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11:08 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

Teacher of the Year to be named Friday

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Outstanding teachers who have been nominated for Yavapai County Teacher of the Year will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 25, during the 20th annual Yavapai County Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony and Banquet at the Prescott Resort.

Organized by the Yavapai County Education Foundation, this event brings together educators and their supporters from throughout the county so that teaching achievements and successes can be recognized publicly.

A total of 66 teachers from across the county's district and charter schools were nominated. Nominees completed a rigorous application and interview process and were evaluated by community leaders and former educators. Nominees in six different categories - Pre-K to third grade; fourth grade to eighth grade; cross-grades specialists; high school; small school districts; and the Outstanding First-Year Teacher - will be cited for their excellence in the classroom during the 2013-14 school year.

From among the 66 nominees, one will be selected as the overall Yavapai County Teacher of the Year and a total of $7,000 in grant money will be awarded to winners and finalists.

"The Yavapai County Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has as its primary mission to support and recognize outstanding teachers for their efforts in the classroom," said Tim Wiederaenders, YCEF president.

Dr. Paul Street, former Arizona Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Yavapai County School Superintendent, will also be honored at the banquet with the YCEF Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed upon to those with sustained meritorious service to the education community in Yavapai County.

For additional information, call 442-5139.

20th annual Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year Finalists:

Outstanding First-Year Teacher Category - Eric Banuelos, Mingus Union High School; Sarah Burchett, Prescott High School; Kristen Schaibly, Tri-City College Prep High School.

Overall Teacher-of-the-Year Categories - PreK-3rd Grade: Meredith Keys, Del Rio Elementary School; Sharon Meacham, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School; Karen Sampson, Washington Traditional School.

4th - 8th Grade: Linda Church, Del Rio Elementary School; Kelli Rhoda, Mountain View Preparatory; Robin Tankesley, Camp Verde Middle School.

Cross-Grades Specialist: Shannon Feipel, Heritage Middle School; Kathy Johnson, Del Rio Elementary School; Emily Meyer, Cottonwood Middle School.

High School: James Ball, Mingus Union High School; Sonny Martin, Ash Fork High School; Sara Tomlin, Prescott High School.

Small Districts: Jennifer Bonner, Bagdad High School; Ashley Fine, Skyview School; Jeaneen Leach, Ash Fork Middle School.

Nominees include: Andy Andre, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Hannah Barrett, Liberty Traditional School; Brittany Bays, Humboldt Elementary School; Krista Bell, Mountain View Elementary School; Andrew Busk, Lake Valley Elementary School; Angela Cox, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School; Kelsey Crow, Mountain View Elementary School; Kimberly Dana, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Sara Dawson, Liberty Traditional School; Kevin Dix, Mountain View Preparatory; Edward Dooley, Prescott Mile High Middle School; Lauri Dreher, Mountain Institute JTED; Christopher Ferguson, Granite Mountain Middle School; Brad Grauberger, Humboldt Elementary School; Shelly Helmken, Miller Valley Elementary School; Jana Hesselschwerdt, Bradshaw Mountain High School; Stacia Knotek, Mountain View Elementary School; Alison Kopinto, Skyview School; Mary LaVigne, Territorial Kindergarten Center; Jayne Lee, Cottonwood Middle School; Nicole Lockridge, Mayer Elementary School; Lauri Lonon, Mountain View Elementary School; Kimber Marquez, Cottonwood Elementary School; Calistro Martinez, AAEC, Prescott Valley; Kathleen Mezeske, Tri,City College Preparatory High School; Carolyn Muchna, Tri,City College Preparatory High School; Jamy Myrmel, Humboldt Elementary School; Lesley Ortiz, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School; Hillary Palmer, Heritage Middle School; Thomas Palomo, Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy; Brian Parnell, Heritage Middle School; Leslie Pigg, Sedona Red Rock High School; Lindsey Popa, Ash Fork Elementary School; Lindsay Renfrew, Lake Valley Elementary School; Rebecca Robison, Glassford Hill Middle School; Julie Rodriguez, Glassford Hill Middle School; Sara Rosengren, Chino Valley High School; Debby Schoenfeld, Del Rio Elementary School; Joshua Schreiner, Granville Elementary School; Ashley Tetreault, Bradshaw Mountain Middle School; Anika Van Orden, Liberty Traditional School; Amy Van Winkle, Bradshaw Mountain High School; John Vreyens, Chino Valley High School; Melissa Walker, Humboldt Elementary School; Karen Willis, Liberty Traditional School; Kyle Wood, Mountain View Preparatory; Gabriel Zamora, Granite Mountain Middle School; Kyle Zierke, Kirkland Elementary School.