During the nine years I taught at Patterson, Gilbert was starting to really grow. One year we would have over 1000 kids and every space was taken. Over the course of those years, new schools were built and our population would be split for a time until new subdivisions were built and our numbers would go up again. Because of this, many teachers were hired and then many were transferred to the new school being built.
I don't think I will be able to remember exactly what the dates were. I also hope I have to correct order! When Patterson opened, it took students from Greenfield. The next school that was built that took students from Patterson was Neely, followed a few years later by Pioneer, then Houston. It split a few more times, but this was after I finished my tenure there.
This was the beginning of amazing growth in Gilbert. At one point, it was not only the fastest growing school district in Arizona, but in the nation.
I was fortunate during that time to have an incredible superintendent, Wally Delecki. He was our superintendent for over 20 years. Not only was he an incredible administrator, he is a great guy. I mentioned that Leona Shreve was my dear friend and mentor and I feel the same way about Wally. I learned so much from both of them over the years that has served me well. I thank them for all that they did for me and still do! I was very fortunate to have these two people who helped mold me as an educator and a person!!