Rolland Chidiac is a second-generation Canadian who teaches at St. Anne Catholic Elementary School in Kitchener, Ontario. He grew up learning English as a second language and, because of this, struggled in school. His academic challenges as a student inspired him to set goals and persist in order to reach them.
Chidiac had a few key teachers who helped him succeed, and he now aims to play that role for his students. When one of them started the school year depressed, troubled, and uninterested, Chidiac took notice and made a difference through working hard to connect with the student to ensure that he was learning and excelling in all aspects of his life.
Initially wanting to become a play therapist, Chidiac was able to help students by teaching them and supporting them with his counselling background. As well, he loves to innovate as much as he can in the classroom. Chidiac takes pride in his collaboration with his colleagues -- focusing on building and maintaining a positive learning environment. He has worked for anti-bullying efforts and is taking part in transforming the school system to better suit 21st century teaching and learning.
Possessing extensive knowledge and experience with technology has allowed Chidiac to act as a role model in helping other teachers integrate technology into the classroom. He received best-practice awards from his teachers' association, a school staff-recognition award, a "Teacher of Excellence" award, and "Schools of Excellence" award. Chidiac displays his passion for education through his work as a team leader with the Ministry of Education's Teacher Learning and Leadership program.
Chidiac enjoys living in Waterloo Region, and has a great appreciation for its affordability, employment opportunities, and cultural diversity. According to him, "it has everything one could ask for and more!" St. Anne is in the heart of Kitchener, and is a vibrant school community. The school motto this year is "Together We Can, Together We Will," and each day the teachers work toward making a difference by working together to achieve their goals.
Married to a teacher with two young boys who are fans of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Ottawa Senators, Chidiac is active on social media and has a fascination with airplanes. He was recently accepted to the Google Teacher Academy in California and is excited to become the only Google-certified teacher in Waterloo Region. Chidiac adores his students.
"They are my fuel," said Chidiac, "and I hope that I am able to fuel them."
To vote for Chidiac or for any other Blue Jays finalists, please go to mlb.com/allstar-teachers before Sunday's 11:59 p.m. ET deadline. The candidate with the most votes for his or her respective team will have a chance to attend and be recognized at the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota -- and one will be featured in PEOPLE.
Jesse Cynamon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.