Celebrating a Lifetime of Achievement at TD3
It takes a lot of passion for an educator to wake up every day with the same drive to provide excellent service to his/her school, students, and community. For some, this drive and passion can last a lifetime.
Two educators at Tempe Elementary School District were recently recognized for demonstrating outstanding achievements in leadership, teaching, and outreach over their many years of service.
Tempe Diablos Charities, Inc. named Dawn Moan-Minott and Rhonda Ray as finalists for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be awarded at the 27th Annual Tempe Diablos Excellence in Education Awards on May 2, 2016 at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
Each year, the Tempe Diablos honor an individual who has contributed significantly to education through years of leadership, teaching, and service at a Tempe school. Moan-Minott and Ray have served at least 20 years at the Tempe Elementary School District.
Moan-Minott was previously a classroom teacher for 10 years and is now in her 11th year as a Literacy Coach.
“Teaching is a challenging job,” said Moan-Minott. “But the challenge is why I come to work every day. It’s just great to see students succeed and grow.”
In her time as a classroom teacher, Moan-Minott consistently thought of innovative ways to further reach her students. One example was working to establish thinking maps into Scales Technology Academy’s curriculum to help clarify and organize writing for students at the school. In her time as a Literacy Coach, Moan-Minott has worked diligently to involve the Tempe community into various educational outreach projects. Most recently she helped increase community involvement in the Salt River Project’s afterschool tutoring program at Hudson Elementary.
When asked what advice she would give to a teacher just starting out in his/her career, Moan-Minott said, “Reach out as much as you can. It’s going to be a difficult job at times, but if you ask for help, there will always be someone at Tempe Elementary who will be there for you.”
Ray has been a classroom teacher at Tempe Elementary for 20 years. She began as a first-grade teacher at Nevitt Elementary and is now in her first year as a gifted education (PACE) teacher at Frank Elementary and Scales Technology Academy.
“I love seeing my students’ minds at work,” said Ray. “When I see my students achieve their ‘light bulb moment,’ I know I’ve done what I needed to do for that day.”
From the beginning of her teaching career to present day, Ray has consistently aimed to make a difference in her students’ lives. Working primarily with Title I schools, Ray works to promote a positive and challenging environment in her classroom.
When asked why she decided to stay with Tempe Elementary for all these years, Ray explains that the close-knit community and her willingness to learn new things and mold with change have been the strongest contributing factors.
“I’m always willing to learn something new and try to get my students to appreciate that same mindset,” said Ray. “Sometimes it’s the fear of learning something new that causes negative thoughts, but once my students can get through their frustration, they can master anything they set their mind to.”