Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Educators of the heart

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When Yihana Ritter of Gaithersburg High School won the Washington, D.C., regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Award last year she acknowledged her teacher, Jennifer Bado-Aleman, saying, ‘‘She pushed students to their limits, and thus helped boost self esteem as students were tackling academic challenges they had feared before.”

At a time when the Latino high school graduation rate is grim, Yihana beat the odds. And she credits her teacher.

Let’s honor those teachers who, like Ms. Bado-Aleman, make a difference in their students’ lives every single day

Jose Antonio Tijerino, Washington, D.C.

The writer is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and a National PTA Advisory Board member.