Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rio Salado College Honors Teacher of the Year

Coach is the word that Jeremy Dittrich uses to describe his teaching career. His enthusiasm for physical education is inspiring and he shares that passion with his students. Dittrich taught P.E. at Centennial Middle School in the Kyrene School District and was recently honored as the 2010-11 Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year. The Excellence in Education program recognizes dedicated K-12 teachers throughout the Valley for their outstanding contribution to education. The program is sponsored by Rio Salado College and KEZ 99.9.

“Jeremy is a great teacher with very high expectations for all of his students,” said fellow teacher, Laurie Jake who nominated Dittrich for the recognition. “As a lifelong athlete himself, he makes learning fun, but more importantly he shares his great love of fitness with the students, which ignites their interest as well.”

Whether coaching in the classroom or on the sidelines, Dittrich looks for innovative and creative ways to engage his students. He has had students create ‘commercials’ for fitness gyms highlighting the benefits of exercise. He instituted a quarterly hiking field trip not only to help his students improve their fitness but also learn the value of lifelong physical activity. This program also added to the morale at the school as he enlisted other staff to volunteer for these activities. He has also coached basketball and wrestling, coached for Mountain Pointe High School football, served as an advisor and coordinator for Centennial’s Minitown event and serves as a youth leader in his church.

“Jeremy shows an unwavering commitment to improve the lives of young people,” said Jake. "He always has a kind word or comment to share with students and his fellow staff memebers."

Teachers are nominated by students, parents, colleagues and community members and are recognized monthly throughout the school year. The Teacher of the Year recipient is selected from those honored. Nominations for the 2011-12 school year will begin in August. To view a video montage of the 2010-11 Teachers of the Month visit

2010 -11 Teachers of the Month
Peggy Shupp, Desert Garden Montessori School, Phoenix
OctoberAngela Scafaru, St. Matthew’s Elementary, Phoenix
NovemberCarole Cardenas, Career Success High School, Phoenix
DecemberCarolyn Cain, Harris Elementary, Gilbert
JanuaryJeremy Dittrich, Kyrene Centennial Middle School, Phoenix
FebruaryArlen Sykes, Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School, Ahwatukee
MarchTammy Wildening, Cochise Elementary, Scottsdale
AprilKatie Gerrich, McClintock High School, Tempe
MayJeremy Rose, Melvin E. Sine Elementary, Glendale