Alejandro Diasgranados

Lead Fourth & Fifth-Grade Teacher, Aiton Elementary School, Washington, DC

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2020 Teacher of the Year

Alejandro Diasgranados seeks every opportunity to remove barriers to his students’ success. Last year, that included staying in constant communication to support his class through the adjustment to virtual learning. His passion and commitment led National University to recognize Alejandro as Teacher of the Year for 2020, which came as a surprise to him when it was publicly announced on the Drew Barrymore Show.

Alejandro relates to many of his students’ experiences. Growing up, Alejandro’s abuela went to great lengths to fill his plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, even if it meant taking the bus to another town to obtain the healthy foods that were essential for Alejandro’s growth. Now that he teaches at an elementary school in a food desert, Alejandro partnered with a local nonprofit to integrate healthy cooking lessons into the curriculum for four grades. Noticing that some of his students were staying home or being bullied because they did not have clean clothes, Alejandro secured a grant from the Washington Football Team for a school laundry center for the community and hosted a coat drive with the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Champion, Devante Smith-Pelly. 

“My students are like family to me,” says Alejandro Diasgranados.  

Recently, Alejandro met with U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona and Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten to discuss how the Department of Education can help provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for students across the nation. “We can only provide better outcomes for our students when we show them that their thoughts matter and their input is valued,” says Alejandro. No matter the need, Alejandro always provides his students and their families with a comfortable environment in which to amplify their voices in conversations that directly impact their health and learning outcomes.