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.
Pamela Cort is a high school teacher teaching French I, II, III, AP/IV at Las Cruces High School with the Las Cruces Public Schools. Ms. Cort has been teaching for twenty-three (23) years.
Pamela Cort is the 2013 Teacher of the Year for the state of New Mexico and will be traveling to Washington DC in April for the official recognition ceremony with President Obama.
Pamela grew up surrounded by a love of education and passion for teaching. Her mother was an elementary school teacher in the public schools and her father was a college professor. Once a high school French student herself, Pamela grew to love the language and culture of France. As a young woman pursuing the dream of living in France she was drawn to teaching at every turn. She tutored French students in English and taught ski lessons to young children in the French Alps, discovering a deep passion for teaching.
After returning to the United States and completing a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Pamela began a teaching career in the New Mexico Public Schools. By combining her love of France and the French language with her passion for teaching Pamela has found great fulfillment and satisfaction for over twenty three years. She still loves going to school every day and working with students. Pamela is most proud of the relationships and the connections she has made with her students in her twenty three years in the classroom.
Pamela approaches each class with the clear intention of teaching the French language while guiding her students to develop their own creativity, confidence and cultural awareness as pathways to overall student success.
Their success is evident. She currently has one of the largest French programs in the state. Over the years her students taking the French National Exam have consistently ranked in the top 10 in New Mexico and occasionally in the top 10 nationally. Some students have gone on to French language assignments in the Peace Corps or have become French teachers themselves. Pamela's students tend to score very well in the language portion of college placement exams as well as the Advanced Placement French Exam.
Involved out of the classroom, Pamela sponsors the French Honor Society and the French Club at Las Cruces High School. She offers a short course, Modern French Society, every other year to prepare students for a trip to France for three weeks as part of a home-stay program. She has held numerous positions in state and national language organizations. Her love of the French language and culture as well as her appreciation and enthusiasm for the educational process is evident in everything she does.
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.