2016 Legendary Teacher Submissions

This page is dedicated to teachers who have made a difference!

Legendary Teacher: Morley Cohen

Mr. Cohen was my 6th grade Science Teacher. Everyday his class was relevant and engaging. He would jump around the room, stand on tables, and more. He was passionate about science, which made me love it too! He inspired me to challenge myself when doing my science fair project and it paid off. I won first place at my school and moved on to the County Science Fair. Mr. Cohen and his love of teaching was monumental in my success as a student and model of the teacher I wanted to become. Thank you Mr. Cohen for being a phenomenal teacher to me and many other students!

~ Mary Jo Boyter

Legendary Teacher: Rachel Anderson

She taught me how to express myself through photography. I’ve only been in photography class for a little over a month and I’ve already learned so much about how to photograph something the way I see it.

~ Aida Carranza

Legendary Teacher: Allison Rosas

She was the most helpful and nice to me when I started this high school and I am glad that she is my English teacher now. I hope that she is doing well in her school years.

~ Heather Allred

Legendary Teacher: Jennifer Meza

Ms. Meza has impacted my life from an educational stand point and an athletic stand point. She is kind and caring and she takes time for her students to learn each and every subject.

~ Alexis Roberson

Legendary Teacher: Mrs. Cordell

In 1st Grade I really struggled and fell behind very quickly. In 1957 there were not many intervention programs. I was identified as a student to be placed in Special Education. The County Nurse came to check our eyes and she took me home that same day , because I could not see. I got glasses quickly and since it was near the end of the year I was passed to 2nd Grade. Mrs. Cordell was my second grade teacher. She taught me to read (and to learn everyday) while the other students rested after lunch/recess. She was kind to me and was my friend. When I was in 3rd Grade, I won an award for being the best reader in 3rd Grade. My love for reading and learning continues today. Mrs. Cordell should have gotten an award. I will never forget her.

~ Sheila Beck

Legendary Teacher: Mike Lewis

As a colleague I observed on several occasions Mr. Lewis as he interacted with his students. I was impressed how he had students take ownership of their actions and always treated them with respect. He was always respected by the students and parents. When my child was in his class he always made time for art. I found this very important because my child loved to create. He taught at Sahuarita Elementary, SIS, and Anza.

~ Sandra Steely

Legendary Teacher: Marcy Wagner

Marcy Wagner is one of the most dedicated educators I have every met! She continually strives to find the best materials and activities for her students. I had the privilege of student teaching with Marcy and she continues to inspire and check in on me even though we are now in different grade levels. She is an absolutely amazing legendary teacher!

~ Grace Naugle

Legendary Teacher: Hector Estrada

He changed the class room setting from being a lecture where students would sit and take notes for an hour, to an active learning environment where he would talk, interact, and just let the students actually participate!

~ Antonio Solorza

As an international student I needed a mentor and I good professor to help me. He taught me a lot of English in addition to helping me even after high school. I’m currently in a university and Mr. Estrada is still the first person I come to for help. Thank you.

~ Pablo Santos

Estrada’s Dark Romantic class was one of my favorite classes that I took in high school. Both in coaching and in the classroom, he emphasized the value of hard work and efficiency.

~ Sebastian Sykes

Legendary Teacher: Thomas Rothery

Dr. Rothery was my AP Statistics teacher during my senior year at Perry High School. He is by far the most memorable teacher I’ve ever had. He incorporated hilarious stories into his daily lessons to keep us excited and interested to be in class every day. He also helped us prepare for the real world by going through grocery ads to determine who had the best deals of the week. Dr. Rothery attended many sporting events to show support for his students and encouraged other students to do the same. Years later, I still remember his ability to draw perfect circles on a whiteboard, his love for Star Wars, his unparalleled school spirit, and those pink ping pong balls! Thanks for being such an awesome teacher!

~ Molly Benson

Legendary Teacher: Matt Kutina

Mr. K is great because he works on a subject until we all understand. He will always try to give the class a visual. He will work with the whole class and than will help the students who still need help on the subject. He also gives us fun projects. I was having trouble with parallel and perpendicular lines, and to help us understand the subject he handed out an activity were we build our own city, placing buildings in certain parts between roads using parallel and perpendicular lines. Because Mr. K is my teacher it’s easier for me to learn Pre-Algebra.

~ Jack McAllister

Legendary Teacher: Krystal Lewis

Mrs. Lewis is good at making people happy. She tries to make directions understandable. She has very good reasons for doing stuff. Mrs. Lewis encouraged us students to help each other. Mrs. Lewis is good at showing us ways to do our work. I was very happy in her class. At the end of the school year Mrs. Lewis showed us some second grade stuff. Mrs. Lewis is good at helping others with their classwork.

