2023 TOY Finalists

Michaela Marich

  • Michaela Marich

Michaela Marich earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017. There she majored in Integrated Elementary Teaching with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies and earned endorsement credits in Early Childhood Education. Since returning to Eastern Nevada in 2017, Michaela has worked for White Pine County School District where she has spent 5 years as a classroom teacher. Michaela earned her Master of Arts degree in Mathematics Education from Western Governors University in 2020. Currently, Michaela holds licensure in Elementary Education K-8, and teaches kindergarten as a classroom teacher for McGill Elementary School.

    Laura Jeanne "Jeannie" Penrod

    • Laura Jeanne "Jeannie" Penrod

    Committed to teacher leadership and voice, Laura Jeanne "Jeannie" Penrod's journey into education began at eight years old when her third-grade teacher, Mr. LaBuda inspired her to be more than just a teacher. Ms. Penrod holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University, Bakersfield and a Master of Education degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She earned an English Language Learners (ELL) Certification and English endorsement from UNLV and Nevada State College (NSC), respectively. Jeannie began her sixteen-year teaching and leadership career at El Dorado High School in special education. Currently, Ms. Penrod is a high school English teacher and leader at Southwest Career and Technical Academy. Prioritizing social-emotional learning and well-being, she has led her students in winning an Anti-Bullying Campaign for the state, promoting kindness and community. She also advocates for community connections and partnerships and has engaged her students in creating youth care packages for students experiencing housing insecurity in southern Nevada. A policy and advocacy leader, Ms. Penrod is a Nevada Succeeds InspirED Fellow and Critical Process Friend (CPF), a Teach for America EDx Fellow, a Teach Plus Nevada Senior Policy Fellow, and a national Teach Plus SEL Change Agent Fellow. She has also served on the national Teach Plus President's Advisory Cabinet and the Teach Plus National Teacher of Color Leadership Cabinet. She is also a Rogers Foundation Heart of Education nominee and recipient of the Student Activities Office Advisor Spotlight Award. 

      Jamie Tadrzynski

      • Jamie Tadrzynski

      Jamie Tadrzynski (they/them) is a career social studies teacher in Clark County, Nevada. They graduated from Cabrini University in 2012 with degrees in History, American Studies, and Secondary Education with a concentration in Religious Studies and Social Justice. After teaching for a year in rural Arizona on the Navajo Nation, Jamie returned to the Philadelphia area and graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 2015 with a Master of Science in Education, with a concentration in Reading Literacy. Jamie moved to Las Vegas in August of 2015 and has been with Clark County School District since. They currently teach AP Human Geography, Media and Policy Studies, and Global Diplomacy at Canyon Springs High School and the Leadership and Law Prep Academy in North Las Vegas. They have prior experience teaching AP US History, AP Comparative Government, and are certified to teach in the International Baccalaureate Programme. Jamie also serves as the advisor for the Canyon Springs Key Club and as a division assistant for the Kiwanis arm of Key Club. They are a three-time nominee for The Heart of Education Award and was selected as Canyon Springs 2022 Teacher of the Year candidate for CCSD. Jamie is certified 7-12 Social Studies, 7-12 English Language Acquisition and Development, K-12 Reading Literacy, and K-12 Library and Media Science (pending receipt of transcript)

        Adrienne Wiggins

        • Adrienne Wiggins

        Adrienne Wiggins is the STEM instructional Coach at Empire Elementary School in Carson City, Nevada. In this role, she has led her school in becoming one of Nevada’s Governor’s Designated STEM Schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and Master of Education: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) degree from the University of San Diego. She has been in education for almost 20 years and has taught various grade levels from first through eighth. This is her eighth year as an instructional coach. Over the years, Adrienne has been recognized by her community and peers through many awards including Rotary Club Teacher Award, National Dream Team Teacher, Light of Education Award, Voya Unsung Heroes’ Award, Golden Pinecone Sustainability Award for Educational Programs, Green Impact Award, Empire’s Teacher of the Year and Carson City School District’s Teacher of the Year. Adrienne has a passion for STEM and providing all students with equity and excellence.

          Past Finalists

          Lynn Jeka; Lyon
          Christina Bourne; Carson City
          Shelly Nee; Pershing
          Perryn Hale; Clark

          Kathy Durham; Elko
          Patricia Martin; Nye
          Nicolas Jacques; Carson City
          Jeanine Roser; Clark

          Joanna Kaiser; Clark
          Tish Carroll; Clark – Faith Lutheran
          Matthew Ochs; Washoe
          Stacey Black; Washoe

          Mark Leamy; Clark
          Katherine Kareck; Washoe
          Rachel Leach; Lyon
          Assron Grossman; Washoe

          Richard Knoeppel; Clark
          Clarissa Sanchez: Clark
          Jerri Kerns; Lyon
          Anne Lenhares; Carson City