Anna Bishop is known as a prankster among her peers at Center High School. The big smile and mischievous eyes come out when something is up with Anna.

So it was with glee that colleagues turned the tables and asked her unexpectedly to show up at Center High Principal Nicole Neufeld’s office on Tuesday of this week. For a moment the teacher thought maybe she had done something wrong, wasn’t sure what it could be, but found it strange to be summoned to the principal’s office unscheduled.

In walked Adams State School of Education Director Curtis Garcia, Ph.D., and Program Coordinator and Advisor Chrissy McKinney. They were there to award Anna Bishop their Educator Highlight Award for the month of April for her work as a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) teacher at Center High. CLD teachers like Anna work with special ed students who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse.

“There is a student in one of our co-taught classes who has been struggling all semester, and is currently failing the course. We have started working on an essay and Anna has made him her ‘buddy’ for the project,” read the nomination letter from Hannah Hays. “Much to the student’s chagrin, she has sat next to him every day and helped him talk through his thoughts for the essay, and by the end of class on Thursday he had two complete paragraphs. This is almost unprecedented for this student, but Anna wouldn’t give up on him even if it made him a little exasperated. Anna believes all students can succeed and she will do whatever it takes to help them get there.”

Curtis Garcia, Chrissy McKinney, Hannah Hays, Nicole Neufeld
Curtis Garcia, Ph.D., and Chrissy McKinley present Anna Bishop with the April Educator Highlight Award; with Hannah Hays and Center High Principal Nicole Neufeld.

Each month Adams State School of Education honors an outstanding educator, and Bishop is the fourth this school year to receive the monthly Educator Highlight Award.

“Being a teacher to me literally means everything. It’s the most natural thing I’ve ever done in my life, and that includes motherhood,” a smiling Anna Bishop said.

By then she had gotten over the initial shock of not knowing why she was being asked to show up in Principal Neufeld’s office, and clutched the celebratory plaque and beamed with pride.

“Anna and I have co-taught together for years, and having her working with me has not only made me a better teacher, but has resulted in tremendous growth for our students. She passionately advocates for CLD students at all times and is a true champion of differentiation,” Hays said.

“Both the students and staff of Center Schools are lucky to have her on our team. As a co-teacher she is always full of fresh ideas for engaging projects, and most definitely has good suggestions for supporting language acquisition. As a member of various district groups, she is always ready to go to bat for CLD students and others that may be overlooked. I am proud to call Anna a colleague and a friend.”

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.