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In a year full of twists and turns the one thing that was clear was the desire to recognize Prescott Valley’s Humboldt Unified School District (HUSD) teachers that have made a difference in the lives of their students during the most difficult time in education. The Humboldt Education Foundation (HEF) was excited to be able to provide the annual banquet this year to celebrate these educators. HEF President Guy Roginson shared, “It was great to see people’s faces and not just masks during the 2021 Teacher of the Year (TOY) Banquet. The event was a great reminder that it is people that make great things happen. We can be especially thankful to our teachers and district employees and administrators who stayed on post during recent difficult times. Now, more than ever, we need to double down on our efforts to support our teachers and students.”
The reason the TOY event is special is due to the nomination letters that are submitted by students. Each school receives dozens of student essays nominating teachers at their school site. Each school has the difficult task of narrowing down the essays to one school nominee. The harder part is for the HEF Teacher of the Year Committee who has the task of reading the essays and choosing one K-6 grade winner and one 7-12 grade winner. The students read their letters of nomination during the TOY banquet to their teachers, some hearing it for the first time. The event always highlights the standards set by the District and reflects many deep connections between teachers and their students. Generous sponsors were also recognized by the HEF Board. The program showcased all things HUSD with our JROTC Color Guard presentation and an amazing performance by the Bradshaw Mountain High School (BMHS) Drumline kicking off the event.
The nomination letters have common themes of teachers who give their all, make connections with their students and make learning fun. It is a great opportunity for the community to honor educators and students. This year the event was moved to Prescott Valley’s Findlay Toyota Center, central Arizona’s premier indoor event arena, where nominees, students and their families, community sponsors and town leaders were recognized. This year as a result of event sponsorship, HEF was able to award a $500 Carm Staker scholarship for two selected graduating BMHS Seniors and HEF will also be able to award quarterly teacher classroom grants again next year. In 2020 HEF awarded over $15,000 in teacher grants that impacted over 2,000 students.
In January of this year, students were asked to submit their nomination for Teacher of the Year. Here are the 2020-2021 TOY nominees and the students who nominated them.
Coyote Springs Elementary – Jessica Kissinger nominated nominated by Jacob McGill
Granville Elementary – Ashley Gordon nominated by Baylee Burnham
Humboldt Elementary – Jamy Myrmel nominated by Madeleine Moore
Lake Valley Elementary – Monique Apalategui nominated by Raegan Marie Lavers
Liberty Traditional – Beth Ann Bogdovitz nominated by Mariana Santoyo Garcia
Mountain View Elementary – Lynette Buskirk nominated by Clare McElwee
Bradshaw Mountain Middle – Sarah Herschelman nominated by Sophia Egner
Glassford Hill Middle – Jasmine Navarro nominated by Charley James
Liberty Traditional – Jason Redmon nominated by Avery Wells
Bradshaw Mountain High School – Kristoffer Damko nominated by Marcos Guerra
Bradshaw Mountain High School – Lawrence Haese nominated by Bella Marquez
Teacher of the Year Winners
Winners were announced at the end of the program. Congratulations to the K-6 Teacher of the Year Monique Apalategui from Lake Valley Elementary and the 7-12 Teacher of the Year Kristoffer Damko from Bradshaw Mountain High School. Both nominating students shared the ability of their teacher to make school fun and to really connect and be involved with their learning.
Full Photo Gallery of TOY Banquet will be viewable >>here<< soon.
The TOY banquet and all of the programs that HEF accomplished during the year wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of community sponsors. Sponsorship for the 2020-21 TOY is what helps to fund the teacher grants and has allowed HEF to offer an additional student scholarship this year. Emma Garcia, AVP, Community Relations for Desert Financial Credit Union shared, “As a credit union founded by educators 82 years ago, we’re honored to pay tribute to their legacy by supporting teachers. Desert Financial is proud to help recognize outstanding professionals in the Humboldt Unified School District, and we applaud your efforts to help students learn, grow and excel.”
About HEF and How You Can Get Involved
In addition to the TOY event, HEF’s primary focus is on the Hungry Kids Project. Even during the pandemic over 300 weekend meals were distributed by volunteers to students. Other Humboldt Education Foundation projects include, The Carm Staker Student Scholarship Award, classroom grants for special projects, and the HUSD Student Orchestra Project. The Humboldt Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and an approved State of Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization for Arizona Tax Credit program.
HEF President Guy Roginson adds, “ How can you help? Join us at the Humboldt Education Foundation (HEF) and be a part of one of the most important non-profits in the region. Did you know the Humboldt Unified School District is comprised of 5,100+ students and over 750 employees spanning 10 schools? HUSD is the largest school district in Yavapai County. We are welcoming new HEF volunteers and board members. Want to know more? Check out the HEF website under the events page for our next mixer where anyone is welcome to attend and learn more about becoming a volunteer for this amazing organization. For more information on HEF, to become a board member, or to donate, visit the HEF website at humboldteducationfoundation.org/ or contact Guy Roginson at email@example.com .
Teacher of the Year Sponsors
Diamond – Massie Family Foundation
Emerald – Universal Homes, and Yavapai Regional Medical Center
Gold – Dorn Homes, Arizona Downs, Desert Financial Credit Union, Fain Signature Group, Foothills Bank, and Pinnacle Bank, Prescott Web Design
Silver – Galpin Ford Inc., Vince Moser – Farmers Insurance Agent, Kooiman Realty, Little Dealer Little Prices, Overall Moving, Overall Remodeling, Eric Strobel – State Farm, Damon Cademartori – Fairway Mortgage, Findlay Automotive, Lifepointe Church, Frontier Financial of Arizona, Prescott Valley Chiropractic, MI Windows, and Doors, Findlay Automotive, Little Dealer Little Prices, and Prescott Valley Chiropractic
Bronze – Autoworks, Carm Staker, Lori Hunt, Foothills Bank, Jim Clemens, Prescott Valley Ace Hardware, Prescott Valley Early Bird Lions, Prescott Valley Economic Development, and Prescott Valley United Methodist Church
Copper – My Home Group, Angie Sumner, OneAZ Credit Union, and Raskins Jeweler
Guy Roginson, President
Humboldt Education Foundation
Images courtesy of Talking Glass Media, LLC
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