New Mexico’s 2022 Teacher Of The Year’s Platform Will Be On Individualized Education, Alternate Paths To Graduation

New Mexico 2022 Teacher of the Year Lorynn Guerrero. Courtesy photo


New Mexico 2022 Teacher of the Year Lorynn Guerrero will focus on expanding pathways to graduation to create a more individualized experience during her one-year tenure representing the state’s teaching profession, which began Jan. 1. “The traditional pathway can’t be the only pathway,” the high school teacher from Las Cruces said. “I didn’t really understand before, but my students face so many obstacles. Parenting is just one. They are working jobs to help support their families, and then the one car for a family of seven breaks down. Listening to my students’ stories made me realize it doesn’t matter when you get your high school diploma as long as you get it.”

Guerrero started a program to help teen parents stay in school at New America School-Las Cruces, where she teaches English Language Arts. She would like to see more programs implemented across New Mexico to help students overcome obstacles to graduation.

Guerrero began her career in 2006 in Hatch, where she taught both middle and high school students. She joined Organ Mountain High in Las Cruces Public Schools in 2012, then moved to the state-chartered New America School-Las Cruces, where 97% of the students are economically disadvantaged.

Guerrero succeeded 2021 Teacher of the Year Alisa Cooper de Uribe effective Jan. 1. Cooper de Uribe teaches at New Mexico International School in Albuquerque.

“I am very pleased and honored to see Lorynn representing New Mexican teachers this coming year, especially given these historic times. She is knowledgeable, personable, and persevering, and my best advice to her is to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity possible. This is the chance of a lifetime to add her voice to the broader conversation and share her valuable perspectives and expertise with communities of learning,” Cooper de Uribe said.

The New Mexico Teacher of the Year award was established in 1963. Each year, all New Mexico school districts and charter schools are invited to nominate an outstanding teacher to become New Mexico’s Teacher of the Year and to represent New Mexico in the National Teacher of the Year competition. New Mexico’s Teacher of the Year also acts as the spokesperson for the state’s teaching profession. 

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association is the title sponsor for the New Mexico Teacher of the Year program for the fourth year and will contribute up to $10,000 worth of support and professional development opportunities for Guerrero. 

In addition to teaching, Guerrero is currently working on a master’s degree in educational administration, which she expects to complete in May. Her bachelor’s degree in secondary education is from New Mexico State University. She has a Teacher of English as a Second Language endorsement from Eastern New Mexico and an advanced placement certification in literature and composition from New Mexico Highlands University.