Two Pima JTED teachers were honored as Legendary Teachers during a ceremony at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Pima County Superintendent’s Office (200 North Stone Ave.). The Tucson Optimist Club, a sponsor of this year’s Legendary Teacher awards, presented checks for $250 to Reggie Brooks, who has taught Automotive Technologies for the past 19 years at Baboquivari High School and most recently at the JTED @ Baboquivari campus, and to Andrew Lettes, Ph.D., who has taught BioScience at Pueblo High School for the past 14 years.
Mr. Brooks helps students discover and understand numerous concepts of the automotive field. True to the legendary teacher characteristic of connecting past and present, Mr. Brooks helps his students run the Baboquivari Road Warrior car club, which provides students opportunities to learn older fuel and brakes systems. He also has his students cap their experiences and knowledge by diving into the electrical and automated engine systems of today and tomorrow. For the past three years he has traveled with his students from Topawa, Arizona to an automotive conference at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, California to learn the latest trends in automotive technology.
Dr. Lettes, a former research associate at the University of Arizona’s College of Pharmacy, changed careers to teach, motivate, and inspire students beyond the classroom. He is able to empathize with his students, show his passion for Bioscience and create a relationship of respect and genuine care. In return his students reciprocate with the same passion, care, and respect. This not only contributes to college and career readiness, but also to the overall development of his students as individual men and women. In the past 5 years, more than 150 of his students earned at least 3 college credits in dual enrolled classes through the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at the University of Arizona.
Legendary Teacher Day, celebrated the fourth Thursday of September, and the Legendary Teacher Awards were created in 2014 by former Flowing Wells Unified School District Superintendent Nicholas Clement, Ed.D. Following his career as an administrator, Dr. Clement was appointed to the Ernest McFarland Citizen’s Chair in Education at Northern Arizona University. He is responsible for teaching and advocating for education throughout Arizona and the nation. In his own heartfelt tribute to the teachers who influenced his life, Dr. Clement wrote the book Legendary Teacher Stories: How to Catch a Swamp Frog. For more information visit: Legendaryteacher.com