Graduates of CNM: Annie Wright

Annie is a graduate of CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure program and was recently named the Pepsi Teacher of the Month
May 19, 2022

Annie Wright never thought she would become a teacher, but then she took a job as an educational assistant at Inez Elementary School where she soon found herself inspired and encouraged by veteran teachers.

“The teachers there were so amazing,” Annie says. “I worked with this really wonderful teacher who was in her last year of teaching, so she just had all this wisdom to share.”

It was during her end-of-the-year review that Annie’s principal urged her to consider becoming a teacher herself. Since she already had a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, one of Annie’s co-workers suggested that she look into CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure (ATL) program. A few months later, Annie started taking classes at CNM and quickly fell in love with the program. 

“I had some of the best professors that I’ve ever had when I was in the ATL program,” Annie says. “CNM instructor Kelly Peters in particular really changed the way that I think about teaching and she’s just such a great teacher herself.”


One of Annie’s favorite things about the program was its flexible schedule, which allowed her to keep working and take classes at the same time. As an educational assistant (EA), Annie also received full tuition reimbursement through a partnership between CNM and Albuquerque Public Schools (APS).

“I was able to work with kids during the day as an EA, go to class in the evening, and then go back to work the next day and apply what I learned in the classroom,” Annie says.

Another highlight of the program for Annie was the Supervised Field Experience, which she says was vital to building her confidence as a first-year teacher. She also highly recommends the class “Math for Teachers.” It was an optional course, but one that Annie says was well worth it.

“It was an amazing class. It was so critical to me understanding math because when I was a kid, I didn’t understand math at all,” Annie says. “I actually love teaching math now. It’s like my favorite thing to teach.”

In 2018, Annie was hired as a full-time teacher at Atrisco Elementary School where she currently leads a classroom of third and fourth graders. Now in her fourth year of teaching, Annie was named the Pepsi Teacher of the Month in March 2022. The award is presented by Pepsi and the APS Education Foundation to outstanding APS teachers nominated by their peers for contributions to the classroom, school, and community.

Annie was thankful for the award, and says it’s only encouraged her to keep growing. At the beginning of the pandemic, Annie returned to CNM to get her Gifted Education teaching endorsement, and she’s currently studying to get her master’s degree in Elementary Education. Annie says her goal is to eventually teach every grade at the elementary school level.

“What I love about teaching is that every year I can do something completely different and still be a teacher,” Annie says. “I could teach a different grade-level, I could teach at a different school, or I could be a gifted teacher for a year. That kind of flexibility and excitement on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis is what makes me want to keep doing this.”

Although teaching can be tough, Annie believes it's one of the most rewarding professions. At the end of the day, she hopes her students leave with positive memories of her classroom and remember it as a place where they felt safe and heard.


“As a teacher, you’re always thinking and learning. You definitely need to have the stamina and the interest in being challenged and stimulated all day long,” Annie says. “People remember good teachers and they remember poor teachers. If you think you can be a good teacher, then go for it.”