Ryder is Mrs. Lewis’ former first grade student. He is now in second grade and helped write this about Mrs. Lewis.

~ Ryder McAllister

Legendary Teacher: Olivia Villarreal

She would help me learn by playing fun games such as races, word games, projects, and spelling assignments. We also did worksheets independently than we traded and graded. She also taught me touch point math that is so awesome I still use it in fourth grade!! She also played soft music that calmed me down on hot days. Mrs. Villarreal is an amazing teacher, so I was always looking forward for a new and exiting day in Mrs. Villarreal class, and I was always up to learning something new , and getting a new project. Mrs. Villarreal helped me understand lots of new thing and made learning so much easier and a lot more fun. She also helped me understand writing a lot more and I also went from hating writing and reading to loving it by the end of the school year. I’m not really looking forward to the end of the school year because I won’t be able to see her anymore because everyone of my siblings are going to be in third grade or higher.

~ Katelyn McAllister

Legendary Teacher: Tracy Mandell

Thank you Mrs. Mandell for being another shinning light in my child light. Ahmad always brags about your teaching skills; lets me know that he loves coming to school and how you make it fun for all the children. I think having a great sense of humor is great for elementary children. Ahmad always lets me know how you are even funnier than me. I love the homework assignments and how it reaches for the children to be successful. Great parent to teacher communication skills. Thank you!

~ Dinene Remigio

Legendary Teacher: William Alexander

Love his class and his class is real good advice and skills I need and now have. Also he tutored me once and it helped a lot.

~ Anonymous

Legendary Teacher: Jeanine Sanders

Thank you for you diligent work with the children in the reading lab especially my son Keymon. I have seen great improvements in his reading skills. Thanks for the recommendations on different apps and magazines to get him to learn to love to read. We couldn’t have asked for a better Assistant Principal. Congrats again.

~ Dinene Remigio

Legendary Teacher: Kim Atwell

For my 10 years old son to come home and ask to purchase his NEW teacher a treat (not an apple), showed me that he was definitely happy with his new place of residency. My son is eager to come to school and can’t wait to tell me what he learned and how Mrs. Atwell made a funny however still she means business. His exact words is “As long as you listen and follow instruction my teacher is nice however she knows how to be stern.” Anytime dealing with children those characteristics in my opinion are vital. Thank you for all that you do and treating our children like their your own!

~ Dinene Remigio

First coming to 5th grade I was a little scared I didn’t like coming to school especially didn’t like reading and spelling. However I want to thank Mrs. Atwell for helping me with my spelling and always saying funny things in class which made learning fun.

~ Keymon Hollis

Words cannot describe what Ms. Atwell means to me. I was a nervous child entering the 5th grade, not knowing if I could handle middle school. After one year of having Ms. Atwell, I left fifth grade knowing I could handle anything. Ms. Atwell made me feel special. I admire her greatly and I want her to know that she made a huge impact in my life.

~ Victoria Reedy

Legendary Teacher: Alejandro Davalos

davalosMr. Davalos, not only taught me the subject of film, but he would also stay endless nights at the school 3am… 1am whatever was needed so that I could learn and build upon all of my choices. He taught me how to work with others, how to work hard under immense amount of pressure in a short time and produce a great product. He taught me so much; including, how to be myself, how to work with and handle pressure, how to tell true meaningful stories, and how to be myself in everything I do and stay humble.

I had a huge amount of success under him, and I still go back every now and then to thank him. It’s because of him… I am where I am now. He is a true inspiration filled with humbleness, respect and honesty. He is the best teacher I have ever had! He truly deserves this helping us win State, create such amazing video announcements last year, and helping me get to where I am now.

Most of his success and job gets overlooked. He is an amazing young man who always gives his best to everyone and the task at hand. He works under pressure and gives 200% without much recognition. He helped me create videos for the PAC, JTEd and more! He is the best and loves what he does!

~ Joseph McNichols

Legendary Teacher: Joe Prince

I never had a class with Coach Prince, but he has taught me more than I could ever know. He taught me the value of hard work. He showed me how to be humble. He taught me how to pick my self up when I got knocked down. He has gone above and beyond for not only me, but everyone of his students. I have never met someone so selfless and caring than that of Coach Prince. A man who would spend his own money so that every one of his athletes had the proper gear to train. Nor a man so devoted to his students and athletes that he would go out of his way to get them to the point they want to be. I am forever grateful for all that Coach Prince has done for me. He has altered my life in such a positive way that I can’t thank him enough. He truly is a great teacher, coach and person.

~ Emily Bliven

Legendary Teacher: Commander Brad Roberson, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Commander always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. He provided me with opportunities to grow not only in the classroom, but as a leader. This has gone on to shape the person I have become today.

