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Innovative teachers feted, awarded grants

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Wells Fargo & Co. recently hosted some of New Mexico’s most innovative teachers for a celebration of the company’s and Golden Apple Foundation Teacher Partner Program.

This year’s program is awarding nearly $50,000 to 25 New Mexico teachers in public, private and charter schools, pre-K through 12th grade, for their efforts in classroom instruction, organizers said in a news release.

The program is a partnership between Wells Fargo, which provides the money, and Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico, a nonprofit focused on improving education statewide.

Checks were presented directly to the teachers at the event, which was held at the Wells Fargo building in downtown Albuquerque.

“This grant program is very dear to our hearts at Wells Fargo,” said Community Relations VP Jennifer Riordan. “We’re honored to work with Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico to identify and support the teachers doing such important work in their classrooms.”

Brian O’Connell, executive director of Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico, said the best teachers bring an entrepreneurial spirit to their classrooms and schools, and this program recognizes exactly those kind of teachers in New Mexico.

Since the Teacher Partner Program was first established in 2009, Golden Apple Foundation and Wells Fargo have delivered more than $373,000 via 242 grants to classrooms across the state. More than 33,000 students have been served by grants from this program, organizers said.

The teachers receiving grants were:

Stephanie Daffron, Rancho de Taos, Taos Municipal Charter School

Danielle Plomaritas, Rio Rancho, The ASK Academy

Mary Fox, Albuquerque, The International School at Mesa del Sol

Christina Williams, Albuquerque, Mountain Mahogany Community School

Kiersten Jacoby, Gallup, Gallup High School

Rick Sleeter, Albuquerque, Eldorado High School

Sabrina Zamora, Las Cruces, OƱate High School

John Turrietta, Rio Rancho, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary

Erin Zarko, Aztec, Vista Nueva High School

Adela Prieto, Hobbs, Will Rogers Elementary School

Theresa Rodriguez, Sandia Park, San Antonito

Gerrit VanEvery, Questa, Roots and Wings Community School

Jacob Walters, Gallup, Washington Elementary School

Amy Rydecki, Las Cruces, Highland Elementary School

Kathy Coleman, Bloomfield, Bloomfield High School

Laurel Ann Lane, Albuquerque, Taylor Middle School

Alanna Purdy, Gallup, Six Directions Indigenous School

Deborah Davidsen, Elida, Elida High School

Laura Wheatley, Tijeras, Roosevelt A. Montoya School

Alyse Roe, Sheepspring, Naschitti Elementary

Jennifer Novicki, Albuquerque, Taft Middle School

Michael Hatcher, Santa Fe, Academy for Technology and the Classics Charter School

Harry Phillips, Santa Fe, Turquoise Trail Charter

Christina Morrison, Albuquerque, Apache Elementary School

Dianne Torres, Rio Rancho, Mountain View Middle School

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