Arizona Rural Outreach work

Last month I was nominated for National Rural Teacher of the Year to represent my state, Arizona. This past year has been a journey as I did outreach throughout the state. One of my favorite opportunities I had was to go and teach and coach teachers in rural Arizona implementing STEM in the classroom for three weeks. Most recently I had the privileged to interview potential candidates for the new Arizona Teacher of the Year. After the interviews, I spoke with the Arizona Rural Schools Association board about creating a Teacher of the Year Alumni group of rural educators to act as continuing ambassadors in our state to support other rural teachers as they deal with their unique issues. The board accepted my proposal! I am now starting a group for Arizona Rural educators as support and help to rural educators who are trailblazers. I am thrilled to share the Apple Education Community and the resources on the forum.

I was also a guest on the Rural Scoop Podcast.

The biggest eye-opener to me in doing outreach this past year was to find so many school districts did not have reliable internet for their staff or students to utilize in addition to the teacher retention and recruitment issues. Some schools had no internet at all. I was aware of this issue but I did not realize to the degree or level, I thought the number would be lower than what I experienced. I thought because of Covid we would not have these issues but it is still a big issue for many rural areas. I am hoping as I continue to work with the educators and the organization that we can get more of the rural schools reliable internet.

I am excited to continue to work with the rural educators in Arizona as I try to help support their unique needs.

Tagged in: Teacher Retention

All Replies

Posted on July 09, 2023

Congratulations on your nomination and your work in rural education. So impressive and needed!

Posted on July 09, 2023

Thanks for sharing about your work and advocacy, Liz! I think it's important to highlight the internet/broadband issues that many rural areas and schools still face.

Posted on July 17, 2023

That is such a great idea, Liz! Unfortunately, we in the rural areas can be the last in line for some things, and unfortunately, reliable high-speed internet is one such thing for so many that live in rural areas.

Posted on July 18, 2023

Congratulations. This is such an important thing. Regulations consider an entire area "served" by high speed access if only one home has the potential to be served. I worked with some teachers during lockdown that only had satellite service. The kids had to work at night or go to the next town over to sit in McDonald's. Thanks for your work.

Posted on July 27, 2023

Wow! This is awesome Liz! Congratulations 🎊🎉 🎈 on your nomination. Coming from a rural school, I agree with lack of reliable internet. Keep up the great work!

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