Community rallies behind Eastchester teacher in bid for national honor

There are teachers and then there’s Deanna Santoro. 

Santoro teaches 5th grade at Eastchester’s Anne Hutchinson School in Westchester County, and is wrapping up her 31st year of making a difference in the lives of each student she comes across.

"I knew in 4th grade I wanted to be a teacher. I always had that in my mind that that was my passion," Santoro said.

Santoro is also just one of a few dozen teachers in the country who are in the running to become "America’s Favorite Teacher". 

America's Favorite Teacher is a Reader’s Digest competition that Santoro, on a whim, entered a few weeks ago.

"America’s favorite teacher? 31 years? I figured I have to be somebody’s favorite," Santoro said.

With less than three weeks of voting left, Santoro is very much in this competition. She reached the quarterfinals with the whole community, including current and former students rallying to get her to the top spot.

"If anybody had Mrs. Santoro as a teacher, they'd be just as lucky as we are" said 5th grader Max Polanco.

Voting in the quarterfinals goes through next Thursday, May 16th. If she pulls it off, Ms. Santoro will move on to the semifinals with the final vote set for May 30th. If she wins, she’ll be featured in Readers Digest, win $25,000, and a trip to Hawaii.

To vote, visit the America's Favorite Teacher website here.