Joshua Brink, Coconino County’s best teacher

Joshua Brink, Coconino County Teacher of the Year!

By Steven Law

Joshua Brink

Joshua Brink, music teacher at Desert View Intermediate, was named Coconino County Teacher of the Year 2021 at an awards banquet on Friday night.

This is Brink’s eleventh year as an educator and his third year of apprenticeship at Desert View. He is married to Brittany Brink.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to represent the Page Unified School District as Coconino County Teacher of the Year 2021,” Brink wrote on his Facebook page after the event. “PUSD is full of masterful teachers, many of whom look up to me. The work in my classroom is just a small part of the larger work our teachers, school families, and community leaders do to enrich the lives of our students. Ahéhee to my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me and my students. I’m looking forward to being able to represent Page well. “

The Teacher of the Year awards ceremony was held on Friday evening in Flagstaff at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Brink was accompanied to the awards ceremony by his wife Brittany and son Callan, Desert View Intermediate Principal, Mary Stahl. PUSD Superintendent, Larry Wallen; and PUSD PR Coordinator, Steven Law.

“We are so happy that he is with Desert View,” said Ms. Stahl. “He’s there one hundred percent for the kids, and that attitude goes down really well with the kids. The students love him and his class. “

All of Desert View’s 509 students attend Brink’s music class, which the school is known for for its energetic, participatory atmosphere. When Brink introduces a new concept like rhythm or different note lengths, he first demonstrates the concept – often by clapping or with instruments – and then has his students repeat the action. In Mr. Brink’s class, the students are always on the move; There are no chairs in his room.

Letting his students complete the lesson they are learning is a great way to incorporate the concept into their memories, Brink said.

This hands-on, interactive approach to learning has been difficult to replicate in last year’s virtual classrooms. But Brink still found ways to keep his students occupied and think about music. One of the tasks he gave his freshman students was to record himself and tell him what music meant to them and their family. He did it in conjunction with a unit for culture. Then he uploaded the footage to his Flipgrid account and shared it for his class.

Desert View’s headmistress Mary Stahl nominated Brink for Teacher of the Year for the extra work he did earlier last year helping Desert View’s teachers, students, and parents transition to virtual learning, which was new . strange and full of daily challenges.

Earlier this year, as teachers, students, and parents were learning how to use Chromebooks, Google Classrooms, and other technologies, Brink was asked to serve as Desert View’s technology coach.

And he did a great job, said Stahl. “He shared with us how to use Flipgrid, Screencastify, and other tools to improve student engagement in a virtual environment. He made the virtual classroom environment accessible to all of our teachers. “

Brink was one of three finalists for Teacher of the Year, along with Susan Burdick, a teacher at the John Q. Thomas Elementary School in Flagstaff, and Trina Siegfried, a teacher at the Williams Elementary / Middle School in Williams.

Other educators from Coconino County were also honored at the awards ceremony on Friday. Sheryl Wells, a teacher at WF Killip Elementary School, was named MINT Teacher of the Year. Jessica Spink, a Spanish teacher at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff, was named Rookie Teacher of the Year in Coconino County.

Oscar Manuel Landa Samano, a student at Coconino High School, was named MINT Student of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year award comes with several awards including a one-year lease on a brand new Toyota courtesy of Findlay Toyota, $ 1,000 cash from Findlay Toyota, $ 2,000 cash, two tickets to Theatrikos and one Three credit course from Coconino County Community College.

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