TopMay 2014
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Did You Know?
When Americans are asked which occupations contribute the most to society's well-being, they answer teachers, second only to military personnel, according to a Pew Research survey. (Scientists were third and medical doctors fourth.)
That esteem for educators appears to be even higher among Generation Next, those born from 1981 to 1988, who are twice as likely as older generations to name a teacher or mentor when asked to list people they admire.
Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.
Time Well Spent

During an average school day, teachers are spending:


- An average of almost 5 hours on instruction (in class and providing tutoring or extra academic support)


- Approximately 36 minutes on student supervision and discipline


- 45 minutes planning, preparing, or collaborating with colleagues


- 36 minutes is spent on grading, documenting, and analyzing student work


- Almost 15 minutes communicating with parents via email, phone, or face-to-face meetings


That left the surveyed teachers with a whopping 23 minutes for lunch and personal time!


Data from Primary Sources 2012: America's Teachers on the Teaching Profession

Thoughts on Teaching

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

-Albert Einstein


"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

-Henry Brooks Adams

A Message from Superintendent Huppenthal

National Teacher Appreciation Week is a call for all Arizonans to reach out to teachers and thank these heroes for the extraordinary work they do in the face of many challenges. Our students come to them with a myriad of needs, and we expect them to provide high quality teaching for every child, regardless of need.


I know first-hand the impact teachers have, their ability to change lives, and the extraordinary value they create for all of us.


In 1972 Jack Segersen, a public school teacher, entered my life.  As a student growing up in South Tucson, in a poor family, with 10 brothers and sisters, I had no vision for college, no academic motivation or direction, and no one guiding me.


Coach Segersen rescued me. He changed my life by understanding my abilities, believing in me, taking me under his wing and directing me to an engineering degree at NAU. The path Jack Segersen set me on led to an MBA and a career making laws that have impacted millions of people. Jack Segersen was my hero.


Thousands of teachers like Jack Segersen are in classrooms every day changing students' lives. There is no way to adequately express appreciation for the great work they do; to adequately recognize the value they create for children, their families and society. Our teachers are our everyday heroes, and many are silent heroes.

The work of a teacher has become more challenging than ever before. We have asked them to continually do more with less. Difficult economic times have made it challenging for many to manage financially, and continue to do the work they love. For many their work is not a job, it is a calling.


As Superintendent of Public Instruction I have spent the last almost four years traveling throughout the state observing great teachers, the extraordinary work they do and the challenges they face. I work every day to help them do their jobs better, from making their certification process easier, to improving technical support for them, to providing quality professional development, to meeting with them regularly to address their expressed challenges.


I continue to work on ways to increase resources for them and bring additional funding to their classrooms.


As Superintendent of Public Instruction I want to personally thank each and every one of you.


John Huppenthal

Superintendent of Public Instruction


In Focus: Teacher Appreciation Testimonials
Making Learning Fun

Teachers have a huge impact on every child's life. I have to give teachers a lot of credit for putting in long hours and putting up with a lot of issues solely to benefit us- the students. My math teacher, Mr. Vogl is so entertaining that he is able to take a complex and relatively dull topic, such as calculus, and make it enjoyable; in fact, he makes learning so enjoyable that what we learn sticks.


His wacky, fun and cool personality makes class interesting. It is not to say that we do not have to work hard and the class is all fun and games. In Mr. Vogl's class we work, and we work very hard on the great deal of homework that is given. However, in my mind, Mr. Vogl has accomplished one of the hardest things for a teacher to do, he has made learning fun.


Thank you Mr. Vogl, and thank you to the rest of the teachers in Arizona who continue to dedicate their time and efforts to educating Arizona's students. 


-Ashley, Senior at Mountain View High School
Celebrating a Young Reader

Today I am celebrating. I am celebrating that my child is reading. Before moving to a new school and having a new teacher, my son who has special needs, reading was a constant challenge and always a fight. However, today my son is confident and he faces the challenges of reading head on. A few nights ago my son told me that the difference has been Ms. Bradley and the staff at Val Vista Lakes Elementary.


