2015 Flinn Scholars honor distinguished educators

May 5, 2015

By Matt Ellsworth

The 21 high-school seniors who make up the Flinn Scholar Class of 2015 each paid tribute to a Distinguished Educator during the program’s annual Recognition Dinner on May 3 at the Arizona Biltmore.

The educators, who played a crucial role in the academic and personal development of the Scholars, teach a wide range of subjects, including art, Spanish, physics, biology, English literature, mathematics and digital media. The group also includes college counselors, an International Baccalaureate program director, and a third-grade teacher.

Scholars spoke about the impact their chosen educators have had both within and outside the classroom.

“Mr. Bowman is an open-minded, passionate, and caring teacher who has taught me the value of well-rounded intelligence, the vast expanse of philosophy, and the grace of civil debate,” Flinn Scholar Lexi Darby said about John-David Bowman, her Theory of Knowledge teacher at Westwood High School in Mesa. Bowman was recognized May 1 by the Arizona Educational Foundation as the 2015 Arizona Teacher of the Year.

Flinn Scholar Scott Fitsimones said of his Distinguished Educator: “Mr. (Richard) Livoni has helped ignite my entrepreneurial spirit and has always been especially supportive of my intellectual and extracurricular endeavors.” Livoni is an economics teacher at Arizona School for the Arts in Phoenix.

David Herring, an English teacher at University High School in Tucson, was recognized as a Distinguished Educator for the second time, this year by Flinn Scholar Ruby Kerwin.

The Flinn Scholars Program’s Recognition Dinner celebrated the new recipients of the merit-based Flinn Scholarship as well as the 21 Scholars who will be graduating from an Arizona university this year.

The full list of the 2015 Distinguished Educators includes:

John-David Bowman

Theory of Knowledge, Westwood High School, Mesa
Scholar: Lexi Darby

Ricki Cassutt
College Counselor, Mountain Pointe High School, Phoenix
Scholar: Alex Stoken

Amanda R. Chartier
Art, Prescott High School
Scholar: Alexa Nguyen

Liana L. Clarkson
Spanish, Mountain View High School, Mesa
Scholar: Grant Laufer

Jake Davis

IB Program Director, Westwood High School, Mesa
Scholar: Mary Saxon

Todd Ken Decker
Mathematics, South Mountain High School, Phoenix
Scholar: Rafael Lopez

Jack Erickson III

Pre-AP Physics, Cienega High School, Vail
Scholar: Benjamin Trumpinski

Emily Falkner

English, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe
Scholar: John Patterson

Corey Hartman, Ph.D.
AP Government, Senior Research Project Advisor, BASIS Flagstaff
Scholar: Mia Armstrong

David Herring
Freshman English, AP English Literature, University High School, Tucson
Scholar: Ruby Kerwin

Yadira Higuera
College Counselor, Nogales High School
Scholar: Arlinne Rodriguez

Richard Livoni
Economics, Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix
Scholar: Scott Fitsimones

Scott Olmstead
Spanish IV, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson
Scholar: Eric Arellano

Jennifer Parchesky, Ph.D.
Gender Studies, AP English Literature, BASIS Chandler
Scholar: Gayatri Sadachar

Aaron Passmore
Digital Media (Film & Television), Tucson High Magnet School
Scholar: Craig Johnson

Cynthia Anne Paulsen

Third Grade, Yuma Lutheran School
Scholar: Abhijay Murugesan

Linda Peairs, Ph.D.
AP Spanish, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix
Scholar: Emily Giel

Michael Shelton
English, Language Arts, Las Brisas Elementary School, Glendale
Scholar: Jonathon Barkl

Heidi N. Udall
AP English Literature, Mountain View High School, Mesa
Scholar: Maggie Tucker

Patrick Whorton
AP English, AP American Studies, Hamilton High School, Chandler
Scholar: Bharath Tata

Wendy Marie Woodward, Ph.D.
Biology, Advanced Biology, Show Low High School
Scholar: Rhiannon Bauer


For more information:

30th class of Flinn Scholars to attend Arizona public universities

2015 Flinn Scholars