Roxanne Hernandez helps students realize they are agents of change at a young age
As the calendar year came to a close last week, the school year was just hitting its halfway point. Several teachers have excelled at their positions not just this year, but over the course of their careers and one who stands out continues to receive praise from her peers, the parents of current and past students and the students themselves.
Roxanne Hernandez is a first grade teacher at Clara E. Metz Elementary School in Westminster Public Schools (Adams County 50 District) who was nominated by the parents of one of her students for the LifeChanger of the Year award.
“When I wake up in the morning I’m driven by cause, belief and purpose and I believe that these children can change the world,” said Hernandez, who is an alum of Westminster Public Schools. “I wake up wondering, ‘what’s our purpose today and how are we going to make that difference?’ I hope to instill in my students that they are life changers. That’s what this is all about: that sense of belonging; that worthiness; that they can do it, too; that they have what it takes. It certainly changed my life.”
The LifeChanger of the Year Award is an annual program from National Life Group that recognizes K-12 educators and school employees across the country. Hernandez, according to Westminster Public Schools, has been inspiring and changing lives for the past 12 years in the Denver metro area as an educator.
Stephanie Rosch, responsible for nominating Hernandez for the award, saw her son, Brennan, struggle everyday in kindergarten during the 2015-2016 school year. He was reluctant to attend classes and would often come home frustrated.
According to Rosch, the difference from first grade to kindergarten was night and day for her son thanks to his teacher, Hernandez.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Hernandez last year when my son was a first grader,” said Rosch in Hernandez’s profile video promoting her nomination. “I got to thinking about how many things Roxanne has done for Brennan and all the things that have happened throughout the last two years and all the things she’s done. It’s really changed his life and has helped him be the best learner he can be.
“I think that everyday that she meets with her kids and figures out what is going to be the best educational path for them is her gift of making education personal for her kids.”
In Brennan’s case, Hernandez used multiple learning methods to include Brennan in many different ways in the classroom. All of which helped pique his interest in school.
“Ms. Hernandez has truly gone the extra mile every time I turn around to help my student learn,” Rosch said. “This is the first year I can say that Brennan has received proficient scores on his assignments. This is the first year we’ve had little to no crying before school. Ms. Hernandez truly exemplifies our motto ‘where learning is personal’ going above and beyond every day to help Brennan be his best learner he can be.”
Hernandez is also an advocate for inspiring students to be a part of their community and agents of change. Something that she instills in her students at an early age.
“I think last year we wrote at least 14 letters to senators and congress people and policymakers and presidents,” said Hernandez of her advocacy teaching methods, which focus on helping students be the best citizens they can be. “It’s just getting them in that habit of knowing that they matter and it all starts right there. That’s what drew me into elementary and kept me here.”
For more information on Hernandez and the work she is doing at Metz Elementary visit www.westminsterpublicschools.org.