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Neighbors named 2017 Teacher of the Year

Social+studies+teacher+Andrew+Neighbors+prepares+to+enjoy+the+Teacher+of+the+Year+reception+with+Principal+Tim+Gilliland.
Social studies teacher Andrew Neighbors prepares to enjoy the Teacher of the Year reception with Principal Tim Gilliland.

Social studies teacher Andrew Neighbors prepares to enjoy the Teacher of the Year reception with Principal Tim Gilliland.

Laura Smith

Laura Smith

Social studies teacher Andrew Neighbors prepares to enjoy the Teacher of the Year reception with Principal Tim Gilliland.

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Although he’s never at a loss for words, he does the most to say the least.

His legacy takes many forms–the stories in world geography, the costumes for history, his echoing voice during pep rallies and basketball games, the bus he drives, the books he wrote, the independent film he created, the teams he coached and coaches, his three children attending Crestview Elementary and even the soon-to-be water park he manages.

World geography and U.S. history teacher Andrew Neighbors, Canyon I.S.D employee of 18 years, was named 2017 Teacher of the Year Thursday following a peer nomination and voting. He will advance to the district level of competition.

“I didn’t know I was going to win until they announced my name,” Neighbors said. “I was surprised, honored, humbled. It’s pretty cool to be nominated by your peers.”

That’s the challenge in teaching: to get the kids to try.”

— Andrew Neighbors

Teaching geography encouraged Neighbors to take several overseas trips.

“I started really falling in love with history in general in college, because I had some good professors who were entertaining and fun,” Neighbors said. “But I didn’t know I’d like geography until I taught it. It has a special place in my heart.”

Neighbors said he loves the students and the high school.

“I really enjoy teaching students,” Neighbors said. “I used to coach, and that’s where I started my career off. I loved the classroom so much, I left coaching to teach.”

Neighbors said coaching and teaching are very similar.

“You have to figure out how to motivate kids,” Neighbors said. “I found out I can reach more kids teaching. With teaching, you can get every group of kids, every kind of kid.”

Neighbors said he likes to entertain and have an audience.

“I actually like public speaking,” Neighbors said. “I know it’s a lot of people’s biggest fear, but I like it. I like big crowds. I think I was born to teach, because you have an audience every day.”

I never thought I would have made a movie or written three books. Those were always dreams, and I went for it.”

— Andrew Neighbors

Neighbors said usually when teachers have trouble, it is because the students do not care.

“I learned that every kid really can be successful,” Neighbors said. “You have to get them to care, and I think every kid can do it. That’s the challenge in teaching: to get the kids to try.”

Neighbors said no dream is too big.

“Follow your dreams,” Neighbors said. “I never thought I would have made a movie or written three books. Those were always dreams, and I went for it. I think students should do the same.”

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Neighbors named 2017 Teacher of the Year