The Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic Online Print Edition
September 25, 2005

Traffic: See current conditions on all Valley freeways

Phoenix 81°
Tucson 75°
Flagstaff 39°
Traffic | Weather

local shopping
newspaper ads
phone book

Sunday Sections
Travel & Explore

Weekly Features
  Food & Drink
Home/Real Estate
Movie Preview

Southwest Valley
Sun Cities/Surprise

Print This Email This Most Popular Subscribe to The Republic

Teacher's influence felt half a world away

Sept. 25, 2005 12:00 AM

To qualify for the Rodel Exemplary Teacher Award, teachers must beat the odds for three consecutive years with extraordinarily high student achievement, even when their students don't have the typical middle-class advantages.

Not surprisingly, even after the award, these teachers continue to do amazing things for children.

A case in point is Theresa Killingsworth, a fourth-grade teacher at Catalina Ventura Elementary, who was named a Rodel Exemplary Teacher in November 2004.

Killingsworth recently demonstrated her passion for teaching - and commitment to community service - by stretching her influence to make a difference for our troops 8,000 miles away in Afghanistan and their families at home.

Operation Bedtime Story began last spring when Killingsworth's school hosted a Character Counts night to involve families in its citizenship program. Using as a resource, Catalina Ventura families gathered enough donations to send 71 "care packages" to troops overseas.

But that was just the beginning.

One package ended up in the hands of Capt. Gregory Pipes. Pipes e-mailed his appreciation from Bagram air base and told how he regularly taped himself reading bedtime stories to his son and daughter. Pipes mailed the tapes and books back home so his kids could cuddle up in front of the TV with their books and hear daddy read to them.

He wanted his entire platoon to have the same opportunity.

Pipes and Killingsworth became inspired by the challenge. Killingsworth approached Sandra Carpenter at Borders Books.

Carpenter was stunned with Killingsworth's vision and passion for the project and responded by setting up donation stations at Borders Books stores across the Valley.

The community took action by purchasing hundreds of titles for Killingsworth to ship to Pipes' platoon in Afghanistan.

"I can't imagine Theresa ever thinks that something can't be done," Carpenter said. "She is an enthusiastic advocate for these soldiers and their families."

In a recent e-mail from Afghanistan, Pipes wrote, "Killingsworth is clearly a teacher who thinks outside her classroom walls. She is energized, even in the summertime, to make a difference for children and families she's never met."

Congratulations to Exemplary Teacher Theresa Killingsworth for great work in the classroom - and beyond.

To learn more about Rodel Exemplary Teachers, go to

Carol Peck is president and chief executive officer of the Rodel Foundation of Arizona. Send your questions and ideas for future coverage of outstanding programs to her at

listen in
Audio and story links
Subscribe to podcast RSS feeds
Frequently asked questions

breaking news • Big sigh of relief
• Damage to Gulf refineries hints at higher gas prices
• Woman hopes story of change helps others
• Keeping wisdom teeth said not wise
• Puerto Rican nationalist dies during FBI shootout
more breaking news

Email alerts

Enter your email address to get Breaking News newsletters.

SITE MAP main | news | sports | money | entertainment | families | health | food & home | photo/video | shopping | español | weather | classified | jobs | autos | real estate

CUSTOMER SERVICE  terms of service | contact The Republic | subscribe to The Republic | Newspapers in Education
The Republic in your community | about The Republic | jobs at The Republic | jobs at KPNX-TV | about KPNX-TV

PARTNERS  USA Today | Gannett Co. Inc. | Jobs: | Cars: | Apartments: | Shopping: | Real Cities Network Member

Copyright © 2005, All rights reserved.