Best High School Teacher

Anna Rodriguez

Basic Sophomore English

Desert Vista High School

16440 S. 32nd St.

(480) 706-7900

Desert Vista High School teacher Anna Rodriguez has been named this year’s Best High School Teacher in the Best Of Ahwatukee.

Rodriguez is currently finishing up her inaugural year at Desert Vista, where she teaches sophomore resource English for students with learning disabilities.

Rodriguez is no stranger when it comes to Ahwatukee: she attended and graduated from Mountain Pointe High School in 2000 and currently lives in the Ahwatukee area.

Originally, Rodriguez’s plan was to become a physical trainer, but she felt there was a higher need for teachers in special education.

“I just felt that those students needed me more and that I’d be more useful in that area,” she said.

After graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in special education for K-12 in 2004, Rodriguez started teaching in the Tempe Union High School District where she was a student teacher at McClintock High School and a teacher at Marcos de Niza High School for nine years.

Rodriguez received teaching accolades during her time at Marcos de Niza from being named Diablo Teacher of the Year in 2010 to Cross County Coach of the Year in 2009.

After her years at Marcos de Niza, Rodriguez felt that she wanted to “branch out” with her teaching career, and was referred to teach at Desert Vista by former principal Dr. Anna Battle.

During her first year at Desert Vista, Rodriguez has been involved with a variety of special needs club from best buddies to being on the life-skills prom committee.

“I’m just trying to get involved in any way that I can, with the time that I have,” she said. “Just being a part of something is huge for me.”

Rodriguez has been enjoying her first year at Desert Vista, which she said she feels more at home within the Thunder community.

“I think what makes DV more special than other schools is that the community is super involved,” she said. “The parents are really involved with their kids and they want them to do well, and that’s really important.”

Rodriguez said she is honored and grateful that she was chosen as the Best High School Teacher in Ahwatukee.

“There are many other teachers who are deserving of the award, and somehow my name got out there so maybe I’m doing OK,” she said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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