SLV Educator Recognition Awards held in Saguache

ALAMOSA — Local educational organization SLV BOCES hosted the 2021 San Luis Valley Educator Recognition Awards at Mountain Valley High School on Wednesday, April 21.

Below are short bios for all the nominees recognized at the midweek event.

Alamosa School District

Cheyenne Sinn

Ms. Sinn has been with the Alamosa School District for 8 years where she teaches Middle School Health, Physical Education and an Athletic Coach for OMS/AHS. Cheyenne received a MA Degree in Sports and Exercise Science K-12 from the University of Northern Colorado. She also coaches multiple middle/high school boys and girls sports. 

Cheyenne creates a comfortable environment in which students can ask questions, discuss topics and learn to trust others.  She actively works to look at and provide solutions for behavior and finds ways to praise/reward students   She not only teaches kids the skills they need to know to be successful in their respective sport but Cheyenne emphasizes integrity, honesty, hard work and good sportsmanship.

Centennial School District

Robert Quintana

Mr. Quintana has been with the Centennial School District for 21 years where he teaches High

School Math.  Robert was also the Science Teacher for the district.  Robert received a BA Degree in Biology and a teaching certificate from Adams State University.    

Mr. Quintana has been a math and science tutor for over 30 years and is a mentor for several new

teachers.  Robert coaches boys and girls sports, he is a sponsor for several classes, and a Science Fair coordinator.  Mr. Quintana owns a ranch where is hires students to earn their own money and teaches them how to manage it.

Center School District

Hanna Hays

Ms. Hays has been with the Center School District for 7 years where she teaches High School Language Arts.  Hanna received a BA degree in English/Secondary Education from Adams State University and is currently working on a MFA in Creative Writing from Western Colorado University.

Hanna has the ability to interact with our students and allows them to grow academically and personally.  She incorporates into her classroom plans, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving, self-awareness.  Hanna supports her students by acting as a sponsor for many different activities.

Creede School


Michele La Zier

Ms. La Zier has been with the Creede School District for 15 years where she teaches MS/HS ELA.  Michele received a BA Degree in Language Arts from Adams State University. She is presently working on a Master’s Degree in English not only for her professional development,

but also to benefit the education of her students.

Ms. La Zier is the sponsor for the National Honor Society, among others, for the Creede School District.  Michele and her students volunteer to help clean up the Creede community, highways, distributing food and helping out at an animal shelter. Michele has made herself available as an ally to students who do not necessarily fit into the mainstream.

Moffat School


Sara McFarland

Ms. McFarland is the 1st and 2nd Grade Teacher for the Moffat School District.  Sara received a MA Degree in Literacy and a BA Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Sara works hard to build a classroom community that includes students and their families.  Sara tutors students with direct instruction, practice, and games.  The students she tutors make a huge improvement in their area of need.  These students also become more confident and engaging learners in the classroom.

Monte Vista School District

Sabina Malouff

Ms. Malouff has been with the Monte Vista School District for 16 years where she teaches 4th Grade.  Sabina received a MA Degree in Reading from the University of Northern Colorado, a Teaching Certificate K-6 from Regis College and a BA in Technical Journalism, Public Relations Major and a Minor in Sociology from Colorado State University.

Sabina makes sure that each student has the opportunity to achieve their goals and to even push them beyond.  She exemplifies what it means to be a teacher and has been able to reach and help students grow by differentiating instruction for them no matter what point or at what background they come from.

Mountain Valley School District

Geneva Mixon

Ms. Mixon has been with the Mountain Valley School District for 6 years where she teaches Middle School English.  Geneva received an Induction Certification from SLV BOCES, an Alternative Teaching Certification, a MA Degree in Geography and a BA in Geography from the University of Colorado

Geneva’s classroom instruction is consistently challenging and engaging for students. Ms. Mixon has a wonderful relationship with parents and families as she stays in constant contact with them and shares vital information about student growth and student needs.  She is committed and cares about her students.

