Friday, Oct. 1, 2010 | 11 p.m.
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Palo Verde hosts Cheyenne in a Thursday night game between two traditional Northwest powers. The Panthers have looked nearly invincible while starting the season 5-0, but could the Desert Shields give them a scare in this rivalry game?
“We definitely depend on them,” Clark coach Don Willis said. “They are our senior, four-year guys that have played a lot. They are great athletes, and this is the way we planned it going into the season.”
Clark improved to 2-3, while Western’s record went to 1-4. The Chargers were up 21-0 midway through the second half before the Warriors scored right before halftime to give them hope in the second half.
A comeback never mounted, however, as Clark continued to find yards on the ground.
“We really played well,” Willis said. “We came back after halftime and answered.”
A fresh coat of paint and a fresh perspective are among the changes being made around Western High School.
Western is one of five turnaround schools that missed the marks set by No Child Left Behind and now faces the challenge of increasing student achievement.
The school is the third oldest in the district and its campus lies near Decatur Boulevard and Veterans Memorial Highway. The majority of students attending Western are minorities from disadvantaged homes. Western is known for having a rough past, but students are optimistic about the future of their school.
Change is apparent according to students interviewed in September.
“When I was in eighth grade, I was told I was going to get shot or stabbed when I came to Western,” said senior Kole Yanez, 17. “That might have been true 15 years ago, but now, you don’t see that here.”
Rules are tightly enforced on campus. The school keeps a strict dress code policy and cell phone use during class time is not permitted.
Halls are designated by grade level giving students a sense of ownership and community. Pride is clearly visible at pep rallies and sporting events. The newfound pride might just be he medicine needed to alleviate the 8 percent dropout rate, the highest in the district.
“It’s like building a house. You need a strong foundation,” said Neddy Alvarez, principal. “You need those strong relationships. When kids know we care about them, the learning will take place.”
- Year built:
- Principal (Year Hired):
- Neddy Alvarez (2008)
- Mission Statement:
- “The mission of Western High School is to promote scholarship, encourage good citizenship, and embrace our cultural diversity.”
- Approximately 2,400
- Notable alumni:
- Frank Hawkins, former NFL player
Capt. Nicole Malachowski, first female Thunderbird
Ronnie Vannucci, drummer of The Killers
Tom Collins, Clark County commissioner
- School Report Card:
Compiled by Gregan Wingert