The Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s Office and the Nogales Rotary Club held their 10th Annual Teacher of the Year Awards at the Quality Hotel Americana on Friday, August 11, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. The event’s theme this year were black and white, which were displayed on the tables and ballroom decor. The black and white themed event not only recognizes educators in our community but also helps to raise money for scholarships. The Americana Mayan Ballroom was packed with cheerful faces with more than 200 people in attendance.
The event opened with a presentation of colors by the Nogales High School R.O.T.C. Color Guard followed by the National Anthem by Ms. Maria Martinez, from the Santa Cruz County Finance Department. The welcome speech was done by Alfredo I. Velásquez, Santa Cruz County School Superintendent. “ I would like to thank all my colleagues for their hard work and dedication to our students in helping them meet their educational goals,” said Alfredo I. Velásquez. A benediction later followed by Father Jay Luczack.
A total of 21 educators were honored that day for their extraordinary work in helping children and youth from Santa Cruz County achieve their educational goals. Each was honored by a standing ovation from their peers, school administrators, family, and friends. They were recognized with a trophy and gift basket for their creativity and innovative methods of teaching in helping students become critical thinkers and valuable members of our society.
Also in attendance were previous Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year recipients for the last 9 years. This year Jigar Mehta a Nogales High School math teacher was named the 2017 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year. He was also awarded a trophy called the “Star Polisher” with a cash award of $1,000 dollars, a barbecue grill, a tablet, and a personalized ring presented by Robert Astengo the Nogales Rotary Club President.