- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A first grade teacher who grew up in New Mexico has been named Arizona’s top English Language Learner teacher for 2016.

Victoria Gonzales is an English language immersion teacher at Starlight Park Elementary in the Cartwright School District in west Phoenix.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas announced the honor on Monday. Douglas says students and co-workers cheered the award when she visited the school to tell Gonzales she was named ELL teacher of the year. She says their reaction proved to her that Gonzales is filled with passion and commitment.

Gonzales grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, and graduated from Western New Mexico University. She earned a Master’s degree in early childhood education at Northern Arizona University before joining the Cartwright district nearly 20 years ago.

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