Kyrene del Cielo educator named B&C September Star Teacher

Published on in Star Teacher Program

Photo: Star Teacher Natalie Richardson (center) with her principal Tammy Thaete (left) and her nominator Erin O’Grady and her three children. Joseph and James had Natalie as their teacher in first grade (and Julia is hoping for her, too).

(September 15, 2022…Phoenix, AZ) Burch & Cracchiolo proudly names Natalie Richardson the September 2022 Star Teacher. For the last 27 years Richardson has been teaching kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade at Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School in the Kyrene School District in Chandler. She received a check for $500 to be used for classroom supplies or other non-reimbursable costs. Kyrene del Cielo received an additional check for $250 to be used at the discretion of principal Tammy Thaete. The school opened in 1989 and has a current enrollment of 625 students.

Kyrene parent Erin O’Grady nominated Richardson with the following:

"My children’s first grade teacher Natalie Richardson is worthy of the B&C Star Teacher Award because she not only provides a strong foundation for her students’ academic learning, but she also does so many “extras” for students to support their social-emotional growth. My first son had Mrs. Richardson during the pandemic shutdown occurring in the spring of 2020. Despite the change to remote learning, Mrs. Richardson still made my son feel special by mailing him a birthday card, with a small gift enclosed since they were not together in person. My second son had Mrs. Richardson during the 2021-2022 school year. Although she was his first-grade teacher, this was his first experience with “in-person learning” since he spent kindergarten online during the pandemic. He loved each day of school with her and was so happy to be there. She makes things special by setting up learning games for the students throughout the year, providing positive incentive prizes, hosting apple tastings in the fall, celebrations with hot cocoa during the wintertime, and having Valentine’s Day fun with cards, strawberries, and waffles. At the end of the year, she even hosts a Pirate Party complete with costumes, songs, crafts, and a Scavenger Treasure Hunt. She goes out of her way and spends a lot of time making sure her students have an amazing experience in first grade. She is so deserving of this recognition!"

Richardson earned her B.A. in education from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

A Valley teacher is chosen each month to receive $500 through a nominating process on the firm’s website Nominations are accepted from students, former students and parents who wish to honor and thank a teacher who has had a profound impact on their life. Many teachers spend their own money to augment the costs of classroom supplies, field trips and other non-covered costs that arise throughout the school year. B&C hopes to alleviate that burden for one deserving teacher each month. In addition, the school where the educator teaches receives a check for $250 to be used at their discretion.

Nominations are open to all teachers in K-12 who teach in Maricopa County. Winners will be notified and then presented a check at their school by a member of Burch & Cracchiolo. Photos and/or video will be taken to post on the firm website and social media. To nominate go to, click on the “Nominate a Star Teacher” button and tell us why you think your teacher deserves the B&C Star Teacher Award.

About Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.

Now with 40 attorneys, Burch & Cracchiolo is one of the Southwest's premier law firms. The firm was founded in 1970 by Haze Burch and Dan Cracchiolo and today the firm’s lawyers are among the most highly regarded and recognized leaders in the areas of business and corporate law, construction, criminal defense, estate and wealth preservation planning, family law, finance, labor and employment, litigation, personal injury and insurance defense, real estate, and tax law. The firm has a long history of giving back to the community through non-profit sponsorships, donations, and volunteer efforts.

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