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Posted May 10, 2012

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Polk Middle School Teacher Keeps Her Classroom Steady, Consistent

Margarita Barraza is the Teacher of the Month for May.

Margarita Barraza, center, receives her award from the APS Education Foundation's Phill Casaus, left, and Adrian Chavez of Pepsi.

Word is, Margarita Barraza is a tough teacher. And, based on the reception she got when presented with the Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month award, students love her for it.

Barraza, a bilingual teacher at Polk Middle School for seven years, was honored as the award winner for May in front of all of her current students. Her colleagues voted for her to receive it. As a 14-year teaching veteran, she is considered the “go-to person” because she usually knows the answers.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by my co-workers,” Barraza said. “The staff is always willing to support each other.”

Likewise, Barraza sees the importance in supporting her students.

“It’s important to stay consistent with the rules and rituals in the classroom,” Barraza said. “All students are treated equitably.”

Barraza describes her students as “hard-working, dedicated and respectful.” She said she learns something new from them every day and enjoys seeing them understand what they’re learning.

In addition to support from her students and co-workers, her principal also has high praise for her.

“Margarita is one of the most talented teachers I’ve ever seen,” Polk Principal Eva Vigil said. “Whenever I observe one of her math lessons, I learn something about math. I’m amazed by her.”

Pepsi and the Foundation present the monthly recognition for teachers. Award-winners receive $50 from Pepsi.

“We’re thrilled to be wrapping up another successful year of recognizing outstanding APS teachers with tremendous support from Pepsi,” APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus said. “Teachers like Margarita Barraza truly are the rule in this district, and we’re proud to have a way to showcase their efforts to the community.”

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