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This week we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on Senior Cody Crabtree, one of our student treasures here at Academy of Tucson High School. Junior Civitan is a branch of the Rotary Club and Cody is Junior Civitan’s District Governor for our Heart of the West Region. This region includes four states - Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and California! What an Honor.

As Governor, Cody leads members in their efforts to practice and promote good citizenship in all kinds of areas – at home and at school, in the community and across the nation. Cody also communicates district and international goals to all the membership and works closely with our Junior Civitan Teacher/Sponsor Rosana Cumberland. One of the ongoing projects for Junior Civitan is clearing Saguaro National Park East from buffel grass, an invasive species. For more on Junior Civitan’s important work, Academy of Tucson’s amazing High School, and about Cody himself, let’s hear from Cody, in his own words:

What is Junior Civitan and why did you join?

Junior Civitan is a non-profit volunteer organization across the globe that is designed to help middle school and high school students engage in giving back to their communities through service. At a local level, clubs are established to give kids an opportunity to volunteer in their community at places like homeless shelters, food banks, and park clean ups. At the international level, the North American Junior Civitans help raise money to donate to the Civitan International Research Center. The CIRC, as it's formerly known, researches treatments and cures for developmental disabilities such as autism and down syndrome.

I joined Jr. Civitan as an opportunity to continue volunteering in my community. Growing up, I was heavily involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. As a freshman, I joined Jr. Civitan as an outlet to meet new people and continue giving back to my community.

How long have you been a member and how large is the organization? When did you take on your leadership role?

I have been a member since freshman year.

Junior Civitan has over 11,000 members in 400 clubs across the globe.

As a junior, I ran for our school club President. A few weeks later, I traveled with a group of 6 other students to Pocatello, Idaho, where I also ran for our District Governor. I started both positions during the summer between my junior and senior year, after attending the International Convention in Washington, D.C.


Why do you find it rewarding? 

The best part about being a Junior Civitan, is being able to connect with the countless numbers of people that we serve. From meeting residents at the Ronald McDonald house as we help prepare a buffet breakfast for them, to meeting “Big Momma,” founder of Big Momma’s House, a homeless shelter in Pocatello, Idaho. Being able to serve and meet these amazing people from all over the country has been the most rewarding thing anyone could ask for.

My favorite moment in Junior Civitan

My favorite moment in Junior Civitan was the banquet dinner held at our inaugural All In Summit this past February. The banquet was held at the CIRC, where we were able to meet the director of the research, Dr. Craig Powell. During the dinner, the 20 governors, representing 36 states and 2 countries, were invited to share their reasons for becoming a Junior Civitan. These governors delivered the most heartwarming and tear shedding speeches that I have ever heard. With tears of love and passion in our eyes, we were awarded our certificates to commend us on our dedication to service. The pictures below encapsulate these moments.

What do you enjoy most about school? What do you like about AOT?

School for me is a chance to be with my friends, learn in a community, build relationships, and make memories. School gives you the chance to progress yourself in any way that you would like. You progress your traditional core skills, or try new things like sports, music, art, and theatre. No matter what it is, you can grow as an individual, make new friends, meet new people, and improve yourself year after year.


Things I enjoy about AOT

The ability to diversify myself in my high school career. I came from public schools, yet I am involved in more clubs, sports, and academics than ever before. Since AOT allows students to join all sports, clubs, and classes, it has given me the ability to create my perfect blend of high school life. I have had the chance to do more things with more organizations here, than I would have anywhere else. I can confidently say, AOT has opportunities for students in extracurricular activities that no other school in this State offers. AOT is truly a one of a kind school that allows students to find themselves and their passions.

My college readiness

As a graduating senior, this is a huge thing for me. At AOT, there is a strong focus on college and career readiness from Freshman year. During my time, I have been able to explore countless options of different majors and different schools. I have toured ASU twice. I have toured NAU 3 times, one of which was a week-long stay during Boys State my Junior year. I have toured Pima 4 times and am currently taking dual enrollment through them. And lastly, I have been to the U of A at least a half a dozen times or more touring a variety of majors, visiting a variety of different schools on campus, and ultimately allowing me to decide on my major and school for next year. This devotion to helping the students find their path after high school is unheard of at many other schools. Speaking with friends of my past, I am fortunate enough to be the only one who knows where I am going to school, what I want to study, how i’m going to pay for it, and what I can do to have the best college experience possible. These conversations were very eye opening to me and make me extraordinarily thankful for the staff at AOT.

What is one thing you would tell a prospective student about AOTHS?

If you want the chance to make memories, better yourself, and have experiences unlike any other, then AOTHS is the school for you. AOT will challenge you and make you work harder than you may ever have before. But hard work pays off, and at the end of those four years, you will be so grateful that you stuck it out and got to see the rewards. At AOT, you will have opportunities to find your passion and begin building the person you want to be. The clubs, classes, and sports we have will take you on a journey of friendship and learning. But if you hang on long enough, you could end up going above and beyond what anyone expected.

In my four years, I have been to dozens of cities across state, toured the 3 public universities, brought physics to life on Santa Monica beach, traveled to Idaho, Washington D.C, and Alabama for my volunteering, was a delegate in the 83rd annual Arizona Boys State at NAU, participated in the 2019 AASC Spirit Conference and the 2020 AASC State Convention, and networked with thousands of people who I can connect with in my future life goals. There is no doubt that the opportunities are there, you just have to be willing to take the risk and chase your dreams. Like Robert Frost once said, “Two roads diverged in a wood, I-I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” (Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken).

Cody is not only the Junior Civitan District Governor – he is also our 2020 Valedictorian for Academy of Tucson High School! And he was recently featured in an article about local Senior athletes whose spring seasons were cut short.  

Since 1986, Academy of Tucson public charter schools partner rigorous, traditional curriculum in smaller and more innovative classrooms, ensuring an individualized education for every student. Academy of Tucson’s public charter school district comprises three schools – an elementary, middle and high school and regularly receives an “A” average rating from the state of Arizona. Academy of Tucson is very proud of its 100% graduation rate! Come find your new school family at Academy of Tucson!