Williams educators nominated for 2023 Coconino Teacher of the Year
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Three Williams teachers are nominees for Coconino County Teacher of the Year in 2023.
Coconino County Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Mango-Paget visited Williams in October to recognize the nominees. Keri Guggisberg and Allison Mitkowski, from Williams Unified School District, and Roman Sanchez of Heritage Elementary School have been nominated by their peers.
Guggisberg is a middle school math teacher and data specialist at Williams Elementary Middle School (WEMS). She was nominated by WEMS Principal Tammara Ragsdale
“Keri is a seasoned and dynamic educator who has brought many new fresh ideas and approaches to our staff and leadership at our campus through her past professional roles in several locations prior to WEMS,” Ragsdale said. “There are very few teaching professionals that have the caliber of qualities, dedication and commitment to a campus than Keri. She leads by example and our campus is recharged in school spirit and culture and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Mitkowski is a history and languages arts teacher at Williams High School (WHS). She was nominated by WHS Principal Connie Hargis.
“Mitkowski is a dedicated teacher who puts her heart and soul into providing a stellar education to the students of Williams Unified School District,” Hargis said. “In addition to providing high quality, engaging instruction to her students, Mitkowski volunteers her time after school to support students in clubs and sports… Her dedication to our students and their growth is a constant. She also gives freely of her time to fellow teachers in order to support them both in their growth as teachers and emotionally.”
Sanchez teaches a combination class of seventh and eighth graders at Heritage Elementary School. He was nominated by Heritage Principal Kaytie Dannenberger.
“Roman is amazing at connecting and caring for his students and families,” Dannenberger said. “He will go above and beyond to help a student in any area they are struggling, staying after school often to get students caught up or extra help with the content they may be struggling with. He volunteers to help in many areas of the school, and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He also helps previous students who may be having struggles in high school.“
Nominees complete an application along with letters of support, which are reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of educators, and business and community leaders.
Judges will determine the top candidates who will be interviewed in February. After the interviews, the judges will choose three finalists in several categories.
Finalists will be announced by March 1, and the winners will be announced at a celebratory event April 20.
Coconino County Teacher of the Year is funded solely by sponsors. Findlay Toyota provides a vehicle with a one-year lease to the Coconino County Teacher of the Year winner. Winners and finalists receive cash and prizes due to the generosity of the sponsors.