Malheur County teacher keeps the focus on students

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

NYSSA — Connie Cabrera became a teacher because of fish.

And some helpful encouragement from her family.

While inspiration from her family was critical in her final decision, it was the fish that proved to be the initial boost for her to become a teacher.

“I was going to be a marine biologist,” Cabrera said.

There was a problem, she said.

“I learned I had to actually touch the fish,” she said, with a laugh.

Thanks to her aversion to touching fish and the support of her father and mother and late husband, Cabrera decided to embark on a teaching career that kicked off in 1990 and is still going strong now.

Cabrera’s teaching accomplishments took center stage when the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce selected her as its Educator of the Year last month.

“I was totally shocked. It was a nice surprise . . .