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Nevada's teacher of year was a familiar face in Elko

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Deanne Hicks

In this photo from 2013, Southside Elementary School teacher Deanne Hicks is presented a "STARS" award by Elko County School District Superintendent Jeff Zander, left, and Principal Steve Cook. Hicks now lives in Washoe County and was honored Monday as Nevada's Teacher of the Year.

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s 2022 Teacher of the Year was honored this week for her work in western Nevada, but she’s no stranger to the Elko area.

Deanne Moyle-Hicks was a reading coach and instructor at Southside Elementary for many years, and was named one of the Elko County School District’s “STARS” in 2013. Now she teaches fourth-grade students at Natchez Elementary School on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation.

Gov. Steve Sisolak joined State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert surprised her on Monday with an assembly announcing her selection as Teacher of the Year.

Hicks is from Eureka and has served Northern Nevada students for 28 years. They said she advocates for education “that embraces and empowers all students of diverse cultures.”

“Throughout her 28-year teaching career, Deanne Moyle-Hicks’ passion and care have positively impacted the lives of countless students in Nevada,” said Sisolak. “She is a life-long Nevadan and a life-long learner who models hard work and perseverance to her students daily. It is more important now than ever to recognize and uplift the dedicated teachers who continue to make learning engaging and accessible for students, and Ms. Hicks is a phenomenal example of this approach.”

“Our 2022 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Hicks, demonstrates several qualities that make her an exemplary teacher, including her passion in bringing an equitable education to each and every child, her cultivation of family partnerships to positively impact student success, and her work to support students’ social-emotional health,” said Superintendent Ebert. “I am grateful to have educators like Ms. Hicks leading the way for Nevada’s students, and we are thrilled to honor her as our 2022 Nevada Teacher of the Year!”

“Ms. Hicks is an educator, leader, and inspiration, and we are grateful to have her in our school community,” said Jake Chapin, principal at Natchez Elementary School. “Her dedication to our students and school community is unmatched; every morning, Ms. Hicks drives 45 miles to teach the students and families she loves at Natchez Elementary and on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation. We truly appreciate working in Washoe County, a district that recognizes the unique needs of our community and families and provides the support necessary for teachers like Ms. Hicks to work her magic.”

“I am thrilled to celebrate this well-deserved award for Ms. Deanne Moyle-Hicks,” said Washoe County School District Superintendent Dr. Kristen McNeill. “She has forged strong connections with her families and worked in partnership with them to enable deep and meaningful engagement with her students. She not only brings joy and enthusiasm for 21st Century learning to her fourth-grade classroom, she also serves as a tireless advocate for her students and families. We are so proud to honor her, and grateful that her work is being highlighted across the State.”

Hicks is an alumna of University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Impassioned about global learning and innovation in education, she completed her student teaching in New Zealand. She works extensively as a teacher leader in roles including Teach Plus Nevada Policy Fellow, national Understood Fellow, and Nevada National Board Professional Learning Network member. She has also collaborated with Opportunity 180, the Nevada PTA, and Nevada Succeeds, and works with the Teachers and Leaders Council and the national Teach Plus Teacher Cabinet.

She’s not the first teacher from Elko to receive high honors. In 2016, John Tierney of Adobe Middle School was named Nevada’s Teacher of the Year.

"It is more important now than ever to recognize and uplift the dedicated teachers who continue to make learning engaging and accessible for students."

-- Gov. Steve Sisolak

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