Personal Experience Provides Motivation for Teacher-of-the-Year Nominee

Lisa Tellez“You don’t understand…” are words countless teachers have heard through the years, coming from the mouths of the students in their classroom.  For Teacher-of-the-Year nominee, Lisa Tellez, nothing could be further from the truth.  “I was an at-risk student from first through eighth grades, and then I dropped out,” stated Tellez. 

            By the time Mrs. Tellez reached her fortieth birthday, she realized that the economic struggles she experienced her whole life were the byproducts of under-education and a lack of self-confidence. With this in mind, Mrs. Tellez knew she had to go back and further her  education.  “I decided to become a social worker in order to change the cycle of poverty.”

            One of Mrs. Tellez’s professors quickly changed the direction her education took.  “I had a professor who had been a social worker himself but taught me that I could make more of a difference as a teacher.  If I could teach my students the power of knowledge along with the belief that they could do anything, I knew I would be equipping them to overcome the odds stacked against them.  This in turn would help them change the world around them and make a difference in their own communities.”

            Mrs. Tellez’s change of career choice has proven to be a blessing to the many students that pass through her classroom on a daily basis.  Through movement in the classroom, Mrs. Tellez is teaching her students to make better choices while equipping them with the skills necessary to respond in a positive manner to the circumstances in their lives.  She sees the unlimited potential in each of her students and works to draw that out every day. NAMS-S is very proud to have Lisa Tellez represent our campus as our nominee for Teacher of the Year.