In the comments below this post, we encourage you to recognize an Arizona teacher who is raising expectations and has earned your “award of excellence.”

The one common theme among discussions about improving education in our community is the importance of effective teachers. Teachers are one of the most critical components in the success and academic achievement of our students.

Teachers throughout Arizona have a huge impact on the lives of their students. Whether inspiring a love of learning through play in the early years or preparing students to enter the workforce after they graduate, teachers make a lasting impact on Arizona’s education system every single day. However, teachers are often unsung heroes in our community, facing challenging circumstances in order to provide quality learning environments to students. It is critical our community takes the time to acknowledge the importance of educators and recognize those who raise the bar and high expectations of themselves and their students.

There are several programs in Arizona that highlight outstanding teachers. Just last month, Chicanos Por La Causa recognized four teachers from around the state for their commitment to underserved populations and the Latino community.

Richard Alvarez, Payson High School- Payson
Juan Carbajal, Rosemarie Rivera Elementary School- Tucson
Sofía P. Gámez, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado Elementary School-Nogales
Irma Regalado, Peoria High School- Peoria

In addition, the Arizona Educational Foundation has selected Kristie Martorelli as the 2012 Teacher of the Year.   Mrs. Martorelli is a kindergarten-to-third-grade reading interventionist at Thompson Ranch Elementary School in El Mirage.   She has taught for 22 years in the Dysart Unified School District.  Mrs. Martorelli will be a spokeswoman for Arizona education both in the state and nationally for 2012.

Another example of a high expectations teacher is Rita Martinez, a Sunnyside High School math teacher, was recently named a “Math Hero” by Raytheon Missile Systems.  Martinez is among 32 educators in the nation who received this honor, given to teachers who have a passion for teaching math and inspire and motivate students in mathematics.

These are just some examples of organizations and programs in our state that recognize excellent teachers. All of these teachers have a high bar of excellence that earned them recognition. They inspire students in their classrooms to achieve at the highest levels. While these excelling teachers have been recognized for the great work they do in classrooms, there are countless other teachers across Arizona who work every day to ensure students are getting the education they need to compete, contribute and succeed.  Thank you to all teachers who are helping to ensure Arizona’s future by educating students today.

Expect More Arizona would like to invite you to recognize an exceptional teacher in our state. In the comments below, please tell about an Arizona teacher who makes a difference.