The Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico awards up to seven teachers from around the state with the Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award each year. To highlight this year’s winners, each awarded teacher is coming onto the set of New Mexico Living to dive deep into what inspired their teaching journey.

One of 2023’s Golden Apple recipients is Amanda Herman. Herman is a fifth-grade teacher at Bernalillo Elementary School and says she remembers playing “school” when she was very young. When Herman got a job working at a preschool, it solidified her love of helping students. “I love helping them, kind of, find their own passion, you know, and whatever way it is that they learn best, helping them to find that,” says Herman.

Although engaging with students is not always easy, Herman makes sure to include elements like projects and movement to help out the students in her classroom. Herman says she has made it to her dream job of becoming a reading interventionist. In that role, she works with small groups of students each day to help those who are struggling to learn to read.

The Golden Apple awards rotate every three years through the three major school levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Teachers are recognized in a variety of subjects, including STEM subjects, physical education, special education, advanced placement courses, and more.