Popular SBHS Teacher Gets Nominated for Teacher of The Year For Broward County.


Amy Caceres, Editor

Imagine this: You’re sitting in class when Ms. Brown bursts through the door and all other administrators walk in behind her, they tell everyone in your class to sit down and announce they are looking for someone. Everyone is scared until Ms. Brown announces that they are looking for the teacher of the year. Well, that was how it happened to South Broward’s very own Mr. Otto Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez is mostly known for his Latinos in Action combination of class and club, which is designed to instill the idea of volunteerism through field trips to help kids with their homework, or have beach cleanups all the while incorporating a sense of cultural pride. He has been a Latinos in Action teacher for six years, and a teacher for 25 years. 20 of those were at South Broward High School. 

On September 23rd, Mr. Rodriguez found out that he had been initially nominated. He says he remembers the day exactly, as it was a Friday and he was having one of his classroom parties when he found out. About two months later he found out he was a semi-finalist. 

He was thrilled, “On December 9th I was taken out of my classroom and was told my air conditioner needed to be checked and I had to go to the media center. I took my class to the media center and as I’m standing there they come out with a huge banner saying I was a finalist. Some of my previous principals were even there,” said Rodriguez.

And it wasn’t the first time Rodriguez had been nominated. The first year Rodriguez took over LIA class he was nominated for teacher of the year. So he wasn’t expecting to win a second time.

“There are so many good teachers out there,” said Rodriguez “It would be unfair if I won a second time.” 

Even his students believe he’s amazing, students that walk by or know LIA students say they see them always engaging and having fun while still learning. While his own students believe he’s one of the best teachers they’ve had.

“Mr. Rodriguez made me actually enjoy certain parts of school. I’m only in his class not his club but I go with LIA on field trips to elementary schools and I’ve been able to get so many service hours all thanks to him,” said Matthew Garcia.

He says that the connections he has with his students are the key to his success. 

“You never stop learning, and in order to be a good teacher you have to be a good learner. You have to learn something every day,” he said.