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Hometown Hero: Teacher Defies Budget Cuts to Help Struggling Students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A teacher who volunteers her time at Central High School is tonight's Hometown Hero.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A teacher who volunteers her time at Central High School is tonight's Hometown Hero.

Debra Florez, the head of the math department at the school, volunteers her time to help students struggling in math.

Tutoring was offered on a weekly basis, but because of budget cuts the tutoring stopped. Florez noticed students were still struggling and needing extra attention, so she found a way to make sure they could continue to get that one-on-one time.

"There was a need," says Florez. "I asked if anyone in the department had time to do that. We've got coaches. We've got people who are sponsoring clubs and organizations, and no one had the time, so two of us said, 'Okay, we'll do it because we just see the need for it.'"

"They are wonderful," says sophomore Verniqua Foster. "They sit down they help you. They don't rush and they take their time with you and I feel like that's has a really big impact, especially when you're as big as a school as Central and there' s so many kids that need help. I feel like having that one-on-one time really, really helped me a lot."

Already students are showing improvements. They are becoming more confident and comfortable in mastering math.

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