Surprise teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher

Oct 7, 2020, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm
(Facebook Photo/Valley Vista High School)...
(Facebook Photo/Valley Vista High School)
(Facebook Photo/Valley Vista High School)

PHOENIX — A teacher at a high school in Surprise has been named the latest recipient of KTAR News Gaydos and Chad’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher award.

Christie Kearley, a teacher for special needs students at Valley Vista High School, was awarded $2,500 presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers for “going above and beyond” for her students.

“Her special needs students require a lot of extra attention and support, which she supplies. Most of her free time involves preparing lessons, materials and supplies for her students,” her nominator said in a letter.

In the midst of socially-distanced learning, Kearley stepped up to give extra support to her special needs students, including spending weekends prepping materials and talking to her students and their families to help them through this new kind of schooling.

Her nominator said Kearley’s average day of work is 12 to 13 hours, with another two or three hours at home.

“I tell her all the time how lucky her students are, but it’s hard for her to see from her perspective,” the letter said.

Kearley, who coaches swim and dive as well as tennis at the school, is looking forward to spending the prize on sports equipment for her students.

“I’d love to get some equipment to get them moving. It helps them so much more in class when they can get their bodies centered so I think it’d be awesome to spend it that way,” she said.

To nominate a teacher having an impact on your or your children’s lives, text the word “teacher” to 411923 or apply online.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Surprise teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher