ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa economics teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute for November

Dec 15, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: 6:15 pm

Windi Valarde...

Windi Valarde continues to inspire her students with real-world applications even in the face of her own adversity. (Courtesy of Windi Valarde)

(Courtesy of Windi Valarde)


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

Windi Valarde inspires her students at Mountain View High School in Mesa with real world applications to personal finance.

Each week, Valarde holds “Financial Fridays” with her students, teaching them about personal finance, 401(k)s, budgeting, insurance and more.

One parent, who nominated Valarde for the $2,500 prize, said their child was so inspired by Valarde’s advice that they went to open an investment and retirement account the day they turned 18 years old.

In recent years, Valarde has lost family members and had her house flooded multiple times. Through it all, she shows up for her students.

“My students are here. They need me.” Valarde said. “I know that they’ve had some challenges in their lives, and together we’re gonna get through.”

With the prize money, she plans to set up an index fund for her first granddaughter, who is one month old. She says that a $1,550 index fund set up at birth metastasizes into $1 million by age 65. Valarde also wants to get her kitchen painted.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Vice President Kamala Harris prepares to swear in Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona, with wife Gabrielle G...

Kevin Stone

Does Arizona US Sen. Mark Kelly have chance to be running mate for Kamala Harris?

With Vice President Kamala Harris seemingly on track to move to the top of the Democratic ticket, could Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly be her running mate?

21 minutes ago

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes answers questions in Phoenix after winning his election in...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Sec. Adrian Fontes explains how Joe Biden’s withdrawal affects state elections

How will Joe Biden's withdrawal affect Arizona elections? "We'll be OK with that," Secretary of State Adrian Fontes said Monday.

2 hours ago

(Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)...

KTAR.com

Romero, Circle fires threatening land near Kearny in rural Arizona

Crews are working toward containment on two large fires threatening farm land in rural Arizona near Kearny, officials said Sunday.

3 hours ago

People in the Valley are without power after weekend outages...

KTAR.com

Power mostly restored across metro Phoenix morning after storms rolled through

Over 200 people in the Valley went without power early Monday morning, according to the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service.

5 hours ago

Hemisphere GNSS Inc agreed to settle false claims allegations...

Payne Moses

Arizona GPS company agrees to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations

Hemisphere GNSS Inc., an Arizona satellite GPS manufacturer, agreed to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations.

7 hours ago

Etta restaurant in Scottsdale to close temporarily after sale...

KTAR.com

Scottsdale restaurant Etta to close temporarily after sale

Etta, the Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurant in Scottsdale Quarter, is temporarily closing for renovations beginning Monday.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Mesa economics teacher wins Gaydos and Chad’s teacher tribute for November