Phoenix second grade teacher wins Pay It Forward award

A Phoenix teacher is inspiring students and won the Pay It Forward award. Sponsored by Penguin Air, America First Credit Union, and Super Star Car Wash.
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 6:42 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — We decided to Pay It Forward to Ashley Ezell, a second-grade teacher at Saint Francis Xavier School in Phoenix. Hartley Brundige was one of Ezell’s students. “I nominated Ms. Ezell because she really inspired me because she cannot see as well as I can. She shows us how you can overcome any challenge by using other tools and resources if you work hard to do it,” said Brundige.

Ezell was 12 years old when she was diagnosed with a condition that caused her to become legally blind. She did not let this diagnosis hold her back and she’s been an amazing teacher at St. Francis for the past 10 years. She was one of Hartley’s favorite teachers and because of Ezell’s hard work, Brundige wanted to Pay It Forward to her.

We walked up to her classroom. “Ms. Ezell, I am here to present you a Pay It Forward award for inspiring me that any challenge can be overcome when you were my teacher,” said Brundige. “Wow! Thank you!” said Ezell.

You can tell that Ezell loves to teach, and you can also tell her students really enjoy being in her classroom. It’s a job that gives her challenges because of her sight issues, but that doesn’t slow her down. “I just really told myself that anything is possible. If I had a challenge in my classroom, I would adapt and make it happen by using tools and things that would help me. My students, even in second grade, also help me so that is great,” said Ezell.

If you would like to nominate someone for our Pay It Forward Award, just fill out a nomination form on our community page.

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