Who: Maria Elena Galleher
What: Mrs. Galleher strongly believes in enhancing her student’s psychological and physical health by advocating for the “whole child”. As a Peer Mediation instructor, she believes when teachers address the emotional well-being of a child through restorative practices, prevention of acts of aggression can occur. A daily goal of hers is to motivate and inspire students to love the act of learning, so they can use it for any subject, no matter their level or background. Galleher was the catalyst in turning two weed-infested lots on her campus to a fully functioning zero-waste garden and classroom. While Maria is extremely proud of her accomplishments in the field of teaching, she is more proud of the steps her students have taken to enrich their lives with exercises for their bodies and minds.
Where: This amazing teacher began her career in 1988 at National City Junior High School, now National City Middle. Currently, she teaches AP Government, Peer Mediation, Food and Nutrition through Gardening, Spanish and Mexican-American studies at Chula Vista High.
Why: She believes that one teacher cannot nourish “the whole child” alone, but that all teachers can make transformational change together.