Updated: Wednesday, 21 Apr 2010, 7:46 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 21 Apr 2010, 7:46 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - LeAnn DeCoeur teaches fifth grade at E.T. Salazar Elementary in Española Public Schools. As part of her devotion to the students and school, she gathered resources from the community for new playground equipment, then throughout the summer, on her own time, supervised the extensive renovation of the playground and installation of the new equipment.
Selection team members noted her strength as a math teacher, based in part on her participation and leadership as a member of the Math Science Academy provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
As DeCoeur taught the math concepts, she encouraged students to think carefully about their work and to go beyond just getting the right answer, challenging them to explain how they arrived at their answers.
“It is impossible for me to name one event that lets me know I was making a difference in the lives of my students," said DeCoeur. "I am blessed each day with small signs that come in the form of handmade gifts and homemade tortillas placed lovingly upon my desk. I see this in the smiles of my students and in the confidence of a learner who explains her thinking to her peers. This difference is felt in the hand delivered invitations to graduations and weddings, and in the trembling voice of a child disclosing a problem. I feel I am making a difference every day when I look across my classroom and see my students cooperating with one another encapsulated by the joy of learning.”