MJHS becomes home for GJHS students, staff
Mesquite Junior High to welcome former Gilbert Junior High students
Mesquite Junior High School reception area.

By Eduardo Barraza
July 20, 2017

(Gilbert, Arizona) -- Mesquite Junior High School will be welcoming nearly 400 former Gilbert Junior High students when the new school year begins on August 2.

With less than two weeks before school starts, Mesquite is ready to flex its full academic muscle to receive this new student population.

Mesquite’s principal Daniel Johnson said 380 students who previously attended Gilbert Junior will be joining 630 Mesquite students.

Five former GHJS teachers and three other employees are also becoming part of Mesquite’s staff.

“This year we are going to have a full campus,” said Johnson.

He said the school handled 1,000 students before, and that . the facilities can house nearly 1,100.

Prior to becoming Mesquite’s principal, Johnson taught history there for five years. The 2017-18 school cycle will be Johnson’s fourth year leading the school.

Johnson said having a full campus of 1,000 combined students will give this cohort a great opportunity to become more competitive in athletics.

“Combining the two campuses will be great; we will be winning,” said Johnson.

Mesquite’s principal said he is happy to offer students coming from Gilbert Junior an auditorium with a seating capacity of 750.

A former high school campus, Mesquite is the only junior high in the Gilbert Public Schools District with an auditorium.

Johnson thinks former Gilbert Junior’s students joining the drama class will be excited when they see a big auditorium where they can learn and perform.

The principal also highlighted the school’s advantage of using the Mesquite Aquatic Center for its Physical Education class. The aquatic facility is contiguous to Mesquite’s campus.

On May 30 the Gilbert Public Schools’ Governing Board voted unanimously to close Gilbert Junior.  The decision to close the 50-year-old school was based on a significant decline in enrollment during the last five years.

The school would have operated on a third of its capacity, after a demographic study showed the number of students was expected to drop below 400 in 2017-18.

Following the board’s vote to close GJHS, another vote allowed Gilbert Classical Academy to move into the vacant campus.
Related storyGilbert Classical Academy’s new home gets ready for new school year

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