Miami-Dade Teacher of the Year finalists express their love for teaching

MIAMI (WSVN) - Four finalists for Miami-Dade County’s Teacher of the Year were selected ahead of the big announcement.

On Thursday night, Miami-Dade County Schools will select either Rudy Diaz, Nadia German, Laura Ortiz or Alfreida Joseph-Goins.

Diaz took 7News behind the scenes of his television production classroom at South Miami Senior High School. “You know, a lot of times I treat them like they are my own children,” said Diaz. “Anything I would tell my children, I would tell them.”

Rudy Diaz

The TV production teacher said he has been in the classroom for more than 30 years and strives to lay the foundation for future news anchors and producers. “I think there was like no better choice,” said one of Diaz’s students. “The best teacher I’ve had.”

German teaches fifth-grade at Ojus Elementary in Northeast Miami-Dade. She’s been teaching students for the past 11 years.

“I never thought I would be a finalist,” said German.

Nadia German
Nadia German

German prides herself on using her life experiences to educate her students. “So when they receive it, and they get it, my spirit is elated,” she said. “It makes me feel like I succeeded. I’ve done it.”

Ortiz said she has dreamed of becoming a teacher since she was a child. “It’s incredibly humbling,” said Ortiz. “I really never expected to get to this level.”

Laura Ortiz
Laura Ortiz

Ortiz has been an educator for 15 years and teaches 10th and 11th grade students at Robert Morgan Educational Center.

For the last 22 years, Joseph-Goins has been on a mission to help educate teenage mothers. She’s a science teacher at the Dorothy M. Wallace C.O.P.E. Center, a school for teenage parents.

Despite becoming pregnant in high school, Joseph-Goins beat the odds to become a phenomenal woman and teacher. Now, she wants to make sure her students achieve greatness amid their circumstances.

Alfreida Joseph-Goins
Alfreida Joseph-Goins

“Other young ladies need some support, so I can help them achieve their goals” said Joseph-Goins. “I’ve been where they are.”

She added that becoming a finalist for Teacher of the Year is a goal that goes beyond the classroom.

“It would be really fantastic,” she said. “Not only for me, but for my young ladies to be able to see that, if they just push and if they strive and set goals, and no matter how many times they get knocked down, they can achieve those goals.”

The winner will be announced Thursday night at the Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year Dinner.

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