Tamarac teacher brings hands-on style to classroom

Rhonda Cava is a second mom, students say

TAMARAC, Fla. – For 30 years, Rhonda Cava has been a teacher, and even a second mom, to thousands.

Cava teaches the fifth-grade gifted class at Challenger Elementary School in Tamarac. But her students say being a "Cava Kid" is the true gift.  

"A lot of the work felt really hard and I didn't think I could do it,but she really helped me," said student Kayla Crespo.
Most wouldn't describe Cava as a textbook teacher. She's visual and hands on, bringing words and pictures to life through dynamic dramatizations.

"She is the most committed teacher I’ve ever met in my entire life. Every student who has been fortunate to have been in her class has soared in the rest of their life," said a fellow Challenger teacher.
That's why Cava was chosen as a Local 10 Tribute to Teachers honoree. She was also honored with a $1,000 check courtesy of the Ford Motor Company.

Cava is retiring at the end of this year, and has words of wisdom for teachers just getting started: "Always remember what you got into it for. Love your children and work hard, because it matters."