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Gilbert Public Schools announces 2023 Employees of the Year

Gold celebrating the best of GPS!

Teacher of the Year, Jamie Gavigan, hugs a loved one as her principal smiles in the background.Gilbert Public Schools held a celebration banquet for the 2023 Employee of the Year nominees, finalists and winners! More than 400 guests gathered for the event to recognize the incredible work of our GPS family, and the ways they go above and beyond to provide students with the best educational experiences possible. 

“It is truly an honor to recognize the hard work, expertise and care that all our employees demonstrate every day in our schools as we celebrate this year’s Employee of the Year nominees and finalists. Their excellence is a direct representation of the incredible teachers, support staff and administrators we have across our district. We really do have the best of the best right here in Gilbert Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Shane McCord. 

The banquet is a long-standing tradition in the district. This year, there were more than 50 nominees honored, including nine finalists. Among those in attendance to celebrate GPS employees were Dr. McCord, the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board, Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, the Gilbert Education Foundation and sponsors. 

GPS is thrilled to announce this year’s 2023 Employees of the Year, representing Support/Professional Staff of the Year, Administrator of the Year, and Teacher of the Year: 

Dinah Guhy smiles for the camera as she takes a portrait photo at Highland High School.

Support/Professional Staff of the Year:  
Dinah Guhy is an administrative assistant and master scheduler at Highland High School. For the last 22 years, she has been an integral and valuable part of our GPS Family. She holds a wealth of knowledge and expertise that students, families, staff and district leaders rely on daily. As part of her role at Highland High, she coordinates classes for 138 teachers and 3,300 students. Colleagues describe her as the “heart and soul” of campus. She treats everyone with respect, dignity and compassion. She is constantly serving and supporting others through her participation in campus events, community fundraisers and her work on district committees.

Administrator of the Year, Tim Cannon, smiles for the camera outside the District Office.

Administrator of the Year:  
Tim Cannon is a longtime educator, having spent more than four decades working in schools across the country. For the past 10 years, he’s been part of the GPS Family. He currently works as an Instructional Leadership Coach for the district’s junior high and high schools. He previously served six years as the principal of South Valley Junior High. As an Instructional Leadership Coach, Cannon works side-by-side with school administrators to create a sustainable plan for success, so that every GPS student gets the support they need to thrive in and out of the classroom. Colleagues describe Cannon as a mentor and a friend, who is constantly there to inspire and encourage those around him.

Jamie Gavigan poses for the camera outside South Valley Junior High.

Teacher of the Year:  
Jamie Gavigan is a dedicated and passionate teacher at South Valley Junior High School. She’s been part of the GPS Family for the last 16 years. As a math teacher and chair of the department, Gavigan works hard to ensure all South Valley students develop a deep understanding of the classroom material. She goes above and beyond to prepare them for success at higher course levels. She is a positive role model, showing students what it means to demonstrate good character, respectful behavior, politeness and perseverance. She is also very supportive of her colleagues. They describe her as a “ray of sunshine.” It was her lifelong dream to become a teacher. By pursuing a career in education, Gavigan has been able to provide a safe learning environment, where all of her students are free to be inquisitive, collaborative and creative. 

Highland High Strolling Strings performs for the Employee of the Year celebration.All of our Employee of the Year nominees received certificates of recognition and gift baskets provided by their school’s parent organization or their department. Our nine finalists, including the winners, received video tributes and trophies. Gilbert Public Schools is home to more than 4,000 employees across 39 school campuses and 10 district departments. 

To learn more about our nine Employee of the Year finalists, take a look at these video tributes!

Written by Kailey Latham, Photos by Jonason Pauley