Surprise teacher named 2014 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year - Your West Valley News: Surprise

Surprise teacher named 2014 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year

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Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:00 am | Updated: 9:21 am, Fri Nov 15, 2013.

The Arizona Educational Foundation announced the winner of its 2014 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year title: Beth Maloney, fifth grade teacher at Sunset Hills Elementary School in Surprise in the Dysart Unified School District.

The announcement was made at the Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon Thursday 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, a statewide organization that promotes and awards the exceptional efforts being made in Arizona’s public schools.

Maloney is in her 15th year of teaching; this is her ninth year at Sunset Hills Elementary School in Surprise, where she teaches fifth grade. She exemplifies excellence in the classroom with her students and serves as a teacher leader in her school and her district.

To demonstrate her commitment to her students and colleagues, Maloney constantly uses the latest research to achieve success in her classroom. She attributes much of her students’ success to the integration of literacy into all content areas.

Sunset Hills Principal Karen Winterstein wrote: “Beth is a prime example of an educator who puts her heart and soul into working with all students. It is an honor to work with Beth as she leads by example first.”

Maloney earned both her bachelor of elementary education and master of educational leadership degrees from National Louis University in Chicago. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

As AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year, Maloney will have the opportunity to meet President Obama, compete for the title of National Teacher of the Year and attend international space camp in Huntsville, Ala. She will also receive a host of awards and recognitions including a $15,000 cash award, professional speech training, $7,000+ worth of equipment from SMART Technologies and a full scholarship toward an advanced degree at Argosy University.

“Ms. Maloney exemplifies excellence. Not only does she do an outstanding job with the students in her classroom, but she is poised and articulate. She will be a great spokesperson for all teachers in Arizona and an excellent advocate for education,” 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 31st consecutive year and celebrate the teaching profession.”

Additionally, AEF named its four Teacher of the Year finalists, called “Ambassadors for Excellence,” who will serve along with Maloney as spokespersons for their profession, advocating for excellence in the classroom by making presentations statewide to education, civic, government and professional organizations. Each Ambassador will receive a $5,000 cash award, professional speech training and a scholarship from Argosy University for 50 percent of the cost of tuition toward a master’s or doctoral degree in education and more. The five semi-finalists will receive a $1,000 cash award and a scholarship from Argosy University for 25 percent of the cost of tuition toward an advanced degree. The four Ambassadors for Excellence, along with the Teacher of the Year and five semi-finalists who were honored at the luncheon, will march in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Parade. Blue Bell Ice Cream presented each of the teachers with a school-wide ice cream party.

The four 2014 Ambassadors for Excellence are:

  • Dayna Burke, 1st grade teacher at Sahuarita Primary School, Sahuarita in the Sahuarita Unified School District;
  • Tara Dale, 7th grade General Science teacher at Akimel A-al Middle School, Phoenix in the Kyrene Elementary School District;
  • Tabetha Finchum, 4th grade teacher at Centennial Elementary School, Tucson in the Flowing Wells Unified School District;
  • Jonathan Parker, 11th grade AP U.S. History teacher at Thunderbird High School, Phoenix in the Glendale Union High School District.

AEF invites Arizona’s business and professional community to support its Teacher of the Year Program and, in turn, champion the achievements of teachers statewide.

The AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year program is the only statewide program that spotlights the contributions of Arizona’s teachers. To learn more, visit

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