Nominations are open for the 2025 Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) Arizona Teacher of the Year, and the 2024 winner is lauding his experience to encourage nominations.

“Being the 2024 Arizona Teacher of the Year brings me immense pride and has amplified my love for teaching,” said Efrain Casillas, 2024 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year. “From getting to explore Google’s headquarters, to connecting with my 2024 Teacher of the Year peers at various events, I am grateful for the anonymous nomination that opened the door to so many new opportunities for myself and my students.”

Presented by Desert Financial Credit Union, AEF spotlights the contributions of 15 outstanding public school teachers throughout Arizona where one is named the AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year and represents the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition. The program is the only statewide teacher recognition program that spotlights the contributions of Arizona’s public school teachers.

Anyone can submit a 2025 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year nomination, which is open through May 20, at To learn more, visit


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.