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During the Achievement Above All event held at Apollo High School, the Glendale Union High School District's Governing Board took the opportunity to showcase the accomplishments of distinguished individuals. This yearly event honors the substantial contributions made by members of the Apollo community, encompassing a teacher, a student, a student group, a support staff, and a volunteer. Apollo High School's Principal, Ben White, had the honor of presenting these exceptional awardees to the community, the governing board, and the superintendent. In recognition of their remarkable achievements, each honoree was presented with certificates or awards during the ceremony.

Aaron Walls, Teacher of the Year

Aaron Walls is this year’s Teacher of the Year. Mr. Walls teaches Freshman Science, supports Special Education students in the ALC lab, and instructs students in Systematics class. When he is not in the classroom he is coaching Apollo High School’s football team. 

Special Education Department Chair Rebecca Vega says, “His students know he truly cares for them, he finds a way to reach them even when they are having a bad day. His hard work does not go unnoticed and he is inspiring not only to our students but to our department and school as well. In the world of shortcuts, Mr. Walls displays to our students that there are no shortcuts for hard work, and relentless focus because those are keys to success.”


Adam Mohammed, Student of the Year

No stranger to Apollo High School, senior Adam Mohammed is this year’s Student of the Year. Mohammed has had five other siblings graduate from Apollo. Since his freshman year, Mohammed had a goal of playing football at the collegiate level. As a student, Mohammed worked hard to make sure that his GPA and ACT scores were high enough to allow him to play college football. Mohammed was able to graduate in three and a half years. He is now attending the University of Washington and practicing to play football for this upcoming season. 

John Whitney says, “Adam Mohammad has an incredible work ethic!  He always came to class with a smile, a true gentleman, and ready to work.  He is a preeminent student athlete that understands the importance of education and how that complements amazing talents on the football field.”


Football, Student Group of the Year

Apollo’s Student Group of the Year is the Football team sponsored by Aaron Walls. The team has won three region championships in the last 4 years, 2 state playoff appearances, and has received the 5A Sportsmanship Award for a second time. Off the field, the team volunteers their time at local elementary schools. 

Horizon Elementary Principal Sarah Balder says, “Our partnership with Apollo football is a beautiful thing.  Horizon students get the benefit of seeing great role models show them the importance of reading, writing, and math to being a student athlete.  When Apollo football players support Horizon our students win.”


Deborah Dunn, Support Staff of the Year

Apollo High School’s Social Worker, Deborah Dunn, is this year’s Support Staff of the Year. Dunn has been working at Apollo since 2016.  Dunn takes care of students who are struggling whether it be a bad day for them or they have just gone through a traumatic event. Dunn is extremely helpful and is a rolodex for information on how to make sure all of a student's needs are met. 

Teacher Bryce Reynoso says, “Deborah Dunn has had a profound impact on the lives of the teachers and students here at Apollo. She is a compassionate listener, an incredible source of advice, and embodies everything that a social worker should strive to be. Her vision for improving the mental health of Apollo's staff and students has led to the creation of student-led mediation groups and activities designed to spread love and joy campus-wide. She has been a beacon of light for many years, and I believe it is safe to say that many of us would have been lost without her."


Nellie Andrade, Volunteer of the Year

After leaving the Apollo Attendance Office in 2006, Nellie Andrade returned to Apollo in 2021. Andrade is this year’s Volunteer of the Year. She has received the Achievement Above All Support Staff of the Year award in 2003. Now, she is the Booster Club President. During her time as president, she has spearheaded some new events like starting a car show and supporting clubs and sports with concessions. 

Teacher Joey Devlin says, “Nellie is dedicated to Apollo. She has shown her dedication by working at Apollo many years ago and sending all of her children to Apollo to be educated and to be employed. It is her mission, as well as the club's mission, to help all students, not just sports groups, feel supported and part of the Apollo community. She truly gives all of her heart to Apollo High School and is well deserving of this honor.”