Golden Apple: Allison Dunn teaching students outside the classroom

Golden Apple Allison Dunn

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Eldorado High School teacher said there’s only so much students can learn inside the classroom. So, she does her best to take them exploring, and that helped earn her a Golden Apple award this year.

“When I was in high school, there were a few teachers I connected with. I looked up to them,” Allison Dunn said.

Allison Dunn’s high school teachers inspired her to become a teacher.

“A couple of occasions came up where some of my friends had troubles. We actually would turn to our teacher and ask them for advice. In that world of looking at them, I could also see myself becoming one of those types of people for kids,” Dunn said.

Dunn teaches English and ESL at Eldorado. It’s her 13th year.

Dunn said when Hurricane Katrina hit during her second year of teaching, she leaned on a fellow teacher to carry out a plan.

“If I could figure out how to get some students down there to help deal with that mess, would you want to do this with me?” Dunn recalled asking the other teacher.

So, they went.

It would be the start of summer trips. Dunn would bus around 40 students, sometimes taking them on a tour of New Mexico.

“We go over to Taos, we look at earth ships. We do a lot of environmental work there,” Dunn said. “Down into Soccoro and Las Cruces area, more rural areas, and poverty and education in rural areas.”

She said it’s important to teach outside of the classroom, too.

“I do believe the conversation has to go into the world and be expressed. I just don’t think we can talk about issues exclusively. We really have to go and do more than talk,” Dunn said.

Dunn said she was thrilled when she learned she had earned a Golden Apple.

“It gives me a voice. It allows me a chance, speak out about some things that are really important and maybe just gives me a little more credibility,” Dunn said.