DV special education teacher honored for her work - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

DV special education teacher honored for her work

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:00 pm

Desert Vista special education teacher Elaine Padilla gives her all to her students. And this week, she was recognized for her dedication.

Padilla received this month’s Excellence in Education award, a prize from KESZ (99.9 FM) and Rio Salado College that recognizes one outstanding teacher each month. Padilla was surprised with the award and a radio spot at a staff meeting Tuesday morning.

“This is just unbelievable,” she said shortly after winning. “I am floored.”

She was nominated for the prize by student Kristina Mata, who has been in Padilla’s classes for six years. Kristina said Padilla looks after all her students.

“She has a very kind heart,” Kristina said. “She deserves this award. She’s always there for me.”

Padilla has taught special education for 27 years, including 15 at Desert Vista. She originally went to nursing school, but was prompted to seek another degree in special education after getting the chance to work with kids with several disabilities.

And after working with kids at three different schools for nearly three decades, she still loves coming to work.

“Every day is different and exciting,” Padilla said. “Our students and their families are amazing.”

Padilla helps her kids in the classroom, tailoring programs to each of them – for instance, encouraging Kristina to read books around the classroom that are appropriate for her, said Esperanza Mata, Kristina’s mother.

But her work goes beyond the school day. Padilla also takes her own time before school to help Kristina do things like put together a calendar, which in turn helps her reading, Esperanza Mata said.

Kristina could barely read when she entered high school, but now, “we cannot believe how much she’s reading,” Esperanza Mata said. “We’re out in public, and what does she do? She’s reading signs in the grocery store, she’s spelling.”

Padilla has also helped the Matas deal with issues that come up outside the classroom.

”It just seems as though no matter what issue comes up, you can call her and she’s available. She always has a solution or option to handle any situation,” Mata said. “I’ve never heard her say, ‘That’s impossible.’ It’s not in her vocabulary.”

She also makes a point to go to extracurricular activities. Kristina is active in the Special Olympics, and the Matas have seen Padilla at basketball games, kayaking events and other occasions.

“She treats every student like her child,” said Robert Padilla, Kristina’s father.

Padilla’s work with special populations doesn’t stop at the high school. She has taught religious education classes for special needs adults at Tempe’s Holy Spirit Church for 18 years. She’s also a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, which offers workshops, book studies and awards recognizing teachers, support staff, parents and students in Tempe-area school districts.

“Angel” is a word frequently used to describe Padilla for her ability to find the potential in students, said Alyssa Tarkington, chair of the special education department at Desert Vista.

“If it’s in there, she’ll bring it out,” Tarkington said. “She doesn’t stop trying. If that student has the potential to read, she finds it.”

Or, as Kristina Mata put it at the end of the nominating letter she read out loud during the award presentation: “Ms. Padilla, you rock.”

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

AZ Homeowners want change in HOA laws

PHOENIX - I've heard it all before.   People fed up with their HOA and feeling powerless to do anything about it. We'll now here's your chance…

Published: September 27, 2016 - 12:46 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/let-joe-know/arizona-hom…

ASU Football: Kickoff time, television arrangements announced for UCLA-Arizona State game

The Arizona State Sun Devils may be focused on their trip to Los Angeles and USC this week, but some news regarding their game in 12 days was …

Published: September 26, 2016 - 11:45 pm @ http://www.houseofsparky.com/2016/9/26/13059654/as…

Exclusive: Controversial U.S. energy loan program has wiped out losses

Thu Nov 13, 2014 | 12:02 AM EST The controversial government program that funded failed solar company Solyndra, and became a lighting rod in t…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 10:43 pm @ http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0IX0A120141113

Response: Recognize Students When They Learn From Mistakes

60239 (This is the fourth post in a five-part series on this topic. You can see Part One here, Part Two here and Part Three here. ) The new qu…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:43 pm @ http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with…

Voters Nationally Say Clinton Won Debate 51/40

We came to PPP after a public poll in the San Jose Mayoral race showed our opponent ahead by 8 points. They found our candidate (Sam Liccardo)…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 9:06 pm @ http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/09/vo…

Phoenix man changes his plea to guilty in a drug case

PHOENIX - A Phoenix man has changed his plea to guilty in a drug case. Maricopa County Superior Court officials say Christopher Hustrulid plea…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 8:12 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Cartel Coffee Is Giving Away Free Coffee On Thursday, September 29

Teresa Traverse A A No, that headline is not too good to be true: On Thursday, September 29, Cartel will be giving away your choice of one fre…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 7:42 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/cartel-…

Driving your own car could one day be a socially unacceptable public health risk

In 2014, over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. In 2012, more than two million Americans visited the emergency room as a re…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 7:12 pm @ http://www.businessinsider.com/driving-your-own-ca…

Not Your Father's GOP: The Deficit Debate Has Disappeared

Donald Trump says eliminating burdensome regulations is the key to spurring economic growth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo) (First appea…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 7:05 pm @ http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/gop-deficit-…

‘Erin Brockovich’ Carcinogen Found in the Drinking Water of More than 75% of Americans

Unsafe levels of a cancer-causing chemical called chromium-6 are contaminating the tap water of more than 200 million Americans in all 50 stat…

Published: September 26, 2016 - 7:00 pm @ https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-and-health/ch…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…