2021 Literacy Champion Winners and Finalists

2021 Literacy Champion Award Winners and Finalists

Congratulations to our winners!


Haley Carolin, 3rd Grade at Keeling Elementary    

Haley Carolin is a 3rd-grade teacher at Keeling Elementary. Born and raised in Mesa, she later moved to Tucson in the 9th grade, and she remained in Tucson to study Education at the University of Arizona. In 2014, she graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors, and she began teaching professionally at Keeling Elementary soon after. 

Haley loves helping students discover their own interests to develop intrinsic motivation. She has been teaching for nearly 7 years, and in that time she has instructed both 2nd and 3rd graders. Her passions include traveling the world, baking, and teaching the wonderful students at Keeling Elementary! 


Kristen Kvaran, Tanque Verde Community Preschool

Kristen Kvaran is currently the Director of Tanque Verde Community Preschool in the Tanque Verde Unified School District.  She opened the preschool in August 2019 after completing a study tour of the infant/toddler and preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy.  Kristen has an M. Ed in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from NAU, as well as experience and certification in special education, and she has taught preschool through third grade since 2005. She is a proud member of SAZAEYC, NAREA, and Tucson Children’s Project.   Kristen is committed to bringing joyful, relationship-centered early childhood opportunities to Southern Arizona, and she is thrilled with the chance to spotlight the amazing work of her preschool team and engage others in serious conversations about emergent literacy.   

Congratulations to our Finalists!

Shenique Hill, Brichta Early Learning

My name is Shenique Hill and I was born and raised in New York City!! I furthered my education in ECE, and At the age of 18 and I moved halfway around the world to live in Germany with my husband Robert Hill. I worked at a preschool in my village until we had children. We have 2 beautiful daughters, Naja and Takiya, who were born abroad. We moved back to the states in 2002, to Abilene Tx. Where I ran a home daycare and lived for 9 years. My family moved to Sunny Tucson, in 2011. Which I started a job at Brichta Early Learning in July of 2015.  

As of now, both girls are in college perusing their academic and athletic careers; with a sophomore, and freshman in college. Robert and I should be empty nesters, but with the pandemic 😷We have been able to enjoy my youngest daughter a little extra before she goes off.  

I love the extended family that I have made through my co-worker’s and parents working at Brichta. And look forward to many more. 

P.S. This on Halloween!! We dressed up at school, I was “Rosie”!! 


Marcy Wagner, 3rd Grade, Sahuarita Intermediate School

I am currently a third grader teacher at Sahuarita Intermediate School in the Sahuarita Unified School District. I am in my 21st year of teaching and have taught grades 3rd-5th, as well as, have been a Reading Specialist. I have a Bachelor of Arts from University of La Verne in Diversified Education, a Master in Elementary Education, and a Reading Specialist endorsement. In my years at Sahuarita Intermediate School I have been a presenter with my district professional development team, an instructional reading coach, mentor to new teachers, and mentor teacher for student teachers through the University of Arizona’s iCat program. I was given the honor of our school Teacher of the Year in 20I4 and went on to represent our district for the Arizona Teacher of the Year.  I have also coordinated our annual Talent Show each year since it began. I live and work in the same city of Sahuarita with my husband and two daughters. I absolutely love the community I work and live in! 


Jennifer Campbell, Reading Specialist, Prince Elementary School

Jennifer Campbell is a Native Tucsonan. She is a product of the Amphitheater School District, graduating from Amphi High School in 1985, a graduate of the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Communication in 1990, and a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a Masters in Education with a Reading Specialist Endorsement in 2010. As a teacher, she returned to the elementary school in which she attended as a child, Prince Elementary School, to serve the community in which she grew up and loves. Her passion is teaching reading, and she serves as a Reading Specialist and an English Language Development Specialist. In addition to working with her scholars, she is also very passionate about organizing volunteers from the community to work with her students. She facilitates programs such as My Summer Library with the United Way, Reading Seed with Literacy Connects, and Read-to-a-Dog with Pet Partners of Southern AZ. She is a member of the Arizona branch of the International Dyslexia Association and The Reading League. She continuously pursues professional development in the area of the Science of Reading, loves to mentor her colleagues, and truly believes that with proper multi-sensory, systematic, sequential instruction, ALL students can become skilled readers.  


Jill Cordova, Reading Specialist, Butterfield Elementary School

Jill Cordova is a reading specialist at Butterfield Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District. She is in her 25th year of teaching in southern Arizona. Jill has taught first, second, third, and fourth grades. She has been a teacher leader throughout her career and mentor and coach for new teachers. As a reading specialist she works with students in kindergarten through sixth grade who are below grade level in literacy skills. Jill is the literacy lead at Butterfield Elementary as well. She oversees reading assessments and provides coaching and literacy resources for teachers. Jill grew up in southeastern Arizona, attended the University of Arizona for her undergraduate degree, and received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. Jill’s focus is always on her students. She is quick to establish a relationship and create a foundation that students can work from. Jill’s not only interested in growing her students as readers, but also the social and life skills needed to be good human beings. Jill believes that literacy is the foundation for all learning and that students empowered with literacy skills can achieve their goals and success in life. 


Kevra Rich, Reading Specialist, TUSD African American Student Services Department

Kevra L. Rich was destined to be an individual who would touch many lives. Growing up she knew she wanted to impact lives and make a difference. Kevra, a native Arizonan, graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Education, allowing her to teach in the elementary classroom for 6 years. She continued her education with a Master of Science in Psychology. 

Upon completion of Kevra’s Master, she  began working in Adult Basic Education at Pima Community College, but later discovered that her passion for children improving in reading and writing was still there.  So, she currently holds the position of Response to Interventions Specialist for the TUSD African American Student Services Department.  She has seen great progress in focusing on the whole child and looks forward to greater achievements and successes from her students. She only strives for the best in her students and believes that every child can read, if there is someone there, to tell them that they can! 

Aspirations to influence others and a caring heart to share in the lives of her students is exactly what she does. Because Kevra wanted to meet and touch other lives, both near and far, she wrote a daily devotional, The Real Master Cleanser. 

Kevra Rich continues to be an acclaimed inspirational instructor, teacher, minister, mother, and wife. 


Congratulations to all our Nominees!

Melissa Brambila

Iracel Castellon

Rebecca Coulter

Shelby Davis

Maria Teresa Garcia

Tiffin Garcia

Sabrina Johnson

Belen Molina

Sascha E. Quartey

Katie Risner-Adler

Brandy Treadway

Jessica White

Karyn White

Tracy Wiggins