2018 Cochise County Teacher of the Year Awards

Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)
Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)
Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 8:52 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM MST
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Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)
Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)
Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)
Nominees for Cochise Co. Teacher of the year (Source: Cochise County)

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - This year's Cochise County Teacher of the Year awards will see the largest number of nominees in the event's history.

Following a decision to open the nomination process to the public, there will be 51 teachers and special projects recognized, culminating in the Teacher of the Year winner.

The ceremony is being jointly hosted by the Cochise County School Superintendent's Office and the Cochise County Education Foundation on Friday, April 6, at the Thunder Mountain Activity Center, Fort Huachuca.

The theme for this year's banquet is "Teachers Are Superheroes" and attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero.

Last year's Teacher of the Year, Gemma German, will be the keynote speaker and William Benning, of the Education Foundation, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Twenty people will be recognized as nominees for Teacher of the Year, as well as 20 special projects, and 11 new teacher recognitions.

"We are blessed to have teachers that are dedicated to the profession, care about student success, and enjoy teaching," said Cochise County School Superintendent Jacqui Clay. "Thanks to all the nominees for their true devotion to education."

Deb Whiting, president of the Cochise County Education Foundation, added, "Our teachers truly are superheroes. We are looking forward to thanking our teachers for their dedication and support."

Tickets are still available for the banquet, which is sponsored by community businesses and stakeholders, and begins at 5 p.m. It will feature jazz music, recognitions, awards and prizes, and dinner.

The cost to attend is $35 and you can register at Guests are required to have a government issued ID or visitor pass to enter Fort Huachuca. Passes can be obtained at the Van Deman Gate visitor center.

For more information contact Johanna Scott, Administrative Assistant/Outreach Coordinator, at (520) 432-8952.


Elementary School

  • Ivonne Amaya - Berean Academy
  • Kelly Blankenship - Huachuca Mountain Elementary School
  • Jessica Castillo - Stevenson Elementary School
  • Jim Hirshouer - Pearce Elementary School
  • Dora Mendoza - Sarah Marley Elementary School
  • Joyce Mayberry - St. David Elementary School
  • Deborah Paul - Huachuca City Elementary School
  • Karen Troncale - Pomerene Elementary School

Middle School

  • Maria Castillo – Center for Academic Success #4
  • Lorie Errhalt - Joyce Clark Middle School
  • Lee Ann Howell - Colonel Smith Middle School
  • James Martin - Ray Borane Middle School
  • Rhea Morales - Lowell Jr. High School
  • Kathy Murphy - Bowie Middle School

High School

  • Lee Bottleberghe - Douglas High School
  • Jill Brown - Buena High School
  • Carrie Duerk - Buena High School
  • Katrina Jansson - Benson High School
  • Lee Ann Miller - Willcox High School
  • Wesley Wood - Buena High School

Special Project

  • Benson High School - Brenda Kurtz; Ben Rodriguez; Laurie Taylor
  • Berean Academy - Brian Chez
  • Buena High School - Cynthia Lotts
  • Colonel Smith Middle School - Annette Hathaway; Kellie Hillenga; Suzanne Jennings; Lauren Merkwan; Andrea Weigle
  • General Myers - Bette Gallant
  • Joyce Clark Middle - Nicole Miller
  • Lowell Jr. High - Jen McBeth
  • Pearce Elementary - Jim Hirshouer; Karen Hishouer
  • St. David School - Veronica Howe; Melanie Larson; Jennifer Delgado; Casey Willingham
  • Cochise County Detention Facility - Arlene Cumberbatch

New Teachers

  • Francisco Barrios, Bisbee High School
  • Deputy Forest Hauser, Bisbee, Valley Union & Willcox High School
  • Rebecca Lopez, General Myer
  • Angela Lucero, Coronado
  • Nicole Miller, Joyce Clark Middle School
  • Caitlin Monrel, Benson Middle
  • Michelle Scherr Center for Academic Success, Sierra Vista
  • Lea Staten, Buena High School
  • Pricilla Vega, Berean Academy
  • Rebekah Wright, St. David High School
  • Shelby Wright, Town and Country Elementary

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