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Special education teacher selected as September ‘One Class At A Time’ winner

September's One Class At A Time winner is Christopher Thompson from Benjamin Franklin Elementary in La Quinta.

After receiving his award during a Zoom ceremony due to COVID restrictions at his school, he said he is "super excited because that means I can do my job better and these kids can reach their potential, which is the coolest thing.”

Wearing his red cape in honor of super hero day at school, he explained why he couldn’t be more thrilled to be this months award winner.

He said the $500 will help him meet his students’ individual needs, which sometimes requires him to spend some of his own money for necessary supplies.   

Mr. Thompson said he has to get creative to keep up with an ever-changing class roster, adding "you may know this student. You may not know this student, so the needs are different every single year.”

Additionally, his own personal experience as a father to a special needs student inspired him to teach.

Mr. Thompson said “you need to have people who can find those kids and address those needs.”

Currently, he teaches boys from kindergarten to second grade means working closely with their parents, which he feels is important to the success of every one of his students, and noted "we’re all on the same team.”

His work is not unnoticed and appreciated by members of the community, including Attorney Walter Clark who is responsible for funding the award.

Mr. Clark thanked Mr. Thompson for the service he has “provided as a teacher for the last five years.”

Mr. Thompson said he will use his award money to buy manipulatives to help his students learn through a multi-sensory approach.

Tune in to News Channel 3 at 5:00 p.m. for more on Mr. Thompson's story.

If you'd like to apply to be next month's "One Class At a Time" award, visit kesq.com.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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