Local teacher Armando Cataño to receive Padres Comunidad Award

The San Diego Padres today announced the recipient of the second Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award. Armando Cataño, a teacher at Monroe Clark Middle School in City Heights, has been selected by members of the Padres’ Hispanic Community Leadership Council (HCLC) for his dedication to improving the lives of youth, specifically in the area of education. He will be honored before Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Cincinnati Reds.

A 15-year veteran at Monroe Clark, Cataño has been praised for providing opportunities for engagement, service and academic mentorship to his students. In addition to teaching Social Studies and Spanish, he heads the César Chávez Service Club, an after-school volunteerism group that requires students to fulfill a minimum of 150 hours of community service each year. Planned service projects include weekly trips to downtown San Diego to feed the homeless community. In addition, Cataño offers his students the opportunity to volunteer as ushers at the annual César E. Chávez Commemorative Breakfast and participate in the City Heights Facelift Project, a neighborhood clean-up effort.

“The Padres are proud to recognize Armando Cataño for his leadership both inside and outside the classroom,” said Padres President Tom Garfinkel. "Through his example, Armando emphasizes to his students the importance of education, while reinforcing that each one of them has the power to be a catalyst for community change.”

A Tijuana native, Cataño received his teaching credential and Master’s degree from San Diego State University. He has been a teacher at Monroe Clark Middle School since the 1997 City Heights Pilot (City Heights Educational Collaborative). Off campus, Cataño is actively involved in numerous community organizations, including Latinos y Latinas en Acción and Proyecto Casas Saludables, organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Hispanic youth and their families.

“This is a tremendous honor for me,” said Cataño. “Education has been a vital part of my life and I try to instill in my students that education should create leaders who serve the community.”

The Padres’ Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Awards were established this season to recognize and pay tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego’s Hispanic community. In support of the Padres Foundation’s community vision, three awards will be given throughout the year, one each in the areas of children’s health (LIVE), children’s education (LEARN) and youth baseball/softball or youth fitness (PLAY). Earlier this season, Dr. Raul Trejo of the Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program and the San Ysidro Health Center received the inaugural award, for his impact in the area of children’s health (LIVE).

The Padres are now accepting nominations of individuals or organizations who display leadership in the area of youth baseball/softball or youth fitness. The remaining nomination and recognition period is outlined below. Nominations may be submitted online at www.padres.com/community and www.padresbeisbol.com/comunidad.

June 25 – August 1, 2012

Nominations will be accepted for individuals or organizations whose emphasis is in the area of youth baseball/softball or youth fitness.  The winning individual or organization will be honored on the field before the Padres home game on Friday, August 17, 2012.

All three Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award winners will be honored on the field before the Padres game on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, as part of Hispanic Heritage Night festivities.