Tucson Unified celebrates its Stars!

Highlights from the 2017 Celebration of Stars

District Celebrates Stars!

Catch up with past celebrations: 2016 | 2015

Updated May 8, 2017

Tucson Unified School District held its second Celebration of the Stars event on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

District winners were recognized in several categories, including support staff of the year, teacher of the year and principal of the year. Additionally, the district also celebrated 86 campus teachers of the year.

The Celebration of the Stars program is designed to recognize and thank some of the outstanding personnel we have in Tucson Unified School District.

If you couldn't make the event, you can watch the full event below.

Below is a list of the finalists and winners for district awards and the campus Teachers of the Year.

Teacher of the Year: Elementary

WinnerAward Star

Name: Erika Marrufo Cardenas
School: Blenman Elementary School


Name: Cassandra Uslar
School: Ford Elementary School

Name: Chloe Walczak
School: Ochoa Community Magnet School

Teacher of the Year: K-8 Schools

WinnerAward Star

Name: Susan Hernandez
School: Robins K-8 School


Name: Ana Lopez-Medrano
School: Hollinger K-8 School

Name: Diane Dean
School: Safford K-8 School

Teacher of the Year: Middle Schools

WinnerAward Star

Name: April Hartman
School: Alice Vail Middle School


Name: Maura McKechnie
School: Dodge Traditional Magnet School

Name: Tina Green
School: Utterback Middle Magnet School of the Arts

Teacher of the Year: High Schools

WinnerAward Star

Name: George Parra
School: Cholla High Magnet School


Name: Cara Grasso
School: Sabino High School

Name: Maegan Casey
School: Santa Rita High School

Principal of the Year: Elementary Schools

WinnerAward Star

Name: Mary Morse
School: Tully Elementary Magnet School


Name: Marco Ruiz
School: Warren Elementary School

Name: Dora Saldamando
School: Wheeler Elementary School

Principal of the Year: Secondary Schools

WinnerAward Star

Name: Amy Cislak
School: University High School


Name: Angela Wichers
School: Pistor Middle School

Name: Israel Macias-Reyes
Project MORE High School

Assistant Principal of the Year

WinnerAward Star

Name: Pablo Madrid
School: Rincon High School


Name: Joel Bacalia
School: University High School

Name: Stacy Gist
School: Valencia Middle School

Rising Star Teacher of the Year

WinnerAward Star

Name: Michael Gradowski
School: Catalina High School


Name: Sherile John
School: Lawrence 3-8 School

Name: Stephanie Miller
School: Palo Verde High Magnet School

Employee of the Year - Professional Support Staff

WinnerAward Star

Name: Elizabeth Hoover, Multi-Tiered System of Support Facilitator
School: Mission View Elementary School


Name: Cheryl Dow, Curriculum Service Provider
School: Palo Verde High Magnet School

Name: Kristina Rodriguez-Loya, Counselor
School: Pueblo Gardens K-8 School

Employee of the Year - Classified Support Staff

WinnerAward Star

Name: Rosemarie Rucker, Food Service
School: Teenage Parent High School


Name: Jeff Sawyer, Behavior Specialist
School: African American Student Services

Name: Samuel Martin, Supervisor - Emergency Management
School: School Safety

Employee of the Year - Blue Collar Staff

WinnerAward Star

Name: Robert Fuentes, Building Maintenance Engineer
School: Pueblo Magnet High School


Name: James Marques, Building Maintenance Engineer
School: Rincon/University High School

