Share this story on Twitter.

Tricia Stewart teaches a 2nd/3rd grade multiage class at Coronado K–8 School. She is also the Ben’s Bells Kind Campus coordinator for the school.

“I was not a traditional college student,” explains Stewart. “I had to work full time and take classes at night to get my degree. It was hard to do, but worth it.”

Stewart knew she wanted to be a teacher when she worked as an inclusion aide supporting students with disabilities, she says. 

“I saw how they were able to be challenged and were accepted by their classes despite severe disabilities. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the classroom,” she says. She also was inspired by teachers in her life who made a difference, she notes.

Stewart has worked in the Amphi District for 17 years, the last five at Coronado. She moved from a self-contained special education classroom to a general education class because “I wanted to be able to provide a loving, safe, environment that challenges all students (to reach) their true potential, she explains.

Coronado is like a second home to her entire family right now—Stewart’s husband teaches there and her son and daughter are both students. Stewart says when they’re away from school, they like to go camping. She also enjoys reading and is a Star Wars fan.

Student Emma writes, “She is really nice and is a really good teacher,” and adds, “She (tells) good jokes and makes me laugh.”

Finding the “joy factor” in learning and finding humor when you make mistakes is important, according to Stewart. “You have to have fun to learn,” she says.

Stewart hopes that her students will be voracious learners—ones who enjoy reading, celebrate curiousity, practice kindness when no one is looking, continue to make connections and believe in themselves. Stewart says her students might be surprised to learn that outside of the classroom, she is shy. She says that she sometimes feels nervous or awkward with adults, but “in the classroom, I am much more my true self.”

February Is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February Is National Children’s Dental Health MonthWhen should a child see an orthodontist? Many people are surprised to learn that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids have their first orthodontic screening when parents notice signs of an orthodontic problem or, no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

While orthodontic treatment most often begins between the ages of 9 and 14, some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are treated early. By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. A radiograph can also determine if the child has any extra, missing or severely misplaced teeth. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. This proactive approach can save time and expense.

Dr. JAW Orthodontists offers free consultations! This is the first step towards providing your child with a healthy and confident smile that will last a lifetime. Schedule a visit at our Tucson, Oro Valley or Sahuarita office today. No referral is necessary; simply call us at 520-747-JAWS.

Send your nomination to:

Bear Essential/Teacher of the Month

2525 E. Broadway #102 • Tucson, AZ 85716 or submit by email to or click here.