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Posted September 19, 2013

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Teacher of the Month Gravitates Toward Children

Kathy Thompson, a fifth grade teacher at Dennis Chavez Elementary, is honored by Pepsi and the APS Education Foundation.

Adrian Chavez of Pepsi, Teacher of the Month Kathy Thompson and Dennis Chavez Principal Bob Woody

For the fourth school year, Pepsi, in partnership with the APS Education Foundation, is recognizing APS teachers for their outstanding contribution to the classroom, school and community. Kathy Thompson of Dennis Chavez Elementary is the first 2013-14 recipient.

It's a fitting honor for a 25-year veteran who has always gravitated toward children. Even in high school and college, she was a caregiver, Sunday school teacher and teacher's aide.

Ms. Thompson started her career as a Title I teacher in Las Cruces. After 14 years, she took a break to be "Mom."

"But even while being Mom, I taught in various ways such as volunteering in classrooms and through PTA events and programs," Ms. Thompson said.

When her children got older, she came back to teaching part-time, first as a substitute and then a reading interventionists.

"I gradually increased my time, finally going back full-time when my youngest graduated from high school."

Ms. Thompson is now a fifth grade teacher, a job she loves.

"There is nothing like watching a child grasp a new concept and wanting to share it with their teacher and classmates," Ms. Thompson said. "Seeing the students’ pride in themselves as they learn gets me through the day, and their successes make me proud. I truly believe that as a teacher my job is to lead students to learning in a way that makes them independent, responsible, caring members of society and watching them do that gives me great satisfaction."

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.

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