Two Alumni Honored as Dallas Mavericks Teachers of the Year

The Dallas Mavericks and The UPS Store, in association with Teach For America DFW, teamed-up to present the 13th Annual Classroom Champions Program, created to recognize North Texas educators for their work in the classroom.
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Arleen Avrill (DFW '13), Cigarroa Elementary, Dallas ISD

"It is an honor to be recognized among other teachers in the DFW area who are advocating for the whole child every single day. My students were so proud to represent Cigarroa and the students of Dallas ISD and cheered as though they had just won an Olympic gold medal when we were contacted that we had won the prize! They rallied their family members and neighbors to vote for our classroom and our school. The $1,000 means a lot to Cigarroa, since we were just accepted to be an A+ School, as a part of the Okahoma A+ Schools Network. The vision of A+ is education that expands the imagination and stimulates creative living, through arts integration across all content. Our school will be able to purchase materials, supplies, and resources for our inaugural year in the fall of 2017."

Justin Artis (DFW '14), Uplift Pinnacle Preparatory

"It was truly an honor to receive this award. I was shocked when I first even nominated for Teacher of the Month, let alone winning Teacher of the Year. My scholars and my entire school were extremely excited that I won. All week I had kids coming to me telling me that they and their parents voted for me to win the award. When I told them I had officially won, they all screamed for joy and were really excited. I have not decided what the award will go to yet. My students really want a swing set for our playground, so that may be an option. I'm letting my kids write down options in class and we'll probably vote on it! I think the best part of it all was the support of the school community. I had parents who went above and beyond to not just win and get top 5, but they wanted to show their support and make sure I had the most votes. I was really touched by how parents, many of whom I have not taught their children yet, were really supporting me through the whole process."


Want to learn more about these amazing alumni teachers? Check out videos of the winners in their classrooms.