Cordova teacher wins national honor for Catholic schools

SFOA-logoSandra Chando, who teaches at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Cordova, has received the 2017 NCEA “Lead. Learn. Proclaim.” Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) for dedication and commitment to excellence.

She is among just 13 teachers nationwide to receive this year’s award and is the only one from the Memphis area.

The annual award honors teachers who have demonstrated a strong Catholic educational philosophy as well as exceptional ability, dedication and results. The teachers – chosen from the more than 150,000 educators who teach in the nation’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools – were recognized during the annual NCEA 2017 Convention & Expo on April 18-20 in St. Louis, Mo.

Chando has worked for the Catholic Diocese of Memphis at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and St. Benedict at Auburndale for 25 years. She currently teaches eighth-grade literature. A spokesman for her school described her as a teacher who inspires her students by integrating the Catholic faith into literature and theater, while finding innovative ways to engage students of all abilities. She also collaborates with her colleagues to bring new technology into the classroom and to improve the school culture.

Chando said, “I am always looking for new ideas and reading selections to vary the literature curriculum and keep the students interested, entertained, and reflecting on religious values as they grow in body and spirit.”

In addition to her classroom responsibilities at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, she serves as the liturgical music coordinator, school group educational travel coordinator, and Missoula Children’s Theatre school sponsor and accompanist.