LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Heather Ayres

Position: Fifth Grade English Language Arts Teacher
School: Joseph Zito Elementary School
School District: Isaac School District
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

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Heather Ayres was nominated by her colleague, Crystal Perez.

Ms. Ayres' students are always performing well on all of the state and district assessments. Many times, she has had the top scores in the district. She is very creative in her presentation of lessons, which allows for her students to learn new skills.  She clearly loves her students.

"I have seen her purchase items that her students needed because she knew they weren't able to get them at home," said Perez. "She has never hesitated to have students from the self-contained special education classroom mainstream in her classroom.  She encourages their participation in classroom activities, and the students who go into her classroom love it in there."

As the lead for her grade level, Ms. Ayres helps the teachers on her team so that they are successful. She spends many hours beyond her contracted hours to ensure her colleagues have the support they need. She has helped new teachers in her district, and she has also taught classes, such as how to fill out paperwork correctly or how to teach engaging lessons.    

Aside from being a phenomenal teacher, Ms. Ayres has been on almost every committee in the district.  She has served on the IBN, Calendar, Budget, and 301 committees, just to name a few. As the IDEA president, she always fights for what is best for students and staff. Staff members always feel supported by her. She attends many meetings to discuss what is best for the Isaac School District staff. She meets with the superintendent regularly to share concerns and solutions for school-based issues. She spends many hours outside of her day participating in these meetings in order to meet the needs of the district's students, staff, and community. 

Ms. Ayres also coordinates many events for her school. One of these events is Junior Achievement Day, where volunteers such as bankers and lawyers from the community come in and spend the day completing lessons with the students so they can learn about running a business and managing money. Over the past few years, she has also worked toward making Zito a community school and building a pantry for families who need food.  

Finally, she recently ran for the school board in her neighborhood so she could help the staff and make changes for the students there.  She is such an amazing teacher who always puts students first!

Comments (4)

Patsy Vargas Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ayres is one of the most selfless and giving educators I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She has always gone above and beyond not only for her school, staff, district but especially her students. I have always been amazed at how much she continuously gives and gives to others without expecting anything in return. Pure love and kindness wanting the best for others. It always showed in her students because years later they will seek her out and show their appreciation. She has most certainly changed more than a few hundred lives.

Victoria Green Posted over a year ago

I so totally agree with this post. I have worked with Ms. Aryes since she started at Joseph Zito School in the Isaac School District. She's always there for the students. She works hard to make sure they understand the lessons by working with each student . Her lessons are fun and creative . Ms. Aryes is also there for her peers helping with lessons or making sure that they have the help they need to be successful. The Isaac School District is so lucky to have her as part of their team.

Abigail Sandoval Posted over a year ago

It’s hard to keep this short because there are so many things I want everyone to know about Ms. Ayres. I was her student about 16 years ago. She always made sure we were understanding the material but it was fun at the same time. I cannot forget the two years that I was lucky enough to call her my teacher. Throughout the 16 years that I’ve known her, she’s done so much for the community & the Joseph Zito. It’s hard to understand how she still finds the power and will to continue and get involved in more things but somehow, she does it! I’m now in my career and I regularly look back and thank her for impacting my life. As a 3rd/4th grader you’re growing and maturing, so I know she helped me and many of my classmates make better decisions in order to have a better future. Definitely a great choice for this award. She changed my life 16 years ago and continues to impact it now. Thanks for being the teacher you are!

Kathy Carney Posted over a year ago

Heather is such an asset to the Isaac School District! She is always available to help anyone who needs it. I am proud to call her my friend!