MHES teacher receives education award

A Moore Haven Elementary School teacher was one of three teachers in the state of Florida to be awarded the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

Kindergarten teacher Bertha C. Toledo received word she was the recipient of the prestigious award roughly two weeks ago. She joins a middle school teacher and high school teacher as the three recipients of the award, presented by Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Education.

Toledo has been teaching for 15 years, 13 as a first grade teacher and two as a kindergarten teacher.

The best part of Toledo’s day, she said, is coming to work and helping her students.

“My favorite part of my job is instilling to each one of my students the desire to learn. I get up every morning thinking about the best way to reach each child,” she said.

Toledo, who was born in Guatemala, immigrated to the United States when she was in sixth grade, finishing her secondary education in Los Angeles before moving to Florida to attend Florida Gulf Coast University.

Upon graduation, Toledo began her career as an elementary school teacher in Moore Haven.

Toledo said her move from urban areas to the small, rural community of Moore Haven has been a great experience.

“I like the small community. You know everyone. You take care of their kids and they take care of yours,” she said.

Toledo has three children of her own, a 20 year old studying at the University of Florida, a ninth grader at Moore Haven High School and a fifth grader.

As the winner of the award, Toledo received the opportunity to travel to Tallahassee on Oct. 5 to receive her prize at the Governor’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

“I’m very happy. Absolutely happy, and joyful. I love what I do. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do this job,” said Toledo.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

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