Fourth Grade Teacher Makes Jefferson Elementary Proud

Maria Teran-Cruz, a local fourth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, was named among five teachers honored with the San Diego Teacher of the Year award at the annual “Cox Presents: A Salute to Teachers” event. “This honor belongs to the entire community,” she said. “It belongs to Carlsbad, to Jefferson Elementary, and especially to my little ones. Those little ones make me the teacher I am.” The five Teachers of the Year from public schools all over San Diego were selected based on student achievement, teaching philosophy, community involvement, and knowledge of current issues in education. Maria came to San Diego after escaping the civil war in Nicaragua with her family. She went on to become a chiropractor, but after seven years found she was drawn to teaching. “I knew I wanted to help and work with children,” she explained. “In teaching, I have discovered the difference between liking what I do and loving what I do, the difference between a job and a calling.” Maria strives to teach her students that education is not only learning academics, but also learning how to navigate life with honor and dedication. Her goal is to instill values of integrity, honesty, and hard work into the children she teaches. Maria Tera-Cruz and the other San Diego Teachers of the Year will represent San Diego County in the California Teacher of the Year program. The state winner will be announced later this year.