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During the latest Achievement Above All ceremony, the Governing Board of the Glendale Union High School District celebrated outstanding achievements from notable individuals. This annual gathering shines a spotlight on key contributors within the Greenway community, including a teacher, a student, a student group, a support staff member, and a volunteer. Principal Ed Barnes from Greenway High School was delighted to introduce these deserving recipients to the community, board members, and superintendent. Each honoree received certificates or awards in acknowledgment of their remarkable accomplishments during the event.


Teacher of the Year, Amy Braun

No stranger to Greenway High School, Amy Braun is this year’s Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Braun has taught World History and AP World History for 18 years at Greenway High School. Most recently, Braun has added Psychology and Sociology to her teaching schedule and is the lead sponsor for the AP/Honors Club. In addition, she holds the title of Department Chair for the Social Studies department and is Nationally Board Certified. 

Special Education teacher Kari Dory says, “Amy consistently goes above and beyond to create a dynamic and inclusive learning environment where every student feels valued and supported. She engages all students in captivating lectures and hands-on activities where students are actively engaged.”

Amy Braun

Student of the Year, Daniel Tang

Ranked number one in his class, Daniel Tang is this year’s Student of the Year. Throughout his high school career, Tang has taken 13 Advanced Placement courses, five of which are being taken during his senior year. He has scored a ‘5’ on eight of them thus far. When he is not in the classroom, he is participating in extracurricular activities such as LINK Leader, DECA President, FBLA President, National Honors Society Vice President, and many more. He is a Flinn Scholar Semifinalist and a National Merit Finalist. Tang plans on attending Arizona State University next fall with an interest in studying Opthalmology. 

Advanced Placement teacher Lyn Canaday says, “Daniel Tang is a young man who cares deeply for learning and understanding the world, but he also cares for his classmates. He tutors other students, striving to explain topics in ways that make sense to others, and he has infinite patience for those who struggle. But he’s also a passionate young man who took AP Spanish Literature because he loves the language.”

Daniel Tang

Student Group of the Year, Speech and Debate

Greenway High School’s Speech and Debate team led by Shannon O’Keefe has seen tremendous growth and success over the past few years. They are this year’s Student Group of the Year. In the past two years, they have had eight students place first in individual medals and as a team, they finished first at many invitational events. 

Greenway’s Speech & Debate Club President says, “Being a part of this club for the past 3 years has been an invaluable and meaningful learning experience that has taught me and my teammates the importance of unity, leadership, contribution, and a team we call family.”

Speech & Debate

Support Staff of the Year, Yurina Cortes

Cafeteria Supervisor, Yurina Cortes, is this year’s Support Staff of the Year. Cortes helps the department serve a community of over 1,300 students and staff members within a 35-minute period every day. She first began in the district in 2003 as a Cafeteria Assistant at Thunderbird and then transferred to Greenway in 2007. In 2008, she accepted the position of Cafeteria Supervisor and has been there ever since. 

Principal Ed Barnes says, “Regardless of the challenge or the ask, Yurina will make it happen to benefit students and staff.”

Yurina Cortes

Volunteer of the Year, Jeremiah Semmler

This year’s Volunteer of the Year is Jeremiah Semmler. Semmler joined Greenway three years ago as an involved parent and community member. In addition to being the father of a current junior, Semmler is also the pastor of Cityview Church. He has been the president of the Parent Booster Club for the past two years. In all aspects, Semmler finds a way to impact the community. 

Principal Ed Barnes says, “Although his roles as PAC President, community Pastor, and father are quite different by title, he is a perfect example of a steward of a community, finding ways to make a positive impact wherever he can.”

Jeremiah Semmler