4 Peoria teachers granted wishes

Fiesta Bowl Charities delivers $1 million to local educators

Posted 11/25/21

Though Thanksgiving is technically celebrated Nov. 25 this year, for 400 teachers across Arizona – including four in  Peoria – it came early.

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4 Peoria teachers granted wishes

Fiesta Bowl Charities delivers $1 million to local educators

Posted

Though Thanksgiving is technically celebrated Nov. 25 this year, for 400 teachers across Arizona – including four in  Peoria – it came early.

During the first days of November, in what has become an annual tradition to honor, support and celebrate Arizona’s teachers, the Fiesta Bowl organization awarded $1 million to teachers through the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program.

Through the program, here are the wishes granted to Peoria teachers:

• Jeffrey Malone, a music teacher at Peoria High School, will purchase new instrument mouthpieces for the music ensemble;

• Allison Griesel, a K-4th grade general music teacher and 5-8th grade choir teacher at Vistancia Elementary School, will purchase new instruments and build a music library for students;

• Brigitte Beaudoin, a 2nd grade teacher at West Wing School, will purchase new science materials to support student learning;

• Paige Hays, a 2nd grade teacher at Sundance Elementary School, will purchase bookshelves and additional furniture for her classroom.

“They may not wear capes, but teachers are real-life superheroes. They give tirelessly to their students and Wishes for Teachers is our opportunity to reward them for their efforts,” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial. “Desert Financial was founded by teachers — we continue their legacy by returning as the title partner for this year’s Wishes for Teachers, in partnership with Fiesta Bowl Charities. Teachers often pay for school supplies out of their own pockets, so there’s no greater way to express our gratitude than by granting their classroom wishes.”

Through a three-day virtual draft day presented by Salt River Project, 400 teachers from K-12 schools were each given $2,500 to grant a wish in their classrooms.

The winners were chosen based on a program in the fall wherein any Arizona K-12 teacher was able to fill out an online application detailing a school or classroom need. The wishes were then verified and selected by random drawing for teachers to receive a grant. Over the six years of the program, Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers has granted $4.7 million to more than 1,200 Arizona teachers, impacting more than 500,000 children across the state.

“I love Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Charities Draft Day presented by SRP. It is so exciting when we call each teacher to let them know their name was selected as a grant recipient,” said Patrick Barkley, chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “Wishes for Teachers is well-known around the state as the preeminent program for teacher support. My mom was a teacher, and we all know teachers who inspire us with their selfless work.”

This year, the 400 teachers represent 300 schools in 63 cities across the state, teaching more than 200,000 students in 84 districts over 75 subjects, from social studies to special education, literature to leadership, music to math.

“Teachers are our unsung heroes, who give so much to our students in helping them become tomorrow’s leaders. Giving them a spotlight for their selfless work and support them with extra resources is an important part of the Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to our community,” said Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl executive director. “Thanks to our partners Desert Financial and SRP, Wishes for Teachers helps reward Arizona’s teachers and give them a step forward in ways they may have only wished.”

For more information, or for a full list of granted wishes, visit fiestabowl.org.

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