Sylvia Cadena had trouble learning to read while she was growing up in Los Angeles.

But the 53-year-old Diamond Bar woman has learned a lot while teaching in the Rowland Unified School District.

In fact, Cadena was one of the instructors honored on Sept. 29 by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as Rowland's teacher of the year.

And if you haven't guessed it yet, the enthusiastic teacher was selected for her work as a literacy coach.

"One of my teachers in elementary school never gave up on me. She helped me work on my reading skills," Cadena explained.

Now the learning director at Villacorta Elementary in La Puente, she never forgot that teacher. Over the years, Cadena has helped thousands of struggling readers.