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Posted December 12, 2011

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Washington Educator Teaches History While Making His Own

Robert Sanchez Named Teacher of the Month

Washington Mid-School teacher Robert Sanchez is surprised at a school assembly with the Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month award.

An obvious favorite, Washington Middle School students let out a whoop when Robert Sanchez’s name was called.

Sanchez, who teaches 8th grade social studies in English and Spanish, had just been announced as the Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month for November at a school assembly. He’s a fixture at Washington, having taught all but the first of his 35 years at APS there.

“I still learn from the kids,” Sanchez said. “I tell my wife every day that I’m not going to work, I’m going to school.”

Sanchez has done just about everything at Washington and taught all kinds of classes for 7th and 8th graders including U.S. history and Spanish. He’s served as a department chair. He’s organized events and sponsored student groups. He translated a history textbook to Spanish and has given presentations on teaching all over the state.

Washington is Sanchez’s neighborhood. He attended Washington Junior High before graduating from Albuquerque High. On top of that, his son Tomas also teaches at Washington and chairs the social studies department.

Sanchez said there’s no secret to his success because all teachers do what they do for the love of their students. “I’ve just been here longer,” he said.

“Robert Sanchez has given his all to a school he’s loved since he was a kid,” APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus said. “That’s the kind of dedication that makes him an ideal teacher of the month.”

Pepsi and the Foundation present the monthly recognition for teachers. Award-winners receive $50 from Pepsi.

The fixture remains a constant at Washington.

“I still have the desire to teach,” Sanchez said. “The students and everyone here give 100 percent.”

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