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FORT HUACHUCA — Lee Ann (Green) Howell, class of 1988, a Col. Smith Middle School seventh-grade science teacher, was named the 2018 Teacher of the Year for Cochise County on Friday night.
With its “Teachers Are Superheroes” theme, 20 teachers were recognized for their contributions to learning and dedication to the students whose lives they help shape.
Howell, who was a People’s Choice nomination, was one of six middle school nominees.
“I love the opportunity of making an impact on students and playing a part in their future,” Howell said during an interview prior to the announcement that she had won the award. “I make myself available to the kids and help them with follow-up they need when it comes to homework questions and projects they’re working on.
“I love seeing their expression change when they suddenly understand a concept that has been especially challenging.”
Eleven new teachers from schools all over the county were also recognized.
Jointly hosted by the Cochise Education Foundation and the Cochise County School Superintendent’s Office, the annual ceremony and banquet was held at Thunder Mountain Activity Center on Fort Huachuca.
Jennifer Truitt-Lewis, Principal of Col Johnson Elementary in Fort Huachuca, says “She was my student teacher in 2010 before I was became a principal,” she said. “Even as a student teacher, you just knew her heart was completely dedicated to teaching. She has a real teacher’s heart.
“She started out as a paraprofessional and is now a teacher. She is a shining star.”
CAR (Conference, Advisory and Reteach) is a Benson High School program that sets the tone for a positive school culture promoting high standards coupled with a personal teacher-student approach to help struggling students achieve. It was presented with an award.
Jacqui Clay, Cochise County superintendent of schools, said the banquet showcases the talented and dedicated teachers throughout the county.
“It’s an honor to work with every single one of them,” she said. “They are positive role models, and every one of them is a superhero.”
Just 2 or 3 years ago Benson’s oldest country club, Turquoise Hills Golf Course closed after a long struggle. Before it was a golf course it was the Sunset Motel and Trailer Park owned by the Franklin family. During the 1950s the Sunset Motel also provided the only swimming pool open to the public in Be
The Sunset Motel was one of the 18 motels in Benson during the 1950s and 1960s until I-10 bypassed Benson and bringing to an end to the thriving tourist period in Benson’s history.
After the 1960s Benson became a winter refuge for the Snowbird population that inhabited Benson during the winter months. The new winter residents demanded a totally different recreation, one compatible with an older retired generation. Thus, the Sunset Motel gave way to the snowbird’s golfing demands and became a country club/golf course named Turquoise Hills Country Club.
The very original name of the Sunset Motel prior to the Franklins acquiring it was Goods Rest Camp and Trailer Court. In the 1930s and 1940s the automobile became more reliable and Highway 80 was the only route going east to New Mexico before Highway 86 was paved in 1941, Goods Rest Camp and Trailer Court was probably the only place in Benson that could provide overnight parking and services for trailers in Benson. After 1941 Parkers Trailer Park was built next to the San Pedro river in East Benson what was then Highway 86, and provided a shorter route to New Mexico, would pretty much take the trailer park business over.
Of course, the Snowbird migration with their monster motor homes and fifth wheel trailers, would end what was known as trailer parks and thus begin the development of RV parks which would also offer many activities for the Snowbird population.
The motel room portion of the Sunset Motel and Trailer park would become short term apartments and the trailer park would disappear altogether due to the many RV parks which would grow to now I believe about 17 in the Benson area.