Each year, all New Mexico school districts are invited to nominate an outstanding teacher to become New Mexico's Teacher of the Year; this teacher represents New Mexico in the National Teacher of the Year competition. New Mexico's Teacher of the Year acts as the spokesperson for the teaching profession for New Mexico. The New Mexico Teacher of the Year program incorporates the New Mexico Public Education Department's vision of a world-class educational system in which all New Mexico students are prepared to succeed in a diverse, and increasingly complex, world.
Diana Fesmire began teaching in 1987 and taught at Sierra Elementary School in Alamogordo, NM from 1996 to 2010. This year she moved up with her students, and currently teaches sixth grade mathematics at Chaparral Middle School. In addition, Mrs. Fesmire is a part-time instructor for Math Solutions, formerly Marilyn Burns Education Associates.
Mrs. Fesmire possesses a thorough understanding of the pedagogical framework and developmental processes that students must experience in order to achieve high levels of mathematics understanding. Her classroom is a model learning environment that reflects the passion and excitement for learning that she shares with her students each day.
Mrs. Fesmire capitalizes on using the learning styles and strengths of each student to develop their learning to the fullest. Her forms of assessment—whether a formal unit test, games, hands-on activities, or simply asking the whole class a question and having them respond on their white boards—are among the greatest ways she teaches every student based on their individual needs. Using this information, she creates flexible groups of students who concentrate on a particular math strand or process. Additionally, Mrs. Fesmire mentors students during an afterschool program, exploring meaningful mathematics to deepen the concepts learned in the classroom. Her teaching style is as a facilitator, encouraging students’ thinking as they build their understanding of mathematics and learn to communicate that knowledge to others.
Mrs. Fesmire also provides exceptional support to the school district. She has been instrumental in working with all the teachers in the district to ask the hard questions and reflect on goals to assist schools in making good decisions regarding the adoption and implementation of new mathematics curricula, supporting teachers in creating standards based learning environments, and establishing a vision of high achievement for all students.
Mrs. Fesmire has a B.A., summa cum laude, in teaching/elementary education and mathematics from Sam Houston State University and an M.A. in mathematics education from the University of Texas. She is a certified kindergarten through eighth grade classroom teacher, a certified teacher of K–12 mathematics, and a certified instructional leader working extensively with the New Mexico State Math Leadership Team and on the New Mexico Standards Based Assessment. She is also the New Mexico recipient of the 2008 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math Teaching. 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.