2004-2005 has been another exciting year at Payson High School where our mission is learning. Every class, every activity, every interaction is designed for maximum student learning.
This year, we are proud that our attendance is greatly improved. At the 100th day, we had a 94.93-percent attendance rate, the highest in most years.
Our ACT scores were again higher than state and national averages. One of our students, Stephanie Hilliard, is a finalist for National Merit Scholarship.
Our sophomores, class of 2007, took the AIMS test, which they must pass for graduation, for the first time this year.
A total of 99 percent of the sophomores were here to take the test showing a very positive attitude about achievement.
PHS participated in the Hands Across the Border program for the first time this year. Twenty students enrolled in Spanish classes traveled to Guaymas, Mexico, where they lived in the homes of 20 students. Two weeks later the Mexican students traveled to Payson to repeat the exchange.
Our second year in 4A has shown that our young musicians, drama students, and athletes can compete. We celebrated winning performances in every sport, in regional music, and drama festivals.
This year as always, sportsmanship and scholarship remain as important as athletic, musical, or dramatic talent.
Our wrestling team was first in the Grand Canyon Region. Nathan Lee was PHS's first ever four-time state champion. Don Heizer, long-time assistant wrestling coach was named Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year. The girls' basketball team won the Holiday Hoops tournament.
Our football, soccer, and cross country teams participated with honor. Our softball, baseball, and track teams are off to a good start.
Sixteen members of band and chorus participated in regionals and 12 of them will audition for All-State band and chorus. Our thespian troupe was named Honor Troupe of the state. The drama classes continued to present topnotch entertainment for the community.
Our student council was very active. They sponsored homecoming week as usual, but added a Winterfest week, which included activities each day and royalty from each class, selected by teachers.
Payson High School is one of four schools piloting the Arizona scholars program. Business leaders across the state and in Payson work together to encourage young people to take more rigorous programs. Twenty of our graduating seniors will graduate as Arizona scholars this year.
We are thankful to the supportive Payson community for helping us in all of these endeavors. We urge community members to take advantage of the plethora of entertainment available at Payson High School. There is something for all ages, all interests, often for little cost.
And, we would be delighted to see you.