TEACHER OF THE WEEK: Highland Elementary teacher's aide succeeds - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

TEACHER OF THE WEEK: Highland Elementary teacher's aide succeeds at 83

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STILLMAN VALLEY (WREX) -

For some people, age is just a number This couldn't ring more true for Highland Elementary's Mr. Victor Teran.

"As a matter of fact some of them do call me grandpa," Mr. Teran said. "And I enjoy that."

After 45 years as a toy maker in Rockford, 63 years still happily married, and after immigrating from Mexico in the 1940s, Mr. Victor Teran is 83 years old and has found a new career in the classroom.

"He could stay home, but he comes here," says Kim Rippentrop, Highland Elementary's office assistant, who also nominated Victor for the award. "He even makes it through the snow. Still does his own driveway. So to have him here is an honor."

My visit to Highland Elementary in Stillman Valley was emotional, not just for Victor, but for every teacher in the building.

"He's just a special person," Rippentrop says. "He cares about the kids. Has some really great stories and comes from a rough background, so to come this far in life and to be this successful, it's great."

10 years ago, Victor stepped out of retirement and into the Meridian School District, both as a bilingual and special education teacher's aid.

"Sometimes they look for your help and your guidance and I try to do my best to guide them and to just do whatever I can for them," says," says Mr. Teran.

But you won't just find him in the classroom helping out. He's also the waterboy for Boylan basketball and hasn't missed a Boylan football game since 1973, including away games. He says his passion to help the kids is what drives him everyday.

"If I can be of some help to these children and maybe somehow help them not to make the same mistakes as I did as a youngster, I think that will be a reward."

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