Stellar Teachers Honored in 2022

As Raytheon Leaders in Education  

By Tom Leyde

Tucson-area teachers were honored for excellence in the classroom Nov. 9 at the annual Stand Up 4 Teachers event, presented by Tucson Values Teachers.

The event, sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, was held in the main student ballroom at the University of Arizona.

Tucson Values Teachers is a partnership of business leaders, educators and individuals with a shared mission to support teachers from Pre-K through 12th grade in Southern Arizona through collaborations that attract, retain and celebrate teacher excellence. Additionally, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, which sponsors the Raytheon Leaders in Education Award, received the Spirit of Education Award for the second time.

“We were so pleased to have an outstanding turnout of over 300 people, celebrating not only the Spirit of Education Award to Raytheon, but also celebrating the winners and finalists,” said Andy Heinemann, CEO of Tucson Values Teachers. “You’re celebrating the business leaders and education winners all in the same evening.”

“We know that what teachers do is absolutely amazing,” added Wesley D. Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “We’re so proud to be a part of this community. So thank you for what you do.”

Next year marks Tucson Values Teachers’ 15th year. “We’re excited to make this an even bigger event and it’s all about recognizing and celebrating the very best teachers in Pima County,” said Heinemann.

Each winner received a $2,500 gift plus $2,500 in matching gifts for each of the teachers’ schools, a total of $20,000 in all. The winners also will meet with local business and political leaders over the next year to share success stories and find common ground for advocating achievements for advancement in education. Each finalist received $500.

The Winners:

Ariana Brown, a dance teacher at Flowing Wells High School in Flowing Wells Unified School District. Brown is in her eighth year of teaching students in grades 9-12 in all levels and types of dance. She is the director of Momentum Dance Company, a dance team at Flowing Wells that performs at pep rallies on campus and at performances at schools throughout Tucson. She facilitates two dance teams at the high school and leads youth dance classes for children ages 3-14. Brown also offers adult dance classes.

Mollie Grove, a science teacher at Alice Vail Middle School in Tucson Unified School District. With a master’s degree in instructional technology from Arizona State University, Grove has taught science for 15 years and is national board certified. She is the teacher technology liaison, helping colleagues integrate technology into their lessons and serves as an advisor for Math Engineering Science Achievement Club.

Jaime Camero, a sixth-grade science teacher at Douglas Elementary School. She has taught for nearly 20 years–the past nine at Douglas Elementary School. She is national board certified and serves as the Science Fair and STEM Night coordinator and as an instructional coach. Camero is STEMAZing teacher for the district and was voted by her colleagues to be the school’s Teacher of the Year for 2022. She was recognized as the Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Foundation’s Champion Teacher of the Year and was a semifinalist for the Arizona Education Foundation’s Arizona Teacher of the Year.

Jessica Caramella, a preschool teacher at Emily Meschter Early Learning Center.  Caramella has taught early childhood education for nine years and was named Teacher of the Year on her campus for 2017-18. She participates in the STEMAZing Teacher Leader Program, developing curriculum for the district. In 2021, Caramella was honored as Educator Advocate of Science and Engineering from SARSEF.

The Finalists:


Jessica Jankowski-Gallo, Emily Meschter Early Learning Center, Flowing Wells Unified School District

Aracely Pacheco, Oyama Elementary School, Tucson Unified School District.

Grades K-5

Jessica Wendt, Hendricks Elementary School, Flowing Wells Unified School District

Robyn Yewell, Harelson Elementary School, Amphitheater Public Schools

Grades 6-8

Todd Johnson, Marana Middle School, Marana Unified School District

Samantha Rose, Hollinger K-8, Tucson Unified School District

Grades 9-12

Marian Johnson, Amphitheater High School, Amphitheater Public Schools

Usha Madhyanam, Star Academic High School, Sunnyside Unified School District

Pictured above from left – Andy Heinemann – CEO, Tucson Values Teachers, Wesley Kremer – President, Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Terresa Tauzin - Director of Development, Tucson Values Teachers, Kim Ernzen – President, Naval Power 
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