First person: Teaching natural path for Clovis native

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Blythe Turner grew up in Clovis and was named the teacher of the year in 2008 by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

CNJ staff

Blythe Turner grew up in Clovis with two teachers as parents.

When she went to college, she decided to follow in her parents footsteps and become a teacher.

Seven years later, Turner was named teacher of the year by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Surprise!: When I found out I won, it was a complete surprise. After I had been nominated, they told us they’d name a winner in August or September. So when October came, I assumed I didn’t win and was glad I was just nominated. I found out I won in mid-October and I was excited and surprised. It was certainly unexpected.

Family biz: Growing up, my mother was a teacher and my father was a business professor. It was kind of what I grew up around. I would go to school with them and played school at home. When I went to college, there were so many options, but it just came down to this is what I’ve always loved and what I want to do. I’ve been a second grade bilingual teacher at Rio Rancho Elementary School for seven years.

Second’s the best: I really like second grade. Occasionally, I think about moving up, getting some new experience. But in second grade, it’s such a great age. They’re becoming independent but they’re still so innocent. They’re learning new things and having new experiences so they’re a lot of fun.

Home away from home: It’s nice to be here in Rio Rancho with more things to do like the museum and such. But when I go home people are friendly and respectful more consistently and it’s home. I enjoy going back several times a year and I always go back for the holidays. Most of my family is still in Clovis. That’s where my heart is.

The kids have it: The kids are my favorite thing about being a teacher. I love that it’s different every day. Every morning I go in and it’s a different experience. Being a teacher doesn’t have the monotony of some jobs. The kids keep it fun and entertaining and welcoming.

— Compiled by Liliana Castillo