By Sondra Barr

Barry Goldwater High School is defying expectations and transforming the way it is viewed by the community, thanks to its top-notch programs, diverse clubs, and competitive sports teams. Among these programs is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, which offers students a rigorous and comprehensive liberal arts curriculum. The school’s Avenue 27 culinary program allows students to learn valuable skills and showcase their culinary talents, while numerous clubs and sports teams provide opportunities for personal growth, leadership, and teamwork.

One student who exemplifies this spirit of achievement is Asianna Junge. A senior at Barry Goldwater, she’s made an indelible mark during her four years at the school. A dedicated student, she has been involved in student government throughout her high school career, even serving as the student body president for the past two years. An IB diploma student, Junge is heavily involved in clubs, including the Society of Female Scholars, which she founded on campus this year as part of her IB CAS project.

One of the society’s most significant accomplishments has been providing free menstrual care products in all school restrooms. “We already had those products available in the nurse’s office, but a group of women thought it was important to have those available in the restrooms as well,” says Junge. In addition to her work with the society, she has been actively involved in DECA, a business and marketing club. Her participation in DECA led her to place first in marketing communications at the state level this year.

Junge attributes her success to the supportive community at Barry Goldwater. She will be attending Rice University on a QuestBridge National College Scholarship.

Junior D’Vaughn Hicks, a fourth-generation track athlete, has similarly benefited from the environment at Barry Goldwater. Hicks, a junior, has attended the school for three years. Among his achievements is making it to the state finals in track and field, becoming one of Arizona’s top hurdlers. “It’s just amazing overall,” he says. “I started from the bottom, and now I’m working my way to the top.

Hicks began his Barry Goldwater journey when he moved to Arizona in 2019. Coming from Detroit, Michigan, a city known for its dangerous and challenging environment, Hicks says that one’s origins don’t have to define their future. He wants to inspire others by proving that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
“Just because I grew up in a poverty-stricken area with drugs, gangs, and violence, doesn’t mean I have to turn out that way,” he explains.

Barry Goldwater has provided him with the supportive community and opportunities to pursue his dreams and inspire others. He credits the guidance of his coach, Bill Scott, and the support of his teacher, Ms. Torres, for helping him form a positive mindset. Hicks plans to attend Macalester College.

Sadie Garcia, a senior at Barry Goldwater, has also experienced significant personal growth during her high school years. Initially shy and antisocial, Garcia credits her involvement in the culinary program and yearbook club for helping her break out of her shell. “I’ve met a lot of new friends,” she says. Participating in yearbook activities, such as attending games to take photos, has further encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone.

As Garcia reflects on her high school journey, she expresses gratitude for the teachers who have supported her along the way. Ms. Hansen, a history teacher, has not only provided academic guidance but also emotional support when Garcia faced challenges in other classes. Similarly, Mr. Moline, her yearbook teacher, has been a source of positivity and encouragement. Garcia’s advice to incoming students is to “have a lot of confidence” and embrace the bumps in the road as opportunities for growth. She looks forward to pursuing a career as a 911 dispatcher and continuing her education in college.

Barry Goldwater’s IB Program, which has been in place since 1999, provides a comprehensive and rigorous liberal arts curriculum for talented students. With 33 IB schools in Arizona offering 40 programs, Barry Goldwater is among those leading the way in providing exceptional educational opportunities.

Another standout program at the school is the student-run Avenue 27 culinary program. Through hands-on experience in the culinary arts, students develop valuable skills and gain insights into the world of professional cooking.

The school’s diverse array of clubs, activities, and top-notch programs are testament to its commitment to fostering a supportive and empowering environment for its students.

Through the dedication and hard work of students like Junge, Hicks, and Garcia, as well as the support of teachers and mentors, Barry Goldwater is changing the way it’s viewed by the community.