In its annual tradition to honor, support and celebrate Arizona’s educators, Fiesta Bowl Charities has granted 500 teachers — including 17 Surprise teachers — with $2,500 each during the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP, for a total of $1.25 million.
In its eighth year, the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers program increased its giving by 25% to Arizona K-12 public and charter schoolteachers.
The funding will positively impact more than 220,000 students across 73 cities and towns statewide, with 368 different schools receiving grant awards.
This season’s 500 granted wishes will fulfill requests from teachers in the areas of agricultural studies, arts, math, physical education and wellness, science and special needs. The grants will provide needed resources such as new reading materials, classroom makeovers, educational events and programs and more.
Through the program, here are the classroom wishes being granted to Surprise teachers:
- Nicchia Bellitto, an eighth-grade English teacher at Mountain View Elementary School, will purchase whiteboards for their classroom.
- Marichou Beltran, a special education teacher at Kingswood Elementary School, will provide sensory and reading materials for their students.
- Ashlee Bullard, an art teacher at Imagine Schools-Rosefield, will purchase equipment and supplies for their art classroom.
- Amy Cooke, a third-grade teacher at Imagine Schools-Rosefield, will purchase books to expand their classroom library.
- Cathy Davis, a fifth-grade teacher at Imagine Schools-Rosefield, will provide new books and flexible seating options for their classroom.
- Kathryn Galler, a second-grade teacher at Imagine Schools-Rosefield, will purchase hands-on learning tools to support their students.
- Shermeka Henry, a social worker at Countryside Elementary School, will provide resources such as shoes, clothing, books and school supplies for their students.
- Crystal Hudson, fifth-grade teacher at Imagine Schools-Rosefield, will provide a wider variety of books for their students.
- Angie Kemp, a fifth-eighth grade physical education and dance teacher at Cimarron Springs Middle School, will purchase new equipment for their physical education class.
- Tiffany Loken, a first-grade teacher at Imagine Schools–Rosefield, will purchase a smart board for their classroom.
- Sandy Phillip, a physical education and health teacher at Legacy Traditional School – West Surprise, will purchase fitness equipment for their students.
- Sunny Plant, a special education teacher at Sonoran Heights Middle School, will build a comfortable and quiet study area for their students to complete their work outside of the classroom.
- Rachel Plitzuweit, a K to eighth-grade physical education teacher at Asante Preparatory Academy, will provide volleyball and badminton equipment for their physical education class.
- Crystal Salazar Campa, a special education teacher at Rancho Gabriela Elementary School, will purchase sensory tools, math materials, and reading materials for their students.
- Nadine Soto, a school counselor at Shadow Ridge High School will provide resources, candy, and yard games for their students.
- Mallory Stradley, a fourth-grade science and social studies teacher at Surprise Elementary School, will provide science materials for their class.
- Blair Valone, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Imagine Schools-Prep, will provide a classroom makeover with new furniture and learning decorations.
“Educating the next generation is a responsibility shared by our entire community and spearheaded by our teachers and other educational professionals,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director and CEO Erik Moses. “We are thrilled to provide needed funding to Arizona’s teachers and educators through the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers Draft Day presented by SRP as part of our commitment to honor, celebrate and support teachers.”
Over the eight years of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, the program has awarded approximately $7 million to more than 2,100 educators, impacting over 920,000 students statewide.
“Education is huge for us and we’re so proud to be a part of Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers, a program that goes out into the community and takes our values into the classrooms,” said Kory Raftery, External Affairs Manager at Palo Verde. “The teachers who apply are looking at getting these children the tools they need to succeed, and we’re really humbled to be a part of it.”
Established in 2016, the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers initiative grants classroom wishes to Arizona teachers in K-12 public and charter schools, who often pull spend their own money for classroom materials and activities. Recipients of the grants are invited to attend the Guaranteed Rate Bowl where they are honored on the field in a halftime presentation and to march in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe.
“SRP is proud to be part of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers event which makes a positive impact on teachers and students,” said Andrea Moreno, senior community stewardship representative at SRP. “This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to support education and the overall community. SRP provides $1.4 million annually to education initiatives, grants and partnerships throughout Arizona, in addition to providing free training and resources to educators throughout the state.”