Second grade teacher Kerry Araiza, who works at Pomerado Elementary in Poway, was surprised by Poway Unified School District Superintendent John Collins Wednesday morning in her classroom, who let her know she was one of three District Teachers of the Year.
Collins was joined by board members Andy Patapow and Marc Davis, as well as Poway Federation of Teachers President Candy Smiley and last year's Teachers of the Year: Anthony Bayro, Megan Power and Martin Reisert.
Araiza has been with PUSD for nine years, first teaching history/English at Meadowbrook Middle School, then at Pomerado Elementary School for the last three years as a first and second grade teacher.
The enthusiastic second grade teacher works with Scholastic, an educational literacy company designed for educators, as part of their National Advisory Board and Learning to Read Advisory Panel. She has helped Scholastic improve their website to better serve teachers and parents and even received a grant for a set of iPads for her classroom. She has sought out training in how to leverage this tool instructionally with her students, but also likes to have some fun with the kids.
“I laugh, sing, dance, do yoga, and even speak in funny accents in class,” Azaira said, according to a press release. “I will do whatever it takes to make learning fun and engaging. I want my students to be inspired and to be curious about the work around them. I want them to feel successful, to set goals, to organize their learning, and reach for their dreams.”
Azaira shares the honor of being a District Teacher of the Year with Heather Smith, who teaches pre-kindergarten at Willow Grove Elementary in Del Sur and Jay Posteraro, a music teacher at Mesa Verde Middle School in Rancho Peñasquitos.