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A 1984 Coolidge High School graduate, Mr. Anderson returned to Coolidge High School as Director of Bands in mid-September of 1991. He also taught class piano, high school choir, junior high choir, and beginning band classes. Over the course of the next 11 school years, the Coolidge High School Band program grew to include a symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Pep Band. Over time, the number of students involved in the music programs at Coolidge High School grew to over 200 students and over 400 from the 5th grade beginning program through 12th grade. By the fall of 1998, the Coolidge High School Marching Band reached 130 winds, percussion, drum majors, and auxiliaries.
From 1991-2002, the band program earned numerous Superior, Excellent, and Good ratings in Symphonic and Marching Band Festivals, including 8 consecutive appearances at the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association State Marching Band Festival. The marching band also won ‘caption awards’ for outstanding musical performance, marching performance, auxiliary performance, and drum major performance. In the fall of 1997, Mr. Anderson was awarded the “Director’s Award for Outstanding Overall Musical Performance” at the Flowing Wells Invitational Marching Band Festival. In addition, the Coolidge High School Marching Band earned only one of 5 “Outstanding Musical Performance” caption awards in Division I at the State Marching Band Festival in 1998. Over the course of Mr. Anderson’s years as director, numerous students earned individual “Superior” and “Excellent” ratings in solo and ensemble competitions. Many Coolidge High School students, through difficult audition processes, also earned acceptance into the Regional Honor Bands and All-State Honor Bands.
During his tenure at Coolidge High School, Mr. Anderson led Coolidge High School Band students in over 500 performances, including concerts, parades, marching band competitions, concert festivals, Jazz festivals, half-time shows, pre-game shows, commencement ceremonies, solo competitions, individual auditions, pep bands, and pep assemblies – including a performance on Main Street USA at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1999.
In addition, Mr. Anderson directed the Coolidge High School and Junior High School Choirs, taught class piano, beginning band, and the color guard.
Mr. Anderson co-founded, with other graduates, the Coolidge High School Alumni Band and has maintained it on a semi-annual basis since 1984.
Over the years, Mr. Anderson taught in the Scottsdale Unified School District, Gilbert Public Schools, Central Arizona College, and Brighton-Hove, England.
Teacher at Coolidge High School from August 1964 through May 2007, a total of 43 years.
Education: 1959 graduate of Tempe High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society and played basketball and baseball. B.A. Degree in Business Education from ASU in 1963. M.A. Degree in Business Education from NAU in 1968.
Military: Active duty Fort Ord and Presidio of San Francisco, CA from July 1963 through January 1964 as a member of the Arizona Army National Guard. Served for a total of eight years with the 158th Infantry Unit in Coolidge, AZ.
Family: Married to Ruth who was a Special Education Teacher at West School; three children: Clifton, Laura, and Rick, all of whom graduated from CHS and ASU; seven grandchildren.
Teaching Career: Business Education Teacher; Sponsor of the Future Business Leaders of America club for 30 years, taking students to national conventions throughout the country – Washington D.C., Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Denver, San Francisco, etc. – winning many regional, state, and national awards; running the basketball snack bar to teach business skills; attending bus driver school to be able to drive students to the club and athletic events around the state.
Athletic Positions: Athletic Director; head baseball coach; head girls’ basketball coach, head girls’ track coach; assistant football coach; athletic coordinator; stadium manager; timer for football and basketball; scorekeeper for basketball and baseball; referee for basketball, and umpire for baseball.
Community Endeavors: Coolidge Lion’s Club; Little League coach; Coolidge Cub Scout Pack Master; City Recreation summer baseball program; and community clean-up projects.
A debt of gratitude to Principal Ross Steck and Assistant Principal/AD Jim Roth for hiring me, and thanks to the many fine school employees and students with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.
Born in 1960 in Tempe, Arizona, Zaira Gonzales was raised in south Phoenix until she was 13 years old when the family moved to Coolidge, AZ and she enrolled as a freshman at Coolidge High School. A member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and daughter of a migrant working family, she was the second daughter of three daughters and three sons born to her parents.
