Shaping LCPS Students Interested in the Field of Education into Future Educators

This morning at the Las Cruces Public Schools Teaching and Learning Center, more than 30 students with aspirations to become a teacher received hands on training to become an educator. The training was made possible with a Near Peer Tutoring Grant. The program is designed to encourage and recruit students to come back to Las Cruces Public Schools to serve as an educator, giving back to their community. The goal is raise up a generation of teachers that understand the needs specific to our region. 

The Near Peer Tutoring Grant is a work-based grant that aims to recruit and retain high school students interested in the education field. This program also seeks to expand the vision of LCPS’ late superintendent, Dr. Karen Trujillo in seeking ways to “grow our own” future teachers. High school students in the program will tutor elementary and middle school students in english language arts (ELA) and math. Throughout this experience, students will understand personal and professional career decision-making, while gaining the skills that will help get them the job.

Many of the high school students in the program are part of the Educator Rising (Education Pathway) at their high schools, a project the late Dr. Karen Trujillo spearheaded during her time at New Mexico State University and as Secretary of Education of New Mexico, before coming back to Las Cruces Public Schools to serve as Superintendent.  

“Educator Rising and growing teachers for our community was Dr. Trujillo’s passion, and students wanting and willing to give back to their community would have made her proud,” said Anita Cummings, LCPS Lead for the Educators Rising Career Pathway. 

“It’s an amazing project, and my heart is overwhelmed with happiness to see these students engaged in this program.” Cummings added. 

The program goes beyond “homework help.” Teaching and Learning Center Content Specialists provide high school student tutors with the knowledge and skills to teach the younger students specific skills and content in ELA and Math that are often seen as foundational gaps in student learning.   

Each high school student will tutor four younger students 4 days a week, with two days focusing on math and two days focusing on ELA. There are currently nine schools participating in the program. The program has been funded through December 2022. LCPS hopes to expand the program to more schools next fall.

This day, February 25 marks the one-year anniversary since Las Cruces Public Schools lost its leader and superintendent, Dr. Karen Trujillo. Dr. Trujillo’s life was cut short after a vehicle hit her as she was walking with her dogs in her north Las Cruces neighborhood. Although Dr. Trujillo is gone, her vision for Educators Rising and creating homegrown teachers from Las Cruces lives on.