CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Kathy Regan loves her students. She just has a hard time communicating with some of them. Roughly half of the students at Chalkley Elementary are Hispanic.
"A lot of our students are from Central America and unfortunately a lot of the countries they come from are not safe for us to travel to," Ms. Regan said. “And that's part of why they're here."
Ms. Regan was recently awarded just over $11,000 in a R.E.B Award for being an exceptional teacher. She's using that money to try and be an even better one.
"My first plan is to go to Mexico," she said. "Take some authentic cooking classes, just kind of live there for a little bit of time and learn Spanish as I go."
She could spend the money on anything, but her students come first.
"If I really want to get to know these students and get to know who they are and who their families are and what they need from me, I need to be able to communicate just on that basic level," she said.
You can't get much higher praise than this from Principal Nicole Boone.
"If I was a 5th grade student, I'd want to learn from Ms. Regan," Boone said. "She knows their families. She knows what they're struggling with. She knows what they're good at. She encourages them. She motivates them. And she's a phenomenal teacher."
Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.