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2018 Teacher of the Year

On Friday, August 10th, the long-awaited 11th Annual Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner Ceremony, took place at the Americana/Quality Inn Mayan Ballroom.  With the soft contemporary/classical sounds of Ivan Orellana in the background and the room decorated in Dr. Seuss motif, the 21 nominated teachers made their way in and took their seats.  The extraordinary group of teachers was accompanied by their principals, family and over 250 guests gathered to honor them.  The event was co-sponsored by Santa Cruz County School Superintendent Alfredo I. Velasquez and the Nogales Rotary Club and spearheaded by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendents Special Events Coordinator Patricia Barraza-Preciado.

The night started with the Rio Rico ROTC presenting the colors and then superseded by Mr. Velásquez recognizing the incredible roles our county teachers play with the young children of our future. The opening ceremonies were quickly followed by Mr. Velasquez, Ms. Barraza-Preciado, and Mr. Gamillo, treating the guests with fabulous raffle prizes, donated by businesses from around the county and a wonderful dinner.

As the night progressed, each of the teachers was introduced by Mr. Alfredo I. Velasquez and a short portion of their philosophy on teaching was played as they took the stage. One by one, each teacher was awarded a trophy and a platter consisting of $350.00 in cash and prizes.

A panel of five amazing and dedicated judges from every corner of the county was given the task of choosing our 2018 Teacher of the Year for Santa Cruz County.  We would like to announce that Ms. MELISSA JAUREGUI from Calabasas Elementary School, has been named the 2018 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year. Ms. Jauregui will now represent Santa Cruz County at the state competition in Phoenix, in November.

Ms. Jauregui was awarded the Teacher of the Year Trophy, $1,000 check, Stainless steel gas BBQ grill donated by Home Depot, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, $100.00 certificate from Nogales Customs Brokers and $1,000.00 in Professional Development/classroom supplies donated by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendents Office, one night stay/golf for two at Tubac Golf Resort, Jostens ring, Wells Fargo basket, Meals for two at Zarape Restaurant, one night stay at Americana Hotel and one night stay at Holiday Inn Express and $150.00 from South 32.

We also want to congratulate Teacher of the Year Runner-up, Bracker Elementary School Teacher, Ms. GYNNA YVETTE ROSAS. Ms. Rosas was awarded the Runner-up trophy along with a $500 check, a gas BBQ grill, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, $500.00 in Professional Development/classroom supplies donated by Santa Cruz County School Superintendents Office, $75.00 Walmart certificate from Nogales Customs Brokers, $150.00 Tubac Golf Resort certificate, one night stay at Americana and Candlewood Suites and $75.00 South 32.

We would like to thank each and every one of our Sponsors’ and Donors’ that made this event possible. Without the help of these incredible people, the event would not be the success it is.

Thank you to the following:


Santa Cruz Valley Unified #35                                                     Mr. David Verdugo

NUSD School District #1                                                              Mr. Fernando Parra

South 32 Hermosa                                                                         Mr. Greg Lucero

First Bank of Yuma                                                                        Mr. David Esquivel

McDonald’s Corporation                                                              Ms. Lee Ann Richards

Sierra Seed Company                                                                    Ms. Sabrina Hallman

Panousopoulos Educational Foundation                                  Mr. Dino Panousopoulos

Mariposa Health Center                                                               Mr. Ed Sicurello

Jeong & Lizardi, P.C.                                                                     Mr. David Jeong

Nogales Rotary Club                                                                      Mr. Edmundo Gamillo

Nogales Lions Club                                                                        Ms. Claudia Wise

NHS Hall of Fame                                                                          Dr. Arnoldo Montiel

Unisource Corporation                                                                 Mr. Roberto Guevara /Ms. Norma Lucero

Croppers Auto Center                                                                   Mr. Bill Swoger/Ms. Penny Nelson

J-C Distributing                                                                             Mr. Jaime Chamberlain

Santa Cruz County School Superintendent                              Mr. Alfredo Velásquez

AXA Advisors                                                                                  Mr. Andres Escobedo

Mr. and Mrs. Hector Ramirez

Senator Andrea Dalessandro

Gustavo Rigoli Trust                                                                      Mr. Gustavo Rigoli

Shannon Brokerage                                                                        Mr. Terry Shannon

Santa Fe Ranch                                                                                Mr. Antony Sedgewick

Coogan and Martin, P.C.                                                                Mr. Dan Coogan

Walmart                                                                                             Mr. Jim Grow

Ms. Gail Zamar

Mr. Frank Calixtro

Adair’s Mortuary                                                                              Mr. Alex Zuniga

Nogales Woman’s Club                                                                  Ms. Martha Valenzuela

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Valenzuela

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Scott

Mr. and Mrs. Greg Kory

Ms. Irene Molera

Wise Trucking                                                                                    Mr. and Mrs. George Wise





Tubac Resort and Spa                                                                     Mr. Ricardo Velez

Home Depot                                                                                      Mr. Martin Lopez

Elvira’s Restaurant                                                                           Mr. Ricardo Garcia

Sunshine Dentistry                                                                          Dr. Bill Ardito

SCC Treasurer                                                                                    Ms. Liz Gutfahr

SCC Manager                                                                                     Ms. Jennifer St. John

SCC Supervisor                                                                                  Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Molera

SCC Recorder                                                                                     Ms. Suzie Sainz/Ms. Mary Lou Sainz

Zula’s Restaurant                                                                              Papachoris Familly

Jostens Ring Company                                                                    Mr. Jim Grossi

Preciado Art                                                                                       Mr. Luis Preciado

Nogales Customs Brokers                                                               Mr. Fernando Sandoval

Santa Cruz Chile                                                                                Ms. Armida Castro

Quality Inn                                                                                         Mr. Ken Loc

Ragazzi Restaurant                                                                           Mr. Jorge Leon

Zarape                                                                                                  Ms. Socorro Hernandez

Rascon Stylist                                                                                     Ms. Angelica Rascon

Adairs                                                                                                   Mr. Alex Zuniga

Damar Hair Salon                                                                             Ms. Gabriela Denogan

United Way                                                                                        Ms. Marcela Chavez

Hilltop Gallery                                                                                   Ms. Janice Johnson

La Cucaracha de Tubac                                                                   Mr. Angel Fernandez

Roosters                                                                                              Mr. Ruben Valencia

La Roca Restaurant                                                                         Ms. Alicia Martin

Wells Fargo Bank                                                                             Mr. Edmundo Gamillo

Ms. Kathy Romero

Wisdoms Restaurant

Mr. and Mrs. Herb Wisdom

Holiday Inn Express

Candlewood Suites


Again, thank you to all the Sponsors, Donors, Judges, Teachers and Guests who have been with us year after year. You and only you make this event so special and such a wonderful event in which so many look forward to attending. Next year, we will be celebrating our 12th Annual Awards dinner and we look forward to seeing you all there.

Thank you

Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office, Mr. Alfredo Velasquez, Nogales Rotary Club and Ms. Patricia Barraza-Preciado.

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