Black Teacher Surprised with $50,000 Check and National Award

DC teacher Alex Diasgranados received a $50,000 check for his work in the education system. Diasgranados teaches at Aiton Elementary School in Washington, D.C. His work has earned him numerous awards, including the National University 2021 Teacher of the Year.

“I couldn’t have been more excited to receive this news from none other than my friend Drew Barrymore who sent a crew to my house to present the award,” Diasgranados shared on Instagram.

Teacher Appears on The Drew Barrymore Show 

Diasgranados first appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show last year to talk about his work in education.

“This community has been underserved for several years. However, this community is filled with such cultural wealth,” says Diasgranados “My personal mission has always been to give my students access to a variety of people, programs, resources, and connections to really enhance their learning experience.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Diasgranados used creative methods to teach his 4th and 5th grade students. He also provided a safe space for kids to discuss issues going on in the world. After the death of George Floyd, he listened to the students create solutions to the problems we face today.

“They have so much to say, and they are the future,” Diasgranados shared with WTOP News.

After Diasgranados his story about being an educator in the DC school system, Drew Barrymore announced a gift from Asus. The computer hardware company gifted Chromebook laptops for every student and teacher at Aiton Elementary.

DC Teacher Receives $50,000 Check and National Award

Diasgranados’ hard work and commitment to his students do not go unnoticed. Last year, he received the $10,000 2020 Stanford Teacher Award. He was also $7,500 as the DC 2021 Teacher of the Year.

Now, Drew Barrymore is facilitating the addition of another award to his resume.

ABC7 reporter Kid O’Shea arrived at Diasgranados’ home to share the big news. Before the announcement, he shares what the National University Teacher award nomination means to him.

“It’s huge because teachers are working so hard during this pandemic,” says Diasgranados. “And to even be recognized is something that I’m extremely grateful for.”

During his on-camera appearance, Diasgranados has no idea that this meeting is not just a follow-up conversation; it’s a life-changing check and award for his dedication to education.

A few moments later, Dr. Michael Cunningham from National University arrived on the screen. He announced that Diasgranados was the recipient of the National University Teacher of the Year award.

“We chose you because you believe and inspire your students each and every day,” says Cunningham. “As the winner, you just received this $50,000 check which you can spend anywhere you want.”

In addition, Diasgranados received a full-ride scholarship for a Master’s or doctoral degree.