REGION — Cochise County Superintendent of Schools Jacqui Clay and members of her staff urge schools and districts to look at the following countywide projects.

Three of the four have deadlines that interested participants will need to follow.

Cochise County Spelling BeeThe community is invited to the annual county spelling bee at 10 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Christian Academy, 1447 South Seventh St. in Sierra Vista.

Pomerene School sixth-grader Aaron Edington and St. David Middle School sixth-grader Jaxon Savage will be representing their schools in the upcoming competition, with both young spellers vying for a spot at the state spelling bee in March. Both students won their school’s spelling bees earlier this year, which qualified them for Saturday’s county competition.

Benson Unified School District is not sending a student to the county competition this year.

“We urge all of you to come and cheer on the top elementary and middle school spellers from all over the county,” said Johanna Scott, the event’s volunteer coordinator. “The competition’s first place winner will qualify for an opportunity to compete in the Arizona State Spelling Bee on March 21 in Phoenix.”

Melany Edward-Barton, Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce director, will be the county competition’s pronouncer.

Judge John F. Kelliher, Judge Laura Cardinal and Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels are the event’s judges.

“We are reminding contestants to arrive at First Baptist Christian Academy at 9 a.m. for registration, and we request that they remain until the end of the event,” Scott said. “Every year, we’re completely amazed by the caliber of spellers who compete in this exciting event.”

For information, contact Scott at 520-249-6218, or scottjoyus@yahoo.com.

Teacher of the Year nominationsThe Cochise Education Foundation 2020 Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet nominations are now open.

The nomination deadline is March 6, 2020. For an entry packet, visit http://b.link/ToYNomination.

The banquet is April 18 from 4 to 8 p.m.

“Help us recognize and honor the educators who are making a difference in schools across Cochise County,” urged Jacqui Clay, county superintendent of schools. “This banquet showcases the amazing, dedicated teachers we have throughout the county. It’s an honor to work with every single one of them.”

Free PAX Training for Cochise CountyThanks to grant funding, additional PAX training slots are available for teachers. The daylong training session is slated for March 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the training location still to be announced.

Schools and districts interested in the training should contact Cindy Morales at CLMorales@cochiseaz.gov by March 16.

According to information provided by the county superintendent’s office, “The PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is a powerful evidence-based practice, consisting of proven instructional and behavioral health strategies used daily by teachers and students in the classroom.”

Hailed as a “universal preventive approach,” studies show that PAX GBG improves classroom behavior and educational outcomes while providing a lifetime of benefits for every child. Other studies show that PAX GBG reduces teacher stress and increases time for teaching and learning.

To learn more about PAX Training, contact communications@azed.gov.

Stock Inhaler ProjectSuperintendent Clay is campaigning for schools across the county to have “stock inhalers” on hand to treat asthmatic children when breathing problems occur.

Plans are to provide one albuterol inhaler for each school in Cochise County. Cost is about $100 per inhaler. The inhalers use disposable, valved holding-chambers — in the form of 10 LiteAire® spacers — at $2.20 per unit.

According to Clay, for less than $100 per school, or a total cost of $7,000, all 70 county schools will be able to implement the stock inhaler program.

“Stock inhalers in schools provide asthmatic children with immediate relief, greatly minimizing anxiety when a child is having trouble breathing. They also allow children to stay in school without interrupting their time in class, which is another important advantage,” said Clay.

“This program is receiving widespread support from the community because it represents a common sense approach for a potentially serious health issue. Schools that elect to administer inhalers must have at least two designated employees per school trained to recognize symptoms of respiratory distress and how to provide treatment,” Clay said. “Training will be provided throughout the year as more schools request inhalers.”

For information, contact the county schools superintendent’s office at jclay@cochise.az.gov or call 520-432-8950.

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