The Innovator: An exceptional Northwest educator
The Arizona Daily Star
November 13, 2003
by Colleen Frederick
Estes Elementary School teacher Colleen Frederick uses what she's learned
teaching in three other states to spark new ideas in fellow educators and
inspire her students to become leaders, too.
Frederick, 40, is in her fourth year teaching at the Marana Unified School
District's Estes, 11279 W. Grier Road, and in her 18th year teaching.
She teaches science, math, spelling, reading, writing, health, computers and art
in a team - Phyllis Teager also teaches the 60 students in the sixth-grade team.
Frederick previously taught fourth through seventh grades in Denver,
Christiansburg, Va., and Great Falls, Mont.
Frederick says she moved a lot because her husband is in the Air Force and was
transferred to different bases.
"I've had the opportunity to go to all these places and pick up information from
other teachers," Frederick said. "I love it."
Frederick is chairwoman of Estes' standards advocacy team, a group of teachers
and Principal Albert Siqueiros, which discusses ways to teach, including
textbooks to use.
As part of the committee, she prompted discussion that led to all first- through
sixth-grade teachers using the same writing textbooks and the same techniques.
Frederick and five other district teachers will instruct other teachers in
methods to more effectively teach students who are learning English. She and the
other teachers attended training on the techniques in Chicago in September.
"She has seen a variety of instructional programs and curricular ideas and
directions, and that's only bound to help," Siqueiros said. "She's quickly
developing a reputation as being a very effective, positive and caring teacher,
who's really a leader among her peers. She's just a great teacher."
Frederick says she likes teaching students more than one subject at the same
time. For instance, students in the sixth-grade team will wrap gauze
around and decorate four dried-out cornish game hens from the grocery store,
after studying about ancient Egyptians and how they created mummies.
Parents say Frederick also does a great job of relating to students and boosting
"She is so positive and so complimentary," parent Laura Wengert said. "She has a
way of making them want to be their best. She's just a person-builder."