About Us

Arizona’s National Board Certified Teachers are dedicated to advancing the profession and student learning through the promotion of accomplished teaching. The Arizona NBCT Network is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors.

About Us

Mission & Vision

Advancing the profession for our students

Anchored in the belief that all students can learn and that they are endowed with the inalienable right to reach their highest potential, Arizona’s National Board Certified Teachers are dedicated to making a great education accessible to all students, through the advancement of the profession.

How we’re improving Arizona’s educational leadership

Our goal is to provide opportunities for Arizona’s National Board Certified Teachers to exchange ideas, participate in opportunities, and to challenge each other to improve educational leadership throughout the state by:

  • Staying informed
  • Providing support
  • Promoting and bringing awareness around the National Board Certification process
  • Working together to make National Board Certification an essential part of every teacher’s career trajectory

Leadership

The Arizona NBCT Network elects its officers and appoints its member-at-large annually. Learn more about the 2019-2020 officers.

 

Jen Robinson, President

Jen has served in many educational positions in both Arizona and New York. She has been a classroom teacher of pre-school and kindergarten, an elementary special education teacher, an instructional coach. She is beginning her eighth year as an elementary school principal in Maricopa Unified School District. She has been instrumental in developing the Leader in Me program at her school, in which scholars learn the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Every scholar has the opportunity to become a leader. She is Nationally Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist. Supporting teacher leaders through the National Board certification process helps ground her in what is most important, teaching and learning. Jen holds a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Needs/Special Education from Buffalo State in New York and an Educational Doctorate in Teacher Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. Jen is actively involved in teacher leadership by blogging for Stories from School Arizona and serving on the Arizona K12 Center’s Teacher Solutions team since its inception.

 

Beth Maloney, Past-President

Beth Maloney is currently in her twentieth year of teaching and enjoys every minute of her time in the classroom teaching fifth grade. Beth is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher and a Candidate Support Provider for other teachers undergoing certification. She is the past-president and co-founder of the Arizona National Board Certified Teachers Network and a blogger on Stories from School Arizona. Beth is the president and founder of the Arizona Chapter of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She is an Empatico Mentor Fellow and Teacher Champion. Beth holds a doctorate in higher and post-secondary education and is honored to be the 2014 Arizona Teacher of the Year.

 

Susan Leonard, President Elect

Susan Leonard has taught Health and Physical Education in the Scottsdale Unified School District since 2003. She earned a BA in Physical Education and History from Doane College, a Masters in Physical Education from the University of Nebraska, and initiated doctoral work at the University of Iowa in the area of Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Child Development and Counseling. Susan was recognized as a 2007-08 Arizona Middle Level Teacher of the Year. In 2012, she was chosen as Arizona Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and served as the 2014-15 President of Arizona Health and Physical Education. Susan achieved National Board Certification in 2013. Susan is probably best known for her child advocacy work empowering students with cross-curricular opportunities. She was part of a SHAPE America National Task Force to rewrite National Standards into kid-friendly language published in 2016 and her students have been chosen to present at the previous six Arizona Health and Physical Education State Conventions​.

Dayna Burke, Secretary

Dayna is a First Grade Teacher for the Sahuarita Unified School District. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a post-baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, and is a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy: Reading and Language Arts. In 2014 she was named an Ambassador for Excellence in the Arizona Teacher of the Year Program. Dayna is in her twelth-year teaching and has been fortunate to hold several leadership roles within and outside of her school district. She is a Professional Development Facilitator and frequently serves as an Instructional Coach, New Teacher Mentor, and Cooperating Teacher. She is a member of the AZ Board of Education’s K-3 Literacy Ad Hoc Committee, provides support for National Board Candidates, and advocates for high academic standards in a variety of capacities. Dayna believes in the power of teacher collaboration and enjoys every opportunity to learn from and support one another.

Jessica Jaeger, Member-at-Large

Jessica Jaeger is in her 18th year as an educator. She earned a BS in Elementary/Middle Education from Marian University in 2002 and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the Univeristy of Phoenix in 2010. She spent her first 10 years teaching in rural Wisconsin and moved to the Tucson Unified School District in 2012. In 2014 she became a National Board Certified Teacher as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She is a former district mentor to new teachers and currently teaches 5th grade. She is also currently pursing a Masters in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University. Jessica also serves as a National Board candidate support provider and member of the Arizona K12 Center Teacher Solutions Team.

 

Susan Collins, Member-at-Large

Susan Collins began her teaching career in 1991 in rural Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Music Education from Delta State University, Cleveland, MS. She served in 4 different communities in central and north Mississippi as a music educator, mostly elementary general music with one year as a middle school band director. She stepped out of working full time in the classroom for 9 years when her children were very young, but never left teaching. She set up an early childhood music studio and taught music for birth to age 5 (with an adult caregiver). Susan moved to Kingman in northwest rural Arizona in 2016 where she teaches k-5 general music. In the fall of that year she achieved National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood Music. She has served as a 2017-18 Arizona Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow and a Candidate Support Provider for National Board Candidates. She is passionate about advocating for the needs of rural schools and ensuring that every student receives an excellent education provided by passionate and qualified educators.

