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John Daley reporting A veteran teacher in Utah's Davis County has won a national education honor.
He's a big hit with his students. But no one wants to be caught speaking "John Wayne Spanish" in his Spanish class.
In Larry Carrillo's class it's all authentic Spanish--all the time.
It's Car-EE-YO not Car-ILL-o.
And it's tortilla not tor-TILL-a.
What he calls "John Wayne Spanish" is not allowed.
Carrillo says learning should be fun. Today's lesson: alphabet Bingo.
Senor Carrillo, as his students call him, has a PhD. He's taught in elementary, junior high and high school, was a principal and a district director of bilingual education.
A few years ago he retired and then decided to return.
Larry Carrillo/ Spanish Teacher: "The two years taht I was retired, I just was not happy and I knew what was missing in my life was teaching."
That dedication has been rewarded by Nordstrom and Hispanic Magazine as the 2003 National Hispanic Teacher of the Year.
Larry Carrillo/ Hispanic Teacher of the Year: "It does mean a lot. Forty-three years and being recognized at this stage in my life. I'm very humbled and it does mean a lot."
Nick Hill/ 7th Grader: "He's funny. He's a good teacher."
Geneva Thompson/ 8th Grader: "This is like a really fun class. I always enjoy to come to this class, and just know you're going to learn something every day."
Carrillo grew up in a Spanish speaking home in Arizona and he's a firm advocate of diversity.
Larry Carrillo/ Hispanic Teacher of the Year: "I think to bring to them first hand information, and I share it with them. They learn a lot about the Spanish culture."
For that, his students have one word--gracias.
Larry Carrillo will be honored in Februrary at a banquet in Ogden. Then he'll go to Washington D.C. where he'll meet with officials from the Department of Education and the CEOs of Hispanic Magazine and Nordstrom.
Finally, he'll get a private tour of the White House.