Local News by Blake Herzog
Fiesta Bowl Charities awarded grants fulfilling Arizona teachers’ wishes in November, in an annual event leading up to the top-tier college football bowl game on Dec. 31.
This year, 400 educators each received $2,500 to fulfill a wish they had for their classrooms from the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP.
Since 2016, public and charter school K-12 teachers from across the state have been invited to apply for the grants each fall. The recipients are verified and selected by a random drawing during the Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day.
Randal Norton, Fiesta Bowl Board chair, said at the ceremony, “Teachers are truly selfless individuals who help shape the futures of our students here in Arizona and we are proud to play a part in supporting our teachers to do more in the classroom for the leaders of tomorrow.”
Fiesta Bowl Charities and SRP donated a cumulative $1 million this year for Draft Day, bringing the cumulative total to $5.7 million. This year’s Pinal County winners include:
- Nicole Gaetani, a third-grade teacher at Ironwood Elementary School in Casa Grande; will purchase handson materials to improve reading and math skills for students.
- Rocio Lie Wijaya, a third-grade teacher at Cholla Elementary School in Casa Grande; will purchase new games and puzzles to engage students.
- Tony Potter, an English teacher at Mission Heights Preparatory High School in Casa Grande; will purchase new books and seating to start a school library.
- Shayna Potter, a music and psychology teacher at Mission Heights Preparatory High School in Casa Grande; will purchase piano keyboards for a music room.
- Tonya Downs, a kindergarten teacher at West Elementary in Coolidge; will provide flexible classroom seating options.
- Stephanie Arturet, a third-grade teacher at Santa Cruz Elementary School in Maricopa; will provide students with new flexible seating and books for the classroom.
- Andrea Jenkins, a drama and choir teacher at Desert Wind Middle School in Maricopa; will purchase costumes, set supplies and props needed for a production of Beauty and The Beast Jr Karen Snyder, a physical education teacher at Legacy Traditional School in Maricopa; will create a Ga Ball Pit for the school’s campus.
- Melissa Walker, a physical education teacher at the Picacho School in Picacho; will purchase new equipment for a physical education classroom.
- David Extrait, a science teacher at Copper Basin School in San Tan Valley; will purchase iPads for his class.
- Jason Johnson, a special education teacher at Apache Junction High School in Apache Junction; will purchase prizes for a class shop to provide lessons in finance and reward students for positive behavior.