AZ Diamondbacks name Higley’s Nancy Foote 2017 Most Valuable Teacher winner - AZEdNews
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AZ Diamondbacks name Higley’s Nancy Foote 2017 Most Valuable Teacher winner

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  • Michelle Reese/Higley Unified School District

Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher Shelby Miller, Along With Baxter, Honor Mrs. Nancy Foote Of Sossaman Middle School As The 2017 Most Valuable Teacher. Photo Courtesy Higley Unified School District

The moment Baxter the Bobcat walked through her door, Sossaman Middle School physics teacher Nancy Foote knew something was happening.


AZ Diamondbacks name Higley’s Nancy Foote 2017 Most Valuable Teacher winner nancy_baxter_miller-225x300

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller, along with Baxter, honor Mrs. Nancy Foote of Sossaman Middle School as the 2017 Most Valuable Teacher. Photo courtesy Higley Unified School District

The Arizona Diamondbacks surprised Nancy Foote on Sept. 15 with the announcement that she was selected as the 2017 Most Valuable Teacher of the Year. She was chosen from more than 350 applicants. Pitcher Shelby Miller presented her with a large $5,000 check. The Sept. 22 home game will include a presentation to Mrs. Foote on the field.


“I was shocked to see Baxter, Shelby Miller and the DBack staff (plus Higley VIPs) come to my room Friday. I had absolutely no idea that they were coming. I never expected to be named DBacks 2017 MVT of the year!” Mrs. Foote said later.

Sossaman Middle School, in Queen Creek, Ariz., is part of the Higley Unified School District.
“This award was created by the Diamondbacks ‘to support our everyday heroes in schools that are shaping the future for our community.’ Nancy Foote supports students daily and teaches more than science in her class. Life lessons are learned and she truly is shaping the future of this community,” Sossaman Principal John Dolan said.

The presentation turned into a science lesson as Baxter and the Diamondbacks pitcher joined along with Mrs. Foote as she explained the physics aspect of baseball. The students also earned opportunities to win tickets to the baseball game and many jumped in a photo to cap off the event.

“I teach because I love it.  I hope I have a positive impact on the lives of kids. I hope they learn from me – about life as well as about physics. But, as a teacher, you never really know if you are accomplishing what you hope to accomplish,” Mrs. Foote said. “Well, until something like this happens that is.”

That’s because the students who nominated Mrs. Foote for the award were former students, one she taught more than two decades ago.

“They all wanted to say thanks to me. How humbling. It’s affirming to know that I am having the positive impact I want to have, that students remember the lessons I taught (not just about science or math), and that maybe a small part of them is better because I was their teacher. I know I am better because they were in my life, she said.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Foote was selected as a monthly Diamondbacks Most Valuable Teacher winner and was presented a $1,000 check at a home game.