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Award Notification: Nicki Derryberry (AZ '15)
Red Mountain High School
STEM Teacher Nicki Derryberry Wins AZ Milken Educator Award
Nicki Derryberry, who teaches biotechnology at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona, takes a highly creative approach to teaching. She operates her classroom like a business; groups of students work at stations and are responsible for their own equipment and materials. Derryberry captivated the entire school when she created "the mystery of the missing mountain lion" (the school mascot), complete with a crime scene. Derryberry’s biomedical science students "solved" the case by collecting DNA samples, analyzing shoe prints and testing hypotheses.
A dedicated mentor to both students and fellow teachers, Derryberry clearly loves what she does and holds her students to the highest standards. "You guys make my day every day," she told the students gathered in the gym for her surprise Milken Educator Award assembly. "And I am so excited to see what you all do in the future."