Filipina special ed teacher Ella Nava wins U.S. Heart of Education Award

Ella Nava wins U.S. Heart of Education Award
Filipina special education teacher Ella Nava at the Heart of Education Awards in the United States. Photos from Ella Nava FB.

Filipina teacher Ma. Ismela “Ella” Nava has won a Heart of Education award for her work in special education in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

The primary autism teacher at Paradise Elementary School was announced among the top 20 winners of this year’s the Heart of Education Awards which honor Clark County educators making a difference at their schools.

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Nava was chosen from among over 700 finalists by a panel of judges to receive the county-wide honor.

Nava has been teaching in her school district for five years as a J-1 visa exchange teacher from the Philippines, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal report.

The Filipino educator said she was not expecting to win in her first year of being nominated for the teacher awards program.

“First year nominated and then a winner,” Ella Nava told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “That’s crazy. That’s overwhelming.”

Nava was honored for her service alongside other exceptional educators in an annual award ceremony held at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in April 2022.

Nava and the other award recipients of the annual Heart of Education Awards will each receive a commemorative Heart of Education medallion, along with a cash prize of $5,000, plus $1,000 to donate to a school program of their choice.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, along with The Rogers Foundation, launched The Heart of Education Awards with the goal of honoring, recruiting, and retaining great educators in the Clark County School District.

Filipino educators overseas who have received recognition for making a difference in their students’ lives include Sarah Lancaster, the first teacher with Asian/Pacific Islander (API) heritage to be named Minnesota Teacher of the Year in the United States, and Charles Darwin Magdaluyo, the VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year in this year’s annual EDDY Awards in the United States.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipina special education teacher Ma. Ismela “Ella” Nava for winning a Heart of Education award in the United States!

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.