Vail brings home THREE of the nine finalist spots for the University of Arizona Athletics Outstanding High School Faculty Awards!
Jackie Reed at Andrada
Jackie Reed has always been a lover of animals. As such, she earned her Associates of Applied Science and Veterinary Technology from Pima Community College. She worked as a Vet Tech at a clinic for 14 years. Then one day, she received a call from a principal of a new CTE focused high school in Vail. She was asked if she’d be willing to come teach just one class about veterinary assisting. She agreed and once she got into that classroom, she was hooked! She loved teaching, and she really loved teaching kids about veterinary medicine. She began her full time teaching career the following year in 2010 while still working at the clinic on weekends.
Jackie has been teaching Healthcare Foundations, Veterinary Assisting, and Student Council… who knew? Her classes are completely real life. Students practice veterinary medicine clear down to analysis of waste.
Jackie also serves as Andrada’s HOSA Sponsor, a club that has gone on to take three students on to national competitions this past year, as well as the sponsor for the Veterinary Assisting Club, the Andrada for Animal Companions Club, and Puppy Club. And when she’s not with her students in class or sponsoring clubs, she’s saving animals through her volunteer work with Border Collie Rescue, Pima Animal Control, Tucson Wildlife Center, and as a veterinary consultant for students, staff, and even strangers who bring their broken animals to her.
Matt Johnson at Cienega
Growing up on the knees of two incredible grandfathers… two WWII Veterans, Matt Johnson says he has loved history as long as he can remember. Basketball was also his passion. So, Matt decided to merge the two and earned his Secondary Education Degree with a History Emphasis at the University of Arizona, and began his teaching and coaching career 17 years ago. He went on to earn his Master’s degree in Sports Administration at American Military University.
Matt has spent his entire profession at Cienega High School teaching freshmen through seniors in the areas of US History, World History, WWII and the Holocaust, and even Driver’s Ed. Matt’s courses are anything but the traditional history classes. His students get to relive history through simulations where his students are placed in the moment of the events in history, including the Cuban Missile Crisis where his students become day-by-day presidential advisors to the dapper JFK played by none other than Mr. Johnson.
When he’s not in his classroom, Matt can be found serving as the Assistant Athletic Director, serving as Acting Administrator when all admins are off campus, and assisting with discipline as Associate Dean to the Assistant Principal. Or, he might be found on the court with his team. He’s been the head coach at Cienega for over a decade. Matt has also coached Freshman Football, Varsity Football, and Women’s Golf. And, during the summer, Matt runs basketball youth camps for 2nd-8thgraders.
Jeff VanArsdale at Empire
Jeff VanArsdale knew at a very young age that he wanted the connections that his family members who were teacher built with their students and their teams. He wanted to be that role model. So he attended Capital University, Columbus State Community College, and Ohio State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sport and Leisure Studies: Physical Education.
Jeff taught K-8 PE while coaching at a high school in Ohio. In 2010, he moved to Tucson to teach K-5 PE but moved on to Empire High School a year later to teach Health and PE. In his seven years at Empire, he has enjoyed teaching Adventure Education, Education Professions, Health and Wellness, Student Wellness Advocacy and Policy, Team Sports, and Weight Training. Clearly, the Empire Health and Physical Education department, under Jeff’s leadership, has diversified well beyond the standard. Jeff is an ardent believer that lifelong practices of health and wellness for ALL students are of utmost importance.
Jeff has coached boys and girls basketball, football, and track and field, but his passion at Empire is SWAT – his Student Wellness Advocacy Team. SWAT is a student led, project based club with seven unique communities that focus on various areas of wellness including: nutrition, physical activity, anti-tobacco, anti-violence, mental health, school culture, and alcohol and drug awareness. Recently, Jeff’s students met with anti-tobacco specialists and developed a presentation for the major and city council on raising the minimum legal sales age f tobacco and vape products from 18-21 in Tucson. Students are advocating for their health by working to eliminate tobacco and vaping products from their campus!