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Yamilet Lopez Portrait Cropped

Yamilet Lopez (NV '23)


Alice Maxwell Elementary School
Sparks, NV

Grade(s): K

At the time of the Award, Yamilet Lopez was:

Alice Maxwell Elementary School
Sparks, NV

Grade(s): K

Biographical Information

Yamilet Lopez takes a firm yet amiable teaching approach in her kindergarten class at Alice Maxwell Elementary School. Infusing lessons with energy and optimism, Lopez is deeply committed to enhancing the learning experience for each of her students. Balancing engagement and challenge, she seamlessly weaves fun into her classes. Collaborating effectively with her peers, Lopez delivers hands-on, enriching instruction that not only readies her students for the transition to first grade but also equips them with language and vocabulary skills surpassing typical kindergarten levels.  
The tangible outcomes of her dedication are reflected in the data: Her students effortlessly transition activities in 10 seconds or less—a significant achievement for young, active learners. Notably, 90% of her students exhibit readiness for first grade. By the end of the school year, students have mastered the entire alphabet, along with each letter’s sound and the ability to compose short paragraphs. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) growth underscores her impact, with her 2022-23 class showcasing a substantial rise from a winter median percentile of 49 to an impressive 82 in the spring. Always seeking new, exciting ways to convey material and connect with her students, Lopez developed a method called “spicy writing” to teach students how to add details to their narrative writing. 
Lopez’s leadership extends beyond the classroom, influencing her peers at the school, district and state levels. At the forefront of her commitment to excellence in education is her role as a mentor teacher for elementary school teaching and learning cohorts, serving as a model for aspiring educators. Both within and beyond her school, Lopez is respected by her colleagues, often becoming the subject of observation and an example in districtwide teacher training initiatives. Her instructional aptitude has garnered attention from administrators, leading to frequent visits by district leaders to her classroom. Active in professional development, she has participated in the department chair cohort via the Regional Professional Development Program (RPDP), contributing her insights to the collective knowledge base. Lopez plays a pivotal role in resource creation and webinar development for teacher registration and the promotion of positive teacher and parent relationships within the district. Additionally, her involvement as a panelist for the school’s kindergarten town hall reflects her dedication to acclimating families to the program and ensuring each child is optimally positioned for sustained educational success. 
Lopez earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2012. 

Press release: Surprise! Nevada Kindergarten Teacher Receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Yamilet Lopez In The News

Sparks Elementary Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award
Sparks Tribune  |  Mar 22, 2024  |  Sparks, NV

Sparks Kindergarten Teacher Receives Milken Award
The Nevada Independent  |  Mar 19, 2024  |  Las Vegas, NV

WATCH --> Alice Maxwell Elementary School Teacher Receives Milken Educator Award
KOLO-TV  |  ABC  |  Mar 15, 2024  |  Reno, NV

WATCH --> WCSD Teacher Receives Milken Educator Award
KTNV-TV  |  CBS  |  Mar 15, 2024  |  Reno, NV

LISTEN --> Sparks Teacher Receives $25K Milken Educator Award
KUNR-FM  |  NPR  |  Mar 15, 2024  |  Reno, NV