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Posted November 14, 2013

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Roosevelt Teacher Energized by Her Students

Janine Sears is this month's Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month.

Adrian Chavez of Pepsi and Janine Sears

Janine Sears has had lots of hilarious stories to share around the dinner table during her nearly three decades of teaching.

"What I like most about teaching is there is something new, different and exciting every day," she said. "My students challenge me to be the best I can be every day. I expect the same of them and they rise to that challenge."

Sears, who teaches math, science and AVID at Roosevelt Middle School, is this month's Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month.

She has 28 years of experience, teaching fourth through eighth grades in Iowa, Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma before settling in New Mexico 23 years ago.

"I often run into former students who are so happy to see me and share how much they remember from their middle school years," Sears said. "They are amazed that I remember their names. They thank me for being their teacher by sharing how their lives have unfolded since I knew them. This is the best payback that I can imagine!"

In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Sears has sponsored many extracurricular activities over the years including an Environmental Science Club in association with Ciudad Water & Soil, cheerleading, pep club, student council, yearbook, school newspaper and honor society.

She is part of the team at Roosevelt that received a Horizon Award last year that allowed them to work with the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center collecting data regarding bear population and habitat in the East Mountains.

"I am proud to work at the best middle school in Albuquerque," said the Roosevelt teacher. "Our students, their families, our staff, our administrators all work together to create an environment that grows our students to their fullest potential. I am proud to be part of this team."

The Foundation randomly selects one APS school each month, and that school’s principal or staff chooses a teacher to be honored. The teacher receives a $100 check from Pepsi and acknowledgement on the APS website, Facebook page and electronic billboards at Cibola, Del Norte and Eldorado high schools and Wilson Stadium.

Sears said she plans to donate the money to two fundraisers currently happening at Roosevelt: the seventh graders' Thanksgiving Turkey Project that collects money from local businesses to purchase enough food supplies to provide 25 needy families in the East Mountain community with a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving Day; and the sixth graders' G.R.E.A.T. community service project. The students will do chores over Thanksgiving weekend to earn a minimum of $5 each to donate to Luvin' Labs, an East Mountain dog adoption organization. Last year they paid for the surgery and adoption of a Labrador retriever who had been hit by a car and seriously injured.

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