He is now given the opportunity to find the right answer as oppose to having the answer given to him. This staff believes in him and they have the patience to wait until gets the right answer. It is because of this staff that my son has made such a great improvement academically. It has been a pleasure to see my son develop this past year. I cannot thank the Val Vista Lakes Elementary staff enough for what they have done for my son and for going above and beyond to provide me support during this time.


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


-Cindi, mother of three children attending Val Vista Lakes Elementary
Learning the Importance of Education

There are two teachers who stand out in my mind and it is in part because of them that I applied myself in challenging classes and have recently received scholarships for college. Ms. Kohli, an AP Biology teacher, takes teaching beyond the level of is almost her hobby. She makes sure we are up to date on the most recent research and she continues to search for better ways to describe the material. Overall, her passion for teaching this course is "something else" and inspires her students to excel academically.


It was through Ms. King's involvement with the Robotics team, that I learned the meaning and importance of education. Ms. King not only linked the skills learned in the Robotics Club to those used to manufacture cars, but she also showed each member a level of dedication that is unmatched. During the Robotics World Championship competition this year, Ms. King sent me a text with a strategy for a particularly challenging match. I think this was the moment she was the most proud of us, and the moment I realized how dedicated she was to our team. Although we had come up with the same strategy she texted us, most likely because of her great prior instruction, she could have easily enjoyed the match in the stands, but instead she continued to try to figure out the next step and to determine how she could make this experience more meaningful to us.


Thank you Ms. Kohli and Ms. King!


-Connor, Senior at Estrella Foothills High School
Recognizing Outstanding Educators
PAEMST Awardees and Finalists Honored at April State Board Meeting

Each year, the President of the United States recognizes outstanding mathematics and science  teachers by bestowing upon them the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). These awards demonstrate the value and appreciation the nation has for the teaching profession.


The awardees selected for this honor are a premier group of highly qualified teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in these areas. Collectively, they reflect the expertise and dedication of our nation's teaching corps, and they demonstrate the positive impact of excellent teachers on student achievement.

At last month's State Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Huppenthal had the privilege of recognizing Arizona's 2012 awardees and 2013 finalists:
  • Cindy Piano, 2012 science awardee from Peoria Unified School District
  • Allison Davis, 2012 mathematics awardee from Chandler Unified School District
  • Marni Landry, 2013 science finalist from Paradise Valley Unified School District
  • Tamara Gwara, 2013 science finalist formerly from Gilbert Public Schools
  • Heather O'Brien, 2013 science finalist from Mesa Public Schools
  • Margaret Wilch, 2013 mathematics finalist from Tucson Unified School District
  • Mary Kelly Lantz, 2013 mathematics finalist from Catalina Foothills School District
  • Shannon Mann, 2013 mathematics finalist from Osborn School District
Congratulations to these outstanding teachers! For more information about PAEMST, please visit
Arizona Educators Lead the Way in NAEP Science Tablet Study
From April 24 to May 1, four Arizona schools had the exciting opportunity to participate in a cutting-edge tablet study for NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Limited to just 24 schools in four states across the country, the volunteer study was the first of its kind and was administered on touch-enabled tablets with keyboards. As part of the process, fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students were asked to conduct scientific investigations using hands-on materials and the touch-enabled device to simulate a natural or laboratory setting.
This effort would not have been possible without the work of the technology leaders at each of the four participating campuses, which included Desert Spirit Elementary School (Glendale Elementary School District), Sequoia Charter School Mesa, Sandra Day O'Connor High School (Deer Valley Unified School District), and Deer Valley High School (Deer Valley Unified School District).
We would like to recognize in particular the NAEP School Coordinators at each site: Jacque Horine (Desert Spirit), Tammy Richardson (Sequoia), Justin McClain (Sandra Day O'Connor), and Lori Mora and Terri Roberts (Deer Valley). Thank you for helping make Arizona part of such an innovative assessment!
ADE Still Seeking Recommendations for ADE's Educator Talent Pool

Do you know an outstanding teacher or administrator serving grades K-5 who deserves recognition for their exceptional educational talent? If so, we invite you to submit a recommendation for ADE's 2014 Educator Talent Pool, which is designed to help the Department build a cadre of distinguished teachers and principals.


If chosen for the talent pool, educators will be considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces and as candidates for special recognition programs.