While at Coolidge High School, Zaira excelled in sports. She belonged to the state runner-up volleyball championship team for 1975 and the basketball Championship team for 1976. She was on the All-State Team for Basketball, All-Conference team for basketball and volleyball for 1977 and 1978. Zaira was Coolidge High School senior athlete of 1978, took 4th place in the state tournament in the discus, invited and participated in the Tournament of Champions for track held in Kearney, Arizona. Zaira still holds the Coolidge High School basketball record for most points scored in one game (52). Zaira’s interest in athletics did not end with high school – she paid it forward.
While living in Coolidge, Zaira coached basketball and T-ball for the Coolidge Parks and Recreation Department. Zaira began coaching for high schools beginning in 2009 where she coached JV volleyball and Varsity softball for Bisbee High School until 2011. Zaira coached softball for the Bisbee Little League in 2011. Upon moving to California, Zaira coached girls’ basketball for Lee Vining. She has been the Coleville High School softball coach since 2014.
Zaira belonged to several teams outside of school and work. In 1975, she belonged to the Coolidge Cotton Queens, a traveling softball team. She has also belonged to several competitive softball teams competing regionally and worldwide from 1977-2012. She was a member of the team that won the World Series Championship in 2004.
Zaira worked and retired from the Arizona Department of Corrections from 1980-2007. She currently works for the Bridgeport Indian Colony since 2012. Zaira has two daughters, two sons, and two grandchildren
Joe Clayton Partain was born on July 24, 1941, in Enid, Oklahoma. He graduated from California's Artesia High School in 1959 and attended Cal Berkeley on a basketball scholarship to play for the legendary Pete Newell, whose team had just won the NCAA championship. After an injury his freshman year, Joe transferred to Pasadena Nazarene College where he met and married Nancy McIntyre, who was from Coolidge. It was at college that he answered a calling to share his passion for basketball and God's love for kids as a teacher and coach. He went on to teach and coach basketball for thirty-two years, compiling a 421-267 record career, with his teams winning back-to-back 3A titles for Coolidge in 1975/6 and a 5A title for Chandler in 1984. Joe encouraged players to seek a higher purpose in life and became more like a father to some. On one occasion, he became the legal guardian of a player who had lost his parents. He and Nancy had three children: David, who played basketball at Coolidge, and Casa Grande, Peter, who played ball at Chandler, and Deborah, who continued Joe’s legacy of music and a variety of other sports.
Joe retired from teaching and coaching in 1995 due to kidney failure, but couldn’t stay put in retirement. Instead, he chose to invest his time teaching at the Florence State Prison, working with students to obtain elementary/secondary degrees, as well as master’s degrees. There was never a person that he met that was too far gone, for him to see and point them towards their value and potential as a human being and to God. He continued working at the prison until he finally retired in 2005.
After Joe’s wife of 42 years, Nancy, passed away in 2003, Joe remarried and spent his last 9 years enjoying his life, family, and grandchildren. He is remembered greatly for his wonderful ability to teach, coach, mentor, and help students, family, and friends. His primary love was for God, and he showed this by loving all who had the privilege to know him.
Jim Whipple was born June 7, 1941, in Independence, Missouri. He attended Van Horn High School where he excelled both academically and athletically and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed." He was a member of the 1958-1959 Missouri All-State Basketball teams and in 1959 won the prestigious DiRenna Award given to honor the top boys’ basketball player in the Greater Kansas City area. An honor graduate in 1959, Jim was awarded athletic scholarships to and attended both Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the University of Missouri in Columbia. In 1964 he graduated with honors from Missouri University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Upon graduation, Jim taught math for 4 years at Saint Pius X Parochial School in Moberly, Missouri. Well respected by staff and students he honed his teaching and was selected for his first basketball coaching position. Jim moved to Coolidge in the summer of 1968 to teach and coach at Coolidge High School.
Jim`s personal and professional accomplishments and contributions to the Coolidge community in his 31 years of teaching are many. He served as Coolidge High School athletic director, math teacher, head basketball coach, head golf coach, head tennis coach, and assistant football coach. He was a long-time sponsor for two student activity clubs: Letterman’s Club and Key Club. In 2015, the high school tennis courts were named “Jim Whipple Tennis Courts” in his honor. He earned two Masters's Degrees; one in Education and the other in School Administration. He lived a life of example to the youth in our community as a gentleman, athlete, and educator.
A few of his notable accomplishments include: