Teacher Excellence Awards

Each month, a K-12 teacher in southern Arizona is selected by our board of directors to win our TVT Teacher Excellence Award sponsored by OfficeMax. Winners receive a $100 gift certificate from OfficeMax and are featured on the Tucson Values Teachers website.

Community members can nominate as many teachers as they would like and the monthly winner will be announced on the third Tuesday of each month.

Click here to nominate your favorite teacher now!

Melissa Truelove

Melissa Truelove

The entire student body and staff of Tucson Hebrew Academy came out to help us surprise Melissa Truelove, 3rd Grade teacher, with our OfficeMax/OfficeDepot and TVT Teacher Excellence Award. What a moment!

Melissa was nominated by fellow teacher Robin Garcia, who says, “Mrs. Truelove is an amazing teacher! She always goes above and beyond for all her students. She is always attending workshops and classes to give her students the very best education possible. Every year she takes the lead in hand-delivering all of lower schools science fair projects to SARSEF and every year she has groups of third graders who win! She instills a love of science and math into all her students. She is a dedicated teacher who deserves this award!”

Kudos to you, Melissa! Keep up the excellent work, we truly appreciate all that you do for students and our community! #AZTeachersRock #thankateacher

Christine DeBono

Christine DeBono

An entire entourage came out to help us surprise Christine DeBono, Advanced Math teacher at Cottonwood Elementary, in the Vail Unified School District, with our OfficeMax/OfficeDepot and TVT Teacher Excellence Award. Family members, district and school leadership, even Christine's former second grade teacher who later had the honor of hiring Christine at Cottonwood were in attendance. What a moment!

Christine was nominated by Principal Bobbi Mayeux who said, “Chrissy is a driven and dedicated leader! Her belief and leadership in building trusting relationships has promoted a positive school climate. She provides the most effective instructional delivery approach to meet the needs of all her students. Chrissy conscientiously implements a student-centered approach to instruction by increasing opportunities for engagement and inquiry exploration. She encourages her students to meet their potential and genuinely believes that all of her students can be successful. Chrissy constantly recognizes the efforts of others, encourages students to recognize each other, and promotes the belief that what we do collectively impacts the lives of children.”

Kudos to you, Christine! Keep up the excellent work, we truly appreciate all that you do for students and our community! #AZTeachersRock #thankateacher

Terry Duggan

Terry Duggan

The January 2016 Tucson Values Teachers and OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Terry Duggan, Kindergarten teacher at Coronado K-8 School, Amphitheater Public Schools. We surprised Mrs. Duggan in her classroom, and it was clear from the excitement why Terry is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER! Terry has been teaching at Coronado K-8 School for ten years, and has been teaching for 23 years. She has taught Kindergarten, First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades.

Terry was nominated by Principal Gerad Ball who said, "Mrs. Duggan strives to provide engaging and rigorous lessons daily in all subjects. She has incorporated centers, technology, and hands-on opportunities. She leads the way in making sure that science has a place in kindergarten while teaching solid reading, writing and math lessons. Her students know she has high expectations, like learning all their letters and sounds in the first semester. Mrs. Duggan balances those expectations with exuberance for learning and true affection for her students. Her students learn much and care a great deal for her as well. Mrs. Duggan is a true inspiration."

As part of the honors, Terry receives a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Coronado K-8 students, Mrs. Duggan! Keep up the fantastic work!

KNOW A TEACHER WHO DESERVES THIS HONOR? Nominate them today!

Derek Langley

Derek Langley

The December 2015 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Derek Langley, Math and Science Teacher at Empire High School, Vail Unified School District. School and district leadership joined together for the big SURPRISE award presentation. It is clear from their excitement -- and the excitement from his students -- why Derek is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Derek was nominated by four of his students, Jacob Bruster, Cameron Bost, Brittany Flores, and Ajia Barnes, who said, "Mr.Langley is an amazing teacher. He is such a caring individual and is very helpful when you need it. The way he sets up his class really prepares you for what the future has to offer. You have a day or maybe two days where you learn the information and then basically the rest of the week to practice and ask questions if need be to prepare for the test or quiz. This is such a helpful way for learning for me because as a senior I feel like he's not wasting my time with information that I don't find interesting. He tells us what we need to do and basically makes us take responsibility for our actions, which is a great way of learning for me because this is how it will be for us in college. He hasn't sugar coated anything and I appreciate that the most about Mr.Langley."

As part of the honors, Derek receives a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Empire High School students, Mr. Langley! You are an inspiration!

KNOW A TEACHER WHO DESERVES THIS HONOR? Nominate them today!

Carol Schaedler

Carol Schaedler

The November 2015 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Carol Schaedler, Social Studies at Orange Grove Middle School in the Catalina Foothills Unified School District. School and district leadership joined together for the big SURPRISE award presentation. It is clear from their excitement -- and the excitement of her students -- why Carol is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Carol has been teaching for 29 years(!!) and was nominated by fellow teacher Andre...a Chadwick, who says, “Carol Schaedler is dedicated to her craft, her students, and her school community. Throughout her career, Carol mentored new teachers, created an innovative program for at risk students, developed creative curriculum, and implemented an alternative program involving peer justice. Because she cares deeply about the success of all students, Carol created a summer program for failing students. Carol takes these challenges on willingly. Carol inspires her students to be passionate about learning. She can be found helping students while simultaneously supporting colleagues. She continually looks for ways to engage her students while refining her teaching. She exemplifies a master teacher.”

As part of the honors, Carol received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Orange Grove MS students, Ms. Schaedler! You are an inspiration!

KNOW A TEACHER WHO DESERVES THIS HONOR? Nominate them today!

Glenna Harrel

Glenna Harrel

The October 2015 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Glenna Harrel, Language Arts at Sahuarita Middle School in the Sahuarita Unified School District. School and district leadership joined together for the big SURPRISE award presentation. It is clear from their excitement -- and the excitement of her students -- why Glenna is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Glenna was nominated by fellow teacher Lisa Kettles, who says, “I am ...nominating Ms. Harrel because of her dedication and positive attitude toward our students at Sahuarita Middle School. I teach next door to her and I hear her innovative ideas and creative lesson plans every morning. She treats each student with respect and values each student with her cheerful morning greetings every day. Her high expectations are evident in the academic progress she has made with each student. She spends extra time in the morning working with students who have questions and continues to strive for excellence in teaching. On behalf of her students, we appreciate her time, dedication, and persistence in helping our students be all they can be.”

As part of the honors, Ms. Harrel received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Sahuarita MS students, Ms. Harrel! You are an inspiration!

KNOW A TEACHER WHO DESERVES THIS HONOR? Nominate them today!

Kristi Chapman

Kristi Chapman

The September 2015 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented this morning to Kristi Chapman. Kristi teaches Grades 3, 4,and 5 at Miles Exploratory Learning Center in Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). Family members, TUSD Superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez and other district leadership joined together for the big SURPRISE award presentation. It is clear from their excitement -- and the excitement of her students -- why Kristi is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Kristi was nominated by colleague Patty Mitchell, who says, “Kristi always challenges herself right along with her students. Anytime you walk into her classroom you will see students engaged in experiments, discussions, writing, reading and math. Kristi earned her National Board Certification because she wanted to look critically at her own teaching to challenge her own practices. The benefit of that outcome is seen daily with her students and with her interactions with her peers. Projects, deep discussions and fun epitomize Kristi\'s classroom.”

As part of the honors, Mrs. Chapman received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Miles ELC students, Mrs. Chapman! You are an inspiration!

KNOW A TEACHER WHO DESERVES THIS HONOR? Nominate them today!

Ami Bunch

Ami Bunch

The March 2015 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Ami Bunch. Ami teaches Kindergarten at Cottonwood Elementary in the Vail School District, where she has taught for 14 years now. Several family members and Vail Superintendent Calvin Baker all joined us for the SURPRISE award presentation, and from their excitement -- and the excitement of her students -- it is clear why Ami is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Ami was nominated by Principal Bobbi Mayeux who says, “Ami Bunch is a remarkable educator! She consistently leads our school with love and dedication. Her personal commitment to providing foundational skills to our students is truly exceptional. Ami is always willing to support any program, staff, or student. Her wide depth of knowledge in curriculum, instructional practices, and student development truly make her a rare gem. Ami is reflective in not only her personal practices but is thoughtful of the entire school unit. She is driven to do what’s in the best interest of her students and considers the whole child in every decision and experience she provides.”

As part of the honors, Mrs. Bunch received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Cottonwood Elementary students, Mrs. Bunch! You are an inspiration!

Autumn Sullivan

Autumn Sullivan

AND THE TEACHER EXCELLENCE AWARD GOES TO.....
Autumn Sullivan is our TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award winner for February 2015! Autumn teaches 4th Grade at La Paloma Academy - Central, and from the excitement generated by her st...udents, principal and colleagues, it is clear why Autumn is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER!

Autumn was nominated by fellow teacher Caroline Marvin who says, “This teacher, time and time again, demonstrates a keen interest in all of her student's lives. She routinely meets with parents to get to the heart any problems and loves to work with parents to help their children grow. Mrs. Sullivan has helped me numerous times during any given school day. She leaves these little positive notes for everyone throughout the day and can be found encouraging either students or teachers on campus. She truly deserves a big THANK YOU from all of us here at our school bringing cheer to everyone she encounters.”

As part of the honors, Mrs. Sullivan received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for La Paloma students, Mrs. Sullivan! Keep up the good work.

Kim Moran

Kim Moran

The November 2014 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented this morning to Kim Moran, Primary CCSC Teacher for K-2 Grades at Holaway Elementary, Amphitheater Public Schools. Making this honor even more deserved, Kim just became a National Board Certified Teacher this week!

Kim was nominated by colleague Allison Saine who says, “Primary CCSC is a class room of children K-2nd with a range of special needs. Before Mrs. Moran took over these students were held at no expectation. When she took over, the days of coloring and watching cartoons was over. Since she has taken over, she has REVOLUTIONIZED the classroom. These students who\'s disabilities range from muscular to autism are held academically accountable daily! Kim Moran is often observed by other Teachers in the district because she runs a model classroom! And I am PROUD to work alongside her and her big heart!”

