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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Sunset Junior High Spanish teacher Lawrence Carrillo has been named National Hispanic Teacher of the Year by Nordstrom and Hispanic Magazine.
Carrillo has been a teacher and administrator for 43 years. He retired six years ago but returned because "I missed the kids so much I had to come back."
Carrillo was cited for his innovation in curriculum, subject competence and student motivation.
Carrillo has taught in elementary, junior high and high school, was a principal at all three levels, and was director of bilingual education and federal programs at the district level.
He particularly likes working with junior high kids, despite -- or because of -- that being such an awkward age.
"That's why I like it, I feel like I understand them," he said. "I love to see the growth from seventh grade to ninth grade -- it's marvelous, it's like the swan (and the ugly duckling)."
Carrillo is active in the Davis Education Association and is an advocate for diversity.
Sunset Principal Jim Schmidt said Carrillo's leadership background makes him a strong leader within the school.
"I look to him to help me understand and take care of the needs of the Hispanic kids," said Schmidt. "They're a group that in many cases need some extra attention and he is there to give it to them."
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)