The DVUSD Governing Board recently recognized the 2019-20 Deer Valley Education Foundation (DVEF) Teachers and Rookies of the Year. Each year, DVEF holds an extensive nomination, application, and interview process to identify the Teachers of the Year. The recipients are honored and receive a check for $500 and a trophy. The program is sponsored by Discover Financial, McCarthy Building Companies, Valley Schools, Chasse Building Team, Gary and Diana Feldman on behalf of Jonah Feldman, DKG, and Grad Photography.

Congratulations to the DVEF Teachers of the Year:

Kendra Beatty has been teaching for 13 years. She presently teaches 8th grade math and algebra 1-2 at Sonoran Foothills. Ms. Beatty says, “Knowing that my students are finding success in higher levels of math and that they will make great contributions is my greatest accomplishment.”

Kelly Bills brings 14 years of experience to West Wing School where she teaches fourth grade. She says, “As a teacher, I hope that every student that enters my classroom leaves feeling loved, confident and excited to learn more every day of their life.”
Patty Boutelle has been teaching for nine years in Deer Valley and currently teaches third grade at Stetson Hills. Ms. Boutelle says, “In my classroom everyone contributes as a student, a teacher, and a never-ending learner.”

Mary Ann Potestades Cawley brings more than 15 years of experience to her 8th grade science class at Sonoran Foothills. She says, “My greatest contributions would be my passion and commitment in educating. Each year, my hope is to provide the skills and tools necessary to foster the talents of my students, ensuring their success.”

Kimberly Christensen has been teaching seven years, first at Anthem and now Hillcrest Middle School. She teaches 8th grade math and honors algebra 1-2.She says, “My greatest accomplishments in education are often found in quiet conversations with my students. I teach to the one, and each student entering my classroom is my favorite.”

JoLynn Copenhaver is from Sierra Verde STEAM Academy where she teaches 5th grade math. She says, “My greatest contributions and accomplishments in education these past 19 years are helping students believe in themselves, developing responsible citizens, and creating a growth mindset to always give your all.”
Dennis Foote has taught seven years at Deer Valley, now teaching science at Sierra Verde STEAM academy. Mr. Foote says, “As a teacher, if I respect the student and they respect me, there will be more cooperation and I can get the student to go further.”

Katie Harkema is a 15-year education veteran who teaches English Language Arts to 10th and 11th graders at Deer Valley High School. She says, “I believe that goals and grit equal greatness in education. My philosophy is based on building meaningful relationships with my students, parents, colleagues, administration, and community.”

Jessica Kerich has taught for 12 years and is currently at Sonoran Foothills teaching sixth grade English Language Arts. She says, “One important issue which I feel faces our profession today is the emotional wellbeing of all students. In continuously reviewing my standards as I pursue Natl. Board Certification, I am attempting to know my students to foster student growth and learning.”

Brittany Scheer from West Wing has taught sixth grade English Language Arts for six years. Ms. Scheer says, “My greatest achievements are small moments of progress and understanding. When a child feels safe, supported and empowered, there is a spark that occurs. It can’t be fully measured, but it is everything.”

Carolyn Ulrich has been with Deer Valley for 21 years. She teaches geometry and algebra at Deer Valley High School. Regarding her accomplishments, she says, “I think my greatest contribution to education has not necessarily been the math I have taught, but rather my students learning how to learn, why to learn, and feeling a need to learn.”

Qin Li Verry has been teaching for 12 years. She currently teaches 3rd grade Mandarin, math and science at Gavilan Peak. In reference to her greatest contributions, she says, “My greatest accomplishments are helping every one of my students find their sparkling point, or area of their lives that they feel confident about. To make them believe they can be whomever they want to be is the thing I am most proud of in my education career.”

Educators Chef Ryan Mattheis, Vicky Muñoz, Christine Rowlan, Annie Ramos, and Jordan Schwab were also recognized and featured in the March issue.