Andrea Barallardos didn’t think she ever steps back into a high school classroom after she graduated.

If you told me in high school that I was going to be a teacher I probably would have bet you a million dollars that I wasnt, she said.

Barallardos has been a science teacher at Douglas High School since 1999, after moving to the area to be with family. She was studying to be a doctor in the Philippians when people told her she would make a good teacher after she taught an anatomy class.

I love teaching,” she said. “So every day when I wake up its not like Im going to a job. Its like Im going to something fun that I love doing.

The physics and engineering teacher’s passion and commitment to her students. earned her the title of Cochise County Teacher of the Year. Barallardos said she was shocked when her name was announced as the winner, during the ceremony that was held in April.

She is definitely a teacher that embodies teaching through her heart,” Douglas Unified School District Superintendent, Ana Samaniego said. “She has a passion and um and a calling for education.

The news traveled quickly around the community. When she returned to school students, staff and other teachers congratulated her. Barallardos said she even received messages from one of her former students who is a senior at Harvard.

He send me a message just congratulating me and telling me how it was well deserved and how Ive made a difference in her life, she said.

In addition to teaching, Barallardos serves as an adviser for the school’s Skills USA group and is the Bulldogs’ cheerleading coach. She led her cheer team to two state championships this year.

In 2022, the Skill USA group won gold in robotics and automation technology. They also placed sixth at nationals and the chapter received the model of excellence designation which is given to 24 chapters across the country. This year the group once again won gold in robotics and automation and added a silver medal to their collection. The chapter received the Jefferson Award for the top chapter in the state. The students will compete at nationals in June.

Im super passionate. I have a lot of energy. My kids love it,” Barallardos said. “They love the passion that I bring and the motivation that I give them. Im always pushing them to find their limits. To create goals and meet them.

Barallardos will also be competing for her own award at the national competition in June. Last week, she was named the Western region adviser of the year and is in contention to be the national winner. Barallardos said her students pushed her to apply for the award because she is always encouraging them to do their best.

Admittedly, Barallardos said she couldn’t do all that is doing without the support of her husband, her principal and the CTE director.

She is currently working on her application for the state teacher of the year competition.