Arizona teacher tribute award goes to bilingual teacher Ricardo Garza
Jul 28, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2023, 8:22 pm
PHOENIX — An English teacher who serves immigrant students across country lines was July’s Arizona teacher tribute award winner.
KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s Larry Gaydos and Chad Benson crowned English teacher Ricardo Garza as the June winner of their Pay Tribute to a Teacher award.
The monthly reward gives $2,500 to a teacher who uplifts their community and goes above and beyond to serve students. That sum of cash comes from Your Valley Toyota Dealers, a Gaydos and Chad show sponsor.
Garza, who is from Mexico, is part of a teacher exchange program that takes him to the United States to teach the children of immigrants.
“You know, there’s a great necessity for us bilingual teachers to actually work with students whose parents are immigrants,” Garza told Gaydos and Chad on Friday.
Garza’s work for the Teacher Exchange Program exposes students to American culture while also honoring their home countries.
The person who nominated him for the award says his work in the program helps to “shape young people into positive agents of change.”
“As a result of his participation in the Teacher Exchange Program, Mr. Garza brings a wealth of interactive teaching practices to his students and colleagues,” according to Edwin Garza, who nominated Garza for the award.
“He has acquired critical thinking skills, an inquiry-based approach, and an analytical mindset that greatly contributes to the development of good citizenship among his students.”
Arizona teacher tribute award winner gives thanks
Garza has been teaching for 13 years.
“Basically, what I do is teach English to immigrants so we’ll be helping them out here in Oaxaca and also in Phoenix, AZ,” he said.
He first joined the teacher exchange program to understand why families immigrate to the U.S. so he could prepare them for success.
“I needed to see how things are working over there in the United States,” Garza told Gaydos and Chad.
He’s been teaching students in Mexico and the U.S. English ever since.
After winning the reward, Garza said every cent will go to the students, who are in dire need.
“All the money’s gonna go to resources for the students, whatever they need,” he said.