2009 Circle K Teacher of the Year Candidates
Kathleen Koppy - Tucson Magnet H.S.
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Kathleen Koppy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education from the University of Arizona. She has a Master's of Education degree in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University.
She teaches Yearbook (Publication for Business), Beginning Journalism, Technology Applications and Cooperative Business Experience at Tucson Magnet High School. Kathleen is introducing multimedia to the journalism program through Movie Maker and podcasting. Her Cooperative Business Experience class submitted a business plan for a student operated copy center that was introduced to the faculty this fall. She runs the yearbook class as a business with students setting the work schedule, student editors managing the schedule and leading their classmates, and students making financial decisions.
She has been a leader in the Career and Technical Department, developing curriculum and new courses and teaching herself and others new technology. She is the Professional Learning Community Facilitator for her department, and she has served on many committees, including North Central Accreditation, discipline, career day and business program standards. She established a chapter of Quill and Schroll, the International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. She is the advisor for the yearbook club, Cooperative Business Experience Club and Future Business Leaders of America. All the clubs she sponsored are raising money for the Steel Research Foundation at UMC to fight childhood cancer.
Marc Humphrey - Sabino H.S.
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Marc Humphrey attended Southern Methodist University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master's of Teaching degree in Social Science from Western Governors University.
He teaches Advanced Placement World History, Advanced Placement Government and World History at Sabino High School. He makes learning easier by following this pattern: During the first week of the new school year, he teaches reading and note taking skills. He has a chapter reading assignment due every Monday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, he has student centered lectures, on Wednesdays an activity from the chapter and on Thursdays and Fridays, he has students do an activity or simulation where they relate the material to their lives.
Marc volunteers with Save Sabino Canyon, helping restore areas that were washed out. He has been involved in the Make a Wish Foundation since college and helps organize a spring fundraiser in Tucson. He also founded and heads the World Culture Club as a way to promote cultural awareness among high school students. They have fundraisers to raise money so they can travel to the region to study they culture first hand during the summer.
He is the teacher representative on Sabino's Site Council. He has been the assistant Student Council advisor for three years, the Class of 2011 advisor, a Promethean Board trainer for TUSD's high school Social Studies teachers, a member of Sabino's Teacher Interview Committee, sponsor and advisor to Sabino Life (promotes youth involvement in the community), sponsor and advisor to Sabino's Political Action Club (promotes political discussion among high school students), and he also organizes students to come in during the summer to paint murals in Sabino's classroom.
Tommy Steele - Canyon Del Oro H.S.
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Tommy Steele received both his Bachelor of Science and his Master of Education in Special Education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Tommy is currently a teacher and coach at Canyon del Oro High School in Oro Valley. He teaches communication skills, government, free enterprise, and life science to students with special needs. His strengths as a teacher are to know his students as individuals and to make sure every one of his class periods are relevant to his students. The lessons they learn in class can be used immediately both in and outside the school setting. His favorite phrase is "Learning is a fiesta" and he cannot walk across campus without his students engaging him in conversation and an "elbow shake."
Tommy has been active in extra-curricular and community service programs since he arrived in Tucson. He has been a member of the CDO Site Council since it was founded over a decade ago. He is a coach for the Dorado football team and designs and implements weight training programs for both male and female athletes. He supports all programs at CDO by announcing, serving as an MC, or just being a very obvious supporter. Most importantly, he stresses the importance of fair play, good health, community, and sportsmanship. Tommy is an excellent model for "Victory with Honor" and the "Six Pillars of Character," both of which are major programs at CDO.
Janelle Edmonds - Marana H.S.
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Janelle Edmonds completed her Bachelor's Degree in Education - Social Studies from the University of Arizona. Believing that Marana High School served her well as a student and prepared her for college, Janelle returned to her alma mater as a World History/Geography teacher. She has been instrumental on the pilot committee for a new teacher evaluation system and served as the co-lead of the Marana High School Fine and Performing Arts Academy.
Janelle's greatest fear is being a boring history teacher. While students will often enter her classroom with distaste for history or geography she loves the challenge of changing their minds and teaching in a dynamic way. She enjoys using multi-media presentations, music and art to make the curriculum interesting, relevant and accessible to all of her students. It is not uncommon to see her students writing a script between two historical figures, sculpting a ziggurat out of clay, writing a poem, or expressing their songwriting abilities. Janelle is proud when her students leave her classroom with historical and geographical knowledge, but she is thrilled when they leave with life skills that will help them succeed.
Janelle is actively involved with the Marana Cheerleading program and Academic Decathlon class, participating in community events, fundraisers and parades. During her free time, she volunteers with the Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Ambassador Program, performing a myriad of tasks in Southern Arizona to maintain and preserve off highway use areas.
Raylee May - Empire H.S.
