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History in the making for Teacher of the Year finalist

One of the finalists is Jeremy Samoy. 

He is having to overcome the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic, while welcoming a new addition to his family.
Posted at 6:35 AM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 08:35:41-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Athletics and KGUN9 are proud to present the nominees for the University of Arizona Online Outstanding High School Faculty Award.

One of the finalists is Jeremy Samoy.

He is having to overcome the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic, while welcoming a new addition to his family.

"That is one benefit of the remote learning," said Samoy. "I can be home a little bit more while she's tiny, to help out."

Samoy is helping out with a newborn, her two siblings, his wife and dozens of students at Tanque Verde High School.

"I think that's part of teaching right, is always just kind of juggling all the different hats you have to wear," Samoy said.

Samoy teaches U.S. History, Advanced Placement U.S. History and Mock Trial.

Now, he's a finalist for the Outstanding High School Faculty Award.

"Definitely a humbling experience," explained Samoy. "It's quite an honor. It's nice to be recognized. I feel like teachers need a little bit more recognition."

Samoy is in his eleventh year of teaching, after graduating from the U of A.

He says it has been difficult teaching remotely, because teachers feed off the energy of their students. So he's had to adapt.

"It's been almost a blessing in some ways, because we've learned so many new techniques, so many new tactics," Samoy said. "I feel like that's one of the benefits of teaching is that you're always trying to constantly try news things."

Samoy went to Sahuaro High School, where as a shy freshman, he found his passion. He followed the advice of his older sister.

"Jeremy you've got to take Mock Trial because you're too shy. I took it and it really did change my life. I feel like it made me much more confident. It allowed me to gain some skills in terms of public speaking. That's one of the things I really enjoy about that mock trial class."

Samoy's Mock Trial Team has done well in regional and state competitions.

He is one of nine finalist for the Outstanding High School Faculty Award. The winner will be announced in early March.