The Rodel Foundation has announced its Exemplary Teachers, a coveted title awarded to just 15 Arizona educators, and six of the winners earned education-related degrees at NAU.

The winners, called the state’s best teachers by the Rodel Foundation, will be tasked with mentoring high-potential student teachers, including NAU students.

The Rodel Exemplary Teachers are chosen primarily from schools serving high-need students. In addition to recognition, each winner receives a $5,000 savings bond.

Rodel began the statewide initiative to single out exceptional teachers in 2003.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of these teachers and grateful they chose to dedicate their careers to serving Arizona,” said NAU President Rita Cheng.”Preparing the next generation of educators is some of the most important work we do at NAU, and directly ties to our historic roots as a teacher’s college.”

Ramona Mellott, dean of NAU’s College of Education, said that alumni and students consistently are recognized as standouts by Rodel. “Year after year, the selection of our alumni reflects the outstanding academic experience and support they receive at NAU.”

Listed below are the 2016 Rodel Exemplary Teachers, degree earned at NAU, grade taught and the city in which they work:

  • Tisha Cake, master’s in educational leadership, sixth grade, Flagstaff
  • Lauren Delfino-Karl, master’s in curriculum and instruction, second grade, Chandler
  • Meredith Hey, bachelor’s in elementary education and master’s in curriculum and instruction, fourth and fifth grades, Mesa
  • Jillian Hernandez, bachelor’s in elementary education, fifth grade, Flagstaff
  • Denise Hall, master’s in elementary education, second grade, El Mirage
  • Amy Tixier, bachelor and master’s of elementary education, third grade, Buckeye

Two semi-finalists also earned degrees at NAU.

  • Sarah Hendricks, bachelor’s in physical and health education, kindergarten, Flagstaff
  • Josh Topp, master’s in educational leadership, seventh grade, Yuma

See the full list of this year’s 20 finalists. NAU is the only state institution recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.