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Tempe Diablos Give $35,250 to Local Educators During Virtual Awards Ceremony
By Claire Natale - Monday Jun 07, 2021
On Thursday, May 6, the Tempe Diablos recognized outstanding educators serving the Tempe community during the 32nd annual Excellence in Education ceremony. Teachers, leaders and administrators from three Tempe school districts were presented with a variety of honors including Teacher of the Year, High Impact and the newest category, Transformational Teaching, along with cash prizes that totaled more than $35,000. Thirty Tempe Diablo college scholarship recipients were also recognized during the event. Due to the implications of COVID-19, the organization hosted the event virtually via livestream.

“The Diablos are continuously committed to supporting the dedicated educators in the Tempe community and are grateful to welcome yet another group to these prestigious awards,” said Russ Homes, event chair. “The selfless members from Kyrene School District, Tempe Union High School and Tempe Elementary are the backbone of the community, ensuring that the youth receive the best standards of education and care.”

A total of 24 educators received grand prizes, including:

Teacher of the Year
• Michele Ferber, Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School
• Nicole Mercurio, Gililland Middle School
• Karen Crane, McClintock High School

Lifetime Achievement
• Nancy Branch, Kyrene de la Mirada
• Amy Garza, District Office
• Justine Centanni, Corona del Sol High School

Leadership
• Spencer Fallgatter, Kyrene de la Mariposa
• Carrie Fox, Arredondo Elementary School
• Steve Threadgill, Corona del Sol High School

High Impact
• Patti Kuluris, Kyrene Monte Vista
• Kelly Trujillo, Carminati Elementary School
• Micah Kriston, McClintock High School
Inspiration
• Katie Miceli, Akimel A-al Middle School
• Emily Parrillo, Arredondo Elementary School
• Valerie Molina, Marcos de Niza High School

Rising Star
• Abby Greb, Kyrene del Cielo
• Nia Lewis, Aguilar Elementary School
• Shelly Peckins, McClintock High School

Class Act
• Loira Guerra Talmon, Kyrene de Las Lomas
• Elvia Jaime, Laird School
• John Sharp, Tempe High School

Transformational Teaching
• Amy Russo, Kyrene Monte Vista
• Andrea Peterson, Arredondo Elementary School
• Tahlia Remer, Marcos de Niza High School

The two runners-up for Teacher of the Year and the individual runner-up in the remaining categories also received cash awards. The full livestream can be found by following this link.

For more information about the Tempe Diablos, visit TempeDiablos.org. Like the group on Facebook at Facebook.com/AZTempeDiablos.

About Tempe Diablos
The Tempe Diablos are a group of community leaders, business executives and driven individuals dedicated to enhancing the City of Tempe and surrounding neighborhoods. For more than 50 years, members of the Tempe Diablos have donated their time, resources, talents and money to provide scholarships, grants and more to Tempe youth, education and charitable programs. Since the group’s inception in 1968, it has donated approximately $16 million to local nonprofits. while providing leadership that creates worthwhile opportunities for the children of Tempe. For more information about the group’s mission, visit TempeDiablos.org.