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AEF Announces Fifteen Teachers Named Candidates for 2024 Arizona Teacher of the Year®

Today, Arizona Educational Foundation announced the 15 teachers named as candidates for 2024 Arizona Teacher of the Year®!

Desert Financial Credit Union is returning again this year as the presenting sponsor

of the 2024 Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony. This is the fourth consecutive year that

Desert Financial has served as presenting sponsor of this event. Considered the “Oscar

Awards” of teaching, the educator ultimately selected as Arizona Teacher of the Year

becomes our state’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

The 15 nominees are:

● Andrea Barallardos (Engineering-CTE/Physics), Douglas High School, Douglas Unified Schools District #27, serving 24 years as a teacher. ● Efrain Casillas (Music), Porfirio H. Gonzales/Desert Oasis, Tolleson Elementary School District, serving 22 years as a teacher. ● Caroline Chung-Wipff (ELA/Social Studies) Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, Mesa Public Schools, serving 17 years as a teacher. ● Elizabeth Colton (STEM/CTE), Crane Middle School, Crane Elementary School District, serving 17 years as a teacher. ● Clare Contreras (2nd grade General Education), Sahuarita Primary School, Sahuarita Unified School District, serving 15 years as a teacher. ● Marian Johnson (Mathematics/Special Education), Amphitheater High School, Amphitheater School District, serving 12 years as a teacher. ● Kayce Kahl (5th grade General Education), Clarendon Elementary, Osborn School District, serving 14 years as a teacher.

● Melody (Mia) Khayduangta (Math), Cesar Chavez High School, Phoenix Union High School District, serving 19 years as a teacher. ● Stephanie Likes (Theatre Arts/Stagecraft), Chandler High School, Chandler Unified School District, serving 15 years as a teacher. ● Kathleen Malkhassian (4th grade General Education), Thomas Elementary, Flagstaff Unified School District, serving 12 years as a teacher. ● Jessica Marks (English), Aspire High School, Yavapai Accommodation School District #99, serving 15 years as a teacher. ● Jessie McKinley (Computer Science & Robotics, Engineering), Madison Camelview, Madison Elementary School District #38, serving 23 years as a teacher. ● Bridget Montoya (CTE-Education Professions/Math), Flowing Wells High School, Flowing Wells School District, serving 20 years as a teacher. ● Rebecca Oravec (Art) Wrightson Ridge K-8, Sahuarita Unified School District, serving 6 years as a teacher. ● Grazyna Zreda (Chemistry) Tanque Verde High School, Tanque Verde Unified School District, serving 25 years as a teacher.

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