Tolleson high school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Sep 17, 2021, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 19, 2021, 11:30 am
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)...
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)
(Photo from Denny Riccelli)

PHOENIX — A high school teacher in Tolleson has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for August, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Denny Riccelli teaches ninth and tenth grade math at Tolleson Union High School and has shown various acts of selflessness, prompting one person to nominate him for the $2,500 prize.

“He never asks for anything in return but for his students to learn and become successful and have a great future,” Riccelli’s wife wrote in her submission letter.

At the onset of the return to in-person learning, his wife wrote, Riccelli began buying five cases of water each week to give to students who no longer had access to water on campus due to the pandemic.

He has also given his lunch to students who have no food and has a closet in his classroom with supplies and backpacks for students who need them, his wife wrote.

“If a kid tells me that they need something I will go buy some of it, make sure that that kid had whatever they need,” Riccelli said.

He said he’s likely going to double-up on water bottles for the classroom or make t-shirts as monthly prizes for his students.

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Tolleson high school teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute