Beyond The Last Milestone: Finishing 2014 On A High Note


Photo courtesy of Barbara Geidel, Copyright © Barbara Geidel 2014

(L to R) Seventh grader Tessa Jung, freshmen Karolina Grgurovic, Krista Santacruz, sophomores Kori Klein, Wesley Jamison, junior Alexa Geidel, and seventh grader Finley Lindsey pose with the official No Place For Hate banner. It declared Horizon Honors as a member of the national organization and the first charter school in Arizona to receive the recognition.

Alexa Geidel and Serge Hattasch

On Wednesday May 7, the Beyond The Walls (BTW) club of Horizon Honors was presented with an official banner making it a No Place For Hate (NPFH) school.The lunch time presentation marked the next step in the club’s fight against bullying within and beyond the walls of our school.

Seventh grader Finley Lindsey is one of the newest members of BTW, but she feels like she’s been a part of the movement from the start. She describes the other members’ dedication to the NPFH goal, “These people have worked their tails off to do something for their school, and I find that inspirational and remarkable. They’ve earned their place in Horizon for their constant efforts and contribution to our school.” Lindsey feels proud to see the effects of BTW play out in the hallowed halls of Horizon Honors everyday. She continues to be surprised by the positive outcomes from all of the hard work leading up to the declaration. Not only has she heard fewer rumors than ever, she also thinks the student body as a whole is starting to realize that the choices they make hidden behind a phone or computer screen can come back to hurt not only the victim, but they themselves in real life.

The woman who presented the club with the official banner was Melissa Medvin, a representative from the Anti-Defamation League. She also happens to be a Horizon Honors parent. Medvin feels a strong connection with the school and has been adamant about getting Horizon Honors to become a NPFH school for a while now, and finally she was able to touch base with the right people. She was especially delighted to reveal that Horizon Honors would be the first of its kind, “Horizon is now a part of a very elite group of schools who have worked hard to gain this designation, and should be extra proud since [it’s] the first charter school in Arizona to do so.” She expressed that every member of the school should be more than gratified by the new title that adorns the school.

Scott Gotham, assistant secondary principal, enjoys the club and feels that the school becoming a NPFH school is an excellent step in the right direction. It excites him to see the students working hard to make the school a more positive place all around. He also said that with the involvement of the entire school, there is no way the BTW club can’t facilitate a change for the better. Understanding that the focus is on empowering the individual, Gotham encourages every student to participate in stopping and preventing harassment around campus. Gotham looks forward to the dedication the club puts forth and how it will pay off for the years to come.

The members of BTW affectionately calls it  “the little club that could”, having made it past numerous challenges throughout the year. Since the club has met this milestone, it is now ready to embark on its next journey: the 2014-2015 school year. “I feel I’ve finally found a way to pay Horizon for its amazing contribution to our academics,” Lindsey concludes, beaming. She’s found her niche in BTW and it seems as though the club might be finding its own niche in the everyday life of all the Horizon Eagles.