Teacher of the Year
The Teacher of the Year (TOY) program highlights the contributions of Catalina Foothills’ teachers and has the support of the CFSD Foundation. The program annually recognizes two exceptionally skilled and dedicated teachers from a group of 5 “Distinguished Educators”. Nominees are those who have gained the respect and admiration of students, parents and co-workers, and who inspire learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. They play an active and useful role in their communities as well as in their schools, distinguishing themselves as leaders.
Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year!
4th Grade, Canyon View Elementary School
Teacher of the Year Jennifer Lansey is a proud alumna of CFSD, having graduated from Orange Grove Middle School and Catalina Foothills High School. She attended the University of Arizona, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. While at the U of A, Jennifer was selected to be part of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, an organization which works to improve student performance and opportunities in low-income areas.
She began her teaching career in the Sunnyside Unified School District, and as well as teaching, Jennifer was able to become an instructional coach with training in Project-Based Learning (PBL) through the Buck Institute and AVID. In 2016, Jennifer was happy to return “home” to CFSD, and has been working at Canyon View Elementary School ever since, teaching half-day kindergarten and fourth grade.
Spanish, Esperero Canyon Middle School
Suzette Valenzuela Rosenblatt graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1993, and earned her post-baccalaureate degree in Education and her Masters in Curriculum Instruction in 1995 and 2001, respectively. She was a bilingual instructor in the Tucson Unified School District for 5 years before teaching Spanish to Pre K-3rd graders at The Beginning School. After moving to Fruchthendler Elementary to develop their Spanish curriculum for K-5, she taught there for 6 years, then moved to Esperero Canyon Middle School in 2015 as a long-term science substitute.
In 2016, Ms. Rosenblatt began teaching Spanish 1A and 1B, and soon took over the 7thgrade Global Perspective Spanish class. She has been the department chair for Esperero's Spanish department for 3 years, and is currently the 7th grade team leader and part of the PBIS committee. During COVID, Ms. Rosenblatt served on a committee to help develop the online middle school curriculum, and also became a Teacher Leader in New Teacher Orientation. As well as working the ECMS 6th grade Boot Camp over the summer, Ms. Rosenblatt is currently serving as a mentor for the school’s new Spanish teacher.
Congratulations to our Distinguished Educators!
Catalina Foothills High School
Shireen Behzadi graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) with a BA in English and a minor in Secondary Education. She moved to Chicago and began her career teaching middle school in the Chicago Archdiocese schools. She then attended Northeastern Illinois University where she earned her Master’s degree in English Literature. After making the switch to public school, Ms. Behzadi taught middle school English for several years and was then offered a position at her local high school where she spent 7 years teaching English, running the in-house tutoring/resource center, heading the theatre department and serving as both the Thespian Society Sponsor and the Key Club Sponsor. In 2015, Ms. Behzadi and her family moved to Tucson, and after a year teaching middle school English in TUSD, she found her final “nesting” place here in CFSD. Ms. Behzadi teaches 10th and 12th grade English, the Link Crew leadership class and is one of the advisors, co-teaches the yearbook class, and is an official scorekeeper during boys and girls volleyball, basketball, and soccer seasons.
Ventana Vista Elementary
Kelsey Cordero, armed with a degree in Elementary Education, began her career in 2016 teaching 4th grade. She participated in the Nebraska Writing Institute to learn writing instruction, and immediately began participating in curriculum development. Ms. Cordero moved to 5th grade, working closely with the special education teacher as a classroom inclusion teacher while helping align the 5th grade science curriculum with new state standards. She was appointed to the Multi-Tiered System of Support team, and developed lesson plans to help educators teach their students expected behavior while counseling teachers in Specific Positive Feedback. In 2021, Ms. Cordero earned her Master’s degree in Middle Level Mathematics, with a minor in Teacher Education. She then returned to Tucson, her hometown, and accepted her current position teaching 5th grade at Ventana Vista Elementary School. Ms. Cordero also teaches accelerated math to 4th and 5th graders.
Devon Inglee graduated from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in 2012 with a BFA in Art Education. She was the recipient of the Bernard R. Kornhaber Award in Art and was the CFA Outstanding Graduating Senior in Art. Ms. Inglee joined the CFSD family in 2015 teaching K-5 art at Manzanita Elementary. During her time at CFSD, Ms. Inglee has been a part of the District Fine Art Revisions Team, written unit plans, mentored new teachers to the district, and supervised student teachers and practicum students. In 2018 and 2019, she was a featured presenter at the Arizona Art Education Conference, and in March 2020, her article detailing the forced perspective unit featuring Manzanita 5th graders’ artwork was published in School Arts magazine, a trade journal for arts educators around the country. This year, Ms. Inglee joined the CTI as a teacher leader and facilitator.