DC teacher receives award for inspiring students

A D.C. teacher was honored for his work this past school year with a $10,000 award presented over the weekend.

Alejandro Diasgranados, who teachers 4th and 5th graders at Aiton Elementary School in Northeast D.C., became one of 51 teachers nationwide honored with a Sanford Teacher Award.

The honor is given to teachers who inspire and motivate their students while helping build their confidence.


According to the award’s website, Diasgranados goes “above and beyond for his students using his own story as inspiration to show students that they can succeed.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Diasgranados used various phone applications to connect with his students while assuring that they were receiving an engaging education.

“Different teachers at our school were doing things like connecting with students through TikTok,” said Diasgranados.

“I used an application called Flipgrid, where I would just allow students to post and have conversations.”

One of those conversations came after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Many of Diasgranados’ students attended the protests held in downtown D.C.

The experience taught him the importance of listening to his students, the elementary school teacher said.

“They have so much to say, and they are the future,” Diasgranados said.

“A lot of the conversations that I’ve had with my students about what has been going on, they have already been thinking about solutions.”

The Sanford Teacher Awards, named for philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, elects teachers from all 50 states and D.C., from pre-K through 12th grade.

Teachers are required to demonstrate the ability to engage their students, build confidence, create an inclusive environment, motivate their students and give their students a voice.

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