Valeria Morillon-Madrid
Hermosa Elementary School | Bilingual Teacher
Bachelor of Science in Education with Endorsement in Bilingual Education, NMSU

FOCUS: How did you wind up at the Artesia Public School District?

MORILLON-MADRID: I am an Artesia native and it has been an honor to return to my hometown after attending New Mexico State University, where I teach alongside the people who helped mold me into the person I am now.


FOCUS: Tell us a little bit about your professional background and your role in education?

MORILLON-MADRID: I am currently on my thirteenth year of teaching.  For the past eleven years I was a fourth-grade teacher at Hermosa Elementary, however, in 2016 I became the bilingual teacher. I will be graduating in May with my master’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University and will obtain my level III teaching licensure.

My role in education is crucial when it comes to working with our English Learner (EL) students. My focus and commitment is to help our students acquire the necessary skills they need to learn English as a second language and apply the skills to their academics and daily lives.  When a student first arrives without having any exposure to the English language, it is my responsibility to ensure they receive quality instruction to obtain the necessary skills to develop their English language proficiency.


FOCUS: What made you want to enter the field of education?

MORILLON-MADRID: My desire to enter the field of education was decided early on in life when my third-grade teacher made a difference in my life. Being raised primarily in a Spanish speaking home, English was my second language. My third-grade teacher took the time to really teach me and help me understand the content I needed to know to be successful in school. My brother Marc (Marcos) also played a huge role in my decision to become a teacher. He was my biggest inspiration and all I wanted to do was follow in his tracks. He taught me that it takes a special person to be able to teach and to always remember that every child is teachable. When I discussed with him my desire to further my education, he was so supportive and told me he would always be there to help me through it all. His words that I will forever hold dear to my heart are, “Whatever you do, make sure you finish. Just finish!” Although he will not be here physically to cheer me on as I walk across that stage in May, I know he will be by me in spirit and will have everyone cheering me on from heaven.


FOCUS: What is special about the Artesia educational system?

MORILLON-MADRID: Artesia is truly one of the best educational systems in which to work. I accredit all that I am today to the generous community members and organizations that provided me with an opportunity to further my education. They have also helped my siblings and countless others achieve their dreams which otherwise may have not been possible. With this, I hope to continue to give back to our community and help educate and nourish our future generations.


FOCUS: What do you want people to know about your school, its educators and the work they do that perhaps they might not know about or understand?

MORILLON-MADRID: I am beyond blessed to work at a school like Hermosa. We have a very supportive group of teachers and staff who are committed to the success and well-being of all our students. The teachers are always searching for new techniques and methods to better their teaching and curriculum. The amount of collaboration and dedication across grade-level teams is what sets this school aside from everyone else. My colleagues work very hard to keep in constant communication with all our parents and they know that they can always count on me for additional assistance and to help with translations.


FOCUS: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

MORILLON-MADRID: I feel blessed to work in a profession that gives so much without seeking anything in return. Being able to see my students’ growth throughout the year and see how successful they become in later years are the most rewarding aspects of my job. My firsthand experiences with minority children and families have helped create a bond that is indescribable. There are days that are a bit more challenging than others, but when you know that you have put your heart into everything you’ve done, then it is all worth it. I will always feel honored to have contributed in my students’ education.


FOCUS: Do you have a motto or saying that you live by?

MORILLON-MADRID: “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” by Nelson Mandela. I believe that success is attained by willingness and empowerment of oneself.  As an educator, my commitment is to guide our students and establish the foundation needed to become a successful leader tomorrow.

Outside of teaching and the education world, I spend my time with my family because they are a huge part of who I am. I owe everything to my mother, Norma Morillon. She is the heart of our family and what keeps us as a close-knit family even through our toughest of times. I am blessed to have a wonderful and supportive family which consists of my siblings, my husband Daniel, and our daughters Joslyn, 18, and Deandra, 13.