Stacy Munoz was nominated by her colleague, Luis Viveros.
In New Mexico, schools offer classes that are called transition programs or social/emotional programs. In these programs, students are unable to adapt to the traditional special education settings, so they require more extensive supports.
"Ms. Munoz and I have worked together in his section of special education for the past three years, but she has been in education for the past 15 years," Viveros said. "Her ability to make authentic connections with our students is amazing. She provides students with a safe environment, where students feel self-worth and want to make positive choices. Students want to work for her, and they want to be better in all areas."
Ms. Munoz collaborates well with the other teachers in the program and throughout the school. She is always willing to lend a hand when dealing with students from other classrooms. She is a comforting voice in times of frustrations. Often times, teachers get overwhelmed with the various roles they play, but Ms. Munoz is always there to share some words of wisdom with everyone.
She has taken on roles in various activities that enrich the experience students have in the program. Due to behavioral needs, there are times when her students don’t get to experience many activities that general education students get to experience. When Ms. Munoz puts together activities accommodated for her students, it provides them with a sense of belonging.
"She is constantly purchasing items for the class and her students," Viveros said. "Our students are usually from low income families and at times are in need of everyday items. Stacy has purchased clothing, school supplies, and food for our students and has never complained about doing so. She will not hesitate to put the needs of our students first. These students already have many struggles and will face many more, but in the time they are at school with Ms. Munoz, you can see that those struggles fade away and strengths begin to rise."
"Her continued growth within education is impressive," Viveros said. "Through PDP’s and classes at the local college, she continues to develop herself to be able to better serve our students. Stacy is truly changing lives of students who don’t feel accepted in our educational system. She is giving students a different aspect of life and the understanding that no matter the struggles you face, you can be successful. These students will be better adults because of Stacy Munoz!"