Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy|Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
herberger young scholars academy

School Culture


This small school community is built around an inclusive environment of like-minded individuals. It is here that students find a safe, caring environment with their peers and the faculty. Grouped by academic ability rather than by age grades, students are not constrained by traditional classroom structures. Frequent whole school activities create a sense of membership to a truly remarkable school for gifted students.

Social Experiences

HYSA affords a broad range of whole school and small group social activities designed to allow student the opportunity to interact with like minded students while fostering the development of social and leadership skills, as well as lasting friendships. All activities are planned to encourage students to be risk takers, offering experiences in which they might not have had the opportunity to participate in previously. These activities include overnight trips to Camp Tontozona and Saguaro Lake Ranch Resort, attending the Barrett Ball, participating in Student Council, all school lock-ins, after school clubs, competitions and athletics.

Personalized Learning

HYSA students are afforded advanced educational opportunities commensurate with their abilities, strengths, and interests. Small class size allows students learning to be tailored to individual needs and goals. Students are grouped by their abilities, not age, and move through course work at a pace exclusively based on their personal timeline. They are able to set a target graduation date and design a course schedule to meet this date.

Teacher-Student Collegiality

At HYSA, the staff and students enjoy a deep, collegial relationship that facilitates a community of trust, care and support. The staff sees students as trusted contributors to the school; their viewpoints are valued at every level, from staff interviews to project design to improving the school. When students experience academic or social challenges, there is a tight safety net of adults who willingly step in to help students. On a day-to-day level, it is not unusual to see staff and students engaging in caring conversations throughout the school, bonding over the fish tank’s ecology, the latest “it” novel, or engineering challenges with the 3D printer. HYSA is a place where everyone does, indeed, know your name.

Advantages of Being on a University Campus

HYSA is located on ASU’s West campus. Being an integral part of the ASU community affords HYSA students incredible opportunities like working one-on-one as interns or research assistants with ASU professors and professionals; taking ASU classes for credit or as audits; utilizing ASU facilities including labs, fitness centers, classrooms, libraries, dining, and more; and participating in ASU events including games, lecture series, expositions, and many more. Experiential learning is an important part of HYSA’s curriculum, and as students on ASU’s campus, kids become acclimated to a college environment while in a safe atmosphere. Many HYSA students, upon graduation, are accepted to Barrett, the Honors College at ASU where they continue their education in an environment and at a rigor similar to their experience at HYSA.