Lorynn Guerrero, who will complete her Masters in Education Administration from Eastern New Mexico University in May, was named New Mexico Teacher of the Year 2022 by the New Mexico Public Education Department for her role as an English teacher at the New America School in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The Greyhound discussed this incredible honor and its Eastern experience with ENMU News.
What does it mean to you to be voted New Mexico Teacher of the Year?
To be chosen as New Mexico Teacher of the Year 2022 is a great honor. I am happy to represent teachers and be a voice this year. I want to draw attention to the work that teachers do with their students in the classroom. I want to share my ideas on personalized education, where teachers work with students to help them get their education. Students have obstacles that arise that prevent them from following a “traditional path” that many students take. In working with disenfranchised students, I can see which obstacles arise and students take different paths to the Abitur.
Tell us about your career and your goals.
I am currently teaching English / Language Arts at New America School-Las Cruces High School. It is a state charter school. I started teaching adults at New America. New America had an adult program that enabled adults over the age of 18 to get a high school diploma. Due to some legislative changes, only adults between the ages of 18 and 22 can take a high school diploma. Prior to that, I worked in the Las Cruces Public School District at Organ Mountain High School and in the Hatcht Valley Public School District. I have been teaching for 15 years. I’ve worked with sixth through twelfth grades.
What inspired you when choosing a course of study?
I am studying educational administration. As a teacher, I enjoy working with the students in class. My father was an educator for over 35 years. I watched him when he was a teacher, assistant principal, and then principal. I’ve always liked being in an educational setting.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in your field of study?
I would tell the students that the education is not easy, but it is worth working with students. For me, the students make my job fun. We have a good time in class every day and students study all the time.
Why did you choose the ENMU?
I chose ENMU because I was given the opportunity to be certified as a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) teacher. I took part and got certified, but then I wanted to go ahead and enroll in the Masters course. I liked the people I worked with. Every time I needed help, the staff was always helpful in bringing me what I needed or guiding me.
Lorynn with her children.
Which professors did you support during your time at Eastern?
I had some really good professors in Eastern New Mexico. I enjoyed working with Dr. Cooperate cartridge. I’ve taken three or four of his courses and he’s so knowledgeable about education and what’s going on in the field and how it is constantly evolving. I appreciated that he shared the stories of his educational experiences. I still stay connected to him, even if I didn’t have him as a lecturer last semester.
What was your favorite course at ENMU?
My favorite class so far is my Education 597. It is my Education Administration class. I had to do an internship with my headmaster. I could watch them and take part in many activities in our school. I was able to see a lot of what was happening in the front office, what supports the school operations.
Which aspects of being a greyhound do you like best?
I really like the availability of my professors. I like that the university keeps all students informed about events via email and social media. The website is easy to use and if I ever have any questions I call the HelpDesk and there is always someone around to help me in a friendly tone.
Are you working on research or academic projects such as conferences?
I have several upcoming events.
I will be attending a state teachers conference. I’ll meet the other state teachers of the year. There are 56 state teachers. The U.S. Territories have teachers they nominate, and the Department of Defense also has a teacher they choose. I will be traveling to Washington, DC to meet the President and First Lady. I will also attend the Space Camp where I will be given my own spacesuit. These are some important events that I will be attending. Also have any conference or meeting in the state that I want to attend.
During the Santa Fe Legislature, I’ll be there to discuss educational issues in New Mexico.
Tell us about your family and background.
I’ve always lived in New Mexico. I come from Las Cruces. I graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1999 and New Mexico State University in 2005. I am looking forward to attending ENMU and am looking forward to my master’s degree.
I have two children. My youngest son, Jarod, is a senior at Las Cruces High School; he is a college heavyweight wrestler. My oldest son, Jalen, is a graduate student in Fresno State on a soccer scholarship. He will do his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
My parents are my greatest support. They encourage me to achieve my goals and support me and my children in our education.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy doing handicrafts, sewing and reading.
Lorynn with her colleagues at the New America School.