Celebrating 10 Years
Known for academic, artistic, and athletic achievements, Guyer students and staff work diligently for success. Recently recognized as the best public high school in Denton County, John H. Guyer High School opened in the fall of 2005 and celebrates ten years with “No Place Like Home” on Friday, September 26 at C.H. Collins. Growing from 1100 students to a current enrollment of over 2,400, Guyer offers a variety of classes and programs to meet the needs of all students. None of Guyer’s success would have been possible without the support and guidance from Principal Barbara Fischer. She has always encouraged and inspired her Guyer family to be the best.
“Our students challenge themselves with college classes which not only prepare them for the rigors of university but provide them with advance credits while still in high school” explains Dean of Students Donna Jones. Rigorous AP and dual credit classes provide students the opportunity to earn college credits prior to graduation and prepare them for further educational opportunities in top colleges and universities across Texas, the United States, and abroad. Since 2006 over two hundred students have crossed the Atlantic to attend the partner schools in Berlin through Guyer’s German Language program. Others have studied in Italy and Greece, as well as scoring the elusive top score of 5 on the Latin AP test. At least fifty students take part in dual credit classes each year through TWU and NCTC; graduates already well on their way to a college degree.
In other classes students apply traditional lessons in nontraditional ways. Students in creative writing class visit a local cemetery to find inspiration for their short stories. In Ms. Whitehead’s physics class, students study torque by changing her car tires with a variety of lug wrenches to experience the difference in torque. Math students of all levels take part in the Dallas BEST Robotics Competition. Bridget Matamoras explains how in 2013 “the Guyer Robotics "STEAM" Team had assumed we were eliminated from the competition since we were rookies, and our robot was not as sophisticated as many others. We were ready to head home, already dissembling our work, when we heard our name called as having advanced to the semi-finals round via a wild card slot.” It was a successful first attempt as placed 9th out of 24 teams, most having years of experience. Other students practice domestic and parenting skills through the Child Development class when they experience parenthood first hand with computerized babies. Students who wish to learn more about agriculture and livestock care have won numerous breed classes at the Southwestern Livestock Exhibition in Ft. Worth and The San Antonio Stock show. Guyer offers something for everyone.
In the fine arts department Guyer shines. At the 2014 4A state speech tournament, the Wildcats took sweepstakes with only 2 people competing. The theater department has competed at the state level for the last three years bringing home many acting and stage technician awards, yet Elisha Crotwell still describes one her proudest moments as the opening night of the first musical, A Year With Frog and Toad. “With the exception of five students, every student performer and technician was a freshman. They had never done a high school show, with a live pit orchestra, a huge set, body mics, and multiple costume changes. It was an incredible moment when the curtains opened for the first time in Guyer history, and as the curtains were opening, the actors, dressed as birds, rode swings down from high up in the air.” Pat Guyer, who has never missed a musical since expressed in her own smiling way that we were “as good as Broadway.” Michelle Hanlon directs the Orchestra program which has grown from less than 50 students the opening year to almost 200. In March 2006, Rhapsoday, the varsity orchestra, brought home the very first UIL trophy that Guyer won in any division. They continue to have a perfect UIL record of straight 1st division ratings from all six judges every year since the school opened. “The Guyer Band is full of some of the hardest working, most spirited students on campus,” explains new director Amy Woody. “We try to live by the mantra, “commit ourselves to the relentless pursuit of perfection” in making music, and we hope it comes across every time we perform, whether at a football game, pep rally, or in the concert hall.” Students sweat through many hours putting together a band show at halftime, but they truly enjoy being able to support the school every week with incredible halftime presentations.
Begun in the fall of 2012 by then junior Jud Kinzy, the spirited student led Blue Crew, is another unique Guyer group. Easy to spot at any game in their blue shirts and contagious enthusiasm, the Blue Crew is a student only spirt organization who support all of the school’s athletic programs. The award winning band, drill team, and cheerleaders keep energy high at football games, cheering on the two-time state champion Wildcats. Guyer football has also produced thirty-nine Division 1 signees in football, 3 All-Americans, and 1 NFL player as well as 5 of Guyer’s Valedictorians.
Guyer’s other sports programs are equally competitive. The 2012 varsity boys cross country went from 7th place at the district meet in 2011 to Region 1 champions in 2012. Devin Norton was the individual Region 1 Cross country Champion as well as the 2 mile regional champion in Track. Guyer basketball not only are the 2013-2014 Bi District Champions, but every senior on last year’s team are college players this year, including Jordan who earned a full academic scholarship to University of Houston. Guyer tennis competed at state for the first time in 2012-13. The Lady Wildcats are fiercely competitive. The Lady Wildcat Volleyball team has been Area Finalists in 2012 and 2013, and 90% of these young women qualify for Academic All-District. Volleyball is currently 24-4 with a five game winning streak, undefeated since August. Girl’s track has been recognized with the best state finish in school history, bringing home a 4th Place team finish at 2014 State Track, including Silver Medalists in the 4x200 and Bronze Medalists in the 4x100. In 2010, the softball team was the first Guyer team sport to qualify for state. They finished semi-finalist and the 3rd ranked softball team in the state.
While Guyer students are highly competitive, they are just as compassionate and giving. In a time when society teems with negative articles regarding lazy, thoughtless, and often cruel teenagers, here at Guyer, students are motivated, thoughtful, and even heroic. In the Spring of 2015, HOSA will sponsor the "4th Annual Erick's Fun Run -Run for Those Who Can't". Students in all programs donate clothes and medical supplies to help Mr. Salas’s Posada de Belén mission in Peru. They feed the homeless with the Knights of Columbus and Trick or Treat for Cans, gather school supplies for the United Way, and raise funds for the American Red Cross. Basketball puts on a free holiday camp for Youth Basketball Players. NHS members serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Worth taking care of families of seriously ill children and visit senior citizens at Good Samaritan. Key Club makes sure Guyer is always beautiful with monthly Saturday clean ups and students and staff keep Denton warm collecting coats for the Denton Rotary Interact. Wildcat hearts are huge!
Guyer Wildcats are truly a family. They come together in celebration and in sorrow. As a staff, they come together to support each other through educational challenges, illnesses, new babies, and loss of loved ones. They encourage one another and their students with unmatched levels of time and effort. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat!
Written by Beth Sullivan