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Candice Anaya wins KENS 5 EXCEL Award for Somerset ISD

As part of THE KENS 5 EXCEL Award, Anaya also received a $1000 check from our partner Credit Human.

VON ORMY, Texas — Reading and writing is Candice Anaya's passion but as a child, "it wasn't always easy. I would cry,” said Anaya.

No matter how hard she tried at school, her mother Ann Corbitt recalls Anaya always struggling.

She would tell me that she didn't see things the way that other people saw them.

But Corbitt wouldn’t give up on her daughter. After weeks of rigorous testing at the University of Houston, they finally got answers. 

“What a lot of people don't know is that she has Dyslexia.” 

Anaya says from that point forward, her life changed.

 “When we figured it out, it was kind of a relief that it wasn't something I was doing purposely. It was just that's how my brain was working."

Working extra hard became way of life for Anaya but it never held her back. 

She went on to graduate from college, earn a business degree and even returned to school to get her teaching certification. Her struggles became her strength. 

“My teacher helps me learn and helps me read,” said one student. 

Anaya is now the lead Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies teacher for 3rd grade at Somerset ISD's Barrera Veterans Elementary.

"I know what it's like to struggle and then to not make an excuse." 

And she makes no excuses for her students when they approach her feeling defeated and tell her this, “But I can't do it. You can't? And then I share with we them what happens and that it is something that they can overcome."

Persevering is an important lesson she teaches these kids, some of whom are also dyslexic. 

Anaya says she spends weekends, after school hours and time at home preparing prior to her classes. Her dyslexia taught her to come up with a method.

“I type things out. I write things out. I read things over and over and over again. I say them out loud to make sure my words are flowing correctly and I didn't invert anything I do."

Anaya’s personal experience is what pushed her to become a teacher and her commitment to the children makes her the perfect fit for a classroom. 

“I didn't want them to struggle like I did. I wanted to teach them strategies so that they don't have to put all the effort in that I do. If I can give that back to them. It's all worthwhile."

As part of THE KENS 5 EXCEL Award, Anaya also received a $1000 check from our partner Credit Human. 

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