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.  

Thank you to our sponsors:

 

 

 

 

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Sponsors 

Jump Ventures, Inc.

Red Point Development

Distinguished Educator Sponsor

Golden Apple Sponsors

Thank you to Kristi Harris Photography for donating the beautiful portraits of our Teachers of the Year!

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Teachers of the Year!

Meghan Gulley

2nd Grade, Ventana Vista Elementary

Meghan Gulley is currently in her fourth year of teaching 2nd grade Spanish Immersion at Ventana Vista Elementary. With over 15 years of experience, Meghan has had the privilege of teaching several different grades and learning from numerous colleagues in Colorado and Arizona.  She also gained rich perspectives from teaching in Sonora, Mexico for three years.  Prior to teaching, Meghan’s love of Mexico and belief in the power of learning led her to found and run a non-profit that focused on building houses and providing an after school program for children and families in Agua Prieta, Sonora.

Meghan holds a MA in Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Education from the University of Colorado at Denver and a BA in Spanish and Elementary Education from Metropolitan State University of Denver.  She is passionate about delivering rigorous instruction based in inquiry, fun, and student relationships.  She especially enjoys teaching math and science. Meghan enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, walking her dog, Frijol, reading, and crafting.

"She's energetic, engaging and inspiring, and shows empathy and sensitivity to students' needs every day. She has managed a personal connection to every student [while teaching remote learning]."

Jason Reinhardt

Business & Finance, Catalina Foothills High School

Jason completed his BS degree in Business Management from Boston University with concentrations in process improvement and professional development. In 2005, he was offered the opportunity to build a business program and teach for a rural Arizona high school. He became committed to teaching, which led to his pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. While working with that district and the state of Arizona regarding business curriculum, standards, and assessments, he also worked as a collegial coach. Jason went on to work for several other school districts, updating and reinvigorating their business programs. He has taught Pre-AP and AP level Economics, US History, Psychology, and Finance courses, but business and entrepreneurship is where his heart is happiest. 

At Catalina Foothills High School, he has worked diligently to create a robust business program. In addition to his daily classroom schedule, Jason advises the CFSD DECA club, which has qualified at the state level to compete at the International Career Development Conference. Jason’s spouse Zoë teaches Studio Art at CFHS, and was a CFSD Foundation 2020 Distinguished Educator.

"The bar is set extremely high with Mr. Reinhardt- he is a role model, a teacher that educates with a high sense of accountability, passion and drive. His students look up to him, respect him, as well as have the comfort in knowing he is looking out for their best interest."

Congratulations to our Distinguished Educators!

Shireen Bezhadi

Catalina Foothills High School, English

Shireen began her teaching career in Chicago, after graduating from the University of Wooster with a degree in English and Secondary Education. There, she taught at a private middle school and went on to receive her Master’s Degree in English Literature from Northwestern University.

Shireen later transitioned to teaching in public school, teaching not only English and Literature, but also Theater Arts. While at the high school, Shireen ran the in-house Tutoring/Resource Center and served as the theater director. Her family moved to Tucson in 2015, where Shireen taught in TUSD before finding her “nesting” place as a CFHS Falcon. She now teaches 9th and 10th grade English, as well as co-teaches the Yearbook class. Shireen further contributes to CFHS by volunteering as an athletic gate worker at numerous school athletic events, and on the weekend she supervises classes for Community Schools such as SAT Prep or Driver’s Ed.

"Shireen builds these [strong student] relationships through genuine empathy, honest respect for student concerns, and empowering her students by giving them a safe space to share their thoughts and develop their voices. Her students feel "heard" and valued. This is what allows her to increase the rigor and push her students to their full potential."

Holly Clark

Ventana Vista Elementary,

4th Grade

Holly has taught elementary grades Kindergarten-4th, and is currently teaching remote learning to a class of thirty-five 4th graders at Ventana Vista Elementary School. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, Holly joined CFSD as a teacher at Sunrise Drive, and then transferred to Ventana Vista as part of its inaugural staff. She also holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership, explaining that she models the value of life-long learning for students by taking advantage of professional development.

Holly realized as the pandemic progressed this summer that she would need a new teaching skill set, so she participated in online trainings and book studies related to remote teaching. When Holly isn’t in the classroom, she makes time to mentor teachers new to the district, organizing and leading community events at Ventana Vista, as well as implementing and providing professional development for Responsive Classroom at Ventana Vista.

We knew that Mrs. Clark was creative, skilled and dedicated to supporting her students' growth, both as scholars and as kind, responsible human beings. What has continued to amaze us is Mrs. Clark's ability to pivot her teaching to a remote learning format, and to do so in ways that exude joy."

Ramon Sepulveda

Catalina Foothills High School & Sunrise Drive Elementary, Band

Ramon is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Catalina Foothills High School and the Band Director at Sunrise Drive Elementary, in addition to conducting the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and various small ensembles. Ramon graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s of Music Education.  He was selected as the guest conductor of the 2018 6th Grade Southern Arizona Honor Band, and recently he was selected as the conductor of the 2022 Vail Middle School Honor Band.   

 

Under his supervision, the CFHS Marching Band has consistently received superior ratings and were first place finishers at both the ABODA and AZ Marching Band Association festivals, and the marching band was selected as one of the few high school marching bands to participate in the world-famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2019. For over a decade, Mr. Sepulveda has served as the AMEA Southeast Regional Band Chair, is a staff member of the Arizona Ambassadors of Music, and is currently a member of the Trombone section in the Arizona Symphonic Winds. In January of 2020, Mr. Sepulveda was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Mu Fraternity which honors outstanding Band Directors nationally.

 

"He has total control over the classes he teaches; he is always prepared and for this he has earned the respect of his students; he goes out of his way to help individuals when help is needed, cares for them and guides them to be successful people."

Learn More

Catalina Foothills School District

www.cfsd16.org

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​520.209.7561

info@cfsdfoundation.org

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The CFSD Foundation is a 501(c)3 that raises supplemental funds to attract, develop and retain excellent teachers in District 16.​​​