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Kyrene Teacher Named a Top 5 Finalist for Arizona Teacher of the Year

Posted August 2022


Rodney “Scott” Harnisch, a music teacher at Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Academy, has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year® award. In July 2022, Harnisch was recognized as a top 10 finalist for this prestigious award from the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), which is widely considered the highest honor bestowed upon Arizona’s public school teachers.


This isn’t the first time that Harnisch has been recognized for teaching excellence. He has received the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, which is granted to educators for their dedication to the profession, community, professional development, and attention to diversity and advocacy. Mr. Harnisch has also been the recipient of awards from the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and multiple arts grants that benefit his students.


“I am so very honored and proud to be a top five finalist.  This is an opportunity much bigger than me and I am excited to help bring the stories of our district, state, and our profession to the forefront,” Harnisch shared.


The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the AEF, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting and championing the exceptional work of public schools.

All candidates will undergo a final review process that will narrow the field to five finalists who will be named “Ambassadors for Excellence.”


The teacher selected as the 2023 Arizona Teacher of the Year will receive $15,000 from the AEF and will attend National Teacher of the Year events, including a trip to the White House to meet the President.   


An awards ceremony will take place on October 15, 2022 at the Madison Center for the Arts in Phoenix, Arizona to celebrate the winner and all candidates.