Parent Pays it Forward to two first grade teachers in Tempe

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Priscilla Arriaga and Marie Mikan both teach first grade at Holdeman Elementary School in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Priscilla Arriaga and Marie Mikan both teach first grade at Holdeman Elementary School in Tempe. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

It's a tale of two teachers: Mrs. Priscilla Arriaga and Ms. Marie Mikan. Both teach first grade at Tempe's Holdeman Elementary School and they both can't imagine doing anything else.

"When they start learning to read and you see them read, you're like wow, I helped them do that," said Arriaga. "That's the best part of teaching."

"We're people that care and we want to be there for the kids," said Mikan. "That is why we are educators. We want to be here."

Isabel Ramirez has seen for herself what an impact the devoted teachers are having on her kids and other students.

Ramirez has triplets, three girls who are all first-graders. Two are in Arriaga's class and the other with Mikan. All of them suffer from some form of anxiety, making it hard to focus and relax in class.

But Ramirez said the warmth and comfort these teachers provide has made their time in the classroom much easier.

"They are here with them, with our children eight hours a day," said Ramirez. "I want them to make sure they know how much we appreciate all their hard work."

It's no secret that teachers don't make a lot of money, so Ramirez reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to both teachers and give them $250 each.

The grateful parent surprised the teachers in class last week.

"I am so incredibly grateful for everything you do for them and my daughter, so we are giving you $250," Ramirez told Mikan.

"Just the amazing teacher that you are, so I contacted channel 5 and we are paying it Forward with $250 for you," Ramirez then told Arriaga.

"I belong in the classroom" said Mikan. "I belong helping others. That's just who I am, making a difference."

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