Las Cruces educator named NM Teacher of the Year

Oct 22, 2021

Pilar Martinez, Albuquerque Journal | October 22nd, 2021

An educator at a Las Cruces charter school is New Mexico’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, according to the state Public Education Department.

Lorynn Guerrero, an English Language Arts teacher at New America School-Las Cruces, was announced the winner Friday and will now represent New Mexico in the national competition.

“It’s kind of unbelievable to see that I’m the recipient of the New Mexico 2022 Teacher of the Year because I think all the teachers in New Mexico do an excellent job, so I’m very honored to be chosen,” Guerrero said in a news release.

In addition to the title, Guerrero will receive $25,000 worth of support and development opportunities from the competition’s sponsor, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

Guerrero, a second-generation educator, grew up in Las Cruces and began her career teaching middle and high school students in Hatch in 2006.

Since 2012, she has been a teacher for Las Cruces Public Schools, and has established a program at her current school for teen parents. The program provides an on-campus, licensed child care center.

“Ms. Guerrero’s efforts on behalf of her teenage students in Las Cruces have been nothing short of extraordinary,” PED Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said in a news release.

Guerrero herself was a teen mother and she credits the Graduation Reality and Dual Skills program at her high school with keeping her “on course.”

In 2020, she brought the GRADS program to her school with the child care center opening that August.

In addition, Guerrero also works to prepare students for college or careers as a 12th grade teacher.

“My main goal for them is to be able to support themselves and their future families with a career they love. It doesn’t have to be college-geared, but any job takes additional education and training,” Guerrera said in the release.

Guerrero holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from New Mexico State University and is working toward her master’s degree in educational administration.