Payson High Grad News



Aspen Gorry

Some Payson High School graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D.s and master’s at top universities. Here is a sampling.

Aspen Gorry, Ph.D., PHS Class of 2000

Aspen received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He earned his BS in math and economics from ASU and his MS in economics from University of Chicago, where he received the Lee Award for the top score on master’s comprehensive exams. He’ll take his Ph.D. to the University of California, Santa Cruz to become assistant professor of economics.

You might remember Aspen for his “killer” speech and debate skills while at Payson High School. Aspen notes, “PHS provided the opportunity to take many AP [Advanced Placement] courses which ... prepared me for the difficulty of college-level course.

“The strong math training that I received in AP calculus was especially helpful in providing a foundation for my future education.”

Katie Carpenter, PHS

Class of 2003

It won’t be long before Katie Carpenter earns her own Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Houston where she is a research and teaching fellow. Katie, a graduate of the University of Arizona, is an American College of Sports Medicine award winner and reviewer for the International Journal of Exercise Science. Katie credits PHS’s “programs and teachers (Jerome Lubetz, Jim Quinlan and Jan Shafer) [who] provided inspiration and continued help even when I was out of school.”

Calvin Legassie, PHS

Class of 2006

If you attended any plays at PHS while Calvin was a student, you saw him on stage.

His true love in theater, though, is behind the scenes. Calvin graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in three years with a 3.5 GPA. While at college, Calvin worked as scene shop foreman, costume shop assistant and stage technician in a 500-seat theater.

He had a summer internship as an assistant production manager at New York’s Lincoln Center. Calvin is off to Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh for graduate studies in stage management with a substantial scholarship.

Calvin says, “The things I learned in high school were like dynamite being laid in my head. College hit the switch and blew my mind. And the momentum from that dynamite is going to help me fly.”

Send your news

Payson Schools has had an overwhelming response to its call for “Great Grads.”

Keep sending the stories of our graduates to Susan Campbell at the PUSD District Office, or call (928) 474-2070.


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