Valle is Miami-Dade teacher of the year
Thursday, February 20, 2020
When Vanessa Valle was a little girl playing with her dolls, she would pretend to be their teacher.
Sharing knowledge is something Valle has continued to do through her adult life.
And on Jan. 30, her passion for education was rewarded when she was named the 2021 Francisco R. Walker Teacher of the Year, a top award for educators in Miami-Dade County.
Valle, 37, an English teacher at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School, was so nervous during the ceremony she didn’t realize her name had been called and she had to be nudged to the stage.
For 11 years, Valle has taught at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School.
In addition to instructing students in English, she is the literacy coach, chairs the reading department and is the lead teacher in the National Academies Foundation Law Aademy on campus.
She is also pursuing a doctorate degree in English education at Florida International University.
Valle earned her bachelor of science degree in English education and two master of science degrees, in reading education and educational leadership from that school, according to her resume.
She is married, has three children and lives in Miramar.
Valle’s prizes included $5,000, a suitcase decorated with designs by Romero Britto and a new Toyota Corolla.
Valle said she has been given more than enough.
She had a cheering section of dozens of friends at the ceremony, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport & Convention Center.
Her assistant principal, Lesa Slocum, had the idea to make “fatheads,” or giant photos of Valle’s face, to wave that night.
The fun continued the next day at school, when Valle was driven around campus in a golf cart.
Valle said she felt “very humbled” for the recognition that has prompted emails from current and former students wishing her well.
Next up is the state competition, and Valle said she is working on the paperwork for it.
Valle said she loves working at Hialeah Gardens Senior High School, and hopes to stay connected with her students.
“Let’s continue to believe in our children, inspire them to dream and fill them with love,” Valle said during her acceptance speech, according to a Miami Herald report.