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Sharon Allen, a Barranca first grade teacher, was named the Los Alamos Teacher of the Year. She was one of seven teachers in the district nominated for the award. The announcement of her selection was made at a ceremony at Fuller Lodge May 5.
Along with a plaque, Allen received an honorarium from the LAPS Foundation.
Allen has served in the district since 1997 as both a kindergarten and a first grade teacher. During her years of service to the district, Allen is credited for introducing hundreds of Barranca students to the world of reading and mathematics.
In accepting the award, Allen discussed the joy and excitement she felt when students learned to read. She took pride in having the opportunity to provide the first experience in public education that many of her students received.
She expressed a love for her students and parents. She also mentioned the great pride for students in this year’s graduating class, that she had worked with as kindergartners. “There are many great teachers in Los Alamos. I am honored to be counted among them,” she said.
Barranca Mesa Elementary Principal Pam Miller nominated Allen.
“Great teachers like Sharon Allen inspire and sow the solid academic foundations our children need to take on the problems, opportunities, and challenges of the future,” Miller said. She also said Allen represents what is best about Los Alamos and Los Alamos Public Schools.
Superintendent Gene Schmidt praised the selection of Allen and said, “I have had the pleasure of observing Ms. Allen’s class a number of times. Students are engaged and interested in her lessons. When Ms. Miller and I stopped in to visit her class to share the news that their teacher had won the award, the children were very excited. One was heard to say, ‘cool.’ ”
Assistant Superintendent Paula Dean, who worked with Allen at Barranca for the past five years said, “Ms. Allen is clearly the most dedicated teacher that I have ever seen. The hours she spends designing lessons result in an engaging, exciting, and warm learning atmosphere.”
School Board Representative Kevin Honnell, whose district includes Barranca, said, “My own daughter was the beneficiary of Sharon’s extraordinary gifts for teaching as a kindergartener twelve years ago, and as Victoria prepares to walk across the commencement stage next weekend I am sincerely grateful that Sharon chose to invest her career and talents in the children of Los Alamos.”
John Hopkins, the parent of several students taught by Allen, wrote, “I have had the distinct honor and privilege of having two of my daughters taught by the remarkable Sharon Allen. Her dedication, passion, and countless hours sacrificed throughout her career, for my daughters and our children of Los Alamos, are greatly appreciated.
“Her selection for Teacher of the Year is more than well deserved, and the results are shown with the educational development of our children. Barranca Mesa Elementary School is blessed to have Ms. Sharon Allen on staff.”
Kay Bolivar, who serves as a school nurse at Barranca summed up the feelings of the staff.
“Sharon Allen is a passionate educator who specializes in early childhood learning. She is sincere in every single interaction she has with people of all ages, but in particular the young at our school. She has a dedication to her profession that is unsurpassed by none with whom I have ever worked. She spends long hours preparing for her students learning experiences, making each experience meaningful.”
Other nominees for Teacher of the Year included Brenda Clark (Aspen), Lisa LaPrairie-Whitacre (Chamisa), Laura Dorius (Mountain), Kristen Martines (Piñon), Lorene Beckstead (LAMS) and Don Davis (LAHS).