Tempe-based elementary teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Jun 25, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:01 pm
(Facebook photo by Thew Elementary)...
(Facebook photo by Thew Elementary)
(Facebook photo by Thew Elementary)

PHOENIX — A Tempe Public Schools teacher has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for May, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Cynthia Giroux teaches online and remote at Thew Elementary in Tempe. During her time teaching, she touched the hearts of one Valley family.

One day at recess, Giroux saw what she described as a “very sad little boy.”

“He needed somebody in his corner, he felt hopeless, and at seven when you feel hopeless, that’s a pretty daunting thing to be facing in life when you’re that young.”

She was not his teacher but offered to let him read with her. She said she soon discovered how bright he was.

During spring evaluations, she recommended the student because of his potential, despite missing many days of school.

“They did the testing and discovered he’s gifted,” she said. “That’s something that can never be taken away from him.”

The boy’s mother said in a letter her son missed a lot of school and would act out.

However, Giroux “didn’t see a ‘troubled child,’ she saw a child who was in trouble,” the letter writer said.

“No matter what was going on within the family, they must’ve been doing something right because he was very bright and very kind,” Giroux said, adding, “that doesn’t just come from somebody who’s troubled. It comes from people who truly care about their children and spend time with them.”

Her ability to go above and beyond for her student, Ryland, prompted his mother’s nomination for the $2,500 prize.

Giroux said she intends to use the money for a program at school called “Books and Cooks,” where teachers read books that then “become inspiration for learning how to cook a recipe” related to the story.

She said materials for the program can get expensive and regular school funds can’t be used to purchase books.

“Those are the things that bring me joy,” Giroux said.

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Tempe-based elementary teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute