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Wiley Popovich

Mesa High School

Mesa, AZ

Wiley Popovich has been teaching in the Mesa school district for the last 22 years. He has taught World History, American History, World Geography, American Government, and Criminology. Mr. Popovich developed his love for social studies in elementary school while writing essays about the freedoms protected by the Constitution. He was the Social Studies Student of the Year at Red Mountain High School in 1995.

Mr. Popovich began taking his middle school students to the Project Citizen showcase in 2011. The team from his class was the 2011 state hearing champion and proposed a public policy related to driving distractions. Students learned many skills participating in Project Citizen, which included how to work with legislators in creating public policy solutions for problems in the community. State legislators, city mayors, council members, lawyers, and prominent community members met with the students to help them create solutions to make the community a better place. Mr. Popovich’s work with Project Citizen earned him the John J. Ross Award for Teacher Excellence in Law-Related Education in 2013. 

The students in Mr. Popovich’s class have also been highly involved in the Mesa community. He has sponsored student teams to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life. His students have also written letters to soldiers overseas, adopted families during the holidays, and raised money for pet shelters. In his career Mr. Popovich has taken hundreds of students to Washington D.C. on the Close Up trip to gain inspiration from our nation’s founding ideals.

Mr. Popovich began working with We the People at Mesa High School in 2019. The team participated in the We the People regional competition, preparing a mock legislative hearing on issues related to the U.S. Constitution. His class has sponsored voter registration drives at Mesa High to register senior year students to vote. He loves teaching about public policy and how his students can work with the government to improve the community. Mr. Popovich is currently developing a Mock Trial team at Mesa High.