Mesa-based life skills teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Apr 9, 2021, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm
(Photo provided by Billy Cesolini)...
(Photo provided by Billy Cesolini)
(Photo provided by Billy Cesolini)

PHOENIX — A Gilbert Public Schools teacher who works with special needs students has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for April, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Billy Cesolini teaches life skills at Desert Ridge Junior High School in Mesa.

His students participate in a variety of multisensory activities such as art class, library and jazz band, allowing them to become more involved in the school community.

“A lot of them are medically fragile,” Cesolini said. “It’s a wide range of things, a lot of them this year are non-verbal and non-ambulatory.”

Just this past year, through research and observation, Cesolini learned one of his students is able to communicate using his chin.

When Cesolini discovered this, he purchased a bubbler machine for his student. The student would hit a switch on the machine with his chin that would then activate the bubbles.

“We’re able to go ‘turn on now’ and ‘turn off’ and he’s able to use that whereas at the beginning of the year he wasn’t able to do that,” Cesolini said.

Celebrating these little, independent tasks is something Cesolini will always be fond of.

His capability of only seeing his students’ abilities and always placing their educating as his top priority prompted a parent’s nomination for the $2,500 prize.

Recently, Mr. Cesolini, “nominated our son to be a school ambassador, meaning, paired with a gen ed student. He will welcome and give tours to new, incoming students,” the boy’s parents wrote in a letter. “That in itself is incredible.”

He has purchased many school supplies and new learning devices out of his own pocket “to ensure his students have the best education,” the letter writer said.

He plans on placing a portion of the money back into the classroom and to treating his mother to a dine-in restaurant experience while on their day trip to Prescott.

We want to hear from you.

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

The Gaydos and Chad Show

(Cheryl Gedney)...
Torrence Dunham

Phoenix elementary school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

An elementary school teacher in Phoenix has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for September, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.
14 days ago
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)...
Danny Shapiro

Carmona wants Arizona’s focus on public health, not politics, in fight against COVID-19

When Dr. Richard Carmona joined Arizona's COVID-19 response team as an adviser late last month, one of his first goals was to shift the conversation about the pandemic from politics to public health.
1 month ago
(Twitter Photo/@SenatorSinema, AP Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Sinema, Kelly question Biden’s Afghanistan evacuation plan

Arizona's two Democratic U.S. senators have their concerns about President Joe Biden and his administration's plan to evacuate U.S. citizens from Afghanistan in light of the country's takeover by the Taliban.
2 months ago
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)...
Torrence Dunham

Sinema slams Ducey plan to give more funds to schools that follow his rules

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona on Tuesday said Republican Gov. Doug Ducey's plan of giving additional funding to schools that comply with certain demands, including not instituting a face mask policy, is dangerous.
2 months ago
(Photo courtesy of Andrea Meyers)...

Chandler kindergarten teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

A teacher at a Chandler elementary school has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for July.
2 months ago
(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)...
Torrence Dunham

COVID outbreak in school could return kids to remote learning, Hoffman says

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on Wednesday said a school that has a COVID-19 outbreak may have to send kids home to learn remotely again.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Mesa-based life skills teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute