Talon News - Good Local News



November 30, 2018


by TALON Staff

According to the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico's website, each year the foundation chooses seven teachers from the nominations they collect to receive the award. This is the first time a McCoy Elementary teacher has received the award.

To get the award, Gustamantes was nominated and went on to become one of 16 finalists. Then a representative of the foundation and a couple of past winners visited McCoy to observe Gustamantes in the classroom and interview her peers and supervisors.

Gustamantes has spent more than 20 years of teaching experience, and has taught third grade at McCoy for four years.

McCoy Assistant Principal Jesse Harrison has know Gustamantes for three years. He's never seen her have an off day, yell at her students, or lose her patience. "Ms. Gustamantes represents what a quality teacher is all about," said Harrison. "We're all very proud of her for receiving this award."

McCoy Principal Tatia Fernandez met Gustamantes this year, and said she was struck by her kind heartedness. She's also noticed Gustamantes' love of children, targeted and driven approach to teaching, and her interactive lessons.

TALON reached Gustamantes by phone on Tuesday. How did she feel when she learned she'd been nominated? "Honored. I felt really honored that someone took the time to nominate me for anything that says I'm a good teacher." She doesn't know who nominated her, but she'd like to thank them. She'd also like to thank her mentor in Roswell, Howard Becker. He's a teacher who Gustamantes said had the biggest impact on her and taught her so much. She's also very thankful to have been surrounded by outstanding teachers in Roswell and Aztec.

There's some prize money associated with the award. While Gustamantes wasn't sure how the money could be used, if possilble, she wishes to spend some of it on a legacy project that her third graders can leave behind for future students.


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