AMHERST, MA — Alicia Lopez of Amherst went through school knowing that whatever her life path would be, there was one career she would avoid at all costs — teaching.
Both her parents were teachers, and even seeing her mother, Sonia Nieto, win the prestigious Massachusetts Teachers Association Lifetime Civil Rights Award did not convince Lopez that the hard work and long hours were worth it.
Now 45, Lopez has been a classroom teacher for 20 years. Next month, at a June 19 ceremony in Waltham, she will accept the same civil rights award as her mother, who also earned the award when she was 45.
More and more I am following in my moms footsteps, as much as I didnt want to growing up,” Lopez said.
Lopez was nominated for the Lifetime Civil Rights Award, now named for Ayer educator Louise Gaskins, by Amherst-Pelham Teachers Association President Jean Fay. A language and English language learners educator, Lopez teaches some of the most vulnerable students, according to Fay.