- Marana Unified School District
MVHS Teacher Named 2023 UA Amazing Teacher Finalist
Ms. Abigail Francis, the band director at Mountain View High School, has been selected as one of nine finalists for the 2024 University of Arizona Amazing Teacher of the Year! A committee of educators and community members selected her as one of nine high school Amazing Teacher finalists representing Southern Arizona schools.
“With a sweeping reputation as a powerful instructional leader, transformative program director, visionary policy maker, and invested relationship builder, Ms. Francis is truly an amazing teacher,” said Mrs. McCraley, principal, in the nomination letter.
The music program at Mountain View has experienced remarkable growth under Ms. Francis’ leadership. The increase in program memberships in marching band (by 140%) and indoor percussion (by 200%) speaks volumes about her ability to inspire students and cultivate a sense of belonging and achievement. However, her leadership extends well beyond the band room, as she holds critical roles in the fine arts department, the school's building leadership team and as the school representative for the District teacher evaluation committee, all of which emphasize her versatility and commitment to the broader school community.
Community awareness and involvement are integral to Ms. Francis's teaching philosophy. From performances at local nursing homes to collaborating with respected guests from the University of Arizona, she ensures that students are always in touch with the community and exposed to a myriad of experiences. She has also organized and hosted five statewide high school marching band competitions at MVHS. These competitions are large events that welcome as many as 30 high school performing groups and 1500+ spectators! These events also function as amazing fundraisers for student and the band program. Last year, the event raised $10,000!
“Ms. Francis has an exceptional ability to draw out the very best of all those around her,” said Mrs. McCraley.
As part of the UA Amazing Teacher of the Year program, finalists will be recognized during an upcoming pre-game presentation at a University of Arizona Wildcat Men’s Basketball game. Finalists will also be featured in a special KGUN News 4 clip and receive $500. At the end of the basketball season, the nine Amazing Teacher finalists are invited to a recognition event where the “2024 Amazing Teacher of the Year” is announced.