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Higley Unified Announces 2021 Teacher of the Year

Rebecca Rodriquez

Rebecca Rodriquez, a Spanish teacher at Williams Field High School, was announced as the 2021 Higley Unified School District Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Rodriquez, who has been teaching for six years, was named the District’s Teacher of the Year during a reception, which took place on Thursday, May 6.

“Thank you for being such a great inspiration to me,” Ms. Rodriquez said to her colleagues at the reception. “I am a better teacher because of all the amazing teachers I work with.”

Earlier this year, each school nominated a Teacher of the Year, who was in the running for the district recognition. District leadership interviewed each nominee, considering special attributes, student performance, their impact, and tireless efforts to better the community.

Although it was a challenging decision as there were so many amazing teachers, Ms. Rodriquez stood out because of her unique teaching style and passion for world languages.  

Ms. Rodriquez teaches Spanish 2 and Honors Spanish 3. She is Williams Field’s KEY Club sponsor and an advisor for Link Crew, which is a leadership council that works to develop a strong positive culture on campus.

“Ms. Rodriquez is academically driven and motivated to make our campus the best campus in the East Valley,” Williams Field Principal Steve Tannenbaum said. “The work she puts in our campus has allowed our students and staff to stay positive, even during a global pandemic.”

During this challenging year, Ms. Rodriquez gave so much to Williams Field to help build campus culture. This included orchestrating a school-wide Secret Santa, and even a gingerbread decoration contest. In the classroom, she uses multiple methods and strategies to engage students in attaining excellence in their Spanish endeavors. She has helped get students dual enrollment college credit at 97 percent per class.

“Ms. Rodriquez has a can-do attitude and an amazing work ethic,” Mr. Tannenbaum said. “She teaches students skills that transcend the classroom, but she also seeks to make the entire campus a better place. She is one of the warmest and most genuine teachers I have worked with, but she is also wickedly smart and detail oriented. She can take any task and make it blossom into a success.”