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Carly Mahlmeister teaches third grade at San Marcos Elementary in Chandler. She has also taught first and second grades, but she says she really loves teaching third grade.

Third graders have “a level of independence that I enjoy,” explains Mahlmeister. She notes that these older students... Read more

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Victoria Van Leuven teaches first grade at Archway Veritas. This is her fourth year at the school. She began at Veritas by teaching kindergarten for two years.

When asked to join the first grade team, Van Leuven says she was flattered, humbled and excited. It was also a chance for... Read more

Teacher of the Month Amy Wallander, Cotton Boll Elementary
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Amy Wallander teaches third grade at Cotton Boll Elementary. Last school year was a different school experience for everyone, and that was true for Wallander and her students.

While the school returned to in-person classes in September after starting online last August, “We didn’t get to... Read more

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Anne Kemper taught a second/third grade combination class at Summit Academy this year. Kemper has taught for 12 years. She says she enjoyed having the different ages together because the older students acted as mentors to the younger kids.

“I like that they are able to take on the role of... Read more

Heather Brekke, Teacher of the Month May 2021, sponsored by Bosa Donuts
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Heather Brekke teaches first grade at Basha Elementary. She started working at the school in 2003 after beginning her career in her home state of South Dakota. Brekke left Arizona in 2016 and taught in Florida for two years. When she moved back to the Valley she also returned to Basha Elementary... Read more

Teacher of the Month Bosa Donuts Header. Sharon Granger recognized.
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Sharon Granger has been teaching for 22 years— seven of those at Towne Meadows Elementary. She teaches fourth grade, which she loves.

Granger says that fourth-graders are a perfect blend of innocence and independence. “They love school, they love you. Everything is exciting,” explains... Read more

Teacher of the Month Bosa Donuts Header. Graham Dawkins recognized.
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Graham Dawkins teaches sixth grade at Tarwater Elementary. He has been at Tarwater for three years and has been teaching for eight years since he changed career paths.

“Teaching is a second career,” explains Dawkins, who previously worked in restaurant management. Dawkins says he wishes... Read more

Citlaxochitl Venzor-Enrique is the Teacher of the Month
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Citlaxochitl Venzor-Enrique teaches first grade at Encanto Elementary. She teaches in the Dual Language Program, which means that she teaches 50 percent of the class in Spanish and teacher Amanda Herscovici teaches 50 percent in English. 

Maestra Xochitl teaches reading and writing in... Read more

Peggy Whiting holding frame with PTA written on it.
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Peggy Whiting has been teaching at Scott Libby Elementary for over 30 years. When she was young, Whiting says she knew she wanted to be a teacher and to have a big family. She found her career and also an extended family at Scott Libby.

Whiting has a large family outside of school—she and... Read more

Teacher of the Month Bosa Donuts Header. Karen Golden regonized.
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Karen Golden is a longtime elementary school librarian. She is also a longtime adviser for Bear Essential News’ Young Reporters Program. For the last seven years, she has been working with students at Arizona Desert Elementary.

Golden first started as an adviser for Bear... Read more