Higley High School is one of 20 schools to be recognized next month for civic engagement by the Arizona Department of Education.
The Excellence in Civic Engagement awards were launched in fall 2012. Schools were asked to submit applications that showcased a number of areas, including how the school provides instruction in history, government, democracy and law; how teachers and staff incorporate discussions of current local, national and international issues; and how staff encourages participation in school government, as well as community involvement.
Higley High was recognized as a “school of merit” and will be honored on Constitution Day, Sept. 17, by State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.
At Higley High, students’ civic engagement includes participation in the We the People class and team, as well as senior capstone projects, and club and sports service projects. A few community service highlights completed last year included: the boys’ basketball team delivered bicycles to students in need and collected items for homeless veterans; the cross country team and DECA club raised $1,000 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization; and the ceramics club put on its annual “Empty Bowls” event to raise funds for Mesa’s United Food Bank.
In the area of civics education, last year’s We the People class competed at both the regional and state competitions. Several students also travelled to Washington D.C. to watch the inauguration.Other East Valley schools honored include Hamilton High School (Chandler) and Mountain View High School (Mesa) as schools of merit, as well as Mesa’s Dobson, Red Mountain, Skyline Mesa and Westwood high schools among schools of distinction. More information can be found online at www.azed.gov/civicengagement/schools.
“I believe this award highlights the positive things that are going on here at Higley High, including our students’ understanding of their responsibilities and roles in the community,” said Eric Vannatter, social studies department chairman at Higley High School.