The Rodel Foundation of Arizona is proud to announce that 13 outstanding Arizona educators have been named 2013 Rodel Exemplary Teachers. These teachers, representing the best in the state, will each be asked to mentor six high-potential student teachers.

What sets the Rodel Teacher Initiative 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 the recommendation of 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.

Here are this year’s Rodel Exemplary Teachers:

Click on each individual teacher’s name to view their full profile.

Kristi Carter, seventh grade math teacher at Laveen Elementary School in the Laveen Elementary District.

Michelle Gottleber, first grade teacher at Drexel Elementary School in the Sunnyside Unified District.

Maria Henry, kindergarten through fourth grade special education teacher at Justine Spitalny Elementary School in the Cartwright Elementary District.

Leslie J. Hernandez, fourth grade teacher at Holmes Elementary School in Mesa Public Schools.

Fatima Nadia Hughes, fourth/fifth grade teacher at Holdeman Elementary School in the Tempe Elementary District.

Lee Irby, sixth grade social studies and language teacher at Mount Elden Middle School in the Flagstaff Unified District.

Jo’el Johanson, seventh/eighth grade math teacher at Sinagua Middle School in the Flagstaff Unified District.

Erin Kadera, fourth/fifth grade teacher at Hohokam Traditional School in the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Michelle M. Perryman, fifth grade teacher at Larkspur Elementary School in the Paradise Valley Unified District.

KaiAnn Stamp, second grade teacher at Laguna Elementary School in the Flowing Wells Unified District.

Brenda Thomas, preschool teacher at Porfirio H. Gonzales Young Achiever’s Preschool in the Tolleson Elementary District

Jennifer Thornton, kindergarten teacher at Village Meadows Elementary School in the Deer Valley Unified District.

Matthew Van Derlaske, fifth grade teacher at Homer Davis Elementary School in the Flowing Wells Unified District.

Rodel congratulates all of this year’s Exemplary Teachers, finalists, semifinalists and candidates. Their commitment to educating Arizona’s children and driving student achievement has put them at the top of the class among Arizona teachers.