"The learning environment of my classroom empowers my students to be all they can be. This is where the fun begins!" says Sylvia Flores, who teaches fourth-graders at Hermosa Elementary School in Artesia. In her classroom, Mrs. Flores has combined hands-on instruction with a sense of fun and suspense. She has been known to fly back from the East Coast laden with lobsters to teach a unit on arthropods, or to produce bullfrogs from her pockets and proceed to teach amphibian dissection. Mrs. Flores also coordinates the Conflict Resolution Program at her school and currently serves on the New Mexico Teacher Assessment Review Panel. Working in coordination with the ETS (Educational Testing Service) and the U.S. Department of Education, she has helped develop the testing materials for the NAEP's 1997 Writing Assessment. In 1995, the Department of Education named Mrs. Flores New Mexico Teacher of the Year.