Students can write a Successory Note to any school employee that has helped them in some way or done something nice for them.  The student turns the note into their teacher or school office.  The notes are carbon copies, so the principal takes the original and turns it into the Admin. Office.  The carbon copy is given to the teacher so that he/she can read the note.  The original notes that are taken to the Admin. Office are put in a container, and once a month, they randomly draw one note as the “Success Maker” for that month.  They receive $500, a plaque, and a dozen roses (for ladies) or a “manly” item (for men).  

As a retired teacher, let me tell you, it is SO REWARDING to get one of these notes!!  Whether it’s a student from last year or one that is now in junior high, it’s an awesome feeling to read how you helped this kiddo in some way, such as “Thank  you for teaching me how to read!  It has really helped me now that I am in 4th grade” or “Thanks for saying hi and smiling at me today.  I was feeling sad until I saw you in the hall.”  They can bring tears to your eyes!!

Kandi Branch | Outreach Projects Coordinator


Phone: (575) 736-2711 | Mobile: (575) 308-7149

505 W. Main Street | Artesia, NM  88210

August | Tara Egeland

I moved to Artesia from New Jersey in the first grade with my parents, Bill and Gloria Schleiser, and my sister, Michele, when my dad began a new career as a police officer with the Artesia Police Department.  I remember being so scared that first day of school, but my compassionate first grade teacher, Mrs. Hass, “assigned” a classmate to show me the ropes and be my friend for the day. The girl she assigned to be my friend was the outgoing and bubbly Keri Towles, and Keri and I remained best friends all the way through elementary school, Zia, Park, and high school.

I always loved school, and when Mrs. Hass taught me to read in the first grade, it was like opening the door to the world.  I was so excited to read and learn about different places, ideas, situations, and people.  When I moved back to Artesia 9 years ago, I was so excited to get to teach kids to read and become better readers, so hopefully they, too, will be able to confidently use their reading skills to open their own door to the world.  I hope my own two children, Trent, a 6th grader, and Tyler, a 4th grader, will always find joy in reading as well.

September | Jeannette Delgado Central

My roots are in Artesia-born, raised, graduated a Bulldog. I love spending time with family and friends. You can usually find me at any of my nieces’ and nephews’ events. I always loved our community, especially the support of the children and schools. I got the opportunity to work for the Artesia Public Schools 2 years ago and am currently a custodian at Central Elementary. I see custodians as unsung heroes that contribute to every student’s learning by creating clean, safe and healthy environment. It is great to see students work hard to earn the privilege to help me with small tasks. I love my job and getting to build connection with the students and teachers has been the highlight.

October | Misty McSpadden

I have lived in Artesia for two and half years.  I have been married for 20 years and have two children.  My daughter, Malori, graduated from Artesia in 2019 and is attending Angelo State University.  Her major is psychology and is a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority.  My son, Jyles, is a 9th grader at Park Junior High.  He plays football, basketball, and baseball for the Bulldogs along with BBO travel basketball team.

I have taught school for 16 years in four different states:  Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.  I hold several certifications:  elementary education K-5, middle school history and science, special education K-12 all levels along with behavior management, and high school biology.

I am currently teaching at Park Junior High as the inclusion special education teacher in the English department.

The students are by far the favorite part of my job!  I enjoy each and everyone of them!  I will say, that in all my years of teaching and the different school districts, Artesia is the best school district I have ever worked in.  I have never felt more appreciated or supported as I do here.

Thanks again!

November | Melissa Warren

I was born and raised in Odessa, Texas.  My Dad was a professor of Economics at the University of Texas at the Permian Basin and my Mom was a 2nd grade teacher at Blanton Elementary.  I have an older sister who I looked up to then and now as well.   I played tennis most of my youth years and continued playing in college at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX where I received a full scholarship to play.  It was at UNT where I graduated with a Bachelor Of Business, Majoring in Marketing.  After UNT I enrolled in Texas Womens’ University where I took a few graduate courses in Mathematics.  I then received my certificate of Secondary Teaching through an alternative certification program in Dallas Fort Worth.

My first teaching job was at Arlington High School as a 9th – 11th Grade Math Teacher.  I taught there for 2 years and then my husband and I moved to Abilene, Texas so he could pursue his career in the oilfield and I became a stay at home mom.  We moved from Texas to North Dakota, to Oklahoma, and now to New Mexico where I am currently teaching High School Geometry and Algebra 2 at Artesia High School.

My favorite part of everyday is getting to know the students.  I enjoy learning about each student and what they do outside of school.  So much to my surprise most students are working kids that do in fact pay for their expenses.  This is very interesting to me because at such a young age they are learning how to manage their time for school, work and home life.

December | Juli Kaye Newton

Born and raised in Artesia, I realized I wanted to be an artist from an early age. I was inspired by my dad- a painter, and my mother who dabbled in ceramics, beading, sewing, and silkscreening. As the youngest of five, I have a mess of nieces and nephews so hanging out with kids seemed like a natural career path for me. I moved to Albuquerque and earned a Bachelor of Arts in the Fine Arts and a license to teach visual arts K-12. I missed my family, so I moved back home, started teaching, and started my own family.

I’m on my 12th year teaching and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kindergarten through 9th grade. I earned my masters in Educational Literacy from Wayland Baptist University and I have a Level 3 license. I spend my days teaching art to Kinder-5th grade now, hopping around from Yeso, Yucca, and Grand Heights. This is my first year teaching elementary (where I always aspired to be) and it’s been a big learning year for me. I am reveling in all the love these little kids give back to me. Hearing them say “I want to be an artist when I grow up!” never gets old.

January | Emily Baldwin

I grew up