On March 31, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community celebrated its many student victories at Salt River High School by hosting a Community parade that marched to the Two Waters complex, ending at the Tribal Council chambers.
JROTC students led the parade, and a Community motorcycle club escorted the student groups to the Two Waters complex. Students marched into the Tribal Council chambers for formal recognition at 5 p.m. Families, Community members and tribal staff who came out to watch and join the parade also attended the recognition program at the Tribal Council meeting.
The Salt River High School Lady Eagles girls’ basketball team won its third state championship in seven years on February 24. The team finished the season with 22 wins and 1 loss, its best record in school history.
Four other programs at Salt River High School also earned distinction and recognition in the March 31 Victory Parade: the state champion junior varsity girls’ basketball team; the robotics team, which participated in the Arizona State championships; the student council, which was recently recognized as an Arizona Student Council of Distinction by the Arizona Association of Student Councils (AASC); and the wrestling team, which posted a number of state-placing wrestlers, including its first-ever heavyweight high school state champion.
“These championships [represent] more than just sports and activities,” said Jon Gentile, Salt River High School principal. “This is an example of an intentional school culture we are building together.”
During the recognition at the Tribal Council meeting, students stated their names for the record. One student, Jason James Jr., introduced himself to the Tribal Council by saying, “My name is Jason James Jr., I am your heavyweight state champion,” and the crowd cheered.
All students and team coaches received a wreath of candy as a gesture of recognition. Tribal Council members shook hands with every student, and group photos were taken of all the student groups.
An estimated 100 parents, family members, staff and Community members were present in support of the students being recognized. The evening ended with cake for all of the students and their supporters.