Name: Daniel Gonzalez, Custodian
Mary Meredith K-12 School

Campus Teachers of the YearAward Star

April Hartman, Alice Vail Middle School
Sandra Franco, Banks Elementary School
Erika Marrufo Cardenas, Blenman Elementary School
Martha Pursley, Bloom Elementary School
Stephanie Hill, Bonillas Basic Curriulum Magnet School
James Roberts, Booth-Fickett Math/Science Magnet School
Kim Thomas, Borman K-8 School
Stephanie Pederson, Borton Magnet Elementary School
Itzel Ortiz, C.E. Rose K-8 School
Jenny Mack, Catalina High School
Patricia Langford, Cavett Elementary School
George Parra, Cholla High Magnet School
Kacie Berkson, Collier Elementary School
Rosalia Sanchez, Cragin Elementary School
Michelle Miller, Davidson Elementary School
Enzo Arias, Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School
David Paun, Dietz K-8
Maura McKechnie, Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School
Kathleen Teel, Doolen Middle School
Charlene Bruce, Drachman Montessori Magnet School
Margaret Durako, Dunham Elementary School
Lourdes Serna, Erickson Elementary School
Cassandra Uslar, Ford Elementary School
Korrine Tinsley, Fruchthendler Elementary School
Jen Nguyen, Gale Elementary School
Peggy Herron, Gridley Middle School
Bea Nez, Grijalva Elementary School
Kari Amarillas, Henry Elementary School
Mauria Terry, Holladay Magnet Elementary School
Ana Lopez-Medrano, Hollinger K-8 School
Lona Chacon, Howell Elementary School
Kathy Wingstrom, Hudlow Elementary School
Mary Freitas, Johnson Primary School
Sara Martinez, Kellond Elementary School
Daniel Walker, Lawrence 3-8 School
Debbie Teece, Lineweaver Elementary School
Gabriela Chai, Lynn/Urquides Elementary School
Shawn Cullen, Magee Middle School
Rosanna DiCenso, Maldonado Elementary School
Darrek Hernandez, Mansfeld Middle Magnet School
Lydia Mendoza, Manzo Elementary School
Jill Maxwell, Marshall Elementary School
David Foster, Mary Belle McCorkle Academy of Excellence K-8
Samuel West, Mary Meredith K-12
Jana Martin, Miles Exploratory Learning Center
Vanessa Gamez, Miller Elementary School
Yvette Leon, Mission View Elementary School
Omar Sotelo, Morgan Maxwell K-8 School
Marcia Fischer, Myers/Ganoung Elementary School
Chloe Walczak, Ochoa Community Magnet School
Gabriela Romo, Oyama Elementary School
Melissa Walker, Palo Verde High Magnet School
Lee Burch, Pistor Middle School
Jean Kapuscinski, Project MORE
Miriam Grijalva, Pueblo Gardens K-8 School
Nate Adams, Pueblo Magnet High School
Elizabeth Thomas, Rincon High School
Marcella Villaseñor, Roberts/Naylor K-8 School
Susan Hernandez, Robins K-8 School
Frank Schiavone, Robison Magnet Elementary School
Irina Gomez, Roskruge Bilingual K-8 Magnet School
Cara Grasso, Sabino High School
Diane Dean, Safford K-8 Magnet School
Suzanne Barnes, Sahuaro High School
Karen May, Sam Hughes Elementary School
Maegan Casey, Santa Rita High School
Amy Scrima, Secrist Middle School
Christina Petrino, Sewell Elementary School
Meridon Figueroa, Soleng Tom Elementary School
Amy Edwards, Steele Elementary School
Rose Rumsley, Tolson Elementary School
Michale Boese, Tucson High Magnet School
Anna Esquivel, Tully Elementary Magnet School
Nicole Hamilton, University High School
Tina Green, Utterback Middle Magnet School of the Arts
Carolina Benavidez Benech, Valencia Middle School
Georgina Castillo, Van Buskirk Elementary School
Kristen Troia, Vesey Elementary School
Sue Keller, Warren Elementary School
Brandy Nix, Wheeler Elementary School
Margaret Watson, White Elementary School
Gabriele Kunk, Whitmore Elementary School
Gloria Ramirez, Wright Elementary School
Jennifer Flagg, Teenage Parent High School (TAP)
Robert Weaver, AGAVE Middle & High School

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