Originally Published: May 21, 2010 9:45 p.m.
Christy Preston, a second-grade teacher at Territorial Elementary School, is Chino Valley Unified School District's Teacher of the Fourth Quarter.
"Christy is an excellent choice," Superintendent Duane Noggle said. "She does an excellent job of working with her kids. I wish her the best on her retirement."
"Christy has worked for 30 years teaching kids. She is one who always has a smile on her face when she comes to work and makes everyone around her happy," said Carolyn Reeder, the school's principal.
A native of Albuquerque, Preston holds a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education and a master of education degree from the University of Arizona.
After graduating, she taught third, fourth and sixth grades in Tucson schools for six years.
The Prestons then moved to Prescott in 1979 because they wanted to raise their family in a smaller community. In 1985 they moved to Chino Valley because her husband, John, wanted to go into business and they could save money by moving there.
In 1986, she began her 24-year career in the Chino Unified School District as a long-term substitute in the fifth grade.
After Del Rio Elementary School opened, she taught fifth, third and finally second grade there.
Preston moved to Territorial Elementary after it opened as a second-grade teacher. She has taught second graders in the CVUSD for 21 years. "This is the perfect grade for me," Preston said when asked why she stayed with one grade so long. Also, the students keep every day interesting, she added.
Pat Aschenbrenner, the art teacher at Territorial, said in her nomination form, "Mrs. Preston enjoys teaching. I don't think I've ever seen her without a smile on her face. She always has a positive attitude and cares about every student, even those not in her class. She makes us all realize that coming to school should be fun."
Preston, who looks forward to retiring at the end of the school year, said teaching is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job.
"Mrs. Preston works hard at TES," Aschenbrenner said. "She takes her work home with her at night and comes in on available Fridays to do what she can't get done during the school days.
"She always works hard to make a difference. That's why the second-grade team is so strong and they work so well together."
Aschenbrenner called Preston a "creative thinker" who finds ways to make things better for everyone around her.
"She's a great teacher and friend," Aschenbrenner said.
While Preston will miss the children, she looks forward to enjoying time with her husband and family.
In her spare time, she likes to read, go swimming and watch sports - especially U of A teams - with her husband.