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Overcoming Obstacles, Inspiring Others: Two Students Named Jr. High Athlete of the Year

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Athletes of the Year GraphicIn recognition of well-rounded excellence, Gilbert Public Schools has named Roxanne Gibson of Highland Junior High School and Weston Rigby of South Valley Junior High School as the 2023-24 Junior High Athletes of the Year. These outstanding student-athletes earned the honors of Athlete of the Year through their exceptional dedication to academics, leadership within their schools, and passion for multiple sports.


The Junior High Athlete of the Year program celebrates the very best of Gilbert Public Schools by recognizing outstanding male and female student-athletes from each junior high school through a nomination process involving coaches and teachers. School Administrators and staff then select one male and one female honoree who has demonstrated academic success, leadership on campus and in the community, and has played multiple sports. Finally, the district athletic department collaborates with school athletic directors to choose one male and one female athlete to represent GPS as the District Junior High Athletes of the Year.


“These students show us who they are every single day and it is truly inspirational,” said Stephen McDowell, Director of Athletics at Gilbert Public Schools. “They overcome obstacles and excel when others might give up or make excuses. This award serves as a way to recognize these exceptional students who work to make a positive impact on the people around them.”


Roxanne Gibson of Highland Jr. High has been named the Gilbert Public Schools Female Junior High Athlete of the Year. As a student, she boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA while taking a challenging course load of all honors classes. Even with her busy schedule, she generously helps her classmates with their schoolwork, ensuring everyone succeeds. Her determination is further exemplified by her accomplishments in wrestling, where she not only broke barriers as the first female to qualify for state but also in earning the respect of her teammates through her dedication and bravery.  Roxanne's positive attitude, compassion, and willingness to go the extra mile for others make her a true role model for her peers and a source of pride at Highland Jr. High.


Weston Rigby, the Gilbert Public Schools Male Junior High Athlete of the Year, showcased success not only on the field but also in the classroom. On top of playing football, basketball and track, Weston consistently ranked at the top of his class. His dedication and positive attitude were infectious around campus, making him a natural leader who inspires those around him. Beyond his own personal achievements, Weston was committed to holding himself and his teammates accountable, ensuring everyone strives to be their best and making a positive impact throughout the campus.


Gilbert Public Schools is dedicated to preparing students for success in multiple facets of their lives - including academics and athletics. To learn more about the Junior High Athlete of the Year awards, please contact your school's Athletic Director.

Written by Tristan Chavez