Education

Scottsdale teacher is among 10 ‘Arizona Teacher of the Year’ candidates

Posted 7/30/21

The Arizona Educational Foundation has announced 10 candidates considered for the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award and Saguaro High School Social Sciences teacher Ashley Crose is on the list.

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Education

Scottsdale teacher is among 10 ‘Arizona Teacher of the Year’ candidates

Saguaro High School Social Sciences teacher Ashley Crose is named among 10 candidates vying for the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award.
Saguaro High School Social Sciences teacher Ashley Crose is named among 10 candidates vying for the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award.
Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey
Posted

The Arizona Educational Foundation has announced 10 candidates considered for the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award and Saguaro High School Social Sciences teacher Ashley Crose is on the list.

Desert Financial is the title sponsor of this year’s Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony, according to a press release, likening the event to the “Oscar Awards” of teaching. The educator selected as Arizona Teacher of the Year becomes the state’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

AEF’s annual Teacher of the Year program, in it’s 39th year, is the highest honor bestowed upon Arizona’s public school teachers. The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization for spotlighting and championing exceptional work of public schools.

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 release said.

The 10 candidates identified will undergo a final interview process, followed by five teachers getting named “Ambassadors for Excellence,” and finalists for the Arizona Teacher of the Year Award. Although five will become “semifinalists,” all candidates are celebrated throughout the year at various recognition events, beginning with a reception at 4:30 p.m., for the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony on Oct. 16.

Sara Wyffels, a Chandler High School Spanish teacher, is carrying out her duties to fulfill her role as 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year, noted the release.

“Along with our efforts to support teachers and students throughout Arizona, it’s an honor to continue as the title sponsor of the AEF Teacher of the Year Award. Desert Financial was founded by educators and I can clearly see their persistence and compassion in these ten incredible nominees. We’re proud to help recognize their achievements in a time of rapid and constant change,” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial credit union, in a prepared statement.

“We are so grateful to have Desert Financial serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards and to have additional support from other Arizona businesses and organizations, all of whom appreciate and value the dedication of educators,” said Kim Graham, executive director of AEF.

“Desert Financial was started by teachers who wanted a financial institution dedicated to educators’ needs. We see this as a natural partnership as both of our organizations have deep respect and admiration for teachers and public education.”

The nominees are:

  • Jason Catanese (mathematics), Pueblo Del Sol Elementary School, Isaac School District;
  • Jennifer Cheesman (science), Zuni Hill Elementary, Peoria Unified School District;
  • Ashley Crose (social sciences), Saguaro High School, Scottsdale Unified School District;
  • Jessica England (Music & English Language Arts), Sahuarita Middle School, Sahuarita Unified School District;
  • Ashton Gildea (English), Walden Grove High School, Sahuarita Unified School District;
  • Kristina Laborin (ELA, social studies, gifted ed.), Old Vail Middle School, Vail Unified School District;
  • Nancy Parra-Quinlan (STEM/CTE) Kino Junior High School, Mesa Unified School District;
  • Lindsey Peterson (English), Apollo High School, Glendale Union High School District;
  • John Carlo Tulinao (general education, STEM), Amberlea Elementary School, Pendergast Elementary School District;
  • Alyssa Weed (music), Acacia Elementary School, Washington Elementary School District.

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 president and a week-long trip to International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama; also considered for an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University.

The 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year and four Ambassadors for Excellence even receive professional speech and storytelling training to aid them in delivering hundreds of presentations during their year of recognition.

AEF, the release noted, has generous partners to provide gifts for 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.

AEF’s mission is to celebrate excellence and cultivate equity in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education to support businesses and partners through various programs for teachers, administrators, and students. Programs spotlight “excellence; others provide a stepping stone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness,” the release said.

Also, the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, AEF coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM, and Take Your Legislator to School.

AEF was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education, Carolyn Warner, who wanted a nonprofit established to champion public education and recognize the work of public school educators, according to the release.

To make a donation or for sponsorship inquiries, contact Kim Graham at kim@azedfoundation.org.

To sponsor or obtain tickets:   azedfoundation.org/teachersrock.

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