Diamond Valley Middle School teacher wins March Teachers are Heroes award
■ Kyle Selby / Reporter
Sandra Turner, 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher at Diamond Valley Middle School, was in for a shock on Tuesday, March 21.
Turner was the recipient of the “Teachers are Heroes” award for the month of March during a surprise visit to her classroom by her husband; Rachel Jacobs, a representative from Azusa Pacific University; and representatives from KATY 101.3 The Mix radio station.
The Teachers are Heroes program awards a different teacher each month, giving students or their guardians the opportunity to nominate their favorite teacher. The station then reviews its submissions for the month, and selects one lucky teacher to receive the award.
Turner was presented the award in her classroom before her students, who all indulged in a pizza party afterward, courtesy of 101.3 The Mix.
“This is a total shock to me,” said Turner. Turner has been an educator for the last 18 years, spending the last two at Diamond Valley Middle School. “It beats any type of reward. It’s from the kids…it’s from their heart.”
Jacen Moore, the 6th grader who wrote the submission that was ultimately picked by the program, praised Turner for her outstanding qualities, both as a person, and as his teacher.
“I think she’s a hero because she does so much community service to help others, and loves to teach her students in a positive way that makes her students feel very, very important,” wrote Jacen. “She also comes from four generations of the military.”
Turner’s grandfather, father, uncles, and cousins’ influence from various branches of the military have clearly rubbed off on her, evident by the impressive behavior of her students. Her oldest son is currently in the U.S. Army.
“She keeps surprising me,” said Turner’s husband. “Just knowing that the kids are in love with her; that’s the bottom line. They look forward to seeing her, and they respect her.”
At the end of the school year in May, Turner, and the rest of the selected teachers from the program (as well as their students) are invited to a private baseball game held at Storm Stadium in Lake Elsinore.
“I love her. She’s an amazing educator,” Diamond Valley Middle School Principal Robert Dominguez said with pride. “She’s very supportive of the students, staff, and the mission of Diamond Valley.”
This marks the third time that a faculty member of Hemet Unified School District has received this award.