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GUHSD Governing Board Honors Apollo High School Achievement Above All recipients

April 2022- Excellence continues at Glendale Union High School District as the Governing Board honored Apollo High School’s Achievement Above All recipients, including Teacher of the Year, Student of the Year, Student Group of the Year, Support Staff of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year during their latest meeting. Principal Ben White spoke about all recipients as well as presented them with a certificate or award for their achievements.

Apollo High School graduate and mathematics teacher Kenna Anderson is Apollo’s Teacher of the Year. Anderson graduated from Apollo in 2012. From there, she attended Arizona State University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Grand Canyon University. When Anderson is not teaching math, she is the Student Council sponsor. She helps students plan fundraisers, host events, and build leadership skills. Fellow Math Teacher and Junior Class Teacher Katrina Taylor says, “Kenna strengthens our culture at Apollo. She works tirelessly every day with teachers, students, and admin to build a culture centered around engagement.”

When asked what makes Anderson passionate about teaching, she said, “I am most passionate about instilling a sense of success in all of my students. I want them to learn, grow, and feel like they can do it. Math is commonly not well-liked, and most of my students have failed a math class before. If I can get them to want to learn and want to try, I can help them be successful in my class which bleeds into other classes and their futures.”

Kenna Anderson

Described as a great human being and a tremendous leader on the Apollo campus, Ahamed Mohammed is Apollo’s Student of the Year. Mohammed maintains an above 3.0-grade point average while immersing himself in basketball. Each year, Mohammed has grown to be a more patient athlete and found himself to be a quiet leader on the basketball court. Coach Jacob Marin says, “He came to Apollo as an undersized freshman, but earned a starting spot. His work ethic, competitive nature, and leadership are as good as it gets. He never takes a play, let alone a day off.”

Mohammed says his plans after high school are to play basketball at the collegiate level and become a professional basketball player.

Ahamed Mohammed

Made up of 32 school-spirited students, Apollo’s Student Council (STUCO) is this year’s Student Group. Kenna Anderson is the sponsor of STUCO. Anderson says, “The purpose of student council is to bring the school and community together, help guide and grow leaders through high school, and learn skills for the future.” Apollo’s Student Council members have made it their mission to build school spirit, teach freshman and sophomore students what it meant to be a Hawk, and rekindle school spirit in the junior and senior students this school year. Assistant Principal of Operations and Resources Mr. Linsacum says, “STUCO is different here at Apollo they have created a culture that it is important to show your hawk pride.”

STUCO Sponsor Anderson says their future goals are to introduce the skills learned in Student Council to the rest of the student body.


Maria Sanchez, also known as Sassy around the Apollo campus, is their Support Staff of the Year. Sanchez has been at Apollo since 2015 and can be described as the personality of the Maintenance Department. Principal Ben White says, “She is a self-starter who knows what jobs need to be finished, and she excels at her ability to communicate with teachers, staff, and students. You always find her with a smile on her face and a welcoming hello.”

When Sanchez is not on the Apollo campus, she can be found taking a bike ride or watching the Arizona Cardinals with her family.

Maria Sanchez

For over 5-years, Bruce Pokuta has been coaching baseball at Apollo High School. Pokuta loves baseball, but more than baseball, he loves teaching young men how to handle the ups and downs of life, using sports to speak with them. Pokuta is Apollo’s Volunteer of the Year. Head Baseball Coach Jerod Aker says, “In my 30 years of coaching, I have not been around a coach that is so willing to volunteer his time and energy without expecting anything in return.”

Pokuta says volunteering is important to him because he loves being able to coach his son and being around baseball. He continued to say, “Helping kids that want to learn is big for me.”

Bruce Pokuta