“We’re here to present my wife with the 12 News Teacher of the Week award,” said Mark Baldenegro, who showed up to surprise his wife Rena out on the field with her students.

He nominated her for completing a 10-year goal.

“We’re here to present you with 12 News Teacher of the Week award for your accomplishment as a teacher, a mother,” he said.

“Recently she accomplished completing the Boston Marathon, but it was a feat of its own, because she had to qualify first, and that was a big job to qualify. And she does this as a side hobby, and I don’t know where she gets the time to do it, but she manages to fit it in,” he said.

The P.E. and photography teacher at Combs Middle School in San Tan Valley had a hip injury three months before the marathon and had to stop training. However, she found alternative ways to stay in shape and worked through it, completing the race in windy rainy conditions.

“Thank you,” she said.

“We’ve never been so proud as a school to have her,” said Laura Ridge, principal.

Rena hopes to inspire her students through her accomplishment.

“This is pretty exciting,” she said. “I am pretty goal-oriented, and when I set a goal I go for it.”

“Honestly, I became a P.E. teacher, because I was tired of seeing obese kids walking around and the world going to video games, and I wanted to be able to motivate students to try harder and exercise,” she said.

“I hope they see the motivation and drive that she has,” her husband said.

“I couldn’t do it without his support,” she said.

 If you know an A+ Teacher who deserves to be recognized, be sure to email us your nomination. The email is connect@12news.com

Please include the teacher’s name, the school they teach at, why he or she should be recognized and your contact information.