Katie Herzberg teaches 5th grade at Ryan Elementary. She's worked in the Chandler Unified School District for the past 15 years. Herzberg started as a para-educator working with students with special needs. After graduating from ASU in 2006, she started teaching.

Two parents nominated Mrs. Herzberg with their kids and when they told her, she was completely surprised.

“I just felt extremely blessed that two families thought of me for this award… because it’s their families that bless me,” said Herzberg.

“I nominated Katie Herzberg and I’m going to cry, because she is just awesome,” said Kim Barker, a parent of one of her students. “We were brand new to Ryan Elementary and she just loved on my son… brought him in and loved on him.”

Barker says Mrs. Herzberg would watch baseball games to be relatable to her son.

“When my husband was deployed, her brother-in-law was deployed in the same location at the same time, so they had that in common,” she said. “She just goes above and beyond.”

“I didn’t really like reading… and she brought me to like reading more,” said Kim’s son Ryne. “I struggled in math a lot and now my math is my best grade.”

His mom says it’s amazing to see her son make the honor roll for the first time, multiple quarters in a row.

“I had the opportunity to be her room mom last year and I really got to watch her with her kids,” said Lindsay Smith, another student’s parent. “I was really impressed with her interaction with her kids and how much they loved her.”

“My daughter would come home from school, just so excited to tell me one of Mrs. Herzberg’s personal life stories and we’d both be chuckling after she would tell me every day,” she said. “She was so excited to tell me.”

Smith says her daughter developed a better love for reading in her 4th grade class.

“I like how she’s happy and her stories and how she helps kids learn,” said Lindsay’s daughter Krissy.

“I have a motto that I tell the kids every year… which is once you’re a Herzberg, you’re always a Herzberg. I’ll be here, so if you ever need me, please always come back,” said Herzberg.

If you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized as one of our 12 News A+ Teachers, email us at connect@12news.com.