At a Veteran’s Day assembly at Ironwood Ridge High School, Reverend James Briney was inspired by the exchange between the veterans who had fought for our freedoms and the educators and students who were now exercising those freedoms in an atmosphere of learning.

In his effort to honor teachers and students, Reverend Briney created the Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award and the Hiremath Student Integrity Prize through the Excellent Educator & Student Integrity Fund established at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona in 2014.

The fund awards a cash prize to both an educator nominated by colleagues for their excellence and authentic inspiration to students, and to a student who submits an essay about integrity. “The important thing is that you recognize the presence of integrity when you look in the mirror,” shared Reverend Briney, who hopes to see the awards become models for even more high schools in the future in an effort to recognize excellent teachers and students who explore the notion of integrity.

The Hiremath Student Integrity Prize honors the community and public service of Dr. Satish I. Hiremath. At the age of 16, Satish dedicated his life to serving others.  Dr. Hiremath has the mind of a scientist and the heart of an athlete. He earned an advanced degree at an HBCU (Howard) and he is a Big 10 Tennis Champion (Michigan). Satish is a person of integrity who makes decisions on the basis of reason, information, and facts, while fostering an atmosphere of good faith. Every year, the Hiremath Prize is open to students attending Ironwood Ridge High School and University High School.


Congratulations to Madison McCartt, the 2022-2023 Hiremath Student Integrity Prize recipient at Ironwood Ridge High School, and Katherine Wilburthe 2022-2023 Hiremath Student Integrity Prize recipient at University High School.

Writing the essay for this award prompted me to contemplate integrity on both a societal and personal level. Winning the scholarship is a great honor, and I will continue to lead and examine integrity as I pursue my higher education.

— Katherine Wilbur, 2022-2023 Hiremath Student Integrity Prize Recipient, University High School

Winning this award brings me joy because I thought it was something I could never do. Winning this award makes me understand that I can do anything I put my mind to. I am learning to have a better mindset when it comes to hard things!

— Madison McCartt, 2022-2023 Hiremath Student Integrity Prize Recipient, Ironwood Ridge High School
Past Award Recipients

2022-2023

  • Kaitlyn Rini, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (Ironwood Ridge)
  • Madison McCartt, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (Ironwood Ridge)
  • Megan Cassidy, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (University High)
  • Katherine Wilbur, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (University High)

2021-2022

  • Paul DesJarlais, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (Ironwood Ridge)
  • Maisey Stephens, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (Ironwood Ridge) 

2020-2021

  • Janet Ackerman, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (Ironwood Ridge)
  • Ben Hernandez, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (Ironwood Ridge) 
  • Marcos Flores, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (University High) 
  • Camila Grubb, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (University High) 

2019-2020

  • Lori Gipson, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (Ironwood Ridge) 
  • Emily Pickard, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (Ironwood Ridge) 
  • Whitney Sheets, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award (University High) 
  • Chet Oreck, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize (University High) 

2018-2019

  • Christopher Rohrer, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
  • Joanna Mona, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize

2017-2018

  • Mark Hodge, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
  • Kelsey Abel, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize

2016-2017

  • Ryan Maish, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
  • Sydney Baumgardner, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize

2015 – 2016

  • Nicole Blanchard, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
  • Patrick Klass, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize

2014-2015

  • Rebecca Scheel, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
  • Kyle Taylor, Hiremath Student Integrity Prize

2013-2014

  • Don Dickinson, Waters Excellent Educator Recognition Award
Click here to support the Excellent Educator & Student Integrity Fund.