SAHUARITA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona Athletics and KGUN9 proudly present the nominees for the University of Arizona Online Outstanding High School Faculty Award.
Walden Grove's Amy Kueck is equally proud of her high school and being named a finalist.
"It's our 10 year anniversary this year," said Kueck. "Which would be a big tadoo if we weren't virtual."
Kueck is talking about highly acclaimed Walden Grove High School, and a tenth anniversary that will not be properly celebrated because of COVID.
Her teaching at Walden Grove hasn't gone unnoticed.
She is a finalist for the Arizona Online Outstanding High School Faculty Award.
"I work with amazing teachers," Kueck said. "It's kind of strange being the one who was picked. So many of the teachers at our school go above and beyond. It's a huge honor."
Kueck teaches math and computer science at Walden Grove.
She has been in the Sahuarita District for the past 15 years, but teaching is actually here second career, and the Tucson area is actually her adopted home.
"After college I worked in Washington D.C. as a programmer," recalled Kueck. "Then 911 and everything blew up in D.C. We had kids and I was like let's find a little town somewhere. We ended up in Tucson."
She turned to teaching math and wound up in Sahuarita.
Now, she's trying to grow the Walden Grove computer science program.
"Computer science is so important," Kueck said. "It's going to be in every career that you can think of. So it's really good to introduce the kids. I'd say that probably 90% of the kids that go through the computer science program actually major in computer science in college."
She says teaching remotely has been a challenge, especially with making that important connection with her students.
"That's been the hardest part is trying to learn about the kids and build that relationship with them."
Kueck says she really appreciates this honor.
She often hears from former students years later, thanking her for the impact she had on their lives.
"It's not an immediate recognition a lot of the time. Sometimes it doesn't happen for awhile. It is really nice to get recognition and a thank you now and then."
Kueck is one of nine finalist for the Outstanding High School Faculty Award. The winner will be announced in early March.