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Posted March 10, 2015

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Teacher of Month Has Growing Passion for Education

Bernadine Chavez, a fourth grade teacher at Pajarito Elementary, was recently honored by Pepsi and the APS Education Foundation.

Throughout her 13-year career as an educator, Bernadine Chavez has had the opportunity to teach amazing children, each with unique personalities and diverse learning styles. It's what keeps the fourth grade teacher at Pajarito Elementary passionate about her job.

"What I love most about teaching is my students," said this month's Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month. "Watching them grow and make progress in all academic areas is so rewarding."

Chavez said she feels responsible for teaching her students so much more than just academics. "I strive to teach my students compassion, ambition, perseverance, and the skills required to be successful and become lifelong learners. Everything I do is for my kids. If I can make a positive impact and make a difference in the life of a child I then can say I have done my job and done it well."

When asked what gets her through the day, Chavez responded: "What other profession can have such a positive impact on the life of a child? Knowing that I have the opportunity to be that teacher who can be the "one" to make a difference keeps me going. Everyday that I report to our classroom is another chance for me to make this happen."

Chavez said she is especially appreciative of Pajarito Principal Jacqueline Lovato. "She has taught me so much. The strength within her is something I admire deeply. Her passion for doing what's best for our kids and the community is contagious, and I feel she has really had a positive impact not only on my career, but on me as an individual."

Pepsi, in partnership with the APS Education Foundation, recognizes APS teachers for their outstanding contribution to the classroom, school and community. The Foundation randomly selects one APS school each month, and that school’s principal or staff chooses a teacher to be honored. The teacher receives a $100 check from Pepsi and acknowledgement on the APS website, Facebook page and electronic billboards.

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