Nick Dionisio is a mentor to many. Aspiring teacher candidates coming out of Adams State, fellow teachers, and, of course, his students and even former students at Alamosa High School – Dionisio is there for them all.

It’s one of the reasons why the English teacher at Alamosa High was honored with the Educator Highlight Award for the month of March by the Adams State University School of Education. Dionisio is the second honoree for the new award established to recognize Adams State School of Education alumni, prominent local teachers, and other educators working within or hailing from the San Luis Valley.

Chrissy McKinney, Nick Dionisio, Curtis Garcia
Chrissy McKinney, M.Ed., and Curtis Garcia, Ph.D., present Nick Dionisio with the award.

“Being an educator, honestly, means the world to me,” said Dionisio upon accepting the monthly honor.

He was recognized during a special ceremony at Alamosa High this week that included Adams State School of Education Director Curtis Garcia, Ph.D.; assistant professor Kieran Nduagbo, Ph.D.; Chrissy McKinney, M.Ed., initial licensure program coordinator and advisor; and program assistant Paul Clark.

“Dionisio always goes above and beyond for his students and work,” read the nomination letter. “He is always there to help with anything that anyone needs, even his students that have graduated. He is always willing to lend a hand while also being the best English teacher the Valley has.”

Unexpected surprise

When the Adams State contingent walked into Alamosa High with a bouquet of balloons and award plaque it was an unexpected surprise for Dionisio, who earned a master’s degree from Adams State in 2015.

He was honored just as his next class period began and talked about his role as an English teacher and student advisor for the yearbook and student newspaper.

“Every day is something new and I get to help teach students English and just life lessons,” Dionisio said of his role as a Valley educator. “I had great teachers that did that for me and I get to instill that in students here at AHS.”

Chrissy McKinney, Nick Dionisio, Curtis Garcia, Kieran Nduagbo, Paul Clark, Drew Cleveland
Pictured, left to right, Chrissy McKinney, Nick Dionisio, Curtis Garcia, Kieran Nduagbo, Paul Clark, Drew Cleveland.

Adams State graduates comprise around 70 percent of all teachers and administrators working in San Luis Valley school districts. Submit your nomination for the Educator Highlight Award presented by Adams State University School of Education.

Alamosa Citizen is working in partnership with the Adams State School of Education to highlight each honoree and to bring nominations forward for future awardees.