Tucson Electric Power knows teachers are the backbone of our schools – and we show appreciation for what they do.
Education is one of TEP’s philanthropic focus areas, and we support teachers through awards and training as part of this effort.
“Educators are vital to the future of our community. They teach and inspire our next leaders, innovators and problem solvers,” said Jennifer Cox, TEP’s Education Outreach Representative who serves on the board of Tucson Values Teachers. “TEP is proud to support the teachers in our community.”
Here are some ways that TEP support teachers:
Bright Students Distinguished Teacher Awards
Annually, TEP has given awards to teachers who have excelled in using the company’s Bright Students program over the past three years.
Bright Students is a free, three-part program for fifth- through eighth-grade students who learn about electricity and energy conservation in their classrooms. Distinguished Teachers are selected because of their enthusiasm for the program, which they often extend into other lessons.
This year’s winners are:
- Pamela Pyne, a sixth-grade teacher at Orange Grove Middle School, who has participated in the program since 2016
- Susan Sumner, a sixth-grade teacher at Mansfeld Middle School, who has participated in the program since 2014
Teacher Excellence Awards from Tucson Values Teachers
During Teacher Appreciation Week in May, five teachers are surprised with awards, including $100 gift cards each provided by TEP. Tucson Values Teachers and Office Depot/Max are partners for the program, which also gives out monthly awards.
This year’s Teacher Appreciation Week winners were:
- Joy Karn, a second- and third-grade teacher at Civano Community School
- Maritza Mazon, a Spanish language arts and English language development teacher at Hollinger K-8 School
- Brittany Weeks, a first-grade teacher at Canyon View Elementary School
- Christine In-Albon, an Advanced Placement teacher at Empire High School
- Megan Hawkes, a seventh-grade teacher at Tortolita Middle School
TEP Power Up Grants
Tucson Unified School District teachers can apply for grants of up to $1,000 each for classroom projects in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), thanks to a TEP donation.
In October, TEP announced a $150,000 contribution to fund at least 150 projects over the course of three years through the Educational Enrichment Foundation. The first 60 TEP Power Up grants were awarded in the spring and those teachers will begin projects in the 2019-20 school year.
Some of the grants include active-learning projects in fitness and STEM at Borman K-8 School, coding at Banks Elementary School and electronic logic circuits and robotics at Sabino High School. At Tucson Magnet High School, students will use 3D printers to engineer adaptive equipment for elementary school children’s dolls.
The foundation provides grants to teachers; scholarships for interscholastic participation; and basic-needs supplies such as shoes, glasses, clothes and hygiene products at TUSD schools.
Tucson Supplies Teachers Program
TEP donated $85,000 to Tucson Values Teachers to provide $50 gift cards to teachers who requested one-time assistance.
With TEP’s donation, Tucson Values Teachers was able to fulfill all 1,200 pending request for one-time funds, freeing up funds for additional teacher requests, earlier this year.
As a result, for the first time since the program started in 2009, TVT was able to cover all of the teachers who applied for the program in the 2018-19 school year.
Office Depot/Max provided discounts to teachers when using their gift cards, allowing them to stretch their dollars.
STEM Training and Supplies
TEP is the key sponsor of the STEMAzing Institute, a set of hands-on, summer workshops for teachers to learn science, technology, engineering and math lessons.
Each teacher receives STEM products, worth between $200 and $400 each, to take back to their classrooms. The workshops are organized by the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent.