45 teachers, including 1 from O.C., honored for inspiring children.

These teachers do not teach by the book.

One taught her students about her experience of escaping the Cambodian minefields. Another brought in a lion cub so her visually impaired pupils could feel the animal through their other senses.

The teachers were among 45 people from across the nation honored Tuesday night for finding creative ways to inspire their charges.

Gathering at a Disneyland Hotel gala, each won $10,000 or $5,000 for their schools. About 50,000 teachers were nominated by their peers in May.

Only one teacher was named the 2005 Disney Teacher of the Year and four others were named outstanding teachers. They received an additional $15,000.

David Vixie, an eighth-grade humanities teacher from Paradise, took the top award.

Carol Anne McGuire, a teacher of blind and visually impaired pupils at Imperial Elementary School in Anaheim Hills, was the only finalist from Orange County. She recently was honored with two California State Media and Multimedia Festival Awards during the Cal State Technology Showcase for teaching her blind pupils how to make movies.

"The motto of my classroom is vision, and it does not require sight," McGuire said during the awards ceremony. "I still think that these kids have taught me far more than I taught them."

Since 1989, the Walt Disney Co. has contributed more than $25 million to teachers and schools. The annual awards are part of DisneyHand, a worldwide outreach program.