~ Kimberly Wallace

Legendary Teacher: Jeremy Watson

watsonI never had Mr. Watson as a teacher, but he was my track coach. He helped me push myself to the limits and always believe in me off the track and on the track. He is always there to listen and talk when I’m having a bad day. I’m more than thankful to Mr. Watson and what he has done.

~ Nadia Jacobs

Not only was this man a great teacher and coach to me, he was also a great mentor. He helped me accomplish things I never knew was possible. Because of him I am a state champion. Because of him I am a better, more determined person. Because of him, I want to be what he has been to me for someone else. This man helped me not only in the classroom but in all aspects of my life. Never once has he gotten the praise he deserves and never once has he asked for it. This humble man deserves to be recognized for all the amazing things he does for his students and his athletes because he is a great man and deserves to know that he makes a difference.

~ Emily Bliven

Legendary Teacher: Douglas Hansen

Mr. Hansen is a great teacher and has really inspired me to be the best that I can be.

~ Lorelei Kale

Legendary Teacher: Enrique Santa Cruz

This teacher has impacted me so much. Without him I would never have found my career path or learn any of the leadership skills I know today. In his class I felt like I was important. He has shown me skills like building resumes, dressing professional, CAD and much more. I would not be who I am without him.

~ Jordon Johnson

Legendary Teacher: Esther Skinnerskinner

Mrs. Skinner has taken my little liking for cooking and turned it into a passionate career that I’m excited for. She also takes the time to help each and every one of her students get the college and school help that they need. I have never meet a teacher more interested in her students’ career hopes and passion than Mrs. Skinner.

~ Gabriella Noriega

Legendary Teacher: Kelly Strayer

Mrs. Strayer is the best teacher ever! She is one of the most caring, loving, inspirational, and fun teachers I could ever ask for. Mrs. Strayer was my 2nd grade teacher at Copper View. She always greets her students with a smile and hugs. Mrs. Strayer goes out of her way to bring new things to her classroom. She was able to get money to create a robotics club for us where we learned about engineering. The club met before school and all students were invited to attend. At the end we got to present our robots.

Additionally, Mrs. Strayer would go out of her way even after school to attend games. I was surprised and excited to see her at one of my baseball games to show support. I’m now a 5th grader and I continue to stop by her classroom to talk and share our love for the Patriots! Thank you Mrs. Strayer for being the most amazing teacher. I’m blessed to have you be a part of my life and for creating a caring, fun, and awesome place for all students. You have made a lasting memory for me and my sister that will last forever. Go Patriots!

~ Nathan Huie

Legendary Teachers: SIS & SPS

I would like to thank the following teachers at SPS and SIS who gave my son a pathway to success he is currently enjoying at Sahuarita Middle School. So much appreciation to the following:

Mrs. Nunkema
Mrs. Askren (Verdugo)
Mrs. Turnage
Mrs. Anderson
Miss Guerra

~ Scott Boyter

Legendary Teacher: Joseph DeFazio

He taught me to never give up and keep fighting for what I needed to accomplish in his class. He also helped me learn to be able to speak my mind no matter what others opinions may be and to stand up for what I believe in no matter what.

~ Esther Loser

Legendary Teacher: Shanna Wahlstrand

Ms. Wahlstrand always made sure I understood chemistry and she understands my health issues and helps me work around them.

~ Anjelica Montes

Legendary Teacher: Abigail Cochrane

Ms. Cochrane was my English teacher me sophomore year and I am currently a junior, but she really gave me boundaries that really helped better me as a student.

~ Daniella Gonzalez

Legendary Teacher: Ryan Atkinson

He is an outstanding person who connects to the students and is a fantastic teacher!

~ Jacob Carrell

Mr. A impacted me because he’s showing me more of the world in different ways. I see things in different perspectives because of Mr. Atkinson and over all he teaches me everything I need to know and he’s really dope, he’s chill. Mr. Atkinson is my favorite teacher and I love his class.

~ David Castillo

Legendary Teacher: Tracy Alexander

I have great respect for Mrs. Alexander because of how intelligent of a person she is. She always helps me with understanding and is constantly willing to expand her student’s hunger for learning and knowledge. She is a superb person as well as an extraordinary teacher.

~ Taylor Ryals

Legendary Teacher: Ryan Carle-Ogrencarle-ogren

Mr. Carle has pushed me to become not only a better musician but also has urged me to become a great leader. He has believed in me since day one I entered his classroom, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Mr. Carle is very supportive of his students and helps us learn more everyday.

~ Brianna Koerber


Legendary Teacher: Abigail Cochrane

Throughout my freshmen and sophomore year Ms. Cochrane always had creative and fun activities to help us learn which helped so much! I definitely will carry what I have learned in that class throughout my life. Her lively and encouraging attitude always made going to school worth it and made going to her class the highlight of my day!

