Teacher of the Year

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

Glenda Sours encourages her Tucumcari High School students to read the newspaper — in class. The idea is for students to become aware of local events and issues and to increase their reading skills.

Sours, an English and communications teacher, was presented Monday with the local Newspapers in Education (NIE) 2005 Teacher of the Year Award. The award was presented by Lynn Berry, Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico’s NIE coordinator.

“My students discuss articles in the local paper and they outline stories looking for the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ of the stories,” Sours said. “We discuss all kinds of stories, even the recent hung jury in the molestation case. If it’s in the paper we talk about it.”

Berry said Sours’ use of the newspaper is in line with the purposes behind the NIE program.

“We do it to build readership and increase reading skills,” Berry said. “We partner with the Southwest Dairy Farmers Association to provide fresh curriculum, materials and workshops for classrooms at no cost to schools or students.”

Sours’ students have learned to quickly skim through stories to find important information.

“Sometimes I put parts of stories on the chalkboard and the students have to find those items in the newspaper,” Sours said. “The newspaper exercises teach the students to read quicker.”

THS student Theresa Chacon said in this day and age of Internet news, she finds her local newspaper has valuable information.

“I think the newspaper is still important because there isn’t much news about Tucumcari on the Internet,” Chacon said. “The newspaper helps me keep up with what’s going on in town.”

Chacon’s classmate, Cydnie Rich, said she likes to read news of her high school.

“I want to see the success of our school and the issues involving the school,” Rich said. “The newspaper gives more specific information about our town, and we want to know what’s going on in our town.”

Sours’ award came in the form of a red marble apple. She also received a certificate for a meal at Del’s Restaurant and a unique purse featuring the front page of a recent issue of the Quay County Sun.