To access this year's recommendation form and submission guidelines, please visit the ADE Educator Talent Pool webpage or contact program coordinator Karla Bravo at


Recommendations must be submitted by Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Please note that self-recommendations are not accepted for the Talent Pool.
Professional Development Opportunities
Second Annual Teachers' Institute: "ALL Students, ALL Teachers"

An exciting opportunity for all Arizona teachers, ADE's 2014 Teachers' Institute is tailored to the needs of both general education and special education teachers. This two-day conference will feature nationally recognized educator Dr. Anita Archer, author of Explicit Instruction-Effective and Efficient Teaching, and Dr. Richard Villa, author of over a hundred articles and book chapters regarding inclusive education, differentiated instruction, and collaborative planning.


The Institute will also feature presentations from prominent local Arizona general and special education  teachers who will highlight methods and strategies found to be effective in Arizona schools. Breakout sessions will be pertinent to both general education and special education teachers, as well as cover topics specific to certain special education populations.


Registration for an individual is $199.00. If a general education and a special education teacher from the same school team up, the registration fee will be lowered to $150.00 per person!  To take advantage of this offer, put GROUP in the registration section labeled Payment Number for both attendees.

Conference Schedule

July 10-11, 2014

8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.



Glendale Renaissance Hotel

9495 West Coyotes Boulevard

Glendale, AZ 85305


Register for this conference at the ADE Events Registration page.
Teacher Appreciation Deals and Discounts


Save some room for more Mexican food after Cinco de Mayo, because Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering educators a buy-one, get-one-free deal on the next day. The promo, valid Tuesday from 4 p.m. to closing time, includes burritos, bowls, salads and tacos. The offer isn't valid for catered orders. Orders can't be placed online or via mobile of fax. There's a limit of one item per staff ID shown.



Teachers in Arizona are welcome to visit McDonald's restaurants on Tuesday to receive a free extra value meal. The first 100 teachers to visit each participating McDonald's will also receive a free Small McCafe Beverage Keytag, redeemable until Aug. 31. The deal is valid from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.



Whether you're still employed or retired, Applebee's is offering all current and former educators in Arizona a free meal at participating locations. Freebie meal items up for grabs include: three-cheese chicken penne, bacon cheeseburgers, chicken tenders platters, fiesta lime chicken, chicken fajita rollup and oriental salad. The offer is valid for dine-in customers only. Beverages and tips aren't included.



Chick-Fil-A is giving away its famous chicken sandwiches at participating locations this Tuesday in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day.


Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Educator's visiting Jo-Ann Fabric locations can sign up for a Teachers Rewards Discount Card, which comes with a bonus 20 percent off coupon. The card not only allows teachers to receive a discount on their holiday purchase during teacher's week but also offers savings on future purchases made in-store.


Office Depot

By signing up with Office Depot's free Star Teachers reward program, there are a bevy of deals educators will receive. Not only does the membership include free gift with any $10 purchase but teachers will also get an instant 20 percent discount (up to $20).



Every trip to Michaels craft store can result in savings for teachers. While some exclusions do apply, a 15 percent off coupon is available to use during each visit, not just Teacher Appreciation Day, when purchasing products designed for the classroom.


New York & Co.

Treat yourself to some new work clothes on Tuesday, by taking advantage of New York & Co.'s 30 percent off coupon for teachers and nurses. The offer, valid until Wednesday, is good for in-store and online purchases. (Online shoppers must use the code 1810 to receive this deal.)


The Limited

The Limited is honoring teachers by offering its social media followers the chance to vote for their favorite educators by using the hashtag #LTDLoveTeachers. The winner, to be announced on Tuesday, will receive a $150 gift card.
May 2014 Calendar of Events



Teacher Appreciation Day


Current Issues in School Preparedness: Let's Continue the Momentum (Yuma)


Writing Foundations for K-2 Teachers (Phoenix)


Memorial Day - ADE Offices Closed


AZCCRS - Mathematics Shifts and Instruction, Grades K-12 (Phoenix)


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ADE Office of Communications Staff

Jennifer Liewer, Director of Communications

Ashley Dammen, Communications Officer

Charles Tack, Electronic Communications Manager