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Yavapai County Education Foundation announces finalists for 24th Teacher of the Year honor

Last year, Glassford Hill Middle School’s Jessica Marks was named the 2017 overall teacher of the year for Yavapai County. Nominees for the Teacher of the Year awards undergo a rigorous application and interviewing process, which leads to additional interviews and videotapes. There are 17 finalists this year. (Matt Santos/Courtesy)

Last year, Glassford Hill Middle School’s Jessica Marks was named the 2017 overall teacher of the year for Yavapai County. Nominees for the Teacher of the Year awards undergo a rigorous application and interviewing process, which leads to additional interviews and videotapes. There are 17 finalists this year. (Matt Santos/Courtesy)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version due to The Daily Courier receiving an incorrect list.

From a field of 73 teacher nominees across Yavapai County, seven teachers from Humboldt Unified School District and five from Prescott Unified School District, are finalists in the 25th annual Yavapai County Teacher of the Year categories.

One of the nominees – other than the winner in the first-year-teacher category – will be selected as the 2018 Yavapai County Teacher of the Year.

Last year, the winner was Jessica Marks, a seventh-and-eighth grade language arts teacher with the Humboldt Unified School District’s Glassford Middle School.

As in prior years, the Yavapai County Education Foundation will host the awards ceremony and banquet that honors the best in teaching throughout the county. The event will be held at the Prescott Resort at 6 p.m. Friday, April 27.

Nominees for the awards undergo a rigorous application and interviewing process, which leads to additional interviews and videotapes of the 17 finalists. Then they will be winnowed to category finalists, first-year-teacher winner and the county Teacher of the Year Award recipient. Nominees are chosen by administrators and other school leaders.

The categories include first-year teachers, kindergarten-to-fifth grade teachers, middle school and high school teachers as well as teachers who teach children in multiple grades between kindergarten through eighth grade as well as across the high school grades.

All of the finalists will be introduced during the ceremony, and the winners will be selected from among them. Foundation leaders said the awards highlight the valuable work of educators in this county, acknowledging publicly their achievements and successes.

The category winners and finalists will divide some $20,000 in grant money.

“The TOY event is a leading-edge program for the YCEF,” said foundation President Tim Wiederaenders, who is the community/senior editor at The Daily Courier.

YCEF, the Foundation, is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is to promote and support quality education throughout the county. The awards dinner is also sponsored by Lamb Chevrolet, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold and other community and county organizations.

Finalists for the awards include the following:

FIRST YEAR

Summer Ammons, Prescott Mile High Middle School – Prescott Unified School District

Kelsey Dice, Granite Mountain School, Prescott Unified School District

Elliot Zadow, Bradshaw Mountain High School – Humboldt Unified School District

GRADES K-5

Marissa Busk, Lake Valley Elementary, Humboldt Unified School District

Allison McElwee, Mountain View Elementary – Humboldt Unified School District

Katie Taylor, Granville Elementary – Humboldt Unified School District

GRADES 6-8

Jenene Jackson, Mountain View Elementary, Humboldt Unified School District

Frank Marston, Cottonwood Middle School – Cottonwood-Oak Creek District

CROSS GRADES K-8

Karen Benson, Taylor Hicks Elementary – Prescott Unified School District

Terry Pemberton, Prescott Mile High Middle School – Prescott Unified School District

Shelly Zale, Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary – Cottonwood-Oak Creek District

HIGH SCHOOL

Jarred Maddox, Bradshaw Mountain High School – Humboldt Unified School District

Craig Mai, Mingus Union High School, Mingus Union High School District

Al Wood, Ash Fork High School – Ask Fork Joint Unified School District

The finalists for the Cross Grades Specialist 9-12 are:

Retired United States Air Force t. Col. William DeKemper, Prescott High School – Prescott Unified School District

Francisco Ortiz y Davis, Bradshaw Mountain High School – Humboldt Unified School District

Chad Scott, Mingus Union High School – Mingus Union High School District

For more information, call 928-442-5139.

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