SPED Teacher Ella Nava Won The U.S. Heart of Education Award

[Cebu City] June 01, 2022— Filipina teacher Ma. Ismela “Ella” Nava of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, has received a Heart of Education award for her efforts in special education.

The primary autism teacher at Paradise Elementary School become one of the top 20 Heart of Education Award recipients this year, honoring Clark County educators who make a difference in their classrooms.

Ella Nava is one of the finalists among 700 Clark County School District educators.

“Ecstatic po kasi I didn’t know that I won. It was like a big, big surprise. It didn’t sink in until I got the medal, until I got back on my chair,” Nava said.

READ ALSO: Sarah Lancaster wins the Teacher of the Year

Nava is one of the first group of Filipino special education teachers to have a J1 visa from the Clark County School District.

For the last five years, Nava has been teaching youngsters on the autism spectrum at Paradise Elementary School.

“As a SPED teacher lahat gagawin mo para maging effective teacher ka. For them to reach their IET goal, from head to feet, gagawin mo. You will provide everything for them. My classroom should be inviting for students to learn.”

Nava and the other Heart of Education Award winners will receive a commemorative Heart of Education medallion, as well as a $5,000 cash reward and $1,000 to contribute to a school program of their choice.


Written by Adrian Josh Lepiten

Proactive | Adventurer | Social Good Advocate | WRITER
📍Cebu, Philippines
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