Scottsdale teachers notch Charros scholarship en route to National Board Certification

A view of one of the many Scottsdale Unified School District school sites in central Phoenix. (File photo)

A view of one of the many Scottsdale Unified School District school sites in central Phoenix. (File photo)

Three teachers at the Scottsdale Unified School District have been awarded The Charro Foundation National Board Certification Scholarship, which covers 75 percent of the cost of the coveted certification.

The Scottsdale Charros, through its annual education initiatives, provides monetary resources, a liaison program and annual events honoring both students and educators of Scottsdale public schools.

The 2015-16 Scottsdale Charros Education Initiatives — a scholarship and grant cycle in total eclipsing $250,000 — will touch upon 13 distinct needs within Scottsdale Schools. The latest addition to the effort, the National Board Certification Scholarship, is a game-changer for educators looking to get to the next level of instruction and tenure.

The scholarship program, which is administered through partnership with the Arizona k12 Center, pays each recipient $1,425 to go toward certification courses and costs. This year’s recipients are: Lori Campos, Kris Dieball and Cathy Saraniero.

Established in 1987 by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certification gives acknowledgment to the best teachers by providing an opportunity to pursue the accomplishment and recognition that other professionals, like doctors and architects, pursue in their areas of specialty, according to the Arizona K12 Center.

The teachers

Ms. Campos, a teacher at Kiva Elementary School for the past seven years, says she teaches because she was inspired by her own elementary school experience.

Lori Campos

Lori Campos

“I decided that I wanted to be an educator when I was inspired by my kindergarten teacher,” she said.

“It was through her kindness and enthusiasm for teaching that lead me on a path to obtain my degree in education. Ever since I was a young girl I have known that I wanted to pass that enthusiasm on to others and that I wanted to help kids see their potential in life and in education.”

Ms. Campos says she is honored to be a recipient of The Charro Foundation National Board Certification Scholarship.

“With this scholarship I will be able to increase my knowledge and skills that are necessary to advance my students’ learning and achievement,” she said.

“It will also open doors to leadership opportunities and increase my professional marketability. I have always had a passion for working with children since I was a young girl and I have strived to make every child feel comfortable and reach the expectations. Just as I strive to make my students grow, I strive to grow myself as a teacher.”

Kris Dieball

Kris Dieball

Ms. Dieball, a teacher for the past 11 years with the last five at Laguna Elementary School, echoes those same sentiments.

“Teaching is my passion,” she said.

“I enjoy helping young children learn and acquire knowledge to grow and progress both academically and socially in school. I like to create ways to make learning fun and reach every student’s unique learning style. That challenge keeps me motivated, and the smiles on their faces and their willingness to learn more makes going to work each day a pleasure.”

Ms. Dieball says The Charro Foundation National Board Certification Scholarship is helping her continue her commitment to her students.

“I also want to continue my professional development and growth as an educator to deepen my understanding of the subjects that I teach and how I can most effectively deliver that information to my students,” she said.  “I am grateful and honored to have been selected to receive the Charro Scholarship to pursue my National Board Certification.”

Cathy Saraniero

Cathy Saraniero

Ms. Saraniero says becoming board certified will open new doors to education for both her students and colleagues.

“My prior work and participation will not change, however, I believe that being board certified will offer more autonomy and authority in making instructional decisions,” she said. “It will nurture growth in my knowledge base of teaching, and afford me more opportunity to share, collaborate, and reflect with my peers. I am looking forward to greater responsibility in sharing my expertise, in an effort to strengthen other teachers’ practice.”

Teachers need strong leaders to enhance their profession — Ms. Saraniero contends becoming board certified is a step toward that direction.

“Teachers leading teachers, I believe, is a most effectual way in the development of accomplished teaching,” she said. “I will ensure that colleagues, administrators, and other decision makers have access to current research regarding the benefits of study in the arts.”

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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