Monday, December 14, 2009

Rio Salado, KEZ Surprise Tempe Teacher with Award

By David Staudacher, Rio Salado College PR Manager

Tuesday started out like any other day in Tom Huber’s math class at Marcos di Niza High School in Tempe. He talked to students, took attendance and listened to the morning announcements.
As the class prepared for an upcoming test, Huber’s day took a surprising turn when KEZ 99.9 FM’s radio personality Marty Manning announced to the entire school that Huber was named December’s Excellence in Education winner by Rio Salado College and KEZ.

“I truly appreciate how much he cares about us understanding math, and the amount of time he gives in order for that to happen,” said an anonymous student who nominated him for the award. “Mr. Huber comes to school every day at 6:30 a.m., nearly an hour and a half before school begins to help us work out any problems we have difficulty with on our homework. Not only is he patient in helping us so early every morning, Mr. Huber also explains how the concepts we are working with are used outside the textbook, in science, architecture, or even cooking. His optimistic attitude and exciting power-points really bring math even more to life!”
According to the student, Huber also supports activities outside of the classroom.

“As a football, basketball, baseball and softball coach, he truly has put in an enormous amount of hours for us,” said the student. “I am so thankful for all of the time Mr. Huber dedicates to our education in and out of the classroom.”

The students are not the only people who were proud to see Huber receive this month’s Excellence in Education award. Marcos di Niza Principal Frank Mirizio visited the teacher’s classroom as the award was delivered.

“I’ve known Mr. Huber a long time,” said Mirizio. “He taught me when I was a student here. He is a very dedicated and skillful teacher. His patience is one of his greatest virtues as he takes time to help his students.”

Excellence in Education is KEZ and Rio Salado College’s way of honoring K-12 teachers throughout the 2009-2010 school year for their outstanding contribution to education. Students and parents of students are encouraged to nominate teachers who are excellent at their profession and have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to make a difference in their community.

“Rio Salado College has a long tradition of community support,” said Janet Johnson, Rio Salado College’s Education department faculty chair. “As a parent & educator, I understand the time and effort it takes to truly make a different in the lives of children as well as the greater educational community. Honoring teachers with this award is another way of showing our appreciation to unsung heroes throughout the Valley.”

Huber is the fourth teacher to win an Excellence in Education award. All winning teachers are rewarded with $99, an Excellence in Education Award, KEZ Bag O’Fun, and their pictures on the KEZ and Rio Salado College Web sites. In May, one of the monthly winners will be named the educator of the year and win $999.

To nominate a teacher, please visit To learn more about Rio Salado College and the Excellence in Education program, visit