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Luna event aims to inspire next wave of teachers in NM

Two dynamic figures in education will share their insights in a free presentation hosted by Luna Community College’s early childhood and teacher education department.

Dr. Cecilia Hernandez and Sonya Romero will both speak in an event scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the nursing auditorium in the Allied Health building. Light refreshments will be provided.

Hernandez will address New Mexico’s statewide teacher shortage – currently estimated at approximately 750 – and discuss how Educators Rising can prepare students at the high school and college levels to become our future educators. Hernandez, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the New Mexico State University College of Education, is teaching elementary and secondary science methods courses and trying to infuse multiculturalism into those courses. She will receive the Distinguished Dissertation Award at the spring 2013 Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators.

Educators Rising cultivates highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers, beginning in high school and extending through college and into the profession.

Romero, a longtime kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary in Albuquerque, will deliver a message of hope and encouragement, “Kindness Matters,” as a keynote speech. Over the course of her career, Romero has worked to ensure her students and others have food and clothing. She has even taken on the role of foster parent to a pair of former students. Romero has been the subject of national media coverage for her approaches. She has been featured on CNN and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. President Barack and Michelle Obama recognized her for her work, and she was invited to the White House for the signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

“It’s important for me to give back, because this is my purpose,” Romero told CNN in a December 2015 report. “If I’m going to be a good teacher, it doesn’t just mean walking into my classroom and leaving at the end of the day. It means really caring about these kids.”

Each day, she said, “I do a quick assessment of their needs to see if there’s something I can do.”

For more information, contact Tycie Jackson, Luna education advisor, at 505-454-5381 or