Always challenge your brain. It's a motto a Gilbert 2nd grade teacher is known for and she just happens to be this week's A+ Teacher of the Week.

The mother of one of Mrs. Pipke's students who has ADHD, nominated her for going above and beyond to help him feel welcome and succeed as a new student this year.

“You’ve been selected as the Channel 12 A+ Teacher of the Week and we’re so proud of you,” said Suzanne Carlson, principal at Ashland Ranch Elementary School.

“Thank you, Holden for handing me all of this beautiful stuff,” said Kym Pipke, 2nd-grade teacher.

“You teach all of our wonderful students and take such great care of them,” said Carlson. “You ‘ve been here for 15 years… you teach with high expectations and high standards and we love you and we just want to thank you.”

“Thank you, guys,” said Pipke. “It’s so exciting. It’s so unexpected. I never dreamed that something like this would happen. I’m so grateful.”

Pipke started teaching 23 years ago and knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was in college. Students adore her.

“She’s been working hard,” said Dexter Baker, student. “We had a great winter break, but when we came back, she helped us get back into learning. We all felt better about it.”

“She helps us discover things we couldn’t even imagine,” he said.

Pipke says she loves seeing her students’ smiling faces every day.

“I look forward to the hugs that I get from them every day and I go home just feeling rewarded, that I’ve made a difference.”

“I just want to thank you for being such a leader on our campus,” said Carlson. “You make such an impact with the students that you have here and each year that you’ve taught here at Ashland Ranch and you’re just an incredible leader inside the classroom and outside… you are appreciated.”

“Oh, thank you,” said Pipke.

Mrs. Pipke is always reminding her students to think of new things they can learn and it’s working.

If you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized as one of our 12 News A+ Teachers, be sure to email us at