Sawyer Merrill Named 2022 CUSD Educator of the Year

Robotics program students and Lori Ruff at the World Competition held in Dallas, Texas

RCSL members and guests experience robotics competition demonstration.

Dr. Honora Norton, RCSL Public Image Director

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes recently announced that Sawyer Merrill, special education teacher at Chandler Unified School District’s Auxier Elementary School located in Queen Creek, received the club’s 2022 Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award. The club award was established in 2017 as a prestigious annual award. Its purpose is to demonstrate the club’s continuing commitment to the Chandler Unified School District—its educational objectives and the educators who work so diligently and professionally to achieve those objectives.

In May, 2018, the first award was proudly presented to Sandy Lundberg, the principal of the newly opened Casteel High School. Sandy was an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes, in which she provided the same energy to the club endeavors as she did to her profession. Her passion for children and community shone through whatever she did. Due to Sandy’s untimely passing, the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes proudly sponsors and has named the award the Sandy Lundberg Educator of the Year Award.

Mr. Merrill graduated from California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and sports medicine, with an emphasis in education, in 2010. He received his cross-categorical K-12 teaching certificate from Rio Salado University in 2011. With over 10 years of teaching special education, Mr. Merrill’s philosophy of education is that all children are unique, and each student must have a motivating educational environment where he/she can meet his/her full potential through growing physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

The RCSL Education Committee’s selection process included review of several parent testimonials in support of Mr. Merrill, which included: “Our family has been affected by Mr. Merrill’s amazing abilities and his passion to challenge each student to be the best one can be.” “We have seen a complete transformation in our child and trust Mr. Merrill to shape our child’s education.” Mr. Merrill is a voice for his students and advocates for their inclusion in school activities.” “Mr. Merrill is the embodiment of this award. His spirit lights up the lives of every child he works with.”

To learn more about Rotary Club of Sun Lakes’ educational programs and membership, see