Reading specialist teacher of the year runner-up

by Ryan Lengerich

Clovis reading specialist Connie Cox was named runner-up for the New Mexico teacher of the year honor at a banquet in Albuquerque on Wednesday.

Cox is the Literacy Program Specialist for grades K-6 throughout the Clovis Municipal School District. She is based out of Parkview Elementary this school year.

Cox was named district teacher of the year in August for the 2003-2004 school year when she was based at Bella Vista Elementary.

“It was just incredible because I work with some of the most incredible teachers in the world, and to think that I am representing them, that was the most awesome thing,” Cox said.

Cox works with students and teachers districtwide implementing literacy techniques. She taught for 11 years in Roswell before moving to Clovis, where she is in her ninth year.

“Clovis is on the cutting edge — I really believe that — of doing what is best for the students in developing literacy,” she said.

Cox was one of five teachers statewide nominated for the honor. Los Alamos teacher Nancy Schick was named teacher of the year.

Cox spent last school year at Bella Vista Elementary, a school on probation by the state when she arrived. Bella Vista Principal Adan Estrada said Cox was instrumental in getting the school off the probationary status.

“She builds a relationship with students and teachers and is really able to foster that relationship and get kids to want to do better,” Estrada said. “Our teachers are better teachers because of her.”

Cox has a husband Terry and two children, Sara and Austin. She said her mother, Ruby Lewis, has been an inspiration to her teaching career.

“She is a great person,” Estrada said. “She really does embody what she asks from her teacher.”