One In A Million: February 2023 – Black History Month Spotlight: Katherine Poureetezadi Treasure


Grade you teach: I teach grades K-6 / Acceleration Specialist

How long have you been a teacher? I have been teaching for 23 years.

What made you get into the teaching profession? I wanted to be a teacher because my own children had some wonderful experiences with teachers over the years. We also had some negative experiences too. All of this affected me and I wanted to be able to add to children’s lives.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why? My most influential teacher was a professor named Dr. Wahl while attending the university in Alaska, UAA. I will always remember he said, “The primary and most important characteristic a teacher should have is the element of care within one’s heart.”

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?

I find being appreciative of all, laughing a lot, and meditation daily fills my cup.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?

My wishes for Arizona’s children are to allow yourself to engage in curiosity, to know that learning takes place everywhere, to love and respect yourself, and to read everyday for 15 minutes.

What does being selected as a Million Dollar Teacher Project Black History Month spotlight teacher mean to you?

I am ever so grateful to be able to represent one of the faces of education, it is so important that students see themselves in all different careers and I am happy to be that for those students aspiring to be teachers. We are powerful knowing that in our American history’s past that having an education is priceless, it is the one and only thing that no one can take away from you. I am so thankful knowing that so many experiences have brought me to this point.

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Growing the Tree

Million Dollar Teacher Tree was first developed in a classroom by students in a program called, Next Generation Service Corps at Arizona State University in December of 2017. These students were tasked by Lloyd Hopkins, founder of Million Dollar Teacher project with developing a project that can potentially become an integral part in helping MDTP achieve its mission. The group eventually developed the original prototype for Million Dollar Teacher Tree—a cutout dollar sign that would be placed in surrounding businesses near the partner school. The idea was pitched to staff members of MDTP during the last of their class, and the project was picked up by MDTP as a new pilot program for the organization. After many months of planning, the prototype was eventually revamped into what it is today, Million Dollar Teacher Tree.

Golden Apple

These apples are intended to provide any sort of Professional Development which, in turn, gifts them with key knowledge to add to their personal skill-set to better work with their students.

As educators, teachers are constantly looking to continually grow in their profession to not only learn how to better connect with their students, but to also make the learning experience much more exciting.

Suggested donation amount range: $10 – $100

Red Apple

These apples are designed to provide the typical day-to-day items in the classroom. Teachers spend can spend upwards of $1,000 out of pocket to have enough supplies yearlong for their students– to alleviate this, the Red Apples were created.

Everyday school supplies include; pencils, notebooks, crayons, hand sanitizer, etc.

Green Apple

These apples are intended to provide a big-ticket item for the teachers. These supplies are typically something that the teachers can use for more than one school year.

Examples include; a class-set of computers or new furniture for the classroom.

Suggested donation amount: $500+