Golden Apple: Roxanne Mitchell teaching to make a difference in children’s lives


The Golden Apple Awards celebrate some of the best teachers in New Mexico. KRQE News 13’s Dean Staley introduces a fifth-grade teacher who comes from a long line of educators. 

Inside Roxane Mitchell’s fifth-grade class at Sandia Elementary School in Clovis, you can feel the energy. This is the work Mitchel knew she wanted to do since she was in elementary school. 

“My grandmother and great aunt were teachers, and my aunt and uncle were teachers, so they always just respected the profession, and it was just something I always wanted to so, always wanted to be,” Mitchell said. 

Mitchell has advice for anyone considering a career in teaching. 

“I would be honest and tell them it’s hard,” she said. “You have to be determined, because it’s going to challenge you some days in ways that you never imagined that you would be challenged, but it’s the most rewarding job ever.” 

“It’s sometimes very draining and hard work, but when you look at the kids’ first day of school, and as they walk out the door at the end of the year, and you see how they’ve grown and what you’ve been able to bring out in them, it’s an unbelievable reward,” Mitchell continued. “And then they come back and love you and hug you and tell you what you did for them, and really it was what they did for you.”

That includes some very special cases.  

“The little girl would say all the time, ‘I’m not good at math, I can’t do math, I can’t do math,’ and about February, maybe March, she started to be the one to kindly guide and correct the other children with how to do their math, and I thought, that’s it, right there. She went from thinking she couldn’t do math, to being the teacher of the math.”

Mitchell found out about her Golden Apple honor at a school assembly. 

“I am humbled to be in this group, but I am so excited because they are so passionate about education,” Mitchell said. 

Mitchell has worked other jobs, but it was never the same as teaching. 

“Going to work and being a teacher, and knowing that what you do is going to make a difference to a child, make a difference to a family, affect them really for the rest of their life if you do a good job, you can’t replace it with other things,” she said. 

Mitchell is using the scholarship money from her Golden Apple award to host a “Whole Brain Teaching” conference in Clovis this June. 

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