Desert Shadows Middle School math teacher Alison Smith honored

Desert Shadows Middle School math teacher Alison Smith honored
Posted on 09/27/2017
Alison Smitth

Desert Shadows Middle School math teacher Alison Smith honored

 Alison Smith, a math teacher at Desert Shadows Middle School, said even she does not know quite how she did it.

What is the “it”? Having 95 percent of her eighth grade students taking high-school level Algebra 1 reach proficiency on the AzMerit assessment test. This level of passing far outstrips state averages on Algebra 1 passage, even when compared to other middle and high schools.

It was for this remarkable achievement that Smith was honored at the Nogales Unified School District governing board meeting on Sept. 25, 2017 and received the Outstanding Teacher award.

Supt. Fernando Parra praised Smith, not only for the high passage rate of her Algebra 1 students, but also for her “dynamic” work with all students, even those in her intervention classes where math basics are stressed. Smith has been working at DSMS for six years but has 18 years total experience as an educator. She recently completed all work to become a National Board Certified educator and has just one more assessment to take before earning that distinction.

In addition, Smith is a renowned researcher and she will be sharing her work at the University of California, Berkeley.

DSMS Principal Dr. Joan Molera noted that Smith “has spark”. Other teachers observe her class as Smith is a role model for high achievement.

Smith said she wanted to thank the District for her job, noting she commutes to Desert Shadows daily and that she would not be doing that if she did not enjoy working there. She praised Dr. Molera for “trusting” her and allowing her to teach in the way that works best for her.

“These test scores are not mine,” she added. “They are my students.”