Utah’s 2016 Teacher of the Year

Melody Apezteguia, Utah's 2016 Teacher of the Year.

Melody Apezteguia, Utah’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.

American Fork High Calculus Teacher Named Utah Teacher of the Year

Deputy Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson announced today that American Fork High School calculus teacher Melody Apezteguia (ah-pesta-jee-ah) has been named Utah’s 2016 Teacher of the Year.

Apezteguia, of American Fork, was presented with a check for $10,000 and will compete with her fellow teachers of the year in a national competition. Apezteguia will also receive a SMART kapp interactive white board from SMART Technologies, and a laptop computer from PC Laptops. She will meet with fellow teachers of the year at a national conference, meet with the President in Washington, and attend space camp in Alabama next summer.

Krista Thornock, an eighth grade language arts and history teacher from Centennial Middle School in Provo, was named first runner up and received a check for $5,000. Lois Faber, a music teacher from EskDale High School in EskDale in the Millard School District, was named second runner up and received a check for $3,000.

A committee with representatives from the Utah State Office of Education, principals, superintendents, the Utah PTA, the Utah Education Association and 2015 Utah Teacher of the Year Mohsen Ghaffari chose from among 21 nominations sent in from local school districts and charter schools. All 21 teachers were honored at a banquet at the Double Tree Suites Hotel in Salt Lake City and presented with a gift from O.C. Tanner Company as well as a gift basket from Great Harvest Bread Company, and a water filter from All Filters, and a one-year SMART Notebook classroom license from SMART Technologies.

“At the beginning of my junior year of high school, I was assigned to Ms. Apezteguia’s math class,” wrote Angela Cox, a former student. “Math had always been a relatively successful experience for me with only a modest effort on my part. I anticipated the same from Ms. Apezteguia’s class. I quickly realized that Ms. Apezteguia’s class was going to be very different. Not only did she expect us to learn at a high level, she had a unique ability to motivate us to believe that we could learn at a high level.”

“My greatest accomplishments are helping my students understand their own potential,” Apezteguia said. “As a calculus teacher, I often am told how hard and challenging math is for students to learn. I love to use this perception others have of mathematics to help students realize they can do hard things. My primary goal is to help my students improve their mathematics skills and build their self-esteem about their mathematical abilities.”

Apezteguia succeeds Ghaffari, who is a fifth grade teacher at North Star Elementary School in Salt Lake City.





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