AJUSD Recognizes Four Teachers of the Year

By Sally Marks

Three veteran teachers and one teacher in her first year of teaching were recognized at a special celebration on Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.

Teachers, members of the community, students and family members attended the celebration, and light refreshments were served in the PAC lobby.

The winners for Teachers of the Year are: Sheryl Anderson from Apache Junction High School, Wendy McQuilkin from Cactus Canyon Junior High and Marina Renzulli from Four Peaks Elementary School.

The Rookie of the Year winner is Tanya Kopke from Peralta Trail Elementary School.

The Teachers of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year are new celebrations to honor district teachers. Each winner received $1,000. The event and teacher awards were sponsored by Valley Schools Insurance Trust, Pueblo Mechanic and the Gold Canyon Rotary Club.

The Winners

Sheryl Anderson is a government teacher who has been with AJUSD for 11 years. Her colleagues describe her as a team player who shows pride in her school, has a positive impact on her students and is always looking for new ways to improve her teaching. She goes above and beyond for the staff and students and shows compassion and caring for all who know her.

Wendy McQuilkin has taught for the district for nine years. She has been described as a student advocate who wants her students to dream bigger and better and often gives up her free time to help students get the extra time they need. She also helps other teachers and faculty with what they might need and has been described as friendly, trustworthy and reliable.

Marina Renzulli has taught for AJUSD for 19 years. She is a Master Teacher who sets the expectations for student learning at a high bar, but also has a zest for teaching that makes lessons fun and accessible. Marina serves as a role model to other teachers at her school and willingly opens her classroom for other educators to observe her teaching methods to help them improve their instructional practices.

Tanya Kopke is in her first year of teaching through the teacher-in-residence program. In addition to working full time and having a full course load, her colleagues describe her as having great classroom management skills and praised her for building strong relationships with her students to help them succeed. She has been described as determined, a team player and supportive of her teammates.

For more information about AJUSD and its schools call 480-982-1110, or visit www.ajusd.org or www.facebook.com/ajusd43. #WeAreAJ

Photo above: Teachers of the Year, L-R:  Sheryl Anderson, Wendy Mcquilkin and Marina Renzulli; Rookie of the Year Tanya Kopke (far right)

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