One Class at a Time: Mr. Cantu

Traveling an hour one way for work can be a challenge. This week’s One Class at a Time grant winner has no issues putting in the time for his students. One could say he displays “marvelous” skills on a daily basis.
The latest, up-to-date local news provided by the Heart of Illinois ABC News team, with updates on community issues in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas.
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Dylan Cantu says nothing beats teaching in a small environment.

His 4th grade students at Astoria Elementary, all smiles during our visit in this super-hero themed classroom.

“This is actually our first day, that they don’t have to wear masks. That’s nice for them because I know that they don’t like it.”

He calls his kids resilient, having dealt with covid and the snow storms this winter.

Toughness also carrying over into the gym where he coaches the boys 7th grade basketball team.

Simply put, Cantu is a born leader, something he says just runs in the family.

“My brother was a teacher, father was a teacher, still is a teacher, and my mom is a teacher so, it’s kind of in the blood.”

Little did Dylan know, his wife nominated him for the grant, we were just happy to bring a little sunshine on a cloudy day.

In the past, Mr. Cantu says he’s dug into his own pocket for supplies for the classroom, but this time he’s got one thousand dollars to play with.

“It’s very exciting I know this money is going to go to them. It’s going to to the students, maybe get some books in here some flexible seating, anything I can do to give to them. They’re everything to me.”

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