As part of the honors, Mrs. Moran received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Amphi students, Mrs. Moran! Keep up the good work.

Jennifer Goitia

Jennifer Goitia

The October 2014 TVT/OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented this morning to Jennifer Goitia, 3rd Grade Teacher at Elvira Elementary, Sunnyside Unified School District.

Jen was nominated by Principal Andy Townsend who says, “Three words come to mind when asked to describe Jen Goitia as a teacher: passionate, dedicated, and loving. Ms. Goitia is likely the best teacher you've never heard of, and that's the way she prefers it. Although everyone at Elvira Elementary knows that Jen Goitia is a master teacher, she isn't interested in titles or accolades. Instead, she prefers to show up every day for school early, teach with passion and love all day long, stay late into the evening... and then repeat. Day after day, year after year, for the past 25 years - all at Elvira. Talk about dedication! If a student is behind, Ms. Goitia will tutor in the early morning before school - or after school. She's willing to do whatever it takes to help her students succeed, and does it from the heart. There might be other teachers in Tucson who are similar to Jen Goitia, but there are none better. She brings “that something extra,” and more - truly an incredible teacher and overall person.”

As part of the honors, Ms. Goitia received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Sunnyside students, Ms. Goitia! Keep up the good work.

Paula Vinson

Paula Vinson

The September 2014 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Ms. Paula Vinson, Special Education cluster teacher at Quail Run Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District.

Paula was nominated by Anna Helsel who says, “Paula is a special education teacher at Quail Run Elementary. She goes above and beyond her job, to be sure that her students are included and involved in every way possible. She takes time with every student to make sure they get the best education possible. I had the privilege of working with Ms. Vinson for 5 years at her former school. Her teaching skills, motivation, and her kind heart is what inspired me to continue my career as a teacher. I will be graduating in December with dual certification, and I can thank her for the inspiration.\"

As part of the honors, Ms. Vinson received a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights!  

Cindy Barnett

Cindy Barnett

The August 2014 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Mrs. Cindy Barnett, 2nd Grade teacher at Marshall Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District.

Cindy was nominated by Carolyn Schulter, who stated, "Mrs. Barnett is a wonderful teacher. She begins the year with a warm welcoming classroom. Her goal for the year is to have every student succeed. For many, this is learning to read, practicing math, or even just learning how to be a better person. Scores always improve, but students are her priority. At the end of the school year, her students always ask her if she can teach them again next year. Her students love her, she gets along great with her fellow teachers, and parents are always please with how willing she is to help her students. Overall, Mrs. Barnett is one of the most amazing teachers and deserves recognition for all that she does."

As part of the honors, Mrs. Barnett received a $100 OfficeMax gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights!  

Maggie Givens

Maggie Givens

The March 2014 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award was presented to an AMAZING TEACHER, Ms. Maggie Givens, social studies teacher at Esperero Canyon Middle School, Catalina Foothills School District. And I have to say, I've never seen kids so excited to see their teacher being honored -- they LOVE MS. GIVENS!

Maggie was nominated by her principal, Mary Setliff, whose nomination reads: "Ms. Givens is one of the hardest working teachers I know. She devotes a great part of her life to helping students. She teaches students in a way that edifies them intellectually and honors their individuality. She trains students as systems thinkers. She sponsors the National Junior Honor Society and trains student tutors and conducts an after school study hall for students. She is a highly skilled as a National Board Certified Teacher and is an excellent mentor and colleague."

Congratulations Maggie! Tucson Values Teachers is proud to honor such OUTSTANDING TEACHERS! Keep up the good work.

Erica Blunt and Rebecca Bush

Erica Blunt and Rebecca Bush

The February 2014 Teacher Excellence Award was presented to TWO deserving teachers at Cragin Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District.  Erica Blunt and Rebecca Bush are a 3rd Grade teaching team that were nominated by two colleagues at Cragin.

Their nomination reads: "We are nominating our third grade team because together, they are awesome! They are both new teachers, but are doing an amazing job of teaching our third graders. They are the definition of collaboration as they plan all their lessons together and move students between classes in order to meet the individual needs of all their students. Their data-driven instruction is relevant and exciting and has enabled them to “grow” their students in all areas of the curriculum. They are willing to go that extra mile at our school by assuming extra roles such as teaching professional development and serving on school committees. They even volunteered their classes to lead the entire school in the Cha Cha Slide on Mayor Rothschild's Fitness Day and repeated their performance at Beyond 2014. Students in their classes are excited about school and learning thanks to their team work and excellent instruction."

Congratulations Erica and Rebecca! Tucson Values Teachers is proud to honor such OUTSTANDING TEACHERS! Keep up the good work.

