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Alumna Kristie Martorelli is a Professional Development Coordinator at Dysart Unified School District in Arizona.

Teacher of the year '12

Martorelli began college as a pre-med major, but after a stint as an autism therapist, she realized she had a passion for education and changed course. In 2012, the Arizona Educational Foundation honored her for her efforts with the Arizona Teacher of the Year award.

Without question
I was drawn [to teaching] by the idea that I would have a career where I would never have to wonder if what I was doing was making a positive difference in our world.

I believe education is the greatest gift anyone can ever be given. It levels the playing field, allowing us to overcome any obstacle and opens up the limitless possibilities this world has to offer.

A rosy outlook
I choose to view every day as an opportunity to take purposeful actions … that creates positive change.

On being named teacher of the year
This is not an honor I take lightly. I feel I have a tremendous responsibility to represent this amazing profession I am lucky enough to be a part of.




Kristie Martorelli’s story originally appeared in the August 2012 edition of Phoenix Focus. While widely available, not all programs are available in all locations or in both online and on-campus formats. Please check with a University representative.