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10 teachers honored for excellence (Video, photos)

Computer science teacher Arley Trujillo does not have to work hard to connect with his students at the John Marshall School of Information Technology. He knows how they think.

“He never forgot what it was like to be a kid,” Principal Kathryn Haneline said. “He loves the magic of learning, and he really makes sure kids feel that, too.”

Trujillo, or “Mr. T,” and nine other winners of this year’s Excellence in Teaching Awards were honored Nov. 10 at the Ballroom at Park Lane.

All the winners engage students in fun, creative and caring ways. In doing so, they embody CMSD’s goal of making learning joyful, adventurous and worth the struggle.

Excellence in Teaching, which started in 2016, is a partnership between The George Gund Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, the District and the Cleveland Teachers Union. The goal is to spread best practices by honoring teachers whose techniques serve as a model for colleagues. The awards resumed this year after a two-year break prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other 2022 winners include:

  • Kara Aquino, Valley View Boys’ Leadership Academy, PreK-8th grade art
  • Darlene Burks, Davis Aerospace & Maritime High School, 9th grade English
  • John C. Dutton, nominated at Campus International High School, now at MC2STEM High School, 11th grade computer science and engineering 
  • Beth Longstreet, Orchard STEM School, intervention specialist
  • Daysha Matthews, William Rainey Harper School, 2nd grade
  • Jaya Neal, nominated at Wade Park School, now at William Rainey Harper School, 4th grade 
  • Jonice Turner, Anton Grdina School, intervention specialist
  • Chrystal Urbansky, Halle School, 4th grade
  • Austan Younker, Artemus Ward School, 6th grade math and science

Learn more about the awards at