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4/23/2014 8:49:00 AM
Outstanding teachers to be honored at Teacher of the Year banquet Friday
Special to the Tribune

Outstanding teachers who have been nominated for Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year will be honored at 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 25 during the 20th annual Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year Awards Ceremony and Banquet at the Prescott Resort.

Organized by the Yavapai County Education Foundation, this event brings together educators and their supporters from throughout Yavapai County so that teaching achievements and successes can be recognized publicly.

A total of 66 teachers from across Yavapai County's district and charter schools were nominated by administrators and school leaders.

Nominees completed a rigorous application and interview process and were evaluated by community leaders and former educators. Nominees in six different categories - Pre-K to third grade; fourth grade to eighth grade; cross-grades specialists; high school; small school districts; and the Outstanding First-Year Teacher - will be cited for their excellence in the classroom during the 2013-2014 school year.

From among the 66 nominees, one will be selected as the overall "Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year" and a total of $7,000 in grant money will be awarded to winners and finalists.

"The Yavapai County Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has as its primary mission to support and recognize outstanding teachers for their efforts in the classroom," said Tim Wiederaenders, YCEF president.

Dr. Paul Street, former Arizona Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Yavapai County School Superintendent, will also be honored at the banquet with the "YCEF Lifetime Achievement Award."

This honor is bestowed upon to those with sustained meritorious service to the education community in Yavapai County.

Tickets for the Teacher-of-the-Year Banquet may be purchased at for $28 each. Ticket sales end April 18. For additional information, call 442-5139.

20th annual Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year Finalists

Outstanding First-Year Teacher Category

Eric Banuelos, Mingus Union High School

Sarah Burchett, Prescott High School

Kristen Schaibly, Tri-City College Prep High School

Overall Teacher-of-the-Year Categories

PreK-3rd Grade:

Meredith Keys, Del Rio Elementary School

Sharon Meacham, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School

Karen Sampson, Washington Traditional School

4th - 8th Grade:

Linda Church, Del Rio Elementary School

Kelli Rhoda, Mountain View Preparatory

Robin Tankesley, Camp Verde Middle School

Cross-Grades Specialist:

Shannon Feipel, Heritage Middle School

Kathy Johnson, Del Rio Elementary School

Emily Meyer, Cottonwood Middle School

High School:

James Ball, Mingus Union High School

Sonny Martin, Ash Fork High School

Sara Tomlin, Prescott High School

Small Districts:

Jennifer Bonner, Bagdad High School

Ashley Fine, Skyview School

Jeaneen Leach, Ash Fork Middle School


Andy Andre, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Hannah Barrett, Liberty Traditional School; Brittany Bays, Humboldt Elementary School; Krista Bell, Mountain View Elementary School; Andrew Busk, Lake Valley Elementary School; Angela Cox, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School; Kelsey Crow, Mountain View Elementary School; Kimberly Dana, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Sara Dawson, Liberty Traditional School; Kevin Dix, Mountain View Preparatory; Edward Dooley, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Lauri Dreher, Mountain Institute JTED; Christopher Ferguson, Granite Mountain Middle School; Brad Grauberger, Humboldt Elementary School; Shelly Helmken, Miller Valley Elementary School; Jana Hesselschwerdt, Bradshaw Mountain High School; Stacia Knotek, Mountain View Elementary School; Alison Kopinto, Skyview School; Mary LaVigne, Territorial Kindergarten Center; Jayne Lee, Cottonwood Middle School; Nicole Lockridge, Mayer Elementary School; Lauri Lonon, Mountain View Elementary School; Kimber Marquez, Cottonwood Elementary School; Calistro Martinez, AAEC, Prescott Valley; Kathleen Mezeske, Tri,City College Preparatory High School; Carolyn Muchna, Tri,City College Preparatory High School; Jamy Myrmel, Humboldt Elementary School; Lesley Ortiz, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School; Hillary Palmer, Heritage Middle School; Thomas Palomo, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy; Brian Parnell, Heritage Middle School; Leslie Pigg, Sedona Red Rock High School; Lindsey Popa, Ash Fork Elementary School; Lindsay Renfrew, Lake Valley Elementary School; Rebecca Robison, Glassford Hill Middle School; Julie Rodriguez, Glassford Hill Middle School; Sara Rosengren, Chino Valley High School; Debby Schoenfeld, Del Rio Elementary School; Joshua Schreiner, Granville Elementary School; Ashley Tetreault, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School; Anika Van Orden, Liberty Traditional School; Amy Van Winkle, Bradshaw Mountain High School; John Vreyens, Chino Valley High School; Melissa Walker, Humboldt Elementary School; Karen Willis, Liberty Traditional School; Kyle Wood, Mountain View Preparatory; Gabriel Zamora, Granite Mountain Middle School; Kyle Zierke, Kirkland Elementary School.

2014 YCEF Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Dr. Paul Street

Dr. Paul Street began his career in education as the teacher of a 5th-6th grade combo class in Michigan that had 47 students in it. He spent 10 years in the classroom in grades 5-8 entering administration in 1974 as a middle school assistant principal, becoming the principal the next year.

He moved into an assistant superintendent post for 2 years before moving to Arizona where he became the superintendent of Pine Strawberry Elementary District. He left Pine to become superintendent in a "larger" district, Seligman! He moved from Seligman to become Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools, a post he held for 16 years. Additionally, he served two years as Arizona Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction, was a member of the State Board of Education and a member of the Arizona State Board of Education for Charter Schools. He is recognized as: a member of the Arizona-Sonora Commission, Co-Founder of Arizona Rural Schools Association, President of National Rural Education Association, Flinn Foundation Outstanding Educator, Arizona School Administrators Distinguished Educator, State Director of Academic Decathlon, DARE Educator of the Year, Rural Schools Hall of Fame inductee, and co-founder of this foundation.

He would tell you that serving as Yavapai County School Superintendent was the most rewarding role in his career.

Here he established the Accommodation School out of his love for students who need a second chance. His philosophy of education can be summed up this way, "A fair break for every kid."

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