Yolanda Wheelington, Member-at-Large

Yolanda Wheelington received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Post graduation, she relocated with her daughter to Phoenix, AZ and secured a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University West. It was during her work at Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections that the role of education as an intervention was solidified. This motivated Wheelington to transition to education and she achieved a Master of Education with dual certification in special and general education from Arizona State University West. Her first teaching position was as a teacher in a self-contained classroom for emotionally disabled (ED) students. Wheelington worked to provide successful opportunities for inclusion that helped keep these students on the path to graduation. Wheelington discovered the Montessori approach while seeking the best fit for her own child, which follows natural human development. With sponsorship from her district, Wheelington graduated with her Association of Montessori Internationale (AMI) diploma from the Montessori Institute in North Texas. Wheelington currently teaches grades 1-3 at Shaw Montessori in Phoenix Elementary School District. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2018 and encourages other teachers to pursue this or other ways to personalize their professional development. Wheelington also partners with community stakeholders that have a primary interest in quality education. Her hope is that all children will have teachers that are able to look deeper and teach to their greatest human potential.

 

Tara Dale, Member-at-Large

Tara Dale is entering her 13th year teaching. She currently teaches high school science classes (earth and space science and AP environmental science) in the Gilbert Public School District. She earned her Bachelors of Science degrees in Psychology and Biology from Arizona State University after which she earned her Master’s in Secondary Education from University of Phoenix. Her National Board Certification is in general science for early adolescents. Tara acts as an instructional coach on her campus and is a current member of the Maricopa County Superintendent Teacher Advisory Team. She regularly blogs for Education Week, Student Achievement Partners, and Educators for High Standards. In 2014 she was named an Ambassador for Excellence in the Arizona Teacher of the Year Program. She co-authored the book: The Science Teacher’s Toolbox.

 

Michael Goto, Member-at-Large

Michael Goto is entering his 16th year as an Arizona educator. He has spent most of his career at the high school level as a Senior Government teacher and in 2013 certified in the area of Adolescent and Young Adults with an emphasis on Social Studies . Born and raised in Arizona he completed his Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University and holds Masters Degrees from Grand Canyon University in Instructional Technology the other in Educational Administration. As a certified Google Educator and Microsoft in Education Expert, he enjoys researching and sharing best practices that incorporate innovative and collaborative strategies into today’s classrooms. Michael currently works as Associate Superintendent for Ombudsman Charter Schools, overseeing daily operations, recruitment, and innovative programs for seven high schools serving at risk youth and academically disengaged youth. In addition to daily teacher interactions, appreciates time spent working with potential National Board Candidates through the AzK12 Center as it exposes his own practice to new ways to engage today’s students. Highlight of each day is spending time with his four children and wife who currently teaches second grade. In down time tries to learn about what other educators are doing around the world via twitter. You can find and follow Michael at @SnDvlAz.

 

Maggie Mott, Member-at-Large

Maggie Mott is entering her 11th year teaching. She currently teaches high school science classes in the Glendale Union High school district. She earned her Bachelors in Environmental Biology and her Masters of Instruction from Saint Mary’s University of MN. Her National Board Certification is in general science for early adolescents.

 

Windy Mariscal, Member-at-Large

Windy has been in education for 16 years. Her expertise is in early literacy. She achieved National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading Language Arts in 2015. Her current role is as an Induction & Retention Specialist in Cartwright School DIstrict. Windy has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama, Huntsville and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. She was the Vice President of her local professional association in 2016 and currently coordinates National Board candidate support for teachers in her district.

Alexis LaDuca, Member-at-Large

Alexis LaDuca is in her 24th year of teaching at Mountain Ridge High School. Currently she teaches ENG 101/102: First Year Composition and ENH 110: Intro to Literature (both as dual enrollment courses), as well as a Language Arts Lab, a course serving students who need assistance improving reading comprehension. As a department leader, technology team member, and AdvancED steering committee co-chair among other roles, Alexis is an active member of her school community. Her classroom is active, collaborative, hands-on, and a safe place where her students embrace critical thinking, engagement, and authentic learning moments. Alexis’ greatest celebrations in the classroom are when knowledge is tangible and connections are made. Alexis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, both from Northern Arizona University. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2017 (English Language Arts, Adolescence and Young Adulthood) and is honored to help support and work with current NBCTs and candidates.

 

Anthony Perez, Member-at-Large

Anthony is a Phoenix native and has spent his last 6 of 9 years teaching career at Sunset Elementary. His passion for students receiving a high quality education in urban settings drives the work he does both in and out of the classroom. He is a member of the Grand Canyon University College of Education Advisory Consortium, Arizona Science Teachers Association, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc., and Maricopa County Superintendent Teacher Advisory Team (STAT). Mr. Pérez earned a Bachelor’s from Arizona State University in 2004, a Master’s from Grand Canyon University in 2011, and is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early Childhood Generalist.

 

 

Christie Olsen, Member-at-Large

Christie Olsen has taught in the Lake Havasu Unified School District for 27 years. She has taught grades 4-6 and has served as a teacher on assignment in charge of professional development in her district. She is currently a K-6 Academic/Instructional Coach and serves beginning teachers in five elementary schools as an Arizona Master Teacher. Christie is a Middle Childhood Generalist National Board Certified Teacher. She supports National Board Candidates in her district. Christie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming, a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Christie is a member of the Learning Forward Academy of 2019 and is studying a problem of practice related to a continuum of accomplished teaching.