Steve and Diane Uhl from Oro Valley surprised chemistry teacher Hillary Stacey with a check for $1,217 at Empire High School in Vail School District on July 15.
The couple said they were motivated to help Stacey by a recent op-ed piece about her struggles to obtain a teacher’s license in Arizona.
The check will cover those expenses.
On the Vail School District’s Facebook page, a brief about the donation says “I hope the Uhl’s generous act inspires you as much as it did us.”
A few weeks ago chemistry teacher Hillary Stacey wrote to Vail School District Superintendent Calvin Baker to tell him about the money and time she was spending to get a teaching license in Arizona (after she had already paid $400 for a license from her home state of Montana).
Baker was already troubled the expense out of state teachers were incurring and her e-mail prompted him to write an op-ed, which was published by the Arizona Daily Star.
“If Hillary does everything correct the first time and finds the least expensive classes, it will cost her a minimum of $1,217 in fees and tuition (plus her time, gas and related costs) to convert her perfectly good teaching license in Montana to a teaching license in Arizona. All the hoops she must jump through will not make her a better chemistry teacher. The experience is simply taking her time away from her students, money out of her pocket, and wind out of her sails,” Baker wrote in the op-ed piece.
Baker also wrote that “A change in the law could grant full reciprocity for teacher licensing. A tax on the sale of Arizona’s abundant natural resources (and birthright of our young citizens) would take care of the teacher salary issue.”