Leila Sanchez

Leila Sanchez

Congratulations to Leila Sanchez, Kindergarten teacher at Open Doors Community School in Marana. Leila is our January 2014 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Leila was nominated by fellow teacher, Lindsey Canfield, who wrote: "Mrs. Sanchez is an unbelievable teacher and person. She is extremely caring, especially when it comes to our school and her students. We are a brand new school and Mrs. Sanchez has put forth a lot of time and effort to help our school be successful. She creates engaging lessons, adapts the curriculum to fit her students' needs and teaches the students not only academic skills, but social skills that are extremely important for them to learn. She is patient, kind, caring and works extremely hard. Not only does she help her own students, but she also supports the other students in the school... staying after school every day to tutor (for free) one of our struggling 3rd graders who needs extra practice. She is everything that an effective teacher should be, and she is more than deserving of this award."

Congratulations Leila, and thank you for your commitment to teaching! We salute you! Keep up the outstanding work!

Elizabeth Slaine

Elizabeth Slaine

Congratulations to Ms. Beth Slaine, English teacher at Tucson High Magnet School. Beth is our December 2013 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Beth was nominated by Robin Breault of LeadLocal, who wrote: "Beth is fearless. She takes on any challenge and continually works to improve herself and the opportunities she brings to her students. This semester Beth has taken on a huge community-based project that will give her students excellence real-world experience and 21st century skills. Beth is the type of educator that invests in kids and invests in our community!"

Congratulations and thank you for your commitment to teaching! We salute you!  Keep up the outstanding work!

 

Cary Todd

Cary Todd

Congratulations to Mr. Cary Todd, Geometry Teacher at Rio Rico High School. Mr. Todd is our November 2013 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Mr. Todd was nominated by his colleague Nagesh Kumar who wrote: Mr. Todd contributes constructively towards creating a healthy Math community at school, which not only includes his students, but also having a progressive attitude among other Math teachers. He is always available for students whenever they need him.


We salute you!  Keep up the outstanding work!

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

Congratulations to Jennifer Miller, 3rd Grade science teacher at Thornydale Elementary. Jennifer is our October 2013 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Jennifer was nominated by Principal Sarah Clem who wrote: Jennifer Miller is an AMAZING person and teacher. She focuses every minute of her day supporting student growth. Mrs. Miller builds relationships with every student. She prepares lessons that challenges and inspires her students to work hard, work together and achieve more. Mrs. Miller is a huge asset to our entire school. She co-sponsors our Student Council and Thornydale Songbirds. Through these after school groups she brings out the best in those around her. She develops our future leaders with kindness and integrity. Jennifer Miller is a shining star and the kind of teacher that motivates and inspires us all!

LITTLE DID WE KNOW.... It's also Jennifer's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MRS. MILLER!

We salute you!  Keep up the outstanding work!

 

Darrek Hernandez

Darrek Hernandez

Congratulations to Darrek Hernandez, 8th Grade science teacher at Mansfield Middle School, Tucson Unified School District.  Darrek is this month's TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Darrek was nominated by fellow colleague, Kirsten Bittel. Kirsten wrote: Mr. Hernandez is the very model of what a middle school science teacher should be. His classes are highly engaging to students while constantly pushing them to better themselves and strive for excellence. He keeps in contact with parents to ensure that all his students are achieving their personal best. In addition to his regular teaching duties, he takes time to tutor struggling students during his lunch and after school on a regular basis. All of this is possible because he constantly reflects on his teaching to meet the needs of his ever changing students.

Way to go, Darrek! Keep up the outstanding work!

Karen Hla

Karen Hla

Congratulations to Karen Hla, 6th Grade teacher at Tanque Verde Elementary School, Tanque Verde Unified School District. Karen is this month's TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Karen was nominated by Superintendent Douglas Price. Dr. Price wrote: As a veteran public school teacher, Karen Hla has made it her mission to provide children with ample opportunities to learn and succeed. One prime example is her leadership in the design and implementation of the 6th Grade garden/classroom at Tanque Verde Elementary. This outdoor space has become an invaluable educational asset for the TVES students, teachers, and parents. One hundred words could not sum up her enthusiasm and her dedication that has so positively impacted so many lives. Creation of the garden is but one example of how she has positively impacted our TVES students.

Kudos to you, Karen! Keep up the outstanding work!

Sunni Lopez

Sunni Lopez

Congratulations to Sunni Lopez, Pre-K teacher at the Ocotillo Early Learning Center, Sunnyside Unified School District. Sunni is this month's TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Ms. Lopez was nominated by Tia Tsosie-Begay, a parent of one of Sunni's students and a former colleague, who wrote: Ms. Sunni is one of the most caring and dedicated teachers I know. I've worked with her as a colleague and was floored by the classroom she created for her kids. She is knowledgeable about content and early childhood development. Her classroom was so cozy that I decided to enroll my child in her class when she turned four. My daughter adores Ms. Sunni. She says that she likes to sing and read books. And she likes to learn about butterflies. Ms. Sunni always has children at the center of her practice. She is a born teacher.

Kudos to you, Ms. Sunni! Keep up the outstanding work!

Robert Wolf

Robert Wolf

Congratulations, Robert Wolf, 6th grade math teacher at Amphi Middle School and this month\'s TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence award winner.

Mr. Wolf was nominated by Breanna Peters who wrote: Mr. Wolf is an excellent, creative hands-on teacher who can make the most mundane, boring topic into a fun interactive, engaging lesson. He has high energy, tons of creative ideas and is not content unless he and the students are being active and having fun while learning. His rapport with students is one that makes them want to learn what he is teaching and master it. The 6th graders that are lucky enough to have him will never encounter a dull moment in the classroom. He is a teacher to be looked at by other teachers for classroom management techniques and inspiration when creating/designing lessons.

Mrs. Dianna Benson

Mrs. Dianna Benson

Kudos to Dianna Benson, winner of the February 2013 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award. Mrs. Benson is a science teacher at the Sonoran Science Academy.

Mrs. Benson was nominated by two of her colleagues, who wrote in their nominations: Dianna works hard to bring relevance and reality to her science students. Her creative experiments and enduring patience is sometimes overlooked, but not by me. Dianna deserves to be recognized; and also, A visit to Dianna Benson's environmental education room reveals an environment bursting with energy where dynamic teaching takes place. She realizes that children learn science best through hands-on experiences and through nature. With no budget and lots of fund raising she finds opportunities for field trips to power plants, and mining operations. Students even constructed and cook their lunch in a solar oven. She inspires the love of learning. Her sixth grade students put many high school students to shame because she empowers her students to reach for higher expectations. Dianna impacts lives and the world in a positive way.

 

Congratulations, Dianna! You are an inspiration to us all. Click here to nominate an extra special teacher for the Teacher Excellence Award.

Mr. Charles Kamb

Mr. Charles Kamb

Kudos to Mr. Charles Kamb, winner of the January 2013 TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award. Mr. Kamb is a Special Education/Math teacher at Mountain View High School in the Marana Unified School District.

Mr. Kamb was nominated by one of his student's parents, Lorell O'Dell, who wrote in her nomination: Mr. Kamb is not just a high school teacher; he's a Special Education teacher. He's been working with my son, Thomas, both as teacher and IEP case manager for the last 4 years. As Thomas prepares to graduate in the class of 2013, I have to reflect on all of the hard work, dedication, compassion and guidance he's provided to all of us along the way. He's really in it with a heart for the kids. Mr. Kamb is a blessing to all the lives he touches and he truly does make a difference. No one deserves recognition more -- he is indeed a special person and an incredible teacher! 

Congratulations, Charles! You are an inspiration to us all.

 

  

Terese Dennison

Terese Dennison

Congratulations to Terese Dennison, teacher at Green Fields Country Day School. Terese is the winner of the November TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award. 

She was nominated by fellow teacher Jennie Uhlmann who wrote in her nomination:   Terese is a dedicated English and History teacher who brings the world to students. Through readings, writings, in-depth discussions and interactive projects, Terese opens students' eyes to the world around them, and gets them to feel what it might be like (or might have been like) to be born in a different place or time.  She is an extraoridinary teacher.

Congratulations, Terese!  You are an inspiration to us all.

Jennifer Pena

Jennifer Pena

Congratulations to Jennifer Pena, winner of the October OfficeMax/TVT Teacher Excellence Award.  Jennifer teaches 4th grade at Tucson Country Day Charter School, and was nominated by Debbie Hvidsten, the grandmother of one of her former students. 

In a great ceremony at the school, Principal Dr. Mark Saliba, had the school do a fire drill so all could come together for the suprise award!  All of the students in his school excecuted a perfect drill, all done in silence, and then cheered wildly when Miss Pena was honored. 

In her winning nomination, Debbie wrote:  Ms. Pena goes above and beyond to make sure all her students feel special.  She is creative and very positive with her students.  Everyone  in her class feels like a star student.  Our grandson went from hating to go to school , making himself sick, to looking forward to going to school and see what adventures lie ahead.  She will be the teacher he remembers when he is an adult.

Congratulations, Miss Pena!!

Dave DeGroot - August 2012 OfficeMax/TVT Teacher Excellence Award

Dave DeGroot - August 2012 OfficeMax/TVT Teacher Excellence Award

Dave DeGroot, 5th grade teacher at Sahuarita Intermediate School is the winner of the August 2012 OfficeMax/TVT Teacher Excellence Award. Mr. DeGroot was nominated by Julia Cummings, a parent of one of his students. She wrote:

Mr. DeGroot motivates and challenges his students. He has taken them fishing and hiking to get them interested in the outdoors. He has helped my child to get excited about reading and math. He has actually made her want to succeed in school and try her best. He uses everyday items, such as Meals-Ready-to-Eat to teach science and other innovative learning ideas. I strongly value him as an outstanding teacher!

Congratulations Mr. DeGroot, we salute you!

April Teacher Excellence Award Winner

April Teacher Excellence Award Winner

Congratulations to Barbara Tingle, kindergarten teacher at Sahuarita Primary School, winner of this month's Teacher Excellence Award! 

In an amazing surprise presentation, there was dancing, singing and lots of laughter.  No one wanted to leave!

Mrs. Tingle received the most nominations of any teacher. The winning entry came from Shirley Mercier, a parent of one of Mrs. Tingle's students.  She wrote:

Mrs. Tingle uses a calm, consistent, and caring approach to introducing new concepts and to encourage her students to enjoy learning. She gives the children resources and allows them work independently, in groups, and one-on-one with her. She is innovative, has a great understanding of how 5-year-olds learn, and capitalizes on their abilities to help them master the foundational skills they will need to be successful in future educational experiences. She gives children in her classroom the opportunity to be successful while learning a variety of skills from sign language to mad science. Superb teacher!

Congratulations, Mrs. Tingle!

 

Melinda Hillmer

Melinda Hillmer

Congratulations to Melinda Hillmer, this month\'s winner of the Teacher Excellence Award!  Melinda teaches at Khalsa Montessori and was nominated by Dina Scalone-Romero, a parent of one of her students.

Dina often refers to Ms. Hillmer as a \"goddess,\" because of the many gifts she brings to the classroom.  She has been deeply impressed by the kindness, consideration and special touches that Ms. Hillmer brings to the classroom.  And the way in which she made Dina\'s son, who was quite normally scared to start school, which meant spending his days away from his family with a room full of strangers!  Dina\'s son, thanks to Ms. Hillmer\'s skills and kindness, quickly made him feel safe, at home and eager to learn.

Congratulations, Ms. Hilmer!  You are one of so many outstanding teachers in our region and TVT, OfficeMax and UApresents are proud to be able to shine a spotlight on all you do!

Terra Bennett

Terra Bennett

Congratulations to Terra Bennett, the Teacher Excellence Award winner for December.  Terra was nominated by her husband, Uriah Bennett.  She teaches first grade at Lynn-Urquides Elementary. 

In his winning nomination, Uriah wrote:  \"Terra is my wife so I admit that I might be a tad biased. That being said, I cannot stress enough how great and dedicated a teacher she is.  We are constantly using our own money to make sure her classroom is supplied.  When one of her young students lost his home due to a fire this year, she single-handedly organized a collection drive from friends and family to make sure he and his family had clothes, household items and even toys.  One hundred words are simply not enough to fully detail why she is so great and such an inspiration.

Congratulations, Terra!

Carla Garcia

Carla Garcia

Congratulations to Carla Garcia, ESL teacher at Amphi High and this month's winner of the TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award! Pictured above with Amphi Principal Jon Lansa, Ms. Garcia was surprised in her classroom at a presentation that was also attended by many of her colleages.

Kristen Bettcher nominated her and this is what she said:

Carla Garcia is an outstanding teacher to English Language Learners at Amphi High School. She is an innovative and inspiring teacher who is continually perfecting her curriculum with invigorating concepts and strategies. She motivates students and is personable. Students feel comfortable confiding in her. When asked about Ms. Garcia, a former student said, "She treats us like one of her kids and always helps us." In addition, Carla founded, plans and hosts our yearly Accelerated Reader/ AZELLA Celebration that recognizes our students' achievements. Her students have shown great gains in her reading classes and are excited to attend her classes.

 Congratulations, Carla!

Erin Kearney

Erin Kearney

Congratulations to this month's Teacher Excellence Award winner Erin Kearney, who teachers 7th grade at Flowing Wells High.

She was a double winner as one of just over 1,000 teachers selected by OfficeMax for special recognition as part of nationwide celebration of teachers on October 4 known as A Day Made Better.

In her nomination,it was noted: "Ms. Kearney is a team player. She has worked tirelessly to expand our after school offerings for students for 2 years. She has worked very hard with her 7th grade team to align the curriculum with AZ State standards. Everyday she is planned organized and constantly thinking of ways to increase student participation in school activities both during and after school. She is always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that her students and the 7th grade team are equipped with materials and ready for learning. Ms. Kearney is an Amazing educator who gives of herself daily for our FW community. She is deserving of your companies recognition. Also, she is a FW grad and former FWJH Mustang!"

Congratulations Ms. Kearny!!

 

Connie Brannock

Connie Brannock

Congratulations, Connie Brannock, also known as Sgt. B, for winning this month's Teacher Excellence Award!  Connie, who teaches music at The Presidio School, is pictured above with Tammy Strnatka and her daughter who is a student of Sgt. B. Tammy nominated Connie for the award.

Connie received a $100 gift certificate from OfficeMax, flowers, a framed certificate and a bag of goodies presented by Nancy Hoffstein, TVT's partner from Office Max. 

In nominating Connie, Tammy wrote:  "Her enthusiasm and exploding, joyous personality is music in itself.  She goes above and beyond to bring music into the lives of the students. She gave my daughter an electric guitar when she expressed interest in learning. She organizes phenomenal school productions with little or no help from other staff members.  She overcomes obstacles, budget cuts and continues to make music come alive for every child."

Congratulations, Sgt. B!  And kudos also to The Presidio School - an amazing place to learn and work!

 

 

 

 

David Rutledge

David Rutledge

Congratulations to David Rutledge, first-grade teacher at the International School of Tucson (pictured above with Nancy Hoffstein of OfficeMax to his right).  David was nominated by Robert Tomlinson, whose son has been a student of David's.

In his nomination, Mr. Tomlinson wrote:  "David is an exceptionally gifted teacher. He has motivated my son's class to embrace reading and math to levels that I would not have expected in the First Grade. He volunteers his time for after-school sports programs and clubs and really goes the extra mile. The kids adore him and really work for him."

At  the presentation, many of David's students sang his praises.  The influence of David, in the classroom and as a coach, shimmered in the faces and voices of his students. Congratulations, David!

 

Patti Gloy

Patti Gloy

Patti Gloy from Sahuarita Middle School is the latest winner of our Teacher Excellence Award!

Patti was nominated by Stephanie Silman, Sahuarita Middle School's principal. She has been teaching for more than 18 years, with 16 of those at the high school level.

In her nomination, Stephanie said, "Patti takes a deep interest in the success of these students, often communicating daily with parents, paying for basic needs that students have, and even offering to take home students' PE clothes to wash when the students don't have the means at home. Patti is a master teacher, consummate professional, and a deserving recipient of the Teacher Excellence Award."


Patti has been overseeing the alternative classroom program at Sahuarita Middle School for the past two years. Prior to coming to Sahuarita, Patti worked in the Vail Unified School District and in schools in Woodbridge and Alexandria, Virginia. She received her master's degree in special education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

For more information on the Teacher Excellence Award, click here.

Rose Andreacola

Rose Andreacola

Rose Andreacola, Language Arts teacher at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson, is the latest winner of our Teacher Excellence Award!

Rose was nominated by other Language Arts teachers and the Transitions Specialist at the school. She has been teaching for more than 25 years.

At the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind, she has been instrumental in implementing an accelerated reading program for K-12 students. She also helped establish a reading lab program for students and a specific vocabulary program designed for deaf and hard of hearing students.

According to the nominations, “she brings a hands-on enthusiastic teaching approach to teach English and reading skills to our deaf and hard of hearing students.”

For more information on the Teacher Excellence Award, click here.

Kadir Bahar

Kadir Bahar

Kadir Bahar, Math teacher at Sonoran Science Academy in Tucson, is the latest winner of our Teacher Excellence Award! We are extremely proud to honor an educator of his stature.

Two people nominated Kadir and both nominations referred to him as a math hero. After all, he was the only teacher in Arizona to receive the Raytheon Math Hero award in 2009, which is given to deserving teachers who promote math to students in a fun and challenging learning environment.

Kadir has also led a math team to the National MathCounts competition several years in a row! And he is one of a handful of teachers in Arizona to ever receive the Edyth May Sliffe Award, given by the Mathematical Association of America for repeated student success in the subject.

For more information on the Teacher Excellence Award, click here.

Diane Weeks

Diane Weeks

Diane Weeks, Kindergarten teacher at Richardson Elementary School in Tucson, was honored as the January 2010 recipient of Tucson Values Teachers' Teacher Excellence Award. 

In recognition of her excellence, Diane was nominated by three individuals: Kandy Clinkingbeard, John Pearson, Jr. and Stephanie Pearson.  All three noted her her passion, courage and deeply rooted dedication to the children.

Diane received a bouquet of flowers, balloons and gift certificates from OfficeMax.  This month, Dixon Golf joined in the program and presented a certificate to Mrs. Weeks and a second OfficeMax gift certificate.

For more information on the Teacher Excellence Award, click here.

Diane Schleider

Diane Schleider

OfficeMax and Tucson Values Teachers are pleased to recognize Diane Schleider, 6th grade teacher at Harelson Elementary in Tucson, with a Teacher Excellence Award. This honor showcases the extraordinary level of excellence and commitment that she demonstrates every day in the classroom.

As the very first recipient of the award, we are especially thrilled to have a teacher of Diane's caliber.  She has set a high bar for future recipients!

Diane was nominated by Colleen Crowninshield, manager of the Pima Association of Governments' Clean Cities Program. Her words best capture the excellence that Diane personifes.

“We were so very blessed to not only to have had Mrs. Schleider for my daughter in 6th grade, but now, our son, in the 6th grade is learning to love reading, learning, and excelling because of one incredible individual: Mrs. Diane Schleider.

Mrs. Schleider treats every student with respect, love and care, making them believe in themselves and helping them to excel as young adults who in turn respect, love and care about their own education, as well as the environment they grow in.

Both my son and daughter said she makes them feel as if they are the only student in class, encouraging them to be the best they can be.  I truly feel Mrs. Schleider is a diamond in the desert; she is a credit to the teaching profession and deserves respect and praise from parents and students for years to come.  Amphi should be very proud to have such an amazing advocate, teacher and mentor for our children.”

Tucson Values Teachers is dedicated to demonstrating to all K-12 teachers that the work they do is highly valued, and that it contributes enormously to the strength and well-being of the Southern Arizona region.  With supporters like OfficeMax, we are pleased to be able to say “thank you” for Diane's excellence and commitment.

For more information on the Teacher Excellence Award, click here.

Kathy Lohse

Kathy Lohse

Kathy Lohse of Borton Primary Magnet School is September\'s Teacher Excellence Award Winner. 

She is a kindergarten-first-grade teacher who has been teaching for nearly 30 years.  Nancy Bissell, a long-time friend and colleague, nominated Kathy.  As Nancy wrote in her nominating email:

Kathy is one of those people who was born to do what she does. Every day she is energized by her kids; she spends her vacation time thinking up new imaginative projects; she never loses patience (in a classroom of 26), never stops encouraging them, loving them, laughing with them, and she has been teaching non-stop for nearly 30 years. She always comes early and stays late, always has time for the stragglers, the lost souls, the shy or scared ones, never plays favorites, gets them all involved in caring for one another, and is a perfect model for the kind of person they could grow up to become.