~ Jaelyn Udall

Legendary Teacher: Kristen Blaser

She has taught me and other students what it truly means to be a leader at our school.

~ Caitlin Trejo

Legendary Teacher: Emily Bertelsen

Ms. Bertelsen impacted my learning in a positive and significant manner by encouraging me to do better and just made learning fun, especially during the hard times, (finals, tests,etc.). She was very understandable and always asked if we needed help on any material we had gone over or recently gone over. Also, I liked the fact that Ms. Bertelsen didn’t make me nervous or anxious to talk to her or ask any questions. She made the class very comfortable even when it was awkward; and she never really left anyone behind. It was nice being included.

~ Faith Ash

Legendary Teacher: Corey Noble

Whenever I walk into his class, he makes it feel like just a group that got together after school to study— makes me forget I’m at school.

~ Ross Harrison

Mr. Noble had a great impact on my life. Even though I only had him for one school year, he was able to help me grow and give me motivation everyday in 5th to keep pushing through the day. I learned and passed his class almost easy with his teaching methods. Giving me a chance to grow and move onto the next level in life.

~ Kalani Away

Legendary Teacher: Travis Goeden

Mr. Goeden is a very brilliant and awesome teacher who showed me that engineering is what I want to do in life.

~ Chuy Talavera

Legendary Teacher: Alicia Mohler

Not only is she an amazing teacher, but she is also an amazing cheer coach and she taught me to better myself and to fight for what I want.

~ Elonnie Reece

Legendary Teacher: Benjamin Lebovitz

He always has a smile on his face and loves to teach my class. He is always energetic and that makes the class want to work harder. He always tries his hardest to be at his best to be able to teach us.

~ Shaelee Bauer

He has been a huge impact via Walden for not just me, but many other students. Mr. Lebovitz helps everyone who asks, no matter the task. He has a friendly interaction with others and always tends to have strong connections with his students. He knows what’s best, and even with three years running he’s got a great start.

~ Christian Dixon

Legendary Teacher: Kristi Lopez

detamore-lopezIf I had not had Ms. Lopez as my teacher throughout my 4 years of high school, my life would be incredibly different. She opened my eyes to what I could be, what I could do, in a way that I never thought was possible. By acknowledging my intelligence, creativity, ability, and personality, she showed me that I was really worth something. She kept my spirits up when I needed it the most. She would spend extra time with me so that I could understand not only life better, but myself as well. She would stay up for hours choreographing dance after dance, unpaid and not sleeping in order to get things done. She made me believe in myself, when I felt that I was at my lowest, and she gave me confidence in more ways than one. I know that I’m not just speaking for myself because she has shaped not only mine, but many others’ future. She taught us how to be thankful by taking one day out of the week to write Thank You cards to anyone of our choice. She would tell us, “Things work out, for those who make it work out,” so that we could continue to work hard and better ourselves. She told me that the only person I should be better than is myself. Ms. Lopez guided me and so many others in the right direction and was/is there when having support is crucial. Ms. Lopez is the most selfless person I know. Not only that, but she is also an Inspirer, an Encourager, an Empower, an Engager, and the list goes on. She has made a tremendous impact in my life and I couldn’t imagine who I’d be or where I’d be if it wasn’t for her. I’m grateful to have someone like Ms. Lopez, to look up to as a role model in my life. I can’t thank her enough for all the sacrifices she has made and continues to make for not only me, but for all of her students. Words cannot express the amount of appreciation I have for her. It is definitely a blessing to have had Ms. Lopez as my dance teacher/mentor.

~ Amber Detamore

Legendary Teacher: Mary Holloway

hollowayMrs. Mary Holloway was my high school counselor at Flowing Wells High School. I was the first native born US citizen in my family to pursue higher education in America. My parents, immigrants from Sonora, Mexico, always dreamed that my brothers and me would go to college in the United States, and have a chance at the “American Dream.” Mrs. Holloway kept me focused on doing everything necessary to understand college admissions, scholarships, ACT/SAT testing, college course prerequisites, financial aid, and the overall college process. For example, she counseled me to take the ACT twice, so that I could perform at my absolute best. She would chase me down on the sidewalks of Flowing Wells HS, and hand me scholarship applications to fill out. I am so grateful for Mrs. Holloway’s persistence, and genuine interest in helping me. She truly believed in me, Through her help, I went to the University of AZ, with scholarships, guidance, and a plan to pursue my educational and professional goals. I am grateful to Mrs. Mary Holloway for showing me the path to success, and helping me to be the best that I can be. Mrs. Holloway, you made a difference in my life, and are a true Legendary Teacher!

~ Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, Superintendent