Meet Our 2020 National University Teacher of the Year!
Congratulations, Alejandro Diasgranados!
March 30, 2021
We’re thrilled to announce Alejandro Diasgranados, a fourth and fifth grade teacher at Aiton Elementary School in Washington, D.C., as our 2020 National University Teacher of the Year!
Influenced by an inspirational teacher when he was growing up, Mr. Diasgranados inspires his students by seeking to remove barriers to their success. When he realized that students were being bullied or were not coming to school because they did not have clean clothes, he wrote to the Washington Football Team to set up a laundry facility for the community in the school. Recognizing that the school was in a food desert where students did not have healthy food options, he established a partnership with a local nonprofit that provides healthy cooking lessons to the school each month.
Mr. Diasgranados stays in constant communication with his students, which he has found even more important with the challenges experienced during COVID-19, the shift to distance learning, and the recent social unrest nationwide.
“My students are like family to me,” Mr. Diasgranados shared. “I have been able to the stay connected to my students, even throughout this pandemic. It is so important to listen to what students have to say. We want to amplify students’ voices and provide a comfortable environment where they can share whatever emotions they have to share. Their excitement and passion is my inspiration.”
Mr. Diasgranados was selected from more than 51 state winners. He will receive a check for $50,000, and is eligible for a full scholarship for National University’s Master’s Degree Program in Social and Emotional Learning or a doctoral degree in Education from National University, City University of Seattle, or Northcentral University (all universities in the National University System). Dr. Michael Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System, surprised Mr. Diasgranados with the exciting news on the nationally syndicated Drew Barrymore Show!
Congratulations to Mr. Diasgranados and all our state winners for their well-earned achievement! To learn more about Mr. Diasgranados and our 2020 state winners, visit the 2020 National University Teacher Award winners’ announcement.