Local elementary school teacher receives American citizenship

A local elementary school teacher was sworn in as an American citizen with her students by her side.

Shirley Barreto has been a first-grade teacher in New Mexico for the last 12 years. Originally from Ecuador, Barreto says she wanted to become a citizen to show her students that fulfilling the dream of becoming an American citizen is possible for anyone.

“I am here to inspire them, I am here to become a person. They can see that if she can make it, then everybody can make it,” said Barreto, who has taught at Barcelona Elementary School for the last eight years.

She says the opportunity to take her oath of allegiance in front of her students made the ceremony extra special.

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