistant Cody Gailey is Thunderbird’s Support Staff of the Year. Mr. Gailey works alongside Thunderbird’s special education teachers and students. He is currently working on his associate degree. He plans on finishing college and becoming a teacher or an analytical chemist. Outside of school, Mr. Gailey enjoys playing board games and painting World War 2 tank models. 

Assistant Principal of Student Services Dawn Bjork says, “Cody walked into this role hitting the ground running and has never skipped a beat. He adds to the community feel at Thunderbird with other staff, faculty, and students. He always wants to do what’s in the best interest of kids and is a great support to the special-education department as well as all the teachers he’s paired with.”

Cody Gailey

Volunteers of the Year: Scott & Kim Baker

Mr. Scott and Mrs. Kim Baker are Thunderbird’s Volunteers of the Year. They have been supporting Thunderbird High School for the past six years. Their son is currently a senior and their daughter graduated in 2022. Mr. and Mrs. Baker volunteer with the Parent’s Association, Band Booster, and the swim team. 

Assistant Swim Coach and Counselor Beth Arnold says, “Scott and Kim Baker have gone above and beyond in order to not only ensure their children had an amazing experience at Thunderbird, but to ensure that all students they worked with did, as well.  Between Band, TPA, Fun Fridays, and Swim, the Bakers have dedicated themselves to our students and faculty beyond measure.”

Scott and Kim Baker