In its annual tradition to honor, support and celebrate Arizona’s educators, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted 500 teachers – including 17 Queen Creek teachers – with $2,500 each during the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP, for a total of $1.25 million.
In its eighth year, the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program increased its giving by 25% to Arizona K-12 public and charter schoolteachers. The funding will positively impact more than 220,000 students across 73 cities and towns statewide, with 368 different schools receiving grant awards. A full list of Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers grant awardees can be found here.
This season’s 500 granted wishes will fulfill requests from teachers in the areas of agricultural studies, arts, math, physical education and wellness, science and special needs. The grants will provide needed resources such as new reading materials, classroom makeovers, educational events and programs, and more.
Through the program, here are the classroom wishes being granted to Queen Creek area teachers:
- Nichelle Aydelott, a sixth-grade English, social studies and literature teacher at Legacy Traditional School in Queen Creek, will purchase technology for their classroom.
- Rena Baldenegro, a seventh- and eighth-grade photography teacher at J.O. Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley, will purchase additional cameras for their classes.
- Sue Brewer, an art teacher at American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, will purchase a color printer for her classroom.
- Suzanne Buffington, a seventh-12th grade English learning development teacher at Casteel High School in Queen Creek, will purchase writing supplies and reading resources for her students.
- Hollie Bush, a sixth-grade math and science teacher at EduPrize Schools - San Tan Valley, will purchase digital whiteboards and technology for her classroom.
- Abbi Jimenez, a first-grade teacher at American Leadership Academy - Signal Butte in Queen Creek, will create a sensory space for their classroom.
- Dennos Lafferty, a fifth-grade teacher at American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, will provide reward incentives for students exhibiting leadership and good behavior.
- Renee Lemons, a second-grade teacher at Frances Brandon-Pickett Elementary in Queen Creek, will purchase Chromebooks for her students.
- Kori Littler, a computer science teacher at American Leadership Academy - Signal Butte in Queen Creek, will purchase Chromebooks for their students.
- Nancy Madriaga, a fourth-grade teacher at Faith Mather Sossaman Elementary in Queen Creek, will purchase iPads for her class.
- Lori Manha, a fourth-grade teacher at Heritage Academy in Queen Creek, will build a classroom library.
- Craig Palm, a seventh- and eighth-grade theater, TV and film teacher at J.O. Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley, will upgrade the TV and film class with new microphones, memory cards and headphones for his students.
- Lora Rael, a librarian and video club teacher at Ellsworth Elementary School in Queen Creek, will purchase cameras and lighting for their video club.
- Phylicia Reed, an entrepreneurship and marketing teacher from American Leadership Academy - Ironwood in Queen Creek, will enhance the entrepreneurship and marketing program with a generator, T-shirt press and sticker maker.
- Ben Sanchez, a physical education teacher at American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, will purchase new soccer equipment for his students.
- Kristina Syoen, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at J.O. Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley, will upgrade the tables and chairs in her classroom.
- Maggie Wooton, an eighth-grade English language arts teacher at J.O. Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley, will purchase iPads for her class.
“Educating the next generation is a responsibility shared by our entire community and spearheaded by our teachers and other educational professionals. We are thrilled to provide needed funding to Arizona’s teachers and educators through the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP as part of our commitment to honor, celebrate and support teachers,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director and CEO Erik Moses.
Over the eight years of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, the program has awarded approximately $7 million to more than 2,100 educators, impacting over 920,000 students statewide.
“Education is huge for us and we’re so proud to be a part of Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, a program that goes out into the community and takes our values into the classrooms. The teachers who apply are looking at getting these children the tools they need to succeed, and we’re really humbled to be a part of it,” said Kory Raftery, external affairs manager at Palo Verde.
Established in 2016, the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers initiative grants classroom wishes to Arizona teachers in K-12 public and charter schools, who often pull spend their own money for classroom materials and activities. Recipients of the grants are invited to attend the Guaranteed Rate Bowl where they are honored on the field in a halftime presentation and to march in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade.
“SRP is proud to be part of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers event which makes a positive impact on teachers and students,” said Andrea Moreno, senior community stewardship representative at SRP. “This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to support education and the overall community. SRP provides $1.4 million annually to education initiatives, grants and partnerships throughout Arizona, in addition to providing free training and resources to educators throughout the state.”