HomeArticlesTen finalists announced for 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year

Ten finalists announced for 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year

Arizona Educational Foundation announced ten finalists for its 2022 Arizona Teacher of the Year Award this week. The winner will be named on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Madison Center for the Arts in Phoenix.

The Arizona Teacher of the Year will earn a $15,000 cash prize, represent Arizona in the National Teacher of the Year competition, meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, attend International Space Camp and more. The winner and and four Ambassadors for Excellence also receive professional speech and storytelling training, a free membership to Treasures4Teachers, scholarships from the Arizona K12 Center to pursue National Board Certification and recognition in the Fiesta Bowl Parade.

Winners are selected by an independent panel after an open nominations process. The ten finalists will undergo a final interview, after which 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 ten are celebrated throughout the year. The ten 2022 contenders for Teacher of the Year are:

  • Jason Catanese (Mathematics), Pueblo Del Sol Elementary School, Isaac School District
  • Jennifer Cheesman (Science), Zuni Hill Elementary, Peoria Unified School District
  • Ashley Crose (Social Sciences), Saguaro High School, Scottsdale Unified School District
  • Jessica England (Music & English Language Arts), Sahuarita Middle School, Sahuarita Unified School District
  • Ashton Gildea (English), Walden Grove High School, Sahuarita Unified School District
  • Kristina Laborin (ELA, Social Studies, Gifted Ed.), Old Vail Middle School, Vail Unified School District
  • Nancy Parra-Quinlan (STEM/CTE) Kino Junior High School, Mesa Unified School District
  • Lindsey Peterson (English), Apollo High School, Glendale Union High School District
  • John Carlo Tulinao (General Ed, STEM), Amberlea Elementary School, Pendergast Elementary School District
  • Alyssa Weed (Music), Acacia Elementary School, Washington Elementary School District

Sara Wyffels, a Spanish teacher at Chandler High School in the Chandler Unified School District, is still carrying out the duties of her role as 2021 Arizona Teacher of the Year.

Arizona Educational Foundation Executive Director Kim Graham says the Teacher of the Year program — now in its 39th year — is made possible by the support of donors and sponsors, including Desert Financial Credit Union. The nonprofit AEF celebrates excellence and cultivates equity in Pre-K-12th grade Arizona public education. To make a donation or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Graham at kim@azedfoundation.org.

Any certified full-time teacher working in an Arizona state-accredited public school or Bureau of Indian Education school is eligible for a Teacher of the Year nomination. Teachers can self-nominate; students, colleagues, administrators, family members and friends can also submit nominations — which are accepted Jan. 1-April 30 — for the 2023 Teacher of the Year award. Visit azedfoundation.org/teacher-of-the-year

Arizona Teachers of the Year

2021: Sara Wyffels, Chandler High School
2020: Lynette Stant, Salt River Elementary, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
2019: Kareem Neal, Maryvale High School, Phoenix
2018: Josh Meibos, David Crockett Elementary School, Phoenix
2017: Michelle Doherty, Encanto School, Phoenix
2016: Christine Marsh, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale
2015: John-David Bowman, Westwood High School, Mesa
2014: Beth Hutchins-Maloney, Sunset Hill Elementary School, Surprise
2013: Nancie Lindblom, Skyline High School, Mesa
2012: Kristie Martorelli, Thompson Ranch Elementary School, El Mirage
2011: Amanda McAdams, Apollo High School, Glendale
2010: Joy Weiss, Balsz Elementary School, Phoenix



Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.