Chandler elementary school educator wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Jul 26, 2022, 3:30 PM

Follow @TaDunham...

PHOENIX — A Chandler elementary school educator has been named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show‘s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for July, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Diana Perez just completed her first week as a sixth grade teacher at Rice Elementary School as part of the Chandler Unified School District, finally getting her own classroom after serving in various roles for the district over the past five years.

“Becoming a teacher is something that I’ve wanted since I was a little kid,” Perez said.

“(It’s) something that I’m truly passionate about, making a difference and just being someone that my students can come to and feel safe and feel loved. Social-emotional health is a big thing for me too, not only the academic part of it.”

Perez said the first week in the classroom went great and she was able to make connections with her students.

Making that dream come true took a lot of effort as the mother of four worked full-time while earning her Master of Education from Grand Canyon University, including doubling up on classes.

“It was really hard but it was so worth it,” Perez said.

Having met her goal of becoming a teacher, Perez now must outfit her classroom. That is where she said the $2,500 of prize money will go.

In addition to classroom supplies, which can be difficult for a first-year teacher, Perez said she is working to provide her students with something she never had – flexible seating.

“I feel that it’s very hard for kids to sit still for an entire day and to focus,” Perez said. “Flexible seating options give those students to be able to stay engaged, focused and be more involved in their learning.”

The person who nominated Perez for the award praised her selfless dedication to students and said they are lucky enough to have one of their own children be in her first class.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Pinal County Sheriff's Office)...

Rescue efforts underway after plane crashes in mountain area near Apache Junction

Authorities are responding to a plane crash in the Superstition Mountain area near Apache Junction. 

11 hours ago

(Facebook photo/Phoenix Union High School District)...

Phoenix, Mesa high schools receive $950k grant to expand dual enrollment

ElevateEdAZ, a Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation initiative, received a $950,000 grant to expand dual enrollment in two large Valley public school districts.

11 hours ago

(Facebook Photos/Over Easy)...

SuElen Rivera

Over Easy breakfast restaurant to open new location in Chandler

Popular breakfast restaurant Over Easy is expanding in the Valley with the opening of its latest location later this month. 

11 hours ago

Celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk — who stars on Netflix's 'Queer Eye' as the interior desig...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Bobby Berk’s exclusive deal with fast-growing builder includes Phoenix metro homes

Celebrity interior designer Bobby Berk has entered into an exclusive design and model home collaboration, including in metro Phoenix.

11 hours ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Brandon Gray

Construction on The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria underway

Construction on The Shops at Lake Pleasant in Peoria has started, the shopping center owner Vestar announced in a press release Friday. 

1 day ago

(Tim Hacker/ Mesa Public Schools)...

ADHS offering free drinking water lead screening for schools, child care facilities

The Arizona Department of Health Services is offering free drinking water lead screening opportunities for schools and child care facilities as part of a nationwide program.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

Chandler elementary school educator wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute