Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) has been serving the state’s public education system as a champion of excellence in public schools across the state since 1983. On October 15, 2022, AEF will announce the 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year award winner out of the five finalists, or Ambassadors for Excellence, at the Madison Center for the Arts in Phoenix. Desert Financial has served as the presenting sponsor for the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards for the past three years.
The Teacher of the Year program is one of AEF’s seven initiatives celebrating educational excellence in Arizona schools. Ultimately, one finalist named Arizona Teacher of the Year will receive $15,000 from AEF and become Arizona’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year. The individual will also have the opportunity to meet the President at the White House, experience a week-long trip to the International Space Camp in Alabama, and be considered for an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University.
“There are so many wonderful teachers throughout the state of Arizona who inspire their students and exemplify the best in our education system,” said Kim Graham, executive director of AEF. “We are so proud that this program is now in its 40th year, and we can continue celebrating educators making a positive impact on their students and communities.”
Teachers may self-nominate or be nominated by a student, co-worker, administrator, school or district committee, friend, or family member to apply for the award. The awards ceremony is an opportunity for businesses, community organizations, local leaders, school districts, and others who value teachers to join and show their appreciation and respect for Arizona public school educators.
In addition to announcing the 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year, AEF will recognize the top ten nominations including:
AMBASSADORS FOR EXCELLENCE
The five finalists, known as Ambassadors for Excellence, are:
- Amber Gould (English/Student Council), Greenway High School, Glendale Union High School District
- R Scott Harnisch (Music), Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Academy, Kyrene School District
- Royd Lee (Navajo Language), Tuba City Elementary, Tuba City Unified School District #15
- Annie Shanahan (History & Government), Maryvale High School, Phoenix Union High School District
- Ty White (Chemistry), Willcox High School, Willcox Unified School District
The five Semifinalists, who also will be celebrated during the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards, are: Jaime Camero (Science/ELA), Douglas Elementary, Flowing Wells Unified School District Zel Fowler (Gifted Education), Emerson Elementary, Phoenix Elementary School DistrictErin Henderson (English/AVID), North High School, Phoenix Union High School DistrictChristina Musselman (General Education), Starline Elementary, Lake Havasu Unified School DistrictRobyn Yewell (General Education), Winifred Harelson Elementary, Amphitheatre Public Schools
The event will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Madison Center for the Arts, 5601 N 16th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85016.
Tickets and sponsorships are available on the website.