The National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.
Denise Cannon works as an Academic Coach for the Los Lunas Public Schools. Denise has taught for 16 years in grades 3 (three) through 5 (five).
Susan Castaneda, K-12 Literacy Coordinator with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction with the Los Lunas Public Schools, in her nomination letter has this to say this about Denise:
"Denise Cannon exemplifies a personal vision of committed, confident learners and uses that vision to guide learning goals, expectations, and standards for student work. She assists teachers in setting short-term and year-long goals for curricular units which derive from unifying themes of fundamental importance to students’ present or future lives. In collaboration with school and district-based personnel, Denise identifies individual and group needs and plans appropriate strategies, including those that involve the use of up-to-date technologies, to meet the individual needs of the learner. She teaches teachers how to use available high qualify teaching materials and resources, such as primary source material, first-hand experiments, manipulatives, computer software and other technologies, etc., that are appropriately matched to curricular goals and to students’ needs and learning styles. Most importantly, Ms. Cannon incorporates time for individual and interactive reflection and self-assessment including response journals, debriefings and group discussions to help students and teachers become aware of their strengths and needs, and to encourage them to set personal goals for learning."
In her application essay about her philosophy of teaching, Denise relates:
"Over the past 15 years, it has been my goal to be a quality teacher. I have pursued opportunities to increase my knowledge of the profession and current research, I have made a conscious effort to see every child as an individual, and to Implement best practices in my room. I pack each day to go the extra mile."
Denise’s description of a high quality teacher is:
"A quality teacher cannot wait to get to school each day because he/she sees each new day as a new opportunity to inspire and interact with the most interesting people in the world! And when the quality teacher goes home, he/she stops at Wal-Mart first to pick up materials for tomorrow’s lesson, or healthy snacks for his/her students, or a new pair of shoes for the little boy whose parents can’t (or won’t) buy him a pair that fits. When that quality teacher closes his/her eyes at night, the last images circling behind the lids are the faces of students who really "got it" that day and also images of students with whom we could have done a better job."
The New Mexico Public Education Department and the NM Teacher of the Year program is proud to have such a wonderful, caring professional as our representative in the National Teacher of the Year competition.