Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced the 2019 Arizona English Learner Teacher of the Year is Eileen Nguyen of Esperanza Elementary School, 251 W. Mohawk Lane, in the Deer Valley Unified School District.
“It is an honor for me to recognize outstanding teachers such as Eileen Nguyen,” Ms. Hoffman stated. “With an educational philosophy focused on constructing meaning through learning, Eileen has created a learning environment that is not only relatable to her students, but is also supportive when students need extra assistance. Her laser-like focus, dedication, enthusiasm, unselfishness and attention to detail are just some of the qualities that have made her the 2019 Arizona EL Teacher of the Year.”
The process for choosing the 2019 Arizona English Learner Teacher of the Year began with the call for nominations in May of this year. In October, the honoree was chosen after the candidates’ credentials were reviewed by a panel of peers facilitated by the Arizona Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition.
On Nov. 8, Ms. Hoffman and ADE staff made a surprise visit to Esperanza Elementary School to inform Ms. Nguyen that she had been selected.
“It is my privilege to accept this honor on behalf of our families and our students,” Ms. Nguyen stated. “I’ve been given many opportunities in life that were unique and that led me up to this career, and it is my honor to defend our kids, to protect them and help them get the opportunity for equal education. By showing a genuine interest, being positive with our students and letting parents know all the good things their kids have done, parents come on board with us, and we go further with our student’s academic gains.”
Ms. Nguyen will be honored at a banquet Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson. This event is being held in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Education’s 2019 OELAS Conference, “Creating Connections – Elevating Everyone.”
Ms. Nguyen, who graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Elementary Education, has taught English learners for the entirety of her 25-year career.