Pay It 4ward: Santa Fe teacher recognized for dedication to students

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tara Hughes’ carries the official title of Teacher of the Year for New Mexico, and she’s also the focus for tonight’s Pay It 4ward.

KOB 4 shows you why this educator is so deserving of a sweet surprise.

“Tara is just amazing,” said Jaime Torres, Pay It 4ward nominator. 

Hughes is a pre-k teacher at NYE Early Childhood Center in Santa Fe who works with more than a dozen students of diverse abilities.

“She does her lessons, trilingually,” said Torres. “English, Spanish and American Sign Language, and she has kids are nonverbal, so she’s constantly working in interventions for her students. That helps them communicate in which ever style that they need.”

This is not the first time Hughes has been recognized in the past year, it’s also not the first time she’s been surprised at work.

Torres says she met Hughes during her interview process for New Mexico’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

She was the first ever pre-k teacher to receive the honor last October.

Hughes is now being honored for her dedication to her students again, but this time with $400.

Watch the video above for more.