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.”