Auxier teacher honored by Sun Lakes Rotary - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Auxier teacher honored by Sun Lakes Rotary

June 8th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Auxier teacher honored by Sun Lakes Rotary


The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes has named Sawyer Merrill, a special
education teacher at Chandler Unified’s Auxier Elementary School in Queen Creek, educator of the year.

Merrill received the club’s 2023 Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award, which was established in 2017 to demonstrate the club’s continuing commitment to the Chandler Unified School District’s educational objectives and “the educators who work so diligently and professionally to achieve those objectives.”

Merrill graduated from California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports medicine with an emphasis in education in 2010. He received his cross-categorical K-12 teaching certificate from Rio Salado University in 2011.

With over 10 years of teaching special education, Merrill’s philosophy of education is that all children are unique, and each student must have a motivating educational environment where they can meet their full potential through growing physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

The Rotary Club’s education committee’s selection process included review of several parent testimonials in support of Merrill.

“Our family has been affected by Mr. Merrill’s amazing abilities and his passion to challenge each student to be the best one can be,” a parent wrote. “We have seen a complete transformation in our child and trust Mr. Merrill to shape our child’s education. Mr. Merrill is a voice for his students and advocates for their inclusion in school activities; and Mr. Merrill is the embodiment of this award, his spirit lights up the lives of every child he works with.”

In May 2018, the first award was proudly presented to Sandy Lundberg, the principal of the newly opened Casteel High School and an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, “in which she provided the same energy to the Club endeavors as she did to her profession” a club spokeswoman explained.

“Her passion for children and community shone through whatever she did. Due to Sandy’s untimely passing, the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes proudly sponsors and has named the award – The Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award.”