Chandler Elementary School Educator Wins Gaydos and Chad Teacher Tribute

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PHOENIX — A Chandler Elementary School educator has been named Gaydos and Chad Show from KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for July, presented by Your Valley Toyota dealerships.

Diana Perez has just completed her first week as a sixth grade teacher at Rice Elementary School as part of the Chandler Unified School District, finally getting her own classroom after serving in various roles for the district for the past five years.

“Becoming a teacher is something I’ve wanted since I was little,” Perez said.

“(It’s) something I’m really passionate about, making a difference and just being someone my students can feel safe and loved around. Socio-emotional health is a big thing for me too, not just the academic part.

Perez said the first week in class went really well and she was able to bond with her students.

Fulfilling that dream took a lot of effort as the mother-of-four worked full-time while earning her Masters in Education from Grand Canyon University, including doubling classes.

“It was really tough but totally worth it,” Perez said.

Having achieved her goal of becoming a teacher, Perez must now equip her classroom. This is where she said the $2,500 prize money would go.

In addition to school supplies, which can be difficult for a first-grade teacher, Perez said she strives to provide her students with something she’s never had: flexible seating.

“I think it’s really hard for kids to sit for a whole day and concentrate,” Perez said. “Flexible seating options allow these students to stay engaged, focused, and more involved in their learning.”

The person who nominated Perez for the award praised his selfless devotion to students and said they were lucky to have one of their own children in his first class.

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