Santa Fe teacher named New Mexico Teacher of the Year

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SANTA FE, N.M. — The moment Tara Hughes became New Mexico’s 2023 Teacher of the Year may have been a surprise to her, but those who have watched her work with the youngest students at Nye Early Childhood Center in Santa Fe said there is no one more deserving of this honor.

“This is a small token but an important recognition that being an educator anywhere, frankly, in the world today is not so easy, and you make it seem easy, and the love and dedication you have for your students and kiddos is bar none amazing,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said as she presented the distinguished award.

Along with New Mexico’s governor, a supportive crowd waited to congratulate Hughes, the first-ever pre-K teacher to receive this honor for her work with kids who need extra support in the classroom.

“I teach a 4Y inclusion classroom and I have about 19 kids in my classroom, and they’re of diverse abilities,” Hughes said. “Really just seeing the magic in kids every day, and teaching them and seeing how inquisitive they are, and the inquiry that they bring, and the questions that they ask, they make me a better teacher every day.”