Skip to main content

Crystal Apple Awards

The MEC is delighted to honor outstanding educators, counselors, administrators, community leaders, and students every year within the City of Tucson and Pima County. Prior to the pandemic, an awards luncheon was held at the Desert Diamond Casino which brought together over 300 community members, business leaders, elected officials, educators, and students to recognize the exemplary educational work and service demonstrated by members of our community. Since the pandemic, award recipients have been presented their individual Crystal Apple award at their respective institution during National Teacher Appreciation Week, typically the first week of May.

Save the date!

The 2023-2024 Crystal Apple Awards Nomination Form will open March 18, 2024.

Mark your calendars with the Spring 2024 award schedule.

  • March 18 - April 12, 2024:
    Nomination form open
  • April 15-19, 2024:

    Nominations reviewed

  • April 23, 2024:
    Award notifications sent
  • May 6-10, 2024:
    Award deliveries
2022-2023 Crystal Apple Awardees

Lifetime Achievement Award
Adelita Grijalva, Pima County Supervisor/Chair/Commissioner
Dr. June Webb-Vignery Advocate Award
Governor Katie Hobbs, The State of Arizona
Outstanding Teacher
John Contreras, Pueblo High School
Outstanding Youth
Casandra Chavarria, Sunnyside High School
Honorable Mention
Sarai Juarez, Sunnyside High School
Outstanding Student Leader
Hakima Abdulkadir, Sunnyside High School
Outstanding Counselor
Ashley Tellez, Desert View High School
Outstanding Higher Education Advocate
Dr. Alexei Marquez, The University of Arizona
Outstanding Education Advocate
Roberto Cruze, TUSD
Outstanding Community Partner
The Center for Community Mediation & Facilitation

2021-2022 Crystal Apple Awardees

Outstanding Teacher
Kelly Strayer
Sabina Vaswani
Outstanding Youth
Amber Hammerquist
Outstanding Student Leader
Audrey Alameda
Yamileth Rodriguez
Outstanding Counselor
Tanisha Tatum
Outstanding University Advocate
Dr. Kasey Urquidez
Outstanding Education Advocate
Dr. Matt Matera
Outstanding Corporate Award
Junior Achievement