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Raylee May earned a Bachelor degree in History from the University of Arizona, a post-baccalaureate certificate from the University of Arizona, College of Education, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Ms. May teaches World History and Medieval History at Empire High School in the Vail School District. In this textbook free environment, Raylee uses one-to-one laptop technology in various ways to bring history to life in her classroom and strives to make every concept real and relevant to her students. Raylee incorporates the use of hands on simulations to build emotional connections to historical content. By connecting the content of the classroom with the world that her students live in, students develop an understanding of the significance of history in the events of today.
Aside from her activities at school, Raylee has been a member of an international non-profit educational historical organization (Society for Creative Anachronism) for the past fifteen years. Raylee organized and motivated her class to gather toiletries for an orphanage in South Korea and is currently planning a trip to take 24 Empire High School students to attend the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. this January.
Rod Carrier - Cienega H.S.
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Rod Carrier has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Physical Education from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona.
Rod teaches Junior English and AP Language and Composition at Cienega High School in the Vail School District. His passion for teaching is evident in the projects of excellence that he expects from student and their ability to rise to meet and exceed his expectations. He is known for facilitating Socratic seminars and it is common to walk into Rod's classroom and find students having analytical and lively discussions.
As the Instructional Team Leader for the English Department, Rod has also been instrumental in creating a department that is focused on teaching students the essential standards and giving every student the skills needed to be proficient in reading, writing, and critical thinking.
On top of his teaching duties and his leadership role, Rod has also served as the Senior Exit Project Co-Coordinator for three years in a row. He also can be found out on the green with Cienega's Golf Team, where he has volunteered as the Assistant Golf Coach for the past two years.
Jayne Huseby - Amphitheater H.S
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Jayne Huseby has a Master of Arts in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio and a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Findlay also in Ohio. She is certified to teach Social Studies, English, Reading, and English as a Second Language.
This national award winning teacher is currently the English Language Department (ELD) Chair at Amphitheater High School where she teaches Intermediate Reading to English language learners. Last year Jayne and the teachers in her department celebrated their student's efforts in reading more than 4,000 books. English language learners have a goal to read one million words to become part of the prestigious Millionaire's Club. Through this culture of reading the ELD Department's goal is for their students to become lifelong readers.
Jayne has presented at national and state conferences, and is a member of the National TESOL organization. She has opened Amphi's ELD classrooms to several university student observers and practicum placements. She hopes that the best practices that they are able to observe give these Arizona future teachers an exciting, yet realistic, insight into the career they have chosen. In addition to her school activities, Ms. Huseby, along with a partner, has developed and taught a module for the state mandated SEI Endorsements. This ongoing assignment helped to clarify almost the entire Amphitheater district.
Rebecca Hurst - Flowing Wells
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Rebecca Hurst earned her bachelor's degree in education from Louisiana State University. She has been teaching for 15 years, and she currently teaches freshman English and is the English Department Chairperson at Flowing Wells High School.
Rebecca maintains that even small achievements should be celebrated, and she encourages risk-taking by viewing failures as opportunities for reflection and refinement. She is sought out by students and faculty for words of encouragement, a humorous anecdote, or for the general support that people have come to expect. She is viewed as caring, trustworthy, contagiously energetic, and a teacher who values each individual's unique talents and abilities. Parents and community members know her as an experienced educator who cares deeply for their children's well-being and success. One student maintains, "Ms. Hurst doesn't just teach kids; she builds morals and values in people and helps them grow with their education and as a person."
As sponsor of the Writers' Club, she has helped numerous students become published and many have earned thousands of dollars in writing competitions. She sponsors the Invisible Children Club, the Future Filmmakers Club, chaperones school dances, works with the student council and has helped plan the Arizona State Student Council Convention. She also trains students for Math TV "mini-segments," creates various films for school and district functions, and she is a mentor for many teachers.
Daniel Thrall - Mountain View H.S.
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During his first job after college is when Daniel Thrall realized that in helping kids his life had meaning. After graduating with a Masters Degree from The Evergreen State College's Master in Teaching Program, Daniel began teaching at Mountain View High School.
As a freshman-level English and junior-level American Literature teacher at Mountain View, he has also been instrumental as the co-leader in the research, training, and implementation of an online school grade book and Web site.
When teaching grammar and vocabulary, Daniel is known for his writing of silly grammar exercises and ridiculous stories that include vocabulary words to bring a sense of fun and humor to learning. His unique teaching practices include writing songs and playing his guitar in the classroom to help students remember grammar rules and vocabulary. Not only does he incorporate fun and music into the classroom, he also believes in completing the assignment himself in order to show students an example. Daniel also believes in the importance of utilizing technology extensively in his teaching. Students will often take online quizzes, access notes online, review books and learning from online class forums.
In addition to delivering school announcements, via video, Daniel hosts the annual Freshman Academy Awards Ceremony as well as the Mr. Mountain View Contest. His love of music extends outside of the classroom where he sings and plays guitar in a rock and roll band that performs at various venues around town including fundraisers for Mountain View High School.