Valencia Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Becky Duran was chosen as the Newspapers In Education teacher of the year in Portales. She uses newspapers in her bilingual classroom to teach reading skills such as reading comprehension and word definition, and to showcase different types of writing.
Who’s invited to your fantasy dinner party and why?
My husband, close friends and family. I’m very down to earth. I didn’t even tell people I won this award. It was my husband who let it out of the bag.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
My students. Seeing the sparkle in their eye when they say “Oh, that’s how you do it.”
What do you think about Portales?
I love it. Everyone knows everyone. I grew up here. When I was a kid, if your neighbor or someone saw you do something you shouldn’t, I got in trouble. It’s very family oriented. It’s still like that.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
For me, I would spend it with my family, relaxing. We’d just spend lots of time together.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I had a doll. Her hair grew, you could make it short or long. I messed with her hair a lot. I did her hair all the time and dressed her up. I was very protective of it. My sister had one but gave hers away and then realized she wanted mine. But she couldn’t have it.
What’s your favorite TV show, past and present?
Desperate Housewives, American Idol and CSI. I like Desperate Housewives because it’s just a run of the mill family. On American Idol, I like to see the challenges of the kids and everyone gets a chance. I love CSI because I like to find out what happened and who did what.
What’s so great about your favorite sport?
I golf sometimes when I have time. It’s calming and nerve wracking at the same time because you have to chase that little ball around. I go with my husband and daughter sometimes. My son doesn’t like it much.
If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place?
I would make sure everyone has homes and food and clothing. We see so many kids at school without food or clothes. That’d be the first thing.
What do you envision your life being like in 10 years?
I would like to be retired and traveling with my husband. He always talks about going to resorts with golf courses, stuff like that. I’d be spending my time with him more than anything really.
Who is your hero and why?
My dad. He raised a big family of nine daughters and seven brothers. He was a hard worker and always provided for us even when we didn’t know how he did it. When one of us graduated, we always had what we needed.
Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment.
I would say my husband and two kids. And going back to school. I went back after I had kids and I finished and got my degree. I never thought I would but I did.
What’s your greatest hope?
That my children have their hopes and dreams filled and find someone they can always care for and that will care for them.
What’s your favorite smell?
The smell after it rains. It’s so refreshing and clean.
Tell us how you met your spouse.
I was invited to a Christmas party in Clovis. I’m a shy person and have been a shy person all my life. I was sitting in a corner and he walked in and looked right at me. I turned away but he approached me and started talking to me and we’ve been together from then on out.