GUHSD Governing Board Honors Moon Valley Rockets

Moon Valley Achievement Above All Recipients Honored at Annual Awards Ceremony
Posted on 2019/06/03
AAA Award RecipientsMarch 2019 – It was a great evening to celebrate as Moon Valley High School’s top teacher, student, support staff employee, student group and volunteer were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and dedication to the Rockets and GUHSD community. The annual Achievement Above All ceremony was held at the regular meeting on Wednesday, March 6 where the GUHSD Governing Board and Principal Anat Salyer acknowledged the recipients. 

“Moon Valley High School has an incredible community of students, staff and parents,” Salyer said. “Tonight it is my pleasure to share with you some of the outstanding people that are part of the Moon Valley family.”

Achievement Above All Teacher Recipient:

Ryan Swartz was recognized as Moon Valley’s Teacher of the Year. His journey with the Glendale Union High School District began when he was a student at Glendale High School. After graduating, he attending Fresno Pacific University before landing in his position at Moon Valley. Since then, Mr. Swartz has become very involved on campus through not only teaching, but coaching as well. 

“He also has coached five sports with a majority of the time spent in boys soccer, where he earned coach of the year two times,” Salyer said. 

Mr. Swartz is also known for being an excellent helping hand around campus. 

“He has made countless videos, signs and stickers for faculty members, programs and groups,” Salyer said. “He even designed one of the play houses in our preschool playground. He does all of this without announcing it to anyone or expecting any recognition.”

Ryan Swartz 1 Ryan Swartz 2

Achievement Above All Student Recipient: 

Alyssa Dodgson earned Student of the Year at Moon Valley for her academic accomplishments, high extracurricular involvement and consistent determination to succeed. 

“During her time at Moon Valley, she has taken honors and AP classes, all while playing volleyball and softball and being involved in student council and National Honor Society,” Salyer said. In addition, she participates in the school’s early childhood program and is a peer tutor in special education classes.

All of Dodgson’s achievements helped her earn the Lumberjack Scholarship at Northern Arizona University where she will major in biology. 

Moon Valley Student Council Adviser Jenna Serafini also added, “Alyssa is a perfect example of what a Moon Valley student represents. She is respectful, driven, outgoing, self-reflective, and above all, a sincerely kind-hearted student.”

Alyssa Dodgson 1 Alyssa Dodgson 2

Achievement Above All Student Group:

Student Council, sponsored by Jenna Serafini, was honored as Moon Valley’s Student Group of the Year. With over 30 members, Student Council holds many responsibilities including supporting clubs and sports, organizing school-wide events that include all students and promoting overall spirit on campus. 

“They plan assemblies, dances and spirit weeks. They host a variety of events like mandex, powderpuff and tournaments,” Salyer said. “They maintain Moon Valley traditions while also creating new ones. They support clubs and sports and help encourage school spirit, all while maintaining their grades in their other classes.”

One of the group’s biggest accomplishments of the 2018-2019 school year was being awarded Outstanding Council of Distinction by the Arizona Association of Student Councils. This is the highest achievement for student councils who exhibit excellent student leadership, community service and impressive school events. 

Student Council 1 Student Council 2

Achievement Above All Support Staff Recipient:

Support Staff of the Year was awarded to Moon Valley Data Processor, Claudia Martinez. She has worked at Moon Valley for nearly 10 years now and has held many positions before landing in her current role including attendance assistant, counseling secretary and records secretary. 

On top of earning Support Staff of the Month a couple of times at Moon Valley, Martinez also play a significant role in the Rocket family. 

Her friend and colleague Christina Marrufo said, “Claudia is our mother hen. She always goes the extra mile and fills in wherever she is needed.”

Martinez’s supervisor and Moon Valley’s Assistant Principal of Student Services Jonathan Parker also added, “She is the cornerstone of the department. She not only excels in her position, but she willingly jumps in to help anyone at any time. A proud team player who knows exactly when to lend a helping hand.”

Claudia Martinez 1 Claudia Martinez 2

Achievement Above All Volunteer Recipient:   

Justin Southwick was honored as Moon Valley’s Volunteer of the Year. Southwick has a long history of parent volunteering with Moon Valley and has dedicated his time and effort to many of the school’s sports teams and clubs. 

“Justin is heavily involved in our football program as the president of the booster club, however his volunteering doesn’t stop there,” Salyer said. “He’s been involved with our cheer program, baseball program, future freshman night event and works in the snack bar at basketball and football games.”

All for the benefit of the Moon Valley Football team, Southwick also filmed practices, uploaded film every day and traveled hundreds of miles to film future opponents.

Moon Valley Teacher and Head Football Coach Seth Millican said this about Southwick, “His focus is always on what is best for the kids of Moon Valley. His efforts are always outmatched and his word is always good.”

Justin Southwick 1 Justin Southwick 2

Congratulations to Moon Valley High School’s 2018-2019 Achievement Above All recipients!

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