During Tuesday night’s governing board meeting, members came together to discuss what has been occurring around the Kyrene School District before the holiday break.

Governing board members also took a moment to recognize two of the Arizona Teacher of the Year finalists: Amy Furman, a Kyrene Aprende Middle School seventh-grade language arts teacher who placed in the top 10, and seventh-grade science teacher Tara Dale from Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School who placed in the top five in the state.

Dr. David Schauer, superintendent, addressed the governing board and audience saying the Kyrene School District is fortunate to have amazing teachers.

“I know them personally, I’ve seen their work in the classroom and they are really, truly great teachers,” he said.

Both Aprende and Akimel principals, Jim Verrill and Mike Deignan, were present at the meeting.

“Words cannot capture the power and passion behind her teaching in the classroom. Amy inspires her students. They participate in a variety of competitions that are extensions of their learning. Aprende is very proud to have one of its own teachers recognized as one of the top 10 semi-finalists for Arizona Teacher of the Year,” Verrill said.

Furman thanked the governing board and her principal for the ongoing support she received while becoming one of the finalists.

“I’ve been so happy here. I’ve been able to continue to grow, learn and blossom as a professional,” she said. “I’m so honored and proud to represent Kyrene in the Teacher of the Year finals.”

Deignan had some pleasant words on having Dale be recognized as one of the top instructors in the state.

“Tara started in Kyrene in 2007 and we’ve been the beneficiaries of her wonderful service at Aki for a long time. Her presence and positive influence on our school and district have been growing exponentially every single year that she has been with us,” he said. “If I had to sum up Tara’s strength in just a couple of words I would say ‘passion’ and ‘engagement.’”

Dale took to the podium to thank her principal for the kind words and thanked the governing board for its support during the nomination process.

“My life is perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything more. All of my dreams have come true because I work in a district that allows me to take risks and I feel comfortable doing this that might not be along the norm,” Dale said. “I always know that I’m supported and that I have a lot of people backing me up when I make those risks. They’re there if I fall and they’re there to celebrate my successes, too.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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