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Posted February 21, 2013

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Freedom Teacher Enjoys Working in Unique Environment

Alicia Ruch-Flynn is the Teacher of the Month for February.

Alicia Ruch-Flynn (left) was congratulated as Teacher of the Month by Adrian Chavez of Pepsi.

Alicia Ruch-Flynn said that in her 25 years in teaching, she has never worked in a school quite like Freedom High, but feels “lucky” that she does. Ruch-Flynn was named the Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month for February. 

Ruch-Flynn is in her third year teaching algebra, geometry and math strategies at Freedom. She previously worked in private and smaller public schools in California and Texas before moving to Albuquerque. She said she prefers the smaller, close-knit setting. 

“You can work with each student individually,” she said. “I like to get to know my students.” 

Ruch-Flynn also said that she likes being able to continually encourage her students. Because there are fewer than 200 students, the Freedom staff is able to monitor and guide them more closely. Students know she expects a lot out of them, and they learn that they can succeed. 

“They discover what they can do and it lifts their self-confidence up,” she said. “That confidence helps them become the adults they want to become.” 

Consistent expectations are key in helping students succeed. Ruch-Flynn said she doesn’t let them off the hook. 

“I try to banish ‘I can’t’ from the classroom,” she said. 

Pepsi and the Foundation present the monthly recognition for teachers. Award-winners receive $100 from Pepsi. 

“One teacher per month is selected for this award, but the one we recognize really represents all teachers in the district,” APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus said. “Teachers like Alicia Ruch-Flynn get to know and really support their students, and the students are better off for it.”

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