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Phoenix Union High School District Teacher of the Year

Mr. George Cardenas was selected Phoenix Union’s 2018 Classroom Teacher of the Year.  He teaches science and engineering but always assists students in other classes and activities.  He has been with Phoenix Union since 2011, and is an alumnus of Carl Hayden High School.   Said one colleague, he comes to every after school activity with a smile and asking “what can I do to help.”  He has taken on the role of coordinating speakers to come to the school to talk to students about career pathways.  Said a colleague, he consistently puts the students first and is always trying to find new opportunities for them to embark on. Whether it is tutoring or playing video games with students, he is often the last one at school, so that kids have a safe place to hang out.   Cardenas was a member of the first cohort for the Exemplary Educator Achievement Model evaluation. He implemented the Engineering EPICS program with ASU, which recently awarded him with a Pioneer Award for leading his students through pitch funding, designing and building projects and connecting with industry professionals.  He started the robotics program at his school, and in its first year, the Pythons advanced to the International Robotics competition after winning Rookie of the Year Awards at two regional competitions.  He then coordinated a fundraising effort in just a few weeks to get the team to Houston.