North Conejos School District/Manassa Elementary

Charlotte Coombs

Ms. Coombs has been with the North Conejos School District and Manassa Elementary for 14 years where she teaches 3rd grade ELA.  Charlotte received a MA Degree in Education from Augustana University, a BA Degree in Education from Adams State University and an AA Degree from BYU.

Charlotte has a strong interpersonal relationship awareness that allows her to collaborate with all members of the educational team.  She is an educator that uses her background, educational experience, and community ties in order to make a difference in the lives of learners.  Ms. Coombs is a tremendous teacher that demonstrates passion and energy for everyday teaching.

Sanford School District

Kelly Reynolds

Ms. Reynolds teaches 2nd Grade for the Sanford School District.  Kelly received a BA degree in Elementary Education and a MA Degree in Language/Reading from Adams State University.

Kelly focuses her energy on supporting her students by exploring and expanding their talents and strengths and focusing on what they do well.  She is a great team player and goes the extra mile, to continuously work with her colleagues to share ideas for new and exciting methods to provide instruction for students.  Ms. Reynolds supports her students social-emotionally, academically and personally.

Sangre De Cristo

Matt Sinclair

Mr. Sinclair has been with the Sangre de Cristo School District for 10 years.  Matt teaches High School FFA, Animal Science, Career and Technology.  He received a MA Degree in Career and

Technology Education from Ball State University, a CTE in Architecture and Agriculture and a BA Degree in Industrial Studies from Adams State University.

Matt is able to bring practical skills and knowledge to all students, which allows them to enter the workforce with employable skills.  Mr. Sinclair’s relationships with students have allowed him to expect and receive the most out of his students.  Matt has started a new class project that will involve livestock for students to learn from and about.

San Luis Valley BOCES

Nastasha Carizal

Ms. Carizal has been with the San Luis Valley BOCES for 5 years where she is a Speech/Language Pathologist. Nastasha has a MA Degree in Early Education Leadership from Cambridge Harvard Graduate School of Education, a MA Degree in Speech Pathology from Cebu City Philippines and a BA of Science from Ermita Manila Philippines.

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Nastasha always makes sure to collaborate with parents, teachers and colleagues, on how to best support students in schools. Ms. Carizal finds fulfillment in working with and teaching students who need speech/language assistance. She wants them to excel and be confident in using their voice. Nastasha makes sure that she helps out within the community by donating to different causes. 

Sargent School


Kari Christoferson

Ms. Christoferson has been with the Sargent School District for 8 years where she teaches 5th and 6th Grade Language Arts/Writing.   Kari received a BA Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in English and Spanish.

Kari has a great rapport with students and teachers.  She comes up with unique and engaging activities for her students and advocates for both students and staff.  She has a very positive attitude and does an amazing job.  The academic and personal growth of her students is always amazing, as they reach expectations they didn’t know they themselves could attain.

Ms. Segura has been with the Sierra Grande School District for 6 years where she teaches 4th Grade.   Savannah received a BA Degree in Elementary Education from Adams State University. Savannah serves on many school district committees.

Savannah has never been afraid of asking questions and seeking advice when it comes to growing as an educator.  She provides students with opportunities to practice newly taught concepts and demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways. Savannah has created

an inclusive environment in which all students can be successful.

South Conejos School District

Maria Morales

Ms. Morales has been with the South Conejos School District for 17 years where she is a K-12 Spanish Teacher/Literacy Coach.  Maria received a BA Degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado in Boulder, a MA Degree in Multicultural/Bilingual/ELL from

K-12  from Adams State University.   

Ms. Morales loves her students and has a passion for teaching.  She creates a culture of success with her calm and caring demeanor.

Maria had the opportunity to visit Paz Mexico, where she learned many things about the Mexican culture. She now encourages her students to continue learning the Spanish language and hopes to inspire them to take pride in their Latino roots and culture.



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