CLARKDALE -- Beth Cartia, sixth-grade language arts, math and science teacher at Clarkdale-Jerome School, was selected as the 2009 Yavapai County Small Districts Teacher of the Year. In addition to her award, Cartia earned $500 to be used in her classroom.
Kathleen Fleenor, superintendent of Clarkdale-Jerome School, nominated Cartia in the small districts category. In her letter of nomination to the selection committee, Fleenor said Cartia is a "wonderful teacher who demonstrates exciting and wonderful ways to ignite learning in her students."
Fleenor said that Cartia is always looking for better ways to teach, and she doesn't hesitate to share what she learns with other teachers. An example Fleenor gave to the committee was when Cartia volunteered to learn to teach Math Touch so she could help some of her students who were having trouble learning math through traditional teaching methods.
"She took training and implemented the program," Fleenor stated. "Shortly after, Beth offered to tutor other students in other classes."
Fleenor said Cartia's enthusiasm is a beacon in the Arizona school system. "Whatever the future holds for education and for children, Beth Cartia will be a champion for the children and for professional educators in Arizona."
Stephanie Johnson was a finalist in the Pre K-3 category. She is a first-grade teacher at Tavasci Elementary School. Ellen Dehnert, a fifth-grade teacher at American Heritage Academy in Cottonwood was a finalist in the small districts division.
Johnson and Dehnert both earned $250 classroom grants as category finalists.
Throughout Yavapai County, 59 educators were nominated for Yavapai County Teacher-of-the-Year awards in several categories. Brandy Cox of Chino Valley's Del Rio Elementary was the winner of the Teacher-of-the-Year award for 2009.
Ellen Lagasse, a second grade English Language Development teacher at Beaver Creek Elementary, won for First Year Teacher of the Year. Keri Marie DeHerrera, Spanish teacher at Camp Verde High School, won the award for Outstanding High School Teacher.