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Posted: February 5, 2020

Hodgin ES Teacher Named a PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion

The honor is only awarded to 10 educators across the United States.

New Mexico PBS congratulates Janalyn Maes of Hodgin Elementary School as a 2019 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion. This honor is only awarded to 10 educators across the United States. Maes received the award in November at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference in Nashville.

Established in 2018, the PBS Early Learning Champion awards program recognizes committed educators who work with young children, from infants to second graders. It offers a variety of community building, leadership, and professional learning opportunities provided by NMPBS and PBS KIDS.

“Janalyn is a resourceful Albuquerque Public Schools teacher who went looking for ways to engage the families at Hodgin Elementary School and wound up an advocate for the wonderfully innovative – and free! – programs offered by NMPBS and PBS KIDS,” said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy. “We are proud of this second-grade teacher and wish her the best as she continues to learn and grow as an early learning champion.”

Janalyn, a National Board Certified Teacher and APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month, has been teaching at Hodgin for eight years. Her principal, Kimberly Woodley, described Janalyn as a beautiful person and a natural teacher leader. 

"She has a kind heart and really wants to help others," Woodley said. If I'm having a bad day I go hand out in her classroom and it immediately cheers me up."

"I am very honored, surprised, and of course, excited about the opportunity to further my learning and help my students, school, and families,” said Janalyn Maes. 

 “Janalyn is passionate about teaching and we are excited to recognize her as a PBS Kids Early Learning Champion!” said NMPBS General Manager/CEO Franz Joachim. “This program is another way to inspire New Mexico teachers to use PBS Kids resources in the classroom and to help engage families to support their children’s learning at home.”

The PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program includes various early learning caregivers – certified Pre-K, Head Start and early elementary teachers, childcare providers as well as family, friends, and neighbors in initial learning settings – representing, celebrating, and supporting the diverse teaching community impacting young learners. With support from PBS KIDS and local PBS stations, including NMPBS, they will explore unique in-person and digital experiences, forge pathways for their professional growth, build meaningful relationships with peers from across the country, create content and develop and implement their ideas in their communities and classrooms.

NMPBS is co-licensed to APS and the University of New Mexico.

Learn more about New Mexico PBS.