Sunset Hills teacher chosen for NMPED leadership program
Sunset Hills Elementary teacher Kimberly Landry likes to be in the know.
Landry was a teacher liaison with the New Mexico Department of Public Education, but found liaison officers didn’t get as much information to pass on as ambassadors.
“I want to know more and I want to be that teaching voice,” Landry said. “You don’t see a lot of people from Alamogordo in these meetings. So I think this part of the state really needs to make its voice heard.”
Landry has been named one of 21 New Mexico teachers selected for the 2021-2022 New Mexico Department of Public Education State Ambassador Leadership Program.
“(The New Mexico Department of Public Education) selected us based on our leadership skills, our ability to communicate with our district leaders and principals,” said Landry. “Through this program, we actually get to bring information from the state to our district level and our school level.”
New Mexico Teacher of the Year 2020, Mandi Torrez leads the program and sends out monthly newsletters.
Landry attends monthly meetings where she and the other ambassadors meet with people from the New Mexico Department of Public Education and discuss the policy, testing and any upcoming changes, Landry said.
“For example, at this last meeting we had, I spoke with (Assistant Secretary for Teaching, Learning and Assessment of NMPED) Gwen Warniment and she was discussing how the contract (the New Mexico Department of Public Education) with iStation coming to an end. with the state and how they want teacher feedback (about iStation), ”Landry said.
iStation is an online learning program.
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Landry is part of a group with four other teachers on Education Rising, a program / plan to encourage new teachers to continue teaching, she said.
“So far we’ve talked about creating a statewide mentoring program that’s consistent across all districts,” Landry said. “Now there is a mentoring program, but it is not the same in every district.”
The other teachers in Landry’s group are from Farmington, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe.
The five teachers compared each district’s new teacher mentoring program and their similarities and differences.
“If we could create a cohesive plan, then it would be effective in keeping teachers,” Landry said.
There are other groups within the leadership program that discuss topics such as politics and media awareness.
There are a total of five groups, Landry said.
“Kim is very involved in the DEP,” said Alamogordo public school deputy superintendent Cara Malone. “Kim is delighted to send the latest (information) she gets from her ambassadorial position.”
In the summer of 2020, Landry reviewed the English and Language Arts Education Program with the New Mexico Department of Public Education, and in 2018, she reviewed the Mathematics program, a said Landry.
“The editors give us their curriculum and we review it against our standards and how they align with the core curriculum,” Landry said.
Landry is also part of the English and Linguistic Arts team and as a new District Teacher Mentor.
Landry has been teaching for nine years. She started as a substitute teacher at the age of 19.
“I took all the jobs that were open, so I was a janitor, I was a lunch lady, I was (teaching assistant), I was a secretary, I was a teacher,” Landry said. “Then I got a long-term teaching job at North (elementary) to teach kindergarten from January to May, right after I became a teacher. “
Then there was no teaching position for Landry and she briefly taught fifth grade in the Tularosa municipal school district.
A few school and class changes later and Landry teaches second year for second year at Sunset Hills Elementary.
“I love second year,” Landry said.
Sunset Hills Elementary is located where North Elementary has been for decades. Sunset Hills combined elementary schools in North and Oregon and opened in December 2019.
Landry is from Alamogordo and originally attended North Elementary School, Chaparral Middle School, and Alamogordo High School.
Landry has a son at Chaparral Middle School where her husband works as a school nurse.
Nicole Maxwell can be reached by email at [email protected], by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.