Submitted by Michelle Reese, public relations officer for the Higley Unified School District.

Students at Chaparral Elementary School in the Higley Unified School District have more than $8,500 in new books at the school thanks to the efforts of the school PTO and the local Sam’s Club.

The PTO purchased $7,000 worth of books for classrooms following several months of fundraising.

“The books directly go into students’ hands this year as the school uses authentic literature to teach the English/language arts in kindergarten through sixth grade,” Principal Liz Wolf said. “We could not teach at the caliber we do without the fundraising our PTO does each year. Our community supports our students, our teachers and our classrooms directly. This year was very special as students received iPads and books in their classrooms. We are grateful for that support.”

Sam’s Club made a $1,500 donation to the school, as well, helping to purchase more books. This marked the second year in a row the school received funding from for books and training. This year’s award was part of a literacy grant.

“We are so grateful for the business and community support we enjoy at Chaparral,” Wolf said.

Higley transportation director earns state recognition

Higley Director of Transportation, Josh Crosby, was recognized as the 2015 Student Transportation Professional of the Year by the Transportation Administrators of Arizona this summer.

“It was a shock to me,” Crosby said. “I was giving an award to someone else. They wouldn’t let me off the stage. They surprised me with this,” he said.

Higley Superintendent Mike Thomason praised Crosby for his professionalism.

“He consistently works hard to assure our students are transported to and from their homes in safety. He is tireless in his efforts to make his department most efficient,” Thomason said.

Crosby joined the Higley transportation department in 2000 and was named director in 2004. The district runs 52 buses daily with more than 5,600 eligible riders.