Coconino County celebrates Teacher of the Year 2019

| April 23, 2019
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FLAGSTAFF — Following the awards ceremony, Williams High School music teacher Beverly Stearns wondered if she could lead her music students from the back of a pick-up truck.

Well, she will have a whole year to decide as she celebrates the honor as the 2019 Coconino County Teacher of the Year. Stearns was presented with the award during the seventh annual event held April 17 at the High Country Conference Center in Flagstaff.

Jordan Morales, a second grade teacher at Kinsey Inquiry and Discovery School in Flagstaff, was named the 2019 Coconino County Rookie Teacher of the Year, with Kelly Smith, an anatomy and biology teacher at Coconino High School, receiving the 2019 Coconino County STEM Teacher of the Year award.

The celebration was presented by the Coconino County Education Services Agency. 

“The Coconino County Teacher of the Year event proudly showcases that the most formidable profession is being an exemplary educator,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Risha VanderWey, stated in the program. “Exemplary educators have tremendous impact in the success of our children, are role models for other educators, and share attributes of excellence.”

The event included a plenary address by Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Education, with the keynote address by Dr. Rita Hurting Cheng, president of Northern Arizona University.

Dave Zorn, news director for Great Circle Media, served as emcee for the event.

Stearns, a Magna Cum Laude graduate of NAU, credited her 3rd grade teacher, junior high band director and mother as the reasons she got into teaching.

She will receive $2,000 cash, a one-year lease of a 2019 Toyota Tacoma truck courtesy of Findlay Toyota, one three-credit course from Coconino Community College, will be honored during the Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade and will have a chance to apply for Arizona Teacher of the Year (TOY).

Brad Houston from Grand Canyon High School and fourth grade teacher Lauren Likovich from Knoles Elementary were the finalists for the the TOY award. As Ambassadors for Excellence, they will each receive $1,500 cash, one three-credit course from CCC, an opportunity to participate in the Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade and the chance to apply for Arizona TOY.

As the Rookie Teacher of the year, Morales was awarded $1,000 cash, one three-credit course from CCC, two Theatrikos season tickets, a pass to Bearizona, and an opportunity to participate in the Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade.

Rookie Ambassadors for Excellence — Jessica Donnelly of Kinsey Inquiry and Discovery School and Kaitlyn Settle of DeMiguel Elementary School, will each receive a $500 cash award, one three-credit course from CCC and a chance to participate in the Flagstaff Fourth of July Parade.

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