Sonia Galaviz

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Earlier this month, we were very excited to have the opportunity to meet with Sonia Galaviz when she visited our main office. As a 5th grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School here in Boise, Idaho, she’s been steadily making a name for herself in the education world. In 2009, she was named Idaho Woman of the Year by the Idaho Business Review, and in 2011 she was one of five educators nationally chosen to receive Teaching Tolerance’s award of Excellence in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and this year, Galaviz’s devotion to her students has once again been recognized.

In February, Galaviz will be traveling to the NEA Foundation Gala in Washington, D.C., to receive $10,000 and the NEA Foundation’s Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. As one of only five recipients in the nation, this prestigious honor really reinforces Galaviz’s devotion to continually going above and beyond for her students, something that, for her, starts long before the start of the school year. Every summer, Galaviz goes door to door, meeting with the families of her incoming students. As an educator, she believes that knowing about the student, their family dynamic and their home helps her to be a better teacher. “I
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From collaborative learning inside of the student’s clusters of desk to hands-on lessons in STEM discovery, Galaviz is continually working to push the STEM envelope at Garfield Elementary. She hosts a Saturday STEM club for 4th - 6th graders, and recently, through a two-year grant funded by NASA and a partnership with Boise State University, she has trail-blazed even more at home learning opportunities. For K-6, each classroom now has the ability to take STEM backpacks home over the weekend. With three different lesson plans, students can now bring STEM home, experimenting and creating with the help of their
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