GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- You’ve likely heard the quote “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” At Chaparral Elementary School in Gilbert, fifth grade reading teacher, Mrs. Carrie Beyer is building leaders one word at a time.

“Reading is one of those life skills you have to have to be successful in anything you do. I try to encourage my students to read anything at all, a chapter book, a newspaper article, a magazine. anything they can read and expand themselves as readers will definitely be a life-long lesson for them,” says Mrs. Beyer.

But while reading is the school work, it’s the connection she has with her students that make her a top teacher.

I asked her what her students mean to her and she replied “Everything! That's why I’m here. They get me through some of the hard days and inspire me to be a better teacher.”

One of those students who is inspired by Mrs. Beyer is Zoe Fischbeck who nominated her favorite teacher with a nomination letter reading, “Mrs. Beyer is a special teacher because she is fun and she does fun stuff with us like the UFO writing using Hershey Kisses. She also is very kind and lets us redo our vocabulary and grammar during our weekly tests.”

[HOW TO NOMINATE YOUR TEACHER]

One of the amazing things about Mrs. Beyer and her passion for teaching is it’s a pay it forward from when she was a young student.

“When I was in third grade I actually struggled with reading. I had a third grade teacher who made a significant impact on my life and it was then I knew I wanted to teach and do that for other kids too,” according to Mrs. Beyer.

That’s one of the many reasons she was selected for the Silver Apple Award sponsored by the Dairy Counsel of Arizona. She not only receives a Silver Apple but a check for $1,000.

Mrs. Beyer admits it’s not always easy teaching but well worth it, especially when her students’ world is opened up through reading.

[MORE SILVER APPLE WINNERS]

“When you can have a student make a connection and learn something it's unbelievably rewarding. To see them grow as learners and feel proud of themselves is awesome. It’s really great,” says the new Silver Apple Award recipient.

 

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