Teacher Recognized for Excellence

by Jay Wintermeyer

Jedzeah Hall, the student who nomiated Castrejon, poses with her teacher for a photo. Also in the photo Stephanie Vigil and representatives from Eastern Washington University.

Stephanie Vigil from KHQ TV congratulating Judy Castrejon during the award ceremony. 

Spokane, Wash., November 19, 2012 -News anchor, Stephanie Vigil, from KHQ visited Palisades Christian Academy (PCA) Thursday, November 15 and presented the Teacher of the Month Award to Judy Castrejon for her outstanding work as an educator.

Castrejon teaches math, science and fifth and sixth grades at PCA. She’s now part of a select group of educators in Eastern Washington to receive the award from KHQ Television and Eastern Washington University. Mrs. C, as she is referred to at PCA, was awarded a plaque as well as four free credits at EWU.   

The award ceremony took place during a special school assembly. Castrejon was completely surprised by the announcement. In addition to giving her the award, Vigil read the student letter that nominated Castrejon for the honor.

The student said “I really had a hard time with math and science. I would get so frustrated I would give up. When she started teaching me last year, she made it come to life [for] me. Mrs. C. spent time with me after school and made me not feel dumb. I’m in 8th grade now thanks to her.”

Castrejon began teaching first grade 21 years ago in the Calexico Mission School in Southern California. Since then she has taught at the elementary and high school levels.

“I initially wanted to teach in Adventist schools,” says Castrejon, “because I wanted to show kids Jesus love. I attended an Adventist school during my 8th and 9th grades and the girls were really mean to me. I wanted show kids how to be kind. After I started teaching, I discovered science and the amazing ways we can show God through that discipline.”

In fact, teaching about God through science is so core to Castejon, a public school chose not to hire her because they felt she couldn’t leave God out of the classroom. She is passionate about her students and they know it. After the award ceremony, Castrejon was mobbed by excited students.

For Castrejon, the most rewarding part of her job is building kingdom friendships. “Making lifelong friendships and those ‘I got it’ moments” are what she lives for.

Palisades Christian Academy is located in Spokane, Wash. Their dedicated team of teachers, including Castrejon, is committed to quality Christian education. They offer kindergarten through 10th grade.