The Marana Unified School District Governing Board has recognized 2012 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year. The awards were presented during last week’s Governing Board meeting.

Marana High School’s Sarah Ross was named MUSD Teacher of the Year.

Since Ross joined the Marana High School staff in 2007 as the choir teacher, enrollment in the choir program and in regional festivals has consistently increased.

This school year, 28 of Ross’ choir students qualified for Regional Choir.

Ross brings her love of the arts to her choir, musical theatre and freshman foundations classes and is committed to exposure to the arts for all students.

Ross introduces her students to music outside of the traditional high school curriculum. She teaches the pleasure that comes from being patrons of the arts by taking students on excursions to the opera, the theater, the symphony and musical theatre.

Ross often hosts guest artists from all types of musical styles to come and work with her students.

Ross leads the Fine and Performing Arts Academy and serves as Marana’s Performance Based Pay coordinator where she represents Marana High School at the district level.

Ross has also served as the school lead for an academic intervention committee where she established school-wide interventions for at-risk students.

Ross currently serves as the chair for the Arizona Music Educators Association South-Central Region and a member of the Arizona Choral Directors Association.

Besides the top award, the board also handed out an award for support staff.    

Jill Craighead, a special education aide at Roadrunner Elementary School, and Lois Sims, the counseling secretary at Mountain View High School.

Craighead has been working with MUSD since 1999. She is said to be an employee who believes that all children are not only entitled to an education, but to a fun and fundamentally sound academic experience.

Craighead’s educational techniques delight students with intriguing concepts and engaging activities.

Lois Sims has worked in the district since 2004, and is currently the counseling Secretary at Mountain View High School. Sims takes the time to know students by first names and to personally connect with them in order to make sure their needs are met.

Sims also volunteers as campus liaison with Mountain View’s Parent Resource Officers for Grad Night. She has also been a volunteer at the all night event for several years.

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