Education

Queen Creek educators receive grants from Wishes for Teachers

Posted 11/24/21

Thanksgiving came early this year for 400 teachers across Arizona, including 17 from across Queen Creek.   

Earlier this month, the Fiesta Bowl Organization awarded $1 million to …

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Education

Queen Creek educators receive grants from Wishes for Teachers

Posted

Thanksgiving came early this year for 400 teachers across Arizona, including 17 from across Queen Creek.   

Earlier this month, the Fiesta Bowl Organization awarded $1 million to teachers through the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program. 

“Desert Financial was founded by teachers — we continue their legacy by returning as the title partner for this year’s Wishes for Teachers, in partnership with Fiesta Bowl Charities,” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial, in a press release. “Teachers often pay for school supplies out of their own pockets, so there’s no greater way to express our gratitude than by granting their classroom wishes.” 

Through a three-day Virtual Draft Day presented by Salt River Project, 400 teachers from K-12 schools were each given $2,500 to grant a wish in their classrooms. The winners were chosen based on a program in the fall in which any Arizona K-12 teacher was able to fill out an online application detailing a school or classroom need. The wishes were then verified and selected by random drawing for teachers to receive a grant.

This year’s winners represent 300 schools in 63 cities across the state, teaching more than 200,000 students in 84 districts over 75 subjects from social studies, special education and literature to leadership, music and math. The winning Queen Creek teachers include: 

  • Aubrey McDonald, a third-grade teacher at Auxier Elementary School, will be able to provide tablets for her students. 
  • Olivia Nebeker, a third-grade teacher at American Leadership Academy, will purchase a smartboard to promote hands-on learning. 
  • Ashlee Gibson, a second-grade teacher at Legacy Traditional School, will purchase updated technology supplies and interactive games for the classroom. 
  • Robert Destefano, a math teacher at American Leadership Academy, will provide updated math equipment for the classroom 
  • Mackenzie Tanquary, a music teacher at San Tan Valley Elementary School, will provide students with ukuleles, recorders and other instruments for music class. 
  • Maria Radostits, a personal finance and math teacher at Heritage Academy, will purchase Chromebooks for the class. 
  • Jolie Varholdt, a science teacher at Queen Creek High School, will purchase telescopes and a meteorite kit for students to study the planets and stars. 
  • Michelle Bordonaro, a language arts inclusion teacher at Sossaman Middle School, will provide assistive technology for students with disabilities.  
  • Jill Skolrud, an orchestra teacher at Cortina Elementary School, will provide a classroom makeover to allow for better storing space for materials and instruments. 
  • Brock Kearsley, a physical education teacher at Queen Creek Elementary School, will use the funds to replace outdated and broken equipment. 

Over the six years of the program, Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers has granted a total of $4.7 million to more than 1,200 Arizona teachers, impacting more than 500,000 children across the state. 

“Teachers are our unsung heroes, who give so much to our students in helping them become tomorrow’s leaders. Giving them a spotlight for their selfless work and support them with extra resources is an important part of the Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to our community,” stated Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl Executive Director

For more information, or for a full list of granted wishes, visit www.fiestabowl.org.

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