Congratulations, Kathy!  You are an inspiration to us all.

Molly Renner

Molly Renner

Congratulations to Molly Renner of City High School who is November's Teacher Excellence Award winner.

Molly is a 15-year teacher who teaches science at City High School.  Carrie Brennan, a co-founder of City High School, dear friend and strong supporter of Molly, wrote the following nomination:

"Molly is an exemplary science teacher who expects the most out of every student. She has the right combination to help all students rise to her high expectations: she is passionate about teaching and learning; she has strong content knowledge; she creates opportunities for wonder, inquiry, and exploration; and she provides clear structures for success."

Congratulations, Molly!  As the faces of your students revealed at the presentation of the award - you are the best.

Fran Fritton

Fran Fritton

Congratulations to Fran Fritton, third grade teacher at St. Ambrose Notre Dame Ace Academy - our December recipient of the Teacher Excellence Award!  She was nominated by Jan Knox, a former colleague at St. Ambrose.

Hats off to to Principal Martha Taylor who pulled together a tribute to Fran that included the entire school - and a sign of color and congratulations for Fran.

Fran was also featured on the KVOA Teacher Feature segment in an interview with Martha Vazquez.  The feature was created just for the Teacher Excellence Award program. 

Thanks again and always to OfficeMax for making the program possible.  Nancy Hoffstein brought her daughter, Lindsay, along for the award presentation. 

Congratulations, Fran!  One could see immediately from the faces in her third-grade classroom that Fran is adored.  She is one great teacher - a consensus also shared by her colleagues and administrators.

Patricia Romero

Patricia Romero

Congratulations to Patricia Romero, 8th grade teacher at Challenger Middle School, who is this month's TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award Winner! Nominated by her son Daniel Douriet, Patricia was surprised and moved to tears by the award!

In nominating her, Daniel wrote, "Miss Romero motivates all types of students on another level. She goes over and beyond for her students, getting to work early, staying really late, or during lunch to help students succeed. Miss Romero is on her 14th year of teaching and still has that fire and passion to make a difference in the lives of her students.She's more than a teacher; she's an advisor, mother, and friend. Miss Romero is an excellent teacher and deserves to be recognize."

Congratulations Miss Romero, and thanks to Sunnyside School District for helping us make the presentation so special!

 

Francine Payne

Francine Payne

Congratulations to Francine Payne, 7th Grade Teacher at Corona Foothills Middle School in Corona de Tucson, April's winner of the TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award (pictured above with her son, Patrick).

Mrs. Payne was nominated by fellow teacher Danielle Connors who wrote in her winning submission:  Mrs. Payne is constantly and consistently spending all o fher time to come up with the most exciting and innovative lessons that she can for her kids. She keeps them intrigued in what she is teaching by coming up with projects like creating their own product, and using propaganda techniques to sell the product to a panel of judges. Her ideas are always freshand keep the students engaged and on task each and every day.

In a very special celebration, Mrs. Payne's husband and son came to add their support.  Principal Margaret Steuer praised Mrs. Payne, and Ms. Connors created a wonderful tribute with the help of several students.

Congratulations Mrs. Payne!   This is obviously well-deserved recognition for very fine work.

Megan Mize

Megan Mize

Congratulations to Megan Mize, third grade teacher at Centennial Elementary School in the Flowing Wells District.  She is this month\'s TVT/OfficeMax Teacher Excellence Award winner.  She was nominated by a parent, Kyrstyn Schuldt who wrote the winning nomination. 

She wrote:  Ms. Mize is a beautiful person inside and out who values education and believes in promoting education and teaching and appreciating each child as an individual. She celebrates her students achievements and every student leaves her classroom with a smile, inspired to learn and be successful. My son has some challenges that she has worked tirelessly on helping him with and has spent hours on the phone with me during her free time to help understand better.

Congratulation, Ms. Mize!  Just seeing you in your classroom it was obvious how respected and adored you are by your students.  Great job.

Kim Far Wins Teacher Excellence Award

Kim Far Wins Teacher Excellence Award

Congratulations to Cienega High School Science Teacher Kim Farr, this month's TVT/OfficeMax/UApresents Teacher Excellence Award Winner!  She was nominated by Assistant Principal Geoff Parks, who has known and worked with her for several years. 

Mr. Parks wrote in his winning nomination:  Mrs. Farr is a highly motivated and extremely innovative teacher. She puts the needs of her students and colleagues ahead of her own. Mrs. Farr is constantly volunteering her time and expertise to the benefit of everyone around her. She is the club sponsor for Green Team, head coach for swimming and is the sponsor of both the Science Olympiad and Environthon.  Mrs. Farr has the courage to try new things and has the postitive energy to inspire her students to flourish in a creative setting.  She is a truly amazing teacher and it is my pleasure to nominate her.

Congratulations, Mrs. Farr!