Degrees and Certifications:
BA -Kindergarten-Grade 8 - University of Arizona MS Math and Science Endorsement Gifted Endorsement Gifted K-12 Endorsement M.Ed. Educational Counseling with an emphasis: gifted - University of Phoenix Google 1 and 2, Google Instructor Certification
Mrs. Niki Tilicki
Welcome to Lab 21!
My name is Niki Tilicki and I will be your child's 5th grade teacher this year. I have been teaching in the Amphitheater School District since 1992, and I love my job!
Defining Moment in Education
Ever since I was a fourth-grader, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My mom was my best teacher, my hero, and my reason for this career choice. Having an allergy caused me to be sent home from school at least once per week. On those days, I spent time in my mom's classroom where I watched her captivate her students as if she was a magician! That is what I wanted! Once I began teaching, I discovered that I have 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!
Core Educational Beliefs
I believe that every child has a right to learn and no one has the right to take that away. 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 to grow towards a love for learning and thus a lust for life!
"Dream the impossible, be passionate and achieve it, and always remember: I believe in you!" - Niki Tilicki
My journey in teaching began in 1988 at Satori School for the Gifted where I taught pre-school-aged children. This is where I developed a sense of where I wanted to go with my education. From here, I began my student teaching at Los Amigos in Sunnyside. This was a great start for me and an opportunity to use my 12 years of Spanish study. I began teaching in Amphitheater at Rio Vista in 1992 in the 5th grade, the next year, 6th grade, and many years of summer school instructing in grades K-8. It was here that I learned that I have a passion for math! In 1999, I moved to Wilson where I taught 6th-grade math, science, reading, writing, and 4th grade as well. Now, at Innovation Academy, I teach 5th grade along with middle school math and I am so honored to be here!
Tucson Values Teachers Board Member - secretary 2021-present
TREC - teacher leader 2020-present
Scholastic News Advisor 2019-present
Tucson Values Teachers/Raytheon Leaders in Education Nominee, Finalist, and Winner 2018
Presenter and Committee member - Math Educators Appreciation Day - University of Arizona 2009-present
National Math Teacher of the Year Nomination - 2014, 2018
Bear Essential News Educator of the Month February 2012
Presented at NSTA - 2009
Presentation - AZTEA - Arizona Technology Conference 2006, 2007
Scholastic - teacher advisor for Scholastic 2004
Intel Master Teacher Award 2001
KGUN-9 Classroom Teacher Award 1993
Teacher of the Year ABCO 1993
Our Class in the News