In 2000 Sandee Hay retired from the Colorado education system after 32 years of service. Since then she has taught in the Teacher Education Department for Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado and for Rio Salado Community College in Tempe, Arizona. Currently she teaches sixth grade at Hartford Elementary School in Chandler and shared, "After years of teaching and administration, I am very happy to be back as a part of the grassroots of education - in the elementary classroom!" Mrs. Hay also teaches, through Rio Salado, on-line courses for students who already have a B.A. degree and wish to enter the elementary teaching field. When she received the Milken Educator Award, Mrs. Hay was an Alamosa School District teacher working with the San Luis Valley's migrant children and their families, its Chapter 1 students, and the gifted and talented. In her Family Math program, people of different backgrounds came together as gifted and talented children worked with migrant students and their parents. She attempted to impart to migrant parents the importance of allowing children to return early from the fields to attend evening classes. Mrs. Hay believes that education is the means to break the cycle of migrant labor, and in more than two decades of instruction she taught that any goal is achievable if pursued with dedication.
Education is so vital in today's world. After a recent trip to China, and viewing the importance they place on education and the learning of several languages, including English, I feel that we need to give our students the same advantages of learning at least one other language during their educational career!