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Bautista Creek Elementary School Teacher Stacey Van Zee, Recipient of Teachers are Heroes Award


Teaching offers many challenges but offers rewards that go far beyond the benefits provided by a day-to-day job.  KATY- 101.3 The Mix (KATY) and Azusa Pacific University (APU) is excited to kick-off the Teachers are Heroes program for the 2017-2018 school year.  On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Mrs. Stacey Van Zee, second grade teacher at Bautista Creek Elementary School, was surprised with the first Teachers are Heroes award for this year.

Mrs. Van Zee was nominated by Sharann Napi, the mother of one of Van Zee’s students, who said, “She is an amazing teacher. She is kind, patient and truly cares about her students. She motivates the kids and helps them feel special every day. Her daughter, Belle, loves being in her class. Thank you, Mrs. Van Zee!”

Van Zee has been teaching for 22 years of which 18 have been at Bautista Creek Elementary. The first day that she stepped foot on the Bautista campus she knew that she found her home. Van Zee was surrounded by hard-working, caring colleagues that had every students’ best interest in mind. She also feels fortunate because she has lots of support. She comes from of a family of teachers. There are nine in her family. Mrs. Van Zee works with her brother and sister-in-law and her husband teaches 6th grade. Her daughters have been raised in the classroom setting. Van Zee’s oldest daughter is working towards her teaching credential and her youngest wants to be a speech pathologist in the school setting.

Mrs. Van Zee states, “I love working with the kiddos. I believe if you make each and every student feel important and make it fun, they will love school and learning. In my classroom, we know that we learn from our mistakes and that when you make a mistake, “You are normal”. We know that you are expected to do your personal best. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else or doing anything else. I am doing my dream job!”

Van Zee received prizes from KATY and APU and her students enjoyed a pizza party celebration from The Pizza Factory in Temecula.   All selected teachers and their classes will attend a private celebration at the end of the year at the Lake Elsinore Storm Stadium.

The Teachers are Heroes program will run through April 2018.   Teachers can be nominated by students, parents, and even other school administrators.  For more information go to, keyword:  Teachers or go to

From left to right front row: Belle Napi, Stacey Van Zee, Dr. Ie May Freeman, Francisco Leivera and Karan McGlynn From left to right back row: Sharann Napi and Greg Giroux