Peralta Trail Elementary school teacher Chad Young was vacationing in Flagstaff over fall break when he got a phone call from the school’s office manager.
The school, Young was told, had received a phone call from the Arizona Diamondbacks saying he had been nominated for an award. Young contacted the Diamondbacks, unsure what the award was about or who had nominated him.
He quickly found out that things were beyond the nomination stage. He was one of 10 teachers across the state that had been selected as one of the Diamondbacks’ Most Valuable Teachers. Young, who teaches second grade at Peralta Trail, received a $1,000 check before the Diamondbacks’ home game on Oct. 3.
The money is designated for use in the teacher’s classroom; Young, in his 14th year of teaching, isn’t sure how he’ll use the funds.
“I’m very appreciative,” Young said.
It was a special day for Young, who went to the game with five family members, including his wife, Shannon, who teaches kindergarten at Peralta Trail. They went onto the field before the game to receive the check and, as a bonus, watched the Diamondbacks win their final game of the season on a walk-off homer.
Young was nominated for the award by Kylee Mulvey, a fifth-grade student at Peralta Trail who he taught in the second grade and her younger brother, second-grader Jackson Mulvey. With the help of their mother, Chrystyan, they wrote an essay expressing why Young should be one of the Diamondbacks’ MVTs – Most Valuable Teachers.
“We decided to nominate Mr. Young because he is the first teacher that comes to mind when we think about the term ‘Most Valuable Teacher,’” Chrystyan wrote in an email. “Mr. Young goes above and beyond for his students. He’s dedicated and enthusiastic. He makes learning fun for his students. I consider my children lucky to have had him as their second grade teacher. I believe all of his students leave his class at the end of the school year feeling like rock stars and ready to take on the next grade.”
Peralta Trail principal Natalie Clement said Young was a worthy recipient of the award.
“He isn’t afraid to have fun with the kids. He will dance at the dance parties, play at recess and pokes fun at his own mistakes,” Clement said. “He is authentic and they know it.”
Editor’s note: Scott Bordow is Apache Junction Unified School District’s director of communications and community engagement.
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