Zuni Hills Elementary science teacher Jennifer Cheesman has been named one of 10 candidates for the 2022 Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year Award.
The educator ultimately selected as Arizona Teacher of the Year becomes the state’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.
AEF’s prestigious annual Teacher of the Year program is the highest honor bestowed upon Arizona’s public school teachers. The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting and championing the exceptional work of public schools.
Desert Financial will serve as title sponsor the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony.
“Along with our efforts to support teachers and students throughout Arizona, it’s an honor to continue as the title sponsor of the AEF Teacher of the Year Award. Desert Financial was founded by educators and I can clearly see their persistence and compassion in the 10 incredible nominees. We’re proud to help recognize their achievements in a time of rapid and constant change.” said Jeff Meshey, president and CEO at Desert Financial.
Any certified full-time teacher working in an Arizona state-accredited public school or Bureau of Indian Education school is eligible for nomination. Teachers can self-nominate, or, students, colleagues, administrators, family members and friends can also submit nominations.
“We are so grateful to have Desert Financial serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards and to have additional support from other Arizona businesses and organizations, all of whom appreciate and value the dedication of educators,” said Kim Graham, executive director of AEF.
“Desert Financial was started by teachers who wanted a financial institution dedicated to educators’ needs. We see this as a natural partnership as both of our organizations have deep respect and admiration for teachers and public education.”
Now that the 10 candidates have been identified, they undergo a final interview process. Following that, five teachers will be named “Ambassadors for Excellence” and finalists for the Arizona Teacher of the Year Award. The remaining five will become semifinalists. All 10 will celebrated throughout the year at various recognition events.
The 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony will take place Oct. 16. To sponsor or obtain tickets, please visit https://www.azedfoundation.org/teachersrock.
Winnings for the Arizona Teacher of the Year include $15,000 from the Arizona Educational Foundation and travel paid to attend several National Teacher of the Year events including a trip to the White House to meet the U.S. President and a week-long trip to the International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. They are also considered for an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University.
The 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year and four Ambassadors for Excellence also receive professional speech and storytelling training to aid them in delivering hundreds of presentations during their year of recognition. AEF also has generous partners who provide gifts to the top 10 teachers including a free membership to Treasures4Teachers, scholarships from the Arizona K12 Center to pursue National Board Certification, on-field recognition during the Fiesta Bowl, and the opportunity to ride on the APS fire engine during the Fiesta Bowl Parade.
Sara Wyffels, a Spanish teacher at Chandler High School in the Chandler Unified School District, is still carrying forth the duties of her role as 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year.
To make a donation or for sponsorship inquiries, please contact Kim Graham at email@example.com.