Our people: Teacher of the Year

Courtesy photo Hatley at 18 takes a photo with his 3-year-old niece Raven in 2003.


Name: Drew Hatley

Birthday: September 20, 1984

Hometown: Clovis

Profession: Assistant baseball coach, football coach and World History teacher

Family: My wife Christal and I have been married for three years. We don’t have kids but we have a golden retriever named Allie Gator.

Clovis High School teacher Drew Hatley was named Freedom New Mexico Newspapers in Education teacher of the year.

Hatley said he uses the newspaper in World History to keep his students up with international events. Hatley said students today are often stuck in their own bubble and he said he tries to open people up to the outside work on a consistent basis.

What’s your idea of a perfect day? I would wake up and eat breakfast with the coaches, we do that every Thursday and I just enjoy those guys. There would be a football game at Leon Williams Stadium. I would go hunting in the afternoon and watch a baseball game in the evening.

Tell us about your pet. I’m gone a lot with coaching and my wife said she needed something. We got a golden retriever and named her Allie. Coach Merritt said she’s gotta have a middle name and called her Gator. I’m biased to dogs now. There’s not much better to come home to than a good dog.

What would you like printed on your gravestone? If I could have anything it would be that I was an uncommon man. That I tried, though I may have failed, to be better than most.

Why did you want to become an educator? The most influential people in my life were educators. Coach Roanhaus, Coach Kelly, these guys prepared me for my life. I wanted to be like those guys. I like the job of teaching. Everyday it’s different. I can be an influence on the kids lives and they can make a better decision.

What do you think about Clovis? I think this town is a great place to live and a great place to raise a family. I enjoy the people. The schools are great, we have good educators here. And one thing that makes us unique is that we have one high school. I think that gives us something to lean on and something that keeps us united.

What’s your favorite TV show? ESPN Sports Center. It’s sports news. My wife gives me a hard time, she says it’s the same thing every day. I just like the competitiveness of sports and what they teach us.

What’s so great about your favorite sport? I would have to say football is my favorite sport. I like it because it teaches kids a lot of life skills. It’s so tied to what life is. You know, are you going to be knocked down or get up? You need teammates. When I was a little kid I would sit at Leon Williams with my dad and the Wildcats were like movie stars to me.

Tell us a story about your childhood. I am one of 10 grandchildren. My granddad always tells us how I’m the only grandchild that he ever spanked. I was very competitive. We were playing a pick up game out at their house and they were teasing me because I was striking out. My cousin said “It’s OK Drew” and I turned around and whacked him with the bat. My grandpa spanked me. I needed it.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in education? That’s tough to say. I really like the aspect of being around kids and people. It would be something helping people. Maybe a firefighter or EMT.

What do you envision your life being like in 10 years? I envision having a kid or two with my wife. I don’t think I’d try doing anything different. I enjoy making a difference is kids lives. I enjoy what I’m doing now. Hopefully, this place’ll keep me around.

When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult? I thought I’d be doing something in professional sports. All we did was play pick up games, play outside and we always thought we’d make millions of dollars playing a sport or being an astronaut or something.

Who is your hero and why? I have a lot of heroes. There are a lot of important people in my life. But I’d say my dad. He’s pretty influential in how I act. He did a lot of things right. He taught me to look back at the end of the day to make sure you’ve done more right than wrong. He gave me a vision and a goal for my life and taught me to be the best I can be.

If you could do anything, I would…own a hunting and fishing lodge. I’d guide hunts and own a ranch where people could go out and hunt. I’d reach out to kids as a missionary. I’d take those with disabilities hunting. And those who don’t have the money. Hunting’s become a rich man’s game.

Tell us how you met your spouse. She was my high school sweetheart. I’ve known her since she could walk. We dated in high school. She’s pretty special. She puts up with me 24 hours a day 365 days a year so she’d have to be a pretty special lady to do that.