Golden Apple: Stephanie Jaquez encouraging students to have a voice

Golden Apple Stephanie Jaquez
Golden Apple Stephanie Jaquez

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 introduces another Golden Apple winner. This teacher was told early on by her mother that she was born to be a teacher, and later learned her mom was right.

When Stephanie Jaquez stepped to the podium to accept her Golden Apple award, it was the culmination of more than two decades of hard work that has never felt like a job.

“It’s a religious experience working with children everyday. It really is. It’s that connection to life. They bring such a beautiful vision to the world and we can’t ignore their voice,” Jaquez said.

Jaquez teaches Honors English to sophomores and seniors at Farmington High School.

“Seeing a student have those epiphanies, when you’re in class and they utter, ‘ohhh,’ the light bulb goes, and those moments, it’s magical, it really is magical,” she said.

This Navy veteran uses a Socratic method that puts her students at the center of the experience.

“Giving my students a voice and a choice, that’s what makes a strong teacher… allowing them to have that voice and choice, allowing them to be heard, and their opinions valued, and their learning valued and to share that with others,” Jaquez said.

She is thankful for the recognition that the Golden Apple award brings, and also thankful for the time she shares with her students.

“I would just thank them them for giving me the opportunity to be a little part of their life, and I hope they walk away in life with the gifts we share together in class,” she said.

Jaquez is also an avid golfer and encourages students to pursue the game because it teaches discipline and respect.

If you know an outstanding middle school teacher, the Golden Apple Foundation is accepting nominations through April 30.

Golden Apple 2017.