Taylor Morrison, a leading national builder and developer, and Phoenix radio station 99.9 KEZ have announced Arizona’s Excellence in Education Award winner for Teacher of the Year 2017-18.

Kristen Chaison, a teacher at Neely Traditional Academy in Gilbert, was selected as the 99.9 KEZ and Taylor Morrison Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year for her skills as a teacher and dedication to her students. 

Chaison, who teaches advanced English, science and social studies, was nominated in January, 2018, as Excellence in Education Teacher of the Month by a student for her tireless effort, patience, and the genuine interest she shows her students.

As part of the award, Chaison was presented with a check for $999 from Taylor Morrison and 99.9 KEZ.

“Educators like Mrs. Chiason who excel in their work and show they care about each student’s success are just the kind of role models we need in Arizona,” said Andrea Murphy, vice president of sales and marketing for the Taylor Morrison Phoenix division. “She sets an example that we hope will help mold the educators of tomorrow. That’s why Taylor Morrison is proud to sponsor the Excellence in Education Award.”  

Each month during the 2017-18 school year, a Valley educator was selected by entries submitted by 99.9 KEZ listeners. Winning educators were recognized for their outstanding contributions to education and their performance as role models and mentors.

In 2017-18, the nine Teachers of the Month were Janice Junker of Saint Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic School, Rebecca Coons of Liberty High School, Josh Henderson of Lincoln Elementary School, Mindy Przeor of Zaharis Elementary School, Kristen Chaison of Neely Traditional Academy, Dawn Burgess of Western Valley Elementary School, Kari Czerniski of St. John Bosco Catholic School, Laura Cadamagnani of Country Gardens Charter School, and Marian Carol of Sunrise Elementary School.  

“We had an amazing group of teachers this year, both who were nominated and who won Excellence in Education’s Teacher of the Month Award,” said Marty Manning of 99.9 KEZ. “We’re excited to announce Kristen Chaison as Taylor Morrison and 99.9 KEZ’s Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year. She’s a wonderful teacher who has made a difference in her students’ lives and the kind of Arizona teacher that we all should take the time to celebrate.”