2019 Teacher of the Year:
Kareem Neal is a self-contained Special Education teacher, having taught students with severe cognitive delays for 21 years. Neal began his career as an educator working at The Developmental Learning Center of New Providence, New Jersey, a school for students with autism, where he received training in Applied Behavior Analysis and learned techniques for reaching students with special needs. After three years, he relocated to Arizona to study under the leadership of world renowned Lorna Jean King and had the opportunity to teach at The Children's Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies where he learned to apply advanced cognitive and behavioral teaching strategies and Sensory Integration within a classroom setting. For the past twelve years, he has served as the self-contained Special Education teacher for Maryvale High School. As the Peer Learning Community leader for the Phoenix Union High School District, he has created and developed all of the curricula across all content areas used district wide in self-contained Special Education classes.
Neal is also the sponsor of Maryvale High school's Diversity Club and the Vice President of the Phoenix Union High School District's Black Alliance. With his National Board Certification in progress, he has been recognized by the National Education Association with a Diversity Grant; earned the The Maryvale Revitalization Committee's Educator Excellence Award, and is a former Teacher of the Year for Maryvale High School.
Neal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts in Special Education from Jersey City University.