BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Kern County educator was given the honor "Teacher of the Year" in a state-wide VFW competition for American history and citizenship education.
John Paul Saindon, an 8th grade History teacher at Freedom Middle School, edged out 200 other applicants to win the Veterans of Foreign Wars Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for California.
Saindon's contributions toward citizenship education topics and promoting American history was what landed him the honor.
Saindon said it is the interaction with his students that is the real award.
"It's almost like I'm teaching it for the first time that these kids have power in society," Saidon said. "That with citizenship comes power. That they can effect change. That they can write letters and take part in the system."
Saindon will now compete on the national level.