Arizona Education Association

Winter 2016

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WINTER 2016 | ADVOCATE 23 Nancy Foote, a science teacher at Higley's Sossaman Middle School, pictured here working with students was named Teacher of the Year by the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Carlos Espinosa/ Higley Unified School District Higley Education Association Member Selected as Queen Creek Chamber Educator of the Year By Michelle Reese S ossaman Middle School teacher Nancy Foote was selected as the 2016 Educator of the Year by the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce during a dinner ceremony September 15, 2016. Foote teaches conceptual physics at the school, where she has worked since it opened. An educator since 1989, she has been recognized in the past few years by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, the Higley Unified School District (as the Sossaman teacher of the year in 2015), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and East Valley Tribune. "Our students are blessed by her ability to be innovative. Our staff enjoys her willingness to share ideas," Principal John Dolan said. Foote's creative lessons allow students to grasp difficult topics in fun ways, they said. "We learn it, but then we get to do it at our own pace when we have homework. We get to watch a video of what we learned in class," said Laci Simmons. "She lets us struggle. If we don't understand, she lets us struggle through it to help us understand." One recent lesson involved a "matching" game with distance/ time graphs. Students may be found using dominoes, iPads, classroom objects or even Disney characters in their lessons. n "It's really fun," Simmons said. "She is a very humble person, so she won't bring up (the award,)" said assistant principal Brandon Keeling. "We're very proud of her and very happy she is part of our crew." Congratulations to Chandler Education Association member Michelle Rabara on winning a $1,000 grant from the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Public School Library Grant and the NEA Foundation. The grant will go towards purchase of diverse books for the Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School Library. The Read Across America Library Grants Program was created in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which destroyed or damaged schools along the Gulf Coast in 2005. NEA established the national program to provide much-needed funds and books to the devastated school libraries. Since then, the program has funded more than $500,000 in grants to restock library shelves nationwide. Seventy-one schools were chosen from 131 applications received from Association members across the nation. The entrants applied online and were required to explain, in detail, how they would use the grants to restock their school libraries. All applicants were from schools that serve disadvantaged students in schools that have at least 70 percent of the students qualifying for free or reduced school lunch. "The imaginations of millions of students are ignited with the exhilarating magic that happens when they open up a good book," said NEA President Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a. "We have a responsibility to develop life- long learners. Our school libraries are one of the essential resources we must provide to ensure that all of our students succeed." NEA's Read Across America is a reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, "Read Across America Day," the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. NEA's Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading 365 days a year. The 2016 NEA's Read Across America Library Grants were made possible by a contribution from The Weinstein Company and Walden Media in connection with their film "The Giver," based on the popular young adult novel by Lois Lowry. Donations from individuals or organizations to the fund are made through the NEA Foundation. Chandler Member Receives $1,000 NEA Read Across America Library Grant

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