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Posted December 7, 2012

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West Mesa Humanities Teacher Pushes Students to Succeed

Her positive, encouraging approach to teaching has earned Stephanie Wallace the title of Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month.

Stephanie Wallace’s teaching philosophy is straight forward: "Public education is the one and only avenue for everyone, regardless of their background or financial status, and students can use it to create the life they want for themselves."

It’s a philosophy that permeates Wallace’s humanities classes at West Mesa High School.

It’s a philosophy that helped her earn the title of Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month.

“I lived this philosophy," Wallace said. "I am a graduate of APS and proud of it. I want to help every student who walks through my classroom door take advantage of this opportunity and succeed.”

Wallace co-teaches ninth and eleventh graders in a unique class that combines English, language arts and social studies. She's also taught at Rio Grande High School and Ernie Pyle Middle School, where she first worked with West Mesa Principal Ben Santistevan 16 years ago.

“I love my students. They keep me going even on the toughest days,” Wallace said. “If I deserve this award, it’s because I’ve worked with such amazing people and have such great kids. Our students at West Mesa are so respectful and caring, and I feel blessed to be their teacher."

Pepsi, in partnership with the APS Education Foundation, recognizes APS teachers for their outstanding contribution to the classroom, school and community. The Foundation randomly selects one APS school each month, and that school’s principal is asked to choose a teacher to be honored. The teacher receives a $100 check from Pepsi and acknowledgment on the APS website, Facebook page and electronic billboards.

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