The members of our Board of Directors are teachers, education support professionals, community leaders, and parents dedicated to improving public education and student learning in Arizona.
Marisol Garcia, President
Jason Freed, Vice President
Michael Aicone, Treasurer
Amber Gould, Director
Kinora Hernandez, Director
Dawn Koberstein, Director
Chris Mayer, Administrator
Created in 1997 to advance public education in Arizona, the AEA Foundation started with only $3,000 designated for student scholarships. Today, the Foundation has over $1.3 million in assets and has awarded more than $1 million in grants throughout Arizona.
Offering a variety of programs dedicated to elevating the teaching profession; supporting student achievement; encouraging the appreciation for the arts; enriching classroom academics; developing professional leadership; and inspiring innovations in learning. There are nine program funds that offer grant awards to public school teachers, education support professionals, and students.
The AEA Foundation for Teaching & Learning exists to offer financial assistance to improve student achievement and success, encourage innovations in teaching and learning, and support training opportunities that improve the professional craft.
Our core objectives are:
1. Recruit, prepare and support quality teachers
2. Support innovation and creativity in teaching
3. Support student projects and plans which enhance student success in school
4. Support programs and activities that elevate the profile of public education and public educators in the community
5. Partner with organizations to support 360° financial assistance (safety net) for educators
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Joins in Conversation with Arizona’s Students and Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia of the Ninth Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke virtually with hundreds of middle school students in the Ninth Circuit on Nov. 15, 2022, about the court system, and the power of hope, hard work, and resilience in her life. She encouraged students to embrace the fullness of the experiences life may bring their way. The virtual event was coordinated by U.S. Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia, who also moderated the event. The hour-long conversation allowed some of the approximately 500 students to ask Justice Sotomayor questions directly.
The civics education event engaged seventh and eighth graders and their teachers from 20 public schools across Arizona. Chief Judge Murguia facilitated the event with the support of the AEA Foundation for Teaching & Learning and the District Court of Arizona,
including U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona Rosemary Márquez; U.S. District of
Arizona Bankruptcy Judge Madeleine C. Wanslee; Jessica Sanchez, president of the State Bar of
Arizona; and Marisol Garcia, president of the AEA Foundation for Teaching
Students from around Arizona posed questions for Justice Sotomayor, including why she takes the time to meet with and educate students despite her busy schedule as a Justice in the highest court of our nation. Students also asked what qualities are needed to succeed. Justice Sotomayor, among other things advised that a little stubbornness is useful and emphasized the power of resilience in overcoming challenges.
“Justice Sotomayor’s commitment to civics education serves as a real inspiration to many, including myself. I have no doubt this experience will remain with students and educators present at the event for many years to come. I am grateful to the students who attended and to their teachers who helped them join this meaningful conversation,” expressed Chief Judge Murguia.
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, was born in Bronx, New York in 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received the Pyne Prize, the highest academic honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979 to 1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984 to 1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992 to 1998. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit where she served from 1998 to 2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.
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