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Arizona Western College names 2021 Teachers of the Year

Full-time and associate faculty members to be recognized during annual celebration

Yuma, AZ (March 18, 2021) – Arizona Western College’s 2021 Teacher of the Year honorees are full-time faculty member Deltrina Grimes, Professor of Choral and Vocal Music, and associate faculty member Katheline Ocampo, Professor of Psychology.

Twenty-three qualified candidates were nominated for the prestigious recognition this year by students and staff. Winners were selected by the Center for Instructional Excellence based on exemplary performance in the classroom; being accepted and respected by their colleagues and administrators; being innovative, creative, and enthusiastic; being involved in professional enrichment; demonstrating outstanding contributions and/or leadership in their workplace and beyond; and exhibiting a willingness to share their expertise with others.

Grimes and Ocampo will be recognized for their dedication to their students’ education during the 34th Annual Teacher of the Year ceremony at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20. The community is invited to join by watching the event live online via the Education of Yuma County Facebook and YouTube channel.

Through a partnership with the AWC Foundation, this year’s awardees were given the Frances Morris Endowed Faculty Achievement Award and the Shadle-Edgecombe Endowed Faculty Achievement Award to honor their hard work at AWC and in the community. These awards are in addition to a tuition waiver for three credits at Northern Arizona University-Yuma for the 2021-2022 academic year and a special parking spot on campus. Additionally, Grimes will also have the responsibility of selecting a student who is a high school senior or a student already attending AWC for the Teacher of the Year Presidential Scholarship.

Excerpt from Deltrina Grimes’ Teaching Philosophy Statement:

“It is my belief that all students have the capacity to learn when we as educators establish a partnership with that student and/or class. In this partnership, we become joint owners of the educational journey. Educators must open doors, enabling students to hear and receive information that will help them to be successful in their endeavors. In this partnership, the students are granted the freedom to explore and push the boundaries of these opportunities in a safe space under knowledgeable guidance. We must also remember that success is measured differently by each student, depending on their personal goals, family background, culture, and life experiences. We are charged with recognizing and honoring these crucial elements in order for our students to truly be successful.”

Quote from Arizona Western College student Alicia Damian:

“Professor Grimes is steadfast in the work she does for the music department and in the support she provides for each of her students. She is caring to her students’ needs and works extremely hard to be successful in her choir and in other aspects of her career. She has supported me the most throughout my academic career at Arizona Western College and she deserves praise for all the hard work she does.”

Excerpt from Kathy Ocampo’s Teaching Philosophy Statement:

“As faculty, what we do in the classroom has potential to be more than just encouraging students to memorize theories and concepts or regurgitate information. We have the opportunity to introduce practices that will encourage the development of skills, allow for more introspection, and develop relationships with their peers. It is important to recognize that the goal should not only be that the students learn content in a class, but that they also have an opportunity to foster and gain new skills that will assist them long-term and are relevant to their personal and professional lives.”

Quote from former Arizona Western College student Madelyn McCormack:

“Professor Ocampo is by far one of the best teachers I have ever had. Her courses are incredibly well organized and informative. In her Psych 101 course, she provided the course slides for us as well as videos for us to learn on our own while also going over the content with us in class. She teaches really well, and it was very easy to retain the information I heard. She makes the course fun for everyone and very inclusive.”

Joann Chang
Center for Instructional Excellence Director/Professor of Biology
Arizona Western College
(928) 344-7665

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