Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) presented the September Teacher Excellence Award to Lindsey Shotwell, a teacher at Marana Unified School District’s special education preschool, Play and Learn. Shotwell has taught at Play and Learn Preschool Center for the past five years and is the first preschool teacher to receive the Teacher Excellence Award since TVT adopted its new mission to include PreK-12 teachers in its programs.
Shotwell was nominated by Laura Strickler, a parent of one of her students. In the nominating statement, Strickler said, “Lindsey is a wonderful person and the most dedicated teacher. She works with preschool aged students with developmental disabilities and she pours her entire heart into her work. She builds strong relationships with her students and their families working incredibly hard to provide families the tools they need to prepare for Kindergarten. She has made a huge impact on my life and my family. She has taught me things about my son, and myself and I am forever grateful to her.”
Shotwell is currently the curriculum lead and the instructional leadership team lead at the Play and Learn Preschool Center. In addition, Shotwell is the Co-Vice President of Membership for the Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children.
“Through personal family connections with children with disabilities as well as working in this field, my passion for helping students learn and develop has grown exponentially,” said Shotwell. “I work to make valuable relationships with my students and their families so that they know that no matter the difficulties they may face, they have a village to support them. I am so grateful for all I have learned through working with knowledgeable colleagues, supportive families, and of course the amazing students I have had the honor of teaching.”
Tucson Values Teachers spotlights quality Southern Arizona teachers every month. Teachers are nominated through Tucson Values Teachers’ website by colleagues, students, friends, and other community members. Winners of the Teacher Excellence Award receive $250 cash courtesy of Helios Education Foundation, a $100 gift card for classroom materials, and flowers. Shotwell also received an additional $100 gift card and a gift basket of school supplies from OneAZ Credit Union.