Josh Meibos, a kindergarten through sixth-grade physical education teacher at David Crockett Elementary School in Phoenix, was named 2018 Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Educational Foundation on Tuesday.
“He is a talented and enthusiastic member of our team, and he is so deserving of this prestigious recognition for all the hard work he puts in as an educator — in and out of the classroom,” Jeffrey Smith, superintendent of Balsz School District, said in a statement. David Crockett Elementary is a unique Title 1 school with more than 450 students, where about 1 in 5 students is homeless and 1 in 7 is a refugee.
As 2018 Teacher of the Year, Meibos will receive a $15,000 cash award; one week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama; professional training in public speaking, a full scholarship toward an advanced degree at Argosy University in north-central Phoenix and a chance to compete for National Teacher of the Year.
To be considered for the Arizona Educational Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award, candidates must submit a written application that is reviewed by a panel of educators and business leaders. Ten finalists must prepare a 15-minute unedited video of them teaching in the classroom. Finalists get a $5,000 cash award, and semifinalists get $1,000. Former Teachers of the Year, finalists and semifinalists are ineligible to reapply.
Four finalists — K-12 teachers from Phoenix, Chandler and Surprise — were named 2018 Ambassadors for Excellence, in the statewide program to spotlight and honor Arizona’s public school teachers. They are:
• Amy Ball, kindergarten teacher at Madison Traditional Academy of Madison Elementary School District, Phoenix.
• Allison Davis, kindergarten teacher at Knox Gifted Academy of Chandler Unified School District.
• Erica Davis, twelfth-grade English teacher at Basha High School of Chandler Unified School District.
• Justean Palmer, fifth-grade math teacher at Canyon Ridge School of Dysart Unified School District, Surprise.
Five additional teachers were selected as 2018 Teacher of the Year semifinalists:
• Brenda Kilmurray, fifth-grade teacher at Huachuca Mountain Elementary School of Sierra Vista Unified School District.
• Leah Oliver, ninth- through twelfth-grade sports medicine teacher at Mountain View High School of Marana Unified School District, Tucson.
• Janelle Roberts-Perrin, kindergarten through twelfth-grade adaptive physical education teacher at Cactus Shadows High School of Cave Creek Unified School District.
• Ruth Ruiz, sixth-grade Spanish immersion teacher at Clarendon Elementary School of Osborn Elementary School District, Phoenix.
• Nichole Spencer, eighth-grade science and STEM teacher at Wilson Elementary School of Wilson Elementary School District, Phoenix.