Elva C. De Baca teaches a bilingual third-grade class at Sunset Elementary School in San Ysidro, a town that sits on the border between California and Mexico. A native Spanish speaker, Ms. De Baca promotes biliteracy among a student population whose needs and economic challenges she understands all too well, having herself grown up in poverty in nearby Tijuana. Despite these difficult conditions, Ms. De Baca has long encouraged her students to see their classroom as an environment in which they could take pride and ownership. Assisted each day by a bilingual teaching assistant, Ms. De Baca uses music, math manipulatives, technology and small group instruction to improve student learning. She has consistently raised student scores on English-language assessments, and her students often perform higher than other third graders in fluency, comprehension and writing on state tests. Her work has helped transform Sunset Elementary into a state-of-the-art campus.