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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: January 9, 2012

Standing Ovation Humbles Del Norte Teacher

Teacher of the Month Judie Dwyer attributes her success to fellow Knights.

Every year since Judie Dwyer started teaching at Del Norte High School nearly two decades ago, she’s heard rumors that the school was going to close its doors.

She never believed it; she always knew just how good a school Del Norte really is.

Now, nearly 19 years after Dwyer started teaching at DNHS, the school actually is closing its doors, but only so it can open a brand new building scheduled for completion in a few months.

Dwyer won’t be teaching in the new school building.  She’s hanging up the turquoise and black and retiring at the end of this school year.

She’ll take with her a sense of devotion and satisfaction as she remembers the students who challenged her to make teaching relevant and important to their lives.

She’ll also take with her the title of Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month. 

Each month, Pepsi, in partnership with the Foundation, recognizes an APS teacher for his or her outstanding contribution to the classroom, school and community. Dwyer received the recognition, along with a $50 check from Pepsi, during a back-to-school staff meeting earlier this month.

Upon receiving a standing ovation by her colleagues, Dwyer said she was humbled by the recognition. “I attribute my success to my peers and my students,” she said.

Dwyer spent more than a decade as the Knights’ DECA teacher. She now teaches economics to seniors and computer applications to freshmen, teaching both ends of the high school spectrum. She tries to make her classes relatable to students, teaching the freshmen in her computer classes how to put together online portfolios and discussing the recession and economic challenges with her seniors.

“I love it here,” Dwyer said. “The students are diverse with a wide variety of interests. They support each other and so does the staff.”