Awarded by the Arizona Educational Foundation at annual awards luncheon Thursday
Scottsdale, Ariz., November 17, 2016 – The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced the winner of its coveted 2017 AEF™ Arizona Teacher of the Year title Thursday: Michelle Doherty, a first grade teacher at Encanto Elementary School of Osborn Elementary School District in Phoenix. The announcement was made at the annual Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon held at The Arizona Biltmore before more than 500 attendees, including Arizona educators, elected officials and business leaders.
The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes and awards the exceptional efforts being made in Arizona public schools.
Doherty is in her 22nd year of teaching at Encanto School. Much of her success as a teacher can be attributed to her belief that all students can learn. She believes that outstanding teaching can be measured by a teacher’s inclusivity and attention to the specific needs of all students.
As AEF™ Arizona Teacher of the Year, Doherty will compete for the title of National Teacher of the Year, the opportunity meet President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and attend international space camp in Huntsville, Ala. She will also receive a host of awards and recognition including a $15,000 cash award, professional speech training, and a full scholarship toward an advanced degree at Argosy University.
“It is an honor to celebrate great teachers in our state with my colleagues and the community. Mrs. Doherty and the Ambassadors are incredible examples of the tireless work done by teachers day in and day out in classrooms across Arizona,” said Executive Director of AEF, Bobbie O’Boyle.
“Thanks to our generous sponsors and donors, the Arizona Educational Foundation continues to be able to provide this distinguished award for the 34th consecutive year.”
Additionally, AEF named its four Teacher of the Year finalists, called “Ambassadors for Excellence,” who will serve with Doherty as spokespersons for their profession, advocating for excellence in the classroom by making presentations statewide to education, civic, government and professional organizations.
The four 2017 Ambassadors for Excellence are:
- Chrissy DeBono, Second – Fifth Grade Math Teacher at Cottonwood Elementary School of Vail Unified School District, Tucson;
- Lori Lyford, High School Music and Choral Teacher at Chandler High School of Chandler Unified School District;
- Jena Phillips, Middle School Science Teacher at Bogle Jr. High School of Chandler Unified School District;
- Maria Plata, First Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher at Kyrene del Norte School in Kyrene School District, Tempe.
The AEF™ Arizona Teacher of the Year program is the only statewide program that spotlights the contributions of Arizona’s public school teachers.
A press packet detailing the program eligibility, all top 10 teachers, and a list of past teachers of the year can be found at http://bit.ly/2017TOYPressPckt.
2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year Ambassadors for Excellence
Details regarding the five semifinalists of the Arizona Teacher of the Year program can be found here.