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Three GESD teachers selected as semi-finalists for Arizona's English Language Acquisition Teacher of the Year Award

ela semi finalists

From Left: Sine's Rosa Zuniga, Desert Spirit's Donna Sanchez, and Desert Garden's Adrianna Bakken were selected as semi-finalists for the Arizona Department of Education's English Language Acquisition Teacher of the Year

Adrianna Bakken from Desert Garden, Desert Spirit’s Donna Sanchez, and Rosa Zuniga from Melvin E. Sine were selected as semi-finalists for the Arizona Department of Education’s 2019 Arizona English Language Acquisition Teacher of the Year award.

Bakken’s principal, Joseph De La Huerta, refers to her as a teacher who “engineers a classroom in which students are constantly engaged in their learning both academically and socially.” Likewise, Sanchez’s principal, Mary Beth McKim, describes her as someone who provides her ELA students “the best opportunity to learn English, while keeping their heritage.” Finally, Zuniga’s principal DeAnza Baker recognizes her as someone who continually refines her practices to do what is best for students in the classroom, and ensure that they are learning at high levels.”

Arizona teachers with three or more years of successful teaching experience currently teaching English language learners can be nominated for this prestigious honor. A nomination form along with a letter of recommendation, and AZELLA and ELA achievement data are included as part of the nomination process. The Language Acquisition and Research & Evaluation Departments collaborated to review teacher AZELLA reclassification and growth data, as well as ELA achievement data to select these three teachers within GESD