Educator Profile    Educators

Melanie Alfaro (NM '17)

Math Content Specialist (K-12)

Deming Public Schools
Deming, NM

At the time of the Award, Melanie Alfaro was:

Deming Intermediate School
Deming, NM

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 6

Biographical Information

Melanie Alfaro is beginning her third year as Deming Public School's Math Content Specialist. She works to support teachers and schools across her district in the area of mathematics. The transition from the classroom to a district position was a difficult choice for Melanie, however she aspires to have a greater impact on more students across the district through her role. Melanie is the co-facilitator of the Curriculum Leadership Team in her district. This is a group of grade level and content area representatives that work to establish standardized pacing and assessment across the district. In addition to her district duties, Melanie is currently an Alumni State Ambassador with the New Mexico Teacher Leader's Network. She is now the assistant Varsity boys' basketball coach. Melanie is currently in the final stages of obtaining her NM Administrative license.

At the time of the award, Melanie Alfaro was a sixth-grade math teacher at Deming Intermediate School (DIS) in New Mexico. She held all her students to high standards. She employed a multitude of instructional strategies in her classroom, which included active engagement and collaborative grouping, and is trained on AIMS3, a state dual-language program that supports English learners. At the time, DIS didn't have a gifted program, but Alfaro made sure advanced learners stayed challenged with appropriate course work and encourageed higher-achieving students to mentor those who need more help. Alfaro immersed her students in data, setting individual and whole-class goals, charging students with monitoring their own progress, and holding family classes to ensure parents are fully equipped to support their children’s efforts in math.

While at DIS, Melanie served as head of the math department. She also sat on Deming’s school leadership team and was deeply involved in the formulation and monitoring of its 90-day improvement plan. She mentored teachers throughout the district, lead professional development, and sat on the math pacing guides and superintendent’s advisory committees,. In 2016, Alfaro was selected to join the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network as a state ambassador. .

A Deming native and product of Deming Public Schools, Alfaro is an accomplished athlete who played Division I basketball at New Mexico State University and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2014. She has worked hard to build up Deming’s Little League baseball program, serving on the board and as president. Alfaro started a summer basketball camp and coaches basketball, t-ball and Little League baseball; the district offered her the opportunity to coach varsity basketball, but Alfaro opted to work with younger students to teach them the fundamentals and prepare them for higher-level athletics. In the classroom, Alfaro stresses the importance of both academics and athletics, reminding students that working hard at one supports success in the other. Students often come back to share their good news and accomplishments with Alfaro, telling her that they are top of their class, entering honors courses, and even graduating as valedictorian.

Alfaro earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 2002 from New Mexico State University and a master’s in education in 2013 from Western New Mexico University.

Press release: Hometown hero Melanie Alfaro merits $25,000 as the 2017-18 Milken Educator Award winner for New Mexico


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Melanie Alfaro In The News

N.M. Teacher Leader Melanie Alfaro
Instruction Interruption  |  Jul 27, 2020  |  Santa Fe, NM

Milken Educator Melanie Alfaro Meets with Congressional, Education Leaders in Washington, D.C.
Deming Headlight  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  Deming, NM

LISTEN --> Deming Math Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Milken Educator Award
KRWG-FM  |  NPR  |  Dec 06, 2017  |  Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico Education Foundation Surprises Deming Teacher with National Award
KVIA-TV  |  ABC  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  El Paso, TX

Deming Intermediate Teacher the Only New Mexico Educator to Win a Milken Award This Year
Deming Headlight  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  Deming, NM

Deming Teacher Awarded Prestigious Milken Educator Award
KTSM-TV  |  NBC  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  El Paso, TX