A Glendale teacher is among the 10 candidates for the Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award.
Special education teacher Estevan Carreon of Independence High School, 6602 N. 75th Ave., Glendale, of the Glendale Union High School District, was included among the 10 candidates announced Aug. 4.
AEF’s annual Teacher of the Year program is the highest honor bestowed upon Arizona’s public school teachers. Considered the “Academy Award” of teaching, the winning educator goes on to become Arizona’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.
The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting and championing the exceptional work of public schools.
“Supporting education has always been a top priority,” Jeff Meshey, Desert Financial president and CEO stated in a news release. Desert Financial is the title sponsor of this year’s Teacher of the Year Awards.
“We find ways to honor the legacy of our credit union’s founding teachers and we’re proud to serve at the title sponsor for this important recognition. Our Teacher Appreciation program honors educators throughout the year, and we’re proud to share the news of these 10 educators who consistently go above and beyond. Now, they’re being asked to do more than ever. They are also essential workers.”
Any certified full-time teacher working in an Arizona state-accredited public school or Bureau of Indian Education school is eligible for nomination. Teachers can self-nominate, or, students, colleagues, administrators, family members and friends can also submit nominations.
The 10 candidates will now undergo a final interview process. Following that, five teachers will be named “Ambassadors for Excellence” and finalists for the Arizona Teacher of the year Award. The remaining five will become “Semifinalists.” All 10 are celebrated throughout the year at various recognition events, including the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony which is going virtual this year.
The 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony will air 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 at azedfoundation.org.
The virtual ceremony will feature videos of the five Ambassadors as well as congratulatory messages from special guests. The ceremony will conclude with the announcement of the next Arizona Teacher of the Year.
Winnings for the Arizona Teacher of the Year include $15,000 from the Arizona Educational Foundation and travel paid to attend several National Teacher of the Year events including a trip to the White House to meet the U.S. President and a weeklong trip to International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. They are also considered for an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University.
The 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year and four Ambassadors for Excellence also receive professional speech and storytelling training to aid them in delivering hundreds of presentations during their year of recognition. AEF also has partners who provide gifts to the top 10 teachers, including a free membership to Treasures4Teachers, scholarships from the Arizona K12 Center to pursue National Board Certification, on-field recognition during the Fiesta Bowl, and the opportunity to ride on the APS fire engine during the Fiesta Bowl Parade.
The Arizona Teacher of the Year program is in its 38th year.