AJUSD to recognize veteran, rookie teachers for education efforts

Three veteran teachers and one teacher in her first year of teaching will be recognized at a special celebration at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 in the Performing Arts Center, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.

Sheryl Anderson

The winners for Teachers of the Year are Sheryl Anderson from Apache Junction High School, Wendy McQuilkin from Cactus Canyon Junior High and Marina Renzulli from Four Peaks Elementary School. The Rookie of the Year winner is Tanya Kopke from Peralta Trail Elementary School.

The Teachers of the Year and Rookie Teacher of the Year is a new celebration to honor district teachers. Each winner will receive $1,000, according to a press release.

Wendy McQuilkin

Teachers, members of the community, students and family members are invited to attend the celebration. Light refreshments will be served in the PAC lobby.

Ms. Anderson is a government teacher who has been with Apache Junction Unified School District for 11 years. Her colleagues describe her as a team player who shows pride in her school, has a positive impact on her students and is always looking for new ways to improve her teaching.

Marina Renzulli

She goes above and beyond for the staff and students and shows compassion and caring for all who know her, a release states.

Ms. McQuilkin has taught for the district for nine years. She has been described as a student advocate who wants her students to dream bigger and better and often gives up her free time to help students get the extra time they need.

She also helps other teachers and faculty with what they might need and has been described as friendly, trustworthy and reliable.

Tanya Kopke

Ms. Renzulli has taught for AJUSD for 19 years. She is a Master Teacher who sets the expectations for student learning at a high bar, but also has a zest for teaching that makes lessons fun and accessible.

She serves as a role model to other teachers at her school and willingly opens her classroom for other educators to observe her teaching methods to help them improve their instructional practices.

Ms. Kopke is in her first year of teaching through the teacher in residence program.

In addition to working full time and having a full course load, her colleagues describe her as having great classroom management skills and praised her for building strong relationships with her students to help them succeed. She has been described as determined, a team player and supportive of her teammates.

The Apache Junction Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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