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Phoenix band teacher wins Pay It Forward award

Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Super Star Car Wash
Salvador Rodriguez has made a huge contribution to the music department. Pay It Forward is sponsored by America First Credit Union and Super Star Car Wash.
Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 5:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - We Paid It Forward to Salvador Rodriguez, a middle school band teacher at Isaac Middle School in Phoenix.

“He’s exceptional. What makes him exceptional is he really connects with the kids. He connects to a level that they understand. He encourages them; he never pushes them. He encourages them to go further than they think they can be. They even practice at home on their own,” Kevin Sotomayer, an administrator at the school, said.

Mr. Rodriguez opens up the band room morning, noon, and after school to give his students additional help with their music. His students and teachers appreciate his passion for putting together a top music program; because of his hard work, his students wanted to Pay It Forward to him. Ellena Velarde and her mom nominated Mr. Rodriguez, and we walked up to surprise him.

“Hello, you have been the best teacher to me. It’s my first year in band, and you make things really fun, you’re a good teacher, you really love us. So I did this with my mom. We nominated you for Pay It Forward, so here’s a $500 check for you,” Velarde said.

This past year, Isaac Middle school was the only school to take two bands to the state competition and place. Mr. Rodriguez has made a huge contribution to the music department in just three years. He says he’s lucky to have a job that he loves.

“It’s the kids and the music. It’s the best of both worlds. I get to come every day to teach students and make music and learn about life through the avenue of music each and every day. Again I am very grateful to do this; it doesn’t feel like a job at all, thank you,” Rodriguez said.

If you would like to nominate someone for our Pay It Forward Award, go to our website and click on the community page and fill out a nomination form.