2020 Flinn Scholars thank educators in video messages

May 20, 2020

By Matt Ellsworth

The Flinn Scholars from the Class of 2020 paid tribute during a virtual celebration last week to the educators who had the greatest impact on their academic and personal development. 

The 2020 Flinn Scholars selected current educators, kindergarten and elementary-school teachers, and a college counselor who have taught the Scholars subjects ranging from robotics and English, to art and chemistry.   

The 19 Flinn Scholars from the Class of 2020 honored their Distinguished Educators with heartfelt messages expressed in short videos. 
The 2020 Distinguished Educators are: 

Charlotte Ackerman

Robotics, Sunrise Drive Elementary School, Tucson 
Scholar: Nikolas Gruber  

Andrea Avery

English, Phoenix Country Day School, Paradise Valley 
Scholar: Mira Kaibara 

Rabia Bithi

AP Calculus, AB, AP Calculus AB/BC, Hamilton High School, Chandler 
Scholar: Maxwell Bregman 

Jessica Brierton

Biology, Red Mountain High School, Mesa 
Scholar: Roxanne Dyer  

Stefani Chase

Earth Science, Lake Havasu High School, Lake Havasu City 
Scholar: Alexa Wiese 

Michael Darrah

Algebra, Challenger Middle School, Tucson 
Scholar: Isabella Espinoza 

Daniel Darrow

AP Government, Washington High School, Phoenix 
Scholar: Priscilla Villalobos Ixcotoyac 

Irene Fabig

Psychology/Debate, Paradise Valley High School, Phoenix 
Scholar: Julia Groman 

Kevin Greene

English, Mohave High School, Bullhead City 
Scholar: Koda Benavidez 

Josie Hammond

4th and 5th Grade, Knoles Elementary School, Flagstaff 
Scholar: Dermot Louchart 

Megan Hughes

GATE English 9, Sahuaro High School, Tucson 
Scholar: Christina Niyigena 

Rick Reeker

Kindergarten, Spirit of Hope Montessori, Peoria 
Scholar: Sofía Fencken 

Karen Snyder

Elementary School, Desert Garden Montessori, Phoenix 
Scholar: Anya Chaudhry 

Lisa Sweet

College counselor, Red Mountain High School, Mesa 
Scholar: Heather Jensen 

Jason Teague

Art, Mingus Union High School, Cottonwood 
Scholar: Violet King 

Amy Wall

AP World History, Gilbert Classical Academy, Gilbert 
Scholar: Ritisha “Risha” Das 

Carol Willis

English Literature, Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff 
Scholar: Claire Gibson 

Monique Winfield

English, Millennium High School, Goodyear 
Scholar: Catherine Broski 

Grazyna Zreda

Chemistry, Tanque Verde High School, Tucson 
Scholar: Simon Fitch 

In addition to honoring the 2020 Flinn Scholars and their Distinguished Educators, the May 14 virtual program also honored 19 outgoing Flinn Scholars from Arizona’s three public universities for their achievements both in the classroom and community. 

The Flinn Scholars Program awarded each educator a $500 honorarium. 

“Effective educators have a transformative impact on the lives of their students,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program director. “Each year we interview Arizona’s most talented students and hear first-hand accounts of the remarkable educators who influenced, inspired, and shaped them into life-long learners.” 
The Class of 2020 Flinn Scholars were selected from more than 1,000 applications from high-achieving high-school seniors throughout the state. The 19 Scholars represent 18 different high schools. Ten Scholars were selected from the Phoenix metropolitan area, four from Tucson, two from Flagstaff, and one each from Camp Verde, Fort Mohave, and Lake Havasu City. There are now more than 650 current and alumni Scholars in the Flinn Scholars community.  

The Flinn Scholarship is valued at more than $120,000 and covers the cost of tuition, fees, housing and meals at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona, as well as study-abroad opportunities and other benefits.   

Learn more: Flinn Foundation selects top Arizona students for 35th class of Flinn Scholars