Chandler teacher with brain tumor wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Jan 21, 2021, 4:00 PM
(Janine Hernandez Photo)...
(Janine Hernandez Photo)
(Janine Hernandez Photo)

PHOENIX — A Chandler Unified School District teacher who survived a brain tumor has been chosen for KTAR News Gaydos and Chad’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher award for the month of December.

Janine Hernandez, a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at Camille Casteel High School in Queen Creek, will receive $2,500 presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers for putting her students’ success at the forefront of her priorities, including her own health.

Hernandez was in a “minor fender bender” in June 2019 and started experiencing tooth pain due to the whiplash from the car accident.

After the pain lingered, her specialist told her to see a neurologist, who recommended getting an MRI to see if there was any nerve damage.

Following an MRI, it was revealed that Hernandez had a brain tumor that had nothing to do with the tooth pain.

But despite being in the ER waiting room for four to five hours, Hernandez wasted no time doing what she loves most: being a teacher.

In fact, she had her husband bring her laptop to the hospital because he was not able to physically come inside the ICU due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hernandez would continue inputting grades and responding to both parents and students via email — all of which she did up until it was time for her craniotomy.

Hernandez is already back in the virtual classroom and says the only difference is that she sometimes gets tongue-tied, which her students respond to with, “We got you Mrs. Hernandez — brain surgery.”

Hernandez and her husband had to raid savings set aside for a vacation to pay the pile of hospital bills, so they know what they’ll do with the prize money.

“I think we’re going to put it back into a vacation fund so I can reconnect with family and just enjoy ourselves,” she said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Creative Commons)...

FBI arrests woman who allegedly robbed 4 metro Phoenix banks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a suspect accused of robbing four metro Phoenix banks in September and October.
23 hours ago
FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, voters stand in line outside a polling station, o...
Associated Press

QAnon figure Ron Watkins says he’s running for Congress in Arizona

Ron Watkins, a prolific promoter of false conspiracies about the 2020 election who is closely tied to the QAnon movement, says he is running for Congress as a Republican in Arizona.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Peoria Police Department)...

18-year-old man dead after gun accidentally discharged in Peoria

An 18-year-old man died after a friend accidentally shot him in the chest while cleaning a gun in Peoria, authorities said Thursday.
23 hours ago
( Screenshot)...
Kevin Stone

Here’s how to make sense of changes to Arizona’s COVID-19 dashboard

The Arizona Department of Health Services rolled out a variety of changes to how it presents data on its COVID-19 dashboard this week, some that could be confusing without further explanation.
23 hours ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Judge again rules Arizona Senate’s election review records to be made public

A judge has rejected the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate’s contention that it can withhold a raft of communications between its leaders and private contractors they hired to conduct an unprecedented review of the 2020 election results in the state’s most populous county.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/The University of Arizona)...
Kevin Stone

ASU, UArizona, NAU announce COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees

Arizona’s three public universities announced Friday they will be requiring most employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Chandler teacher with brain tumor wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute