A new partnership with the Yuma County School Superintendent and the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma is leading to the expansion of the Rodel Teacher Initiative to include recognition of Rodel Exemplary Teacher mentors and Promising Student Teacher mentees in Yuma County. The Rodel Teacher Initiative has previously named Exemplary Teachers from Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, and Coconino Counties.
“We know from experience that there is a need for great teachers in every corner of our state,” said Howard Paley, Rodel Chief Operating Officer. “Bringing the proven mentorship and professional development model of Rodel’s Teacher Initiative to Yuma is another step toward improving education outcomes across Arizona.”
The Rodel Teacher Initiative honors extraordinary teachers and asks that they each mentor high-potential student teachers. What sets the program apart from typical student teaching programs is that mentor teachers are selected based on their outstanding student achievement in high-need schools, their ability to mentor new teachers, and recommendations from their principals and Rodel’s observation team. This ensures that student teachers are learning from the best. In addition, Rodel provides further training and support to both mentors and student teachers to assure Promising Student Teacher Graduates start their careers as outstanding educators. Since 2004, 167 Rodel Exemplary Teachers have been named and more than 700 Rodel Promising Student Teachers have been mentored.
“Yuma County has a strong tradition of supporting early career educators,” said Tom Tyree, Yuma County Superintendent of Schools. “One of the cornerstones of that effort is mentorship. We have partnered with Rodel to recognize successful Yuma teachers and build upon their experience to ensure future teachers not only begin their careers in Yuma County, but teach here for years.”
This expansion is an evolution of the partnership between Rodel, Yuma County, and the Arizona Community Foundation of Yuma, who have supported Rodel’s Principal Initiative since 2012. Similar to the Rodel Teacher Initiative, the Principal Initiative partnership has sponsored three Yuma Rodel Exemplary Principals who have mentored 10 Rodel Aspiring Principals as they commit to become successful administrators at or near the beginning of their leadership careers.
Invitations to nominate Rodel Exemplary Teachers have been sent to principals of high-need schools, who have been asked to submit their most successful teachers as candidates. The 2016 Rodel Exemplary Teachers will be announced during Thanksgiving weekend through media partnerships and at www.rodelaz.org.
The Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s vision is for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educational systems in the country by 2020. For more information on the Foundation’s mission and initiatives, contact Rodel at 480-367-2920 or visit www.rodelaz.org.