(New Britain, Conn./CBS Connecticut) – For 30 years, the Milken Educator Awards have singled out teachers from coast-to-coast who go above and beyond in the classroom and among their colleagues.

This year Smalley Academy of New Britain’s Manny Zaldivar is among 35 educators being honored with a $25,000 award.

Zaldivar heads the academy’s English Learning Development (ELD) team and is a first grade teacher.

He says the language barrier among a good many of he students is a challenge, as is learning to work despite limited resources.

Zaldivar says in spite of that, it’s their mission to provide students with the best education they can.

Milken officials say Zaldivar’s students posted a 21-pecent increase in those reading at or above grade level, in part to the ELD program.


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