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Three CUSD teachers receive grant from Intel

Alina Salazar, Jair Hinojosa, and Fabian Soto are the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) recipients of the 2023 Intel Teacher Diversity STEAM Grant. Each recipient receives $1,000, which can go toward their schooling and education.

The recipients needed to write essays and submit video responses that share their intentions and goals for the grants. All three teachers are new to the district in the 2023-2024 school year.

Read more on the three recipients below.

Alina SalazaarAlina Salazar

Alina Salazar is a second grade teacher at Chandler Traditional Academy (CTA) Liberty. She said she's excited to work in CUSD, especially because the district offers Spanish Dual Language Immersion programs.

"I can teach not only my language but my culture to my students," Salazar said.

Salazar plans on using the grant money for professional development in education.

"This scholarship grant means a lot to me because I feel it's like a reward for all I have done, and I will continue to do, in education."

Jair HinojosaJair Hinojosa

Jair Hinojosa is a third grade teacher at Bologna Elementary School. He said CUSD's emphasis on innovative teaching methods and dedication to student success aligned with his educational philosophy. He felt a strong sense of community and collaboration with his colleagues, making it a welcoming and supportive environment for his skills.

"Receiving this scholarship grant is a true honor and validation of my dedication to education. It demonstrates that my efforts and commitment to my students and profession are recognized and valued," he said.

Jair plans to use the grant for professional development, like attending workshops and conferences, to serve his students' diverse needs.

"Diversity is a fundamental cornerstone of our society and classrooms. It represents the unique blend of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and experiences that everyone brings. Embracing diversity in education fosters an environment of inclusivity, empathy, and understanding. It enriches the learning process by exposing students to different viewpoints, preparing them to be global citizens who can navigate and contribute positively to an increasingly interconnected world," he said.

Fabian Soto from Bologna Elementary SchoolFabian Soto

Fabian Soto is a first grade teacher at Bologna Elementary School. To him, diversity means coexisting in a place where all live with an understanding, respect, and acceptance of all cultures and differences.

"I love being a teacher because I love to share knowledge with my students. It is quite satisfying for me to be able to help others learn and discover new ways of learning. I also like learning, so sometimes I feel we learn a lot from our students, and this makes me be a better teacher," he said.

Fabian said he plans on continuing his education by pursuing his master's degree — thanks to the Intel grant.

There is still $7,000 in grants that will go directly toward supporting the recruitment and retention of CUSD teachers enrolled in becoming certified teachers or pre-service student interns who will be hired by CUSD.

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