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Charter school teacher named New Mexico Teacher of the Year


Cedar Attanasio  |  Associated PRess
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SANTA FE – An Albuquerque charter school educator has been named New Mexico Teacher of the Year.

Alisa Cooper de Uribe, a bilingual first grade teacher at New Mexico International School, is the second charter school teacher to win the award in the program’s 57-year history.

As Teacher of the Year, Cooper de Uribe will take a year out of the classroom to promote professional development, serve as an example to her peers and work with the New Mexico Public Education Department.

The selection comes as the coronavirus pandemic has compounded inequality among New Mexico’s students.

“Now that the boundaries between school, home and other areas of public life have shifted and blended in unexpected ways, an opportunity has arisen to advocate for newly visible needs in our state’s infrastructure and equitable access to education,” Cooper de Uribe said earlier this month after being named one of four finalists.

A native of Raton, Cooper de Uribe says she was inspired to study languages by interacting with international students as a youth. She will represent her state in the national Teacher of the Year competition.

More: Three teachers in Las Cruces honored with Career and Technical Education Awards

Cooper de Uribe holds a bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University and completed graduate work at Columbia University and Middlebury College, according to the Public Education Department.

She succeeds 2019 Teacher of the Year Mandi Torrez, a teacher at Placitas Elementary.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association is sponsoring the New Mexico Teacher of the Year program for the second year in a row.

Cedar Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues.