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Teacher of the Year Awards 2019

On Friday, August 9, 2019, the 12th Annual Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner Ceremony took place at the Americana/Quality Inn Mayan Ballroom.  With the soft sounds of guitarist Ivan Orellana in the background and the room decorated as an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party, the 20 nominated teachers made their way in and took their seats. 

This extraordinary group was accompanied by their Superintendents, Principals, family and over 250 guests, who gathered to honor them. The splendid event was co-sponsored by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent Alfredo I. Velásquez, the Nogales Rotary Club and coordinated by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Accounting Specialist/Special Events Coordinator Patricia Barraza-Preciado.

The night started with the Rio Rico High School ROTC Color Guard, doing the presentation of colors, Ms. Maria Martinez singing the National Anthem, and Father Marcos Velasquez welcoming everyone with an opening prayer. Superintendent Alfredo I. Velásquez welcomed all guests and thanked all nominees and every teacher in our county, for their extraordinary dedication and commitment to the students of Santa Cruz County. While the guests enjoyed an amazing dinner, over 50 door prizes, which were donated by local businesses from throughout the county, were raffled to everyone in attendance. All proceeds from ticket sales for the dinner and raffle tickets that evening, will be designated to the William I. Rothstein Memorial Scholarship for graduating students in our County.

Master of Ceremonies Mrs. Patricia Barraza-Preciado introduced each of the 20 teacher of the year nominees with a short video on their philosophy on teaching as they took center stage and were award a trophy presented by County School Superintendent Alfredo I. Velasquez.  They also received a Teacher of the Year Appreciation Platter consisting of a cash reward and assorted gift cards.

Mr. Beach, was awarded the Teacher of the Year Trophy, $2,000.00 check, Stainless Steel BBQ, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, One night stay and golf day for two from Tubac Resort, $500.00 for Professional Development and prizes and gift cards from local community members, valued close to $4,000.00.

Given the difficult task of selecting the 2019 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year, were five incredible judges chosen from across the county.  We are proud to announce and congratulate Mr. Brad Beach from Pierson High School, for being the recipient of the 2019 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Award.  Mr. Beach will now represent Santa Cruz County at the state competition in Phoenix, this November.

We also want to congratulate the 2019 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Runner-up from Desert Shadows Middle School, Mr. Jeff Gudenkauf. Mr. Gundenkauf, was presented the Runner-up trophy along with a $1000.00 check, Fire Pit donated from Home Depot, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, a one-night stay at Tubac Resort, $250.00 for Professional Development along with prizes and gift cards from local community members, valued close to $2,300.00.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Sponsors and Donors that made this event possible and a great success. We appreciate your support.  

 List of Sponsors and Donors

South 32                                Mr. Greg Lucero

Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office    Mr. Alfredo I. Velásquez

Santa Cruz Community Foundation                Ms. Sabrina Hallman

Panousopoulos Educational Foundation            Mr. Dino Panousopoulos

Unisource                                Ms. Norma Lucero & Mr. Robert Guevara

Nogales Rotary Club                        Mr. Nohe Garcia

Mc Donald’s                                Ms. Lee Ann Richards

Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District            Mr. David Verdugo   

Nogales Unified School District                    Mr. Fernando Parra

First Bank of Yuma                        Mr. David Esquivel

Mariposa Community Health Center                Mr. Ed Sicurello 

Walmart                            Mr. Jim Grow & Mr. Arnold Quijada

Santa Cruz County Provisional Community College    Dr. Stella Perez

Cropper’s Nogales Auto Center                    Mr. Bill Swoger

Nogales Hall of Fame                         Dr. Arnoldo Montiel

Horne Ford                                Mr. Ken Griffen

Wise Trucking                             Mr. and Mrs. George A. Wise

J. C. Chamberlain Dist.                        Mr. Jaime Chamberlain

Southwest Educational Consulting                  Mr. Mike Hughes

Community Member                        Ms. Irene Molera

Nogales Lions Club                        Ms. Claudia Wise

AXA Advisors             Mr. Andres Escobedo & Mr. Patrick Chaboya

Calixtro Distributing                         Mr. Charlie Calixtro

Jeong Lizardi, P.C.                         Mr. David Jeong

Shannon Brokerage                         Mr. Terry Shannon

The Trust                                 Ms. Gail Zamar

Coogan and Martin, P.C.                       Mr. Daniel J. Coogan

Nogales Women’s Club                        Ms. Marta Valenzuela

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Valenzuela

Mr. and Mrs. Hector Ramirez

Honorable Judge Emilio Velásquez

Honorable Judge Anna Paez

Senator Andrea Dalessandro

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Scott

Zula’s                            Papachoris Family

Wisdom’s Restaurant                Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Wisdom

Santa Cruz County Treasurer             Mrs. Liz Gutfahr

Santa Cruz County Manager            Ms. Jennifer St. John

Santa Cruz County Recorder        Ms. Suzie Sainz & Mrs. Mary Lou Sainz

Tubac Resort and Spa                Mr. Ricardo Velez

El Zarape Restaurant                Mrs. Socorro Hernandez

Home Depot                      Mr. Martin Lopez

Sunshine Dentistry                   Dr. Bill Ardito

Jostens                        Mr. Joe Grossi

Byanca Parra Photography              Mrs. Byanca Parra Young

Preciado Art                     Mr. Luis Preciado

Gariola’s Deli                    Mr. and Mrs. Gustavo Acosta

Italian Peasant Restaurant              Ms. Kim Rocco

Quality Inn Americana Hotel            Mr. Ken Loc

Nogales Chamber of Commerce         Mrs. Olivia Ainza Kramer

Ragazzi Restaurant                 Mr. Jorge Leon

Rascon Stylist                    Ms. Angelica Rascon

United Way                          Mrs. Marcela Chavez

La Cucaracha de Tubac                 Mr. Angel Fernandez

Prep and Prime Nail Bar                 Ms. Ashley Valencia

Ambos Nogales Tours                Ms. Linda Rushton

Elvira’s Restaurant                 Mr. Ricardo Garcia

LM Photography                     Mr. Luis Martinez

Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association Mr. Fernando Sandoval

Holiday Inn                         Ms. Anna Duran

Santa Cruz Elementary (Little Red)        Mrs. Kathy Romero

Adair’s Mortuary                    Mr. Alex Zuniga

Bola’s Trucking LLC                Mr. Charlie Chiquete

Santa Cruz County Chairman / Supervisor    Mr. Rudy Molera

Artist Sandra Davila                Mrs. Sandra Moraga

On behalf of the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent Alfredo I. Velásquez and the Nogales Rotary Club President Mr. Nohe Garcia, we would like to thank all the community organizations and businesses for all their support in making the 2019 Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Awards Dinner Ceremony the most celebrated event in Santa Cruz County.


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