East Valley educator is latest to win Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute

Dec 16, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2023, 10:04 am

PHOENIX — An East Valley school teacher was named KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show’s Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for November, presented by Your Valley Toyota Dealers.

Heather Staudohar is a sixth grade math teacher in the Kyrene School District and has been teaching for 27 years, since the moment she graduated college.

Her innovative ways to teach math to youngsters inspired someone to suggest her for the $2,500 prize.

Among her ideas: the kids sit on yoga balls all day, which they call the “gumball machine” because balls roll in and out.

“I like making learning fun because I have to admit that math is not always that fun,” Staudohar said. “I try to make it fun and innovating just to get them excited.

“Just trying to connect with the kids and connect the kids to the math, like inflation, discounts or Black Friday. Anything I can get them excited about.”

Staudohar goes above and beyond, such as asking her father – who is a local pediatric cardiologist – to come help the students dissect pig hearts when she taught science.

She made sure every student had a heart to dissect.

Staudohar wants to use the prize money to buy her students whiteboard desks, allowing them to solve problems on top of their desks.

She also mentioned a wish to take a spa day.

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East Valley educator is latest to win Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute