56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


Andrea Romero and Tara L. Lujan and Linda Serrato and

Reena Szczepanski



WHEREAS, the New Mexico teacher of the year program annually recognizes one teacher nominated by the eighty-nine school districts, charter schools and United States bureau of Indian education schools to represent New Mexico locally and nationally every year for more than fifty years; and

WHEREAS, Tara Hughes, a special education and pre-kindergarten teacher at Nye early childhood center with Santa Fe public schools, has been named the 2023 New Mexico teacher of the year by the public education department; and

WHEREAS, Tara Hughes is the first pre-kindergarten teacher to be recognized as the New Mexico teacher of the year; and

WHEREAS, 2023 teacher of the year Tara Hughes has advocated for the importance of high-quality early childhood education; and

WHEREAS, neurodiversity is celebrated not only in the classroom, but also in the hearts of friendships that develop through inclusive settings and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning; and

WHEREAS, 2023 teacher of the year Tara Hughes has represented the teaching profession and amplified the importance of early childhood education to help all children develop necessary life skills and tools no matter who they are or where they come from; and

WHEREAS, Tara Hughes has supported and elevated families to help them understand that families are children's first teachers and their voices are powerful; and

WHEREAS, 2023 teacher of the year Tara Hughes possesses an exemplary ability to respect and honor student language choices and provides key parts of her lessons in English, Spanish and American sign language; and

WHEREAS, Tara Hughes serves New Mexico schools with the goal of ensuring that students are kind, happy, healthy and feel a sense of belonging; and

WHEREAS, Tara was quoted as saying: "As students continue on their journey, I wish for their love of learning to grow as they inspire curiosity and be creative thinkers. They have the power to be catalysts for change using the strength of their own language"; and

WHEREAS, Tara Hughes' parents, Patricia and Kenny Hughes, and her husband, Joshua Johns, were integral to Tara's success and deserve special honors; and

WHEREAS, 2023 teacher of the year Tara Hughes brightens every room she walks into with the latest dinosaur trends as she uplifts the youngest learners, mentors fellow educators from every walk of life and supports families in raising the future of New Mexico, the country and the world;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that Tara Hughes be recognized and honored as the recipient of the 2023 New Mexico teacher of the year award; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that March 3, 2023 be declared "New Mexico Teacher of the Year Day" in the house of representatives and that teachers across this great state be celebrated and appreciated for their tremendous efforts in such important and challenging work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to Tara Hughes, the secretary of public education, the superintendent of Santa Fe public schools and the principal of Nye early childhood center.

- 3 -