Diane Ballard is a sixth-grade teacher at John Hancock Charter School. She was chosen as the Daily Herald's Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

Ballard brings learning alive daily for her students. Her students mummify a chicken each year for their unit on Egypt; they build and then launch rockets to learn about propulsion; they research their family history and present about their family members who immigrated to the United States during the immigration unit; and they make gargoyles when they learn about Gothic art.

Ballard's students love her and she loves them. She follows them as they grow up and has been known to attend many graduations, LDS mission farewells and marriages. Her students refer to her as family because of the mutual love they share for each other.

She is an educator who gives so much more than just an academic education — she makes her students feel good about themselves.

Keri Lunt Stevens covers Community News in Utah County.

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