Willcox High School’s Ty White has been named the 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made at a ceremony held at the Madison Center for the Arts in Phoenix. White now advances to compete as Arizona’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.
“I teach because I love the relationships I find with my students. I teach because I want to have a chance to help them find who they want to be and how they’re going to achieve their future goals,” said Ty White.
Cathy Graham, Executive Vice President of Desert Financial, presented the award to White. Desert Financial has been the presenting sponsor of the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards for the past three years. The prize package includes $15,000 from the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), travel to National Teacher of the Year events, including a trip to the White House to meet the President and a week-long trip to International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
Kim Graham, Executive Director of Arizona Educational Foundation, said of the award, ” All of our Teacher of the Year nominees exemplify the best that Arizona has to offer in terms of educational excellence, being a role model, and inspiring students in their community. We are so proud of each of them,” said Kim Graham. “AEF congratulates Ty White on being named Arizona Teacher of the Year and looks forward to him representing us in Washington, DC, as Arizona’s 2023 National Teacher of the Year candidate.”
Ty White teaches high school chemistry at Willcox High School in Willcox, Arizona. He sponsors the Science Club, the GATE Club, and the Knowledge Bowl. White is also a founding Board Member of InSimEd, a non-profit that creates “Industry Simulation” Challenges, affiliated with Aerospace Education Corporation (AEC). White received the 2020 American Chemical Society Teacher of the Year Award for Southeast Arizona as well as the Rocky Mountain Region. He won the 2021 Rural Teacher of the Year award for the Arizona Rural School Association.
When asked what keeps him going, White said, “The biggest story from teaching comes from watching students find themselves. When you get to see a kid figure out they are able to do something they didn’t think they were able to do before, that’s the biggest payoff right there.”
The Arizona Teacher of the Year and four Ambassadors for Excellence also receive professional speech and media training to aid them in delivering hundreds of presentations during their year of recognition. AEF also has generous partners who provide gifts to the top ten teachers including a free membership to Treasures4Teachers, scholarships from the Arizona K12 Center to pursue National Board Certification, the opportunity to ride on the APS fire engine during the Fiesta Bowl Parade, and a “Fiesta Bowl Experience” package including tickets and on-field recognition provided by Fiesta Bowl Charities. In addition to serving as presenting sponsor of the ceremony, Desert Financial Credit Union provides each teacher with an iPad and keyboard case.