• Haley's Story

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    Haley Nicole Knutsen Elementary School
    Haley Nicole Knutsen was born March 1, 1996 to Chris and Angie Knutsen. Haley was a loving daughter, a wonderful sister to Kylene and Jayce, and a great friend to all. She loved arts and crafts, to sing and dance, and adored her animals – two dogs, Lulu and Kelsey, and her cat, Cleo. Haley was always looking for bugs of any kind, but especially, lady bugs. She enjoyed soccer, playing in the park with her friends, and going to school. Haley was a proud Humphrey "Marshall" and later an equally proud Navarrete "Nighthawk."

    Haley was diagnosed with leukemia the day before her second birthday. She would battle this illness the rest of her young life. Haley underwent her first bone marrow transplant in 2001 before starting kindergarten at Humphrey Elementary. Her battles with illness would continue as she relapsed in 2004 and underwent another transplant. In January 2005, she captured the hearts of thousands as she fought a third recurrence.

    Our community was mobilized in an unprecedented fashion as they learned of Haley’s seven year fight to defeat Leukemia. She inspired all of us with her courage and strength. Haley’s bravery united our schools, our community, and residents across the state, who rallied emotionally and financially to support Haley and her family. Schools throughout the district organized fund raisers and businesses opened their doors to partner in these endeavors. Staff, parents, and anonymous donors wrote checks, and students, who were saving money for bicycles and video games, willingly donated their cash to help the cause – well known as "Hope for Haley." She brought out the generosity and compassion in all of us and taught everyone an important lesson about life’s priorities.

    Today we pay tribute to Haley as she represents all children of Chandler Unified School District. Haley’s inquisitive nature and love of learning, her compassion for others, and, most importantly, her courage when facing adversity will be remembered for decades in the future. It is honor to recommend that we name the district’s 28th elementary school, located in the square mile of Gilbert, Lindsay, Queen Creek, and Ocotillo Roads, "Haley Nicole Knutsen Elementary" and lovingly refer to it as "Haley Elementary School."

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Last Modified on August 11, 2013