Amphitheater Public Schools is proud of yet another outstanding educator in the district! Third and fourth grade teacher Nicole “Niki” Tilicki of Innovation Academy has earned the prestigious designation as one of the 2018 Raytheon Leaders in Education. This award recognizes the contributions of Pima County K-12 teachers who are exceptionally skilled and dedicated.

Raytheon Leaders in Education Award recipients are teachers who have gained the respect and admiration of not only students, but also parents and colleagues. They inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, distinguish themselves as leaders and play an active and useful role in their communities and schools. Ms. Tilicki exemplifies all of these requirements and characteristics.

2018 Raytheon Leaders in Education Award winners. Nicole Tilicki, second from left.

Ms. Tilicki has been teaching in the Amphitheater Public Schools District since 1992. When she was in fourth grade she would spend time in her mother’s classroom, where she watched as her  mom seemed to be a magician, captivating her students! This motivated and inspired Tilicki to be that kind of educator. Tilicki recalls, “Once I began teaching, I discovered that I had a passion for meeting the needs of gifted children. Because of this, I studied further to earn a degree in educational counseling with a specific study in working with gifted children. This has sparked my love and passion for helping all students love school!”

It is easy to see why Ms. Tilicki was selected as an influencer in the lives of her students and community. Her core educational values derive from her belief that “every child has a right to learn, and no one has the right to take that away from any child. Children need to learn in an environment that is filled with fun, with the freedom to choose, the power to inspire, and holds a sense of belonging for everyone. If I can teach a child to fall in love with reading, see a true passion for writing and develop an insatiable curiosity about math, then I have helped to guide a child’s growth toward a love for learning and thus a lust for life.” She is known for saying, “Dream the impossible, be passionate and achieve it, and always remember: I believe in you!”

The Raytheon Leaders in Education award began in 2015 as a partnership between Raytheon Missile Systems and Tucson Values Teachers, as a way to extend support of quality education and exemplary teaching in greater Tucson.

For more information about the awards program or to apply, visit:

For more information about Ms. Nicole “Niki” Tilicki and her gift for inspiring students, please contact Innovation Academy at (520) 269-4610.


Amphitheater schools and facilities are places where students thrive academically; places parents want their children to go; places where highly skilled people work; and places community members respect because of the high student achievement, caring environment, and focus on individual needs. Amphi students excel academically because students are taught by highly qualified staff, including the Air Force Association Arizona STEM Teacher of the Year, 39 nationally board certified teachers, Finalist for Outstanding High School Faculty Award, Arizona Earth Science Teacher of the Year, and more. Amphi students compete at the highest levels both athletically and academically, such as the Academic Decathlon 2018 State Champions (5th consecutive year), AZ Central Unified Athlete of the Year, 55 Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Fair winners, and state winners of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Amphi also offers tremendous programs for all students, meeting them where they currently are and helping them achieve their highest possible success.

We invite you to explore all Amphi has to offer, from Preschool through 12th Grade by visiting Amphitheater Public School District home page. As well as on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram @amphischools#DiscoverAmphi.

Media Contact
Company Name: Amphitheater Public Schools
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
Phone: (520) 696-5000
Address:701 W. Wetmore Road
City: Tucson
State: Arizona
Country: United States