2016 Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner-Western Celebration
The Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner took place on Friday August 5th at the Esplendor Resort Sonora Ballroom. The event was co-sponsored by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office, Mr. Alfredo Velasquez and Nogales Rotary Club, Mr. Abelardo Duran. The event was spearheaded by Ms. Patricia Barraza Preciado special events coordinator, from the office of the school superintendent.
A total of 290 guests were dressed up in Western attire to reflect the theme of the event. Western music was played in the background by Mr. Ted Walker. Congressman Raul Grijalva was the keynote speaker for the event. His speech echoed the importance of the role teacher’s play in student’s success.
The Teacher of the Year Awards recognized 20 teachers across the county. The nominees were chosen by their peers. After a rigorous month of interviewing, compiling letters, and reviewing biographies the teacher of the year is thoroughly selected by 5 judges. This year the Teacher of the Year was awarded to Mr. James Bender from Nogales High School.
Mr. Bender was awarded the following: a trophy, $1000.00 dollars, 48″ Vizio Smart TV, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, $200.00, which came from a private donor, and $500.00 dollars for personal development.
The Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year runner up was Mr. Jimmy Navarro from Rio Rico High School. Mrs. Navarro was also a former student of Mr. Bender. Mr. Navarro was awarded the following prizes: trophy, $500.00 dollars, Gas BBQ Grill (Donated by Home Depot), Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and $250.00 for professional development.
All nominated teachers received the following prizes: trophy, $100.00 dollars, gift certificate from Santa Cruz County Treasurer (Liz Gutfahr) for the Oasis Movie Theater, gift certificate to Elvira’s Restaurant, gift certificate to Zula’s Restaurant (Papachoris Family), gift Certificate to Gariolas Deli (Acosta Family}and art print from local artist Luis Preciado.
The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office would like to thank the teachers, judges, guests, and sponsors for their continued support. Kudos to the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office staff, Alfredo Velasquez, Patricia Barraza Preciado and the Nogales Rotary Club, for coordinating such a successful event. Planning for next year’s 10th Annual Teacher of the Year Awards is underway. Guests were treated to dinner, entertainment and numerous raffles donated by local businesses within the county.