A look at 2015’s Teacher of the Year

YUMA, Ariz. – Ana Amaya is a first grade teacher at C.W. McGraw Elementary.

“I find teaching very rewarding, very rewarding,” Ana said.

Now she has another title — Yuma County Teacher of the Year, an achievement Ana says she never expected.

“I’m so excited; I really am, and I’m really thankful,” Ana explained.

Ana won the award Tuesday night out of about 130 nominees. Earlier in the week, she asked her students to draw a picture of any wish they had. One student showed us his and described it as “Miss Amaya win the trophy.”

The teacher helps more than 30 students learn English every day. She herself learned English in a first grade classroom.

“I try to inspire my students, because I can relate to them. For me, being able to recognize that, I feel that I can inspire them to be the best that they can be, bring the best out of them,” Ana concluded.

The teacher of the year recipient received several gifts including a trophy and a trip for two to Hawaii.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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