Arizona Rural
Schools Association
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Teacher of the Year

The Arizona Rural Schools Association has been privileged to honor educators from around the state that are making an impact in their rural communities for over thirty years. We are pleased to continue this tradition of recognizing excellence! Starting in 2023, the Rural Teacher of the Year award procedures ensure greater access for more teachers from around the state and an easier nomination and application process.

Nomination Process

Community members, students, co-workers, school or district administrators, or county leaders can nominate rural teachers through an online nomination form. To be considered for the award and continue on with the Rural Teacher of the Year process, the candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Full-time certified teacher working in a rural school in Arizona. These schools must be a state-accredited or a Bureau of Indian Education rural institution.
  • Teacher of Record in any content area for grades preschool through grade 12.
  • Minimum of three years of completed teaching experience in a rural school setting.
  • Under contract with a rural school district for the 2023–2024 school year.

The deadline for nominations will be at 12:00 a.m. on April 15, 2023.

All teacher candidates that meet the qualifications will receive an online application. Teacher candidates must complete and submit the application to be considered for one of the ten finalists. Teachers that receive multiple nominations will fill out a single application. To be considered for the ARSA Rural Teacher of the Year for 2023, please complete the application by May 15, 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Melissa Sadorf, ARSA President, at (520)266-0081.

Nomination Form

*Please note the change for the 2023 Recognition does not go through the county superintendent office for submission of a county-level winner. We encourage each county to highlight the outstanding rural teachers in their area, and to nominate those that exemplify the qualities of the ARSA Teacher of the Year through the online nomination process!

Teacher of the Year 2022

Ms. Elizabeth Colton - 2022 Arizona Rural Schools Association Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year 2022 Elizabeth Colton

Teacher of the Year Finalists

Please see our finalists for the ARSA Teacher of the Year 2022.

ARSA is a state affiliate to the National Rural Education Association and promotes quality education for all students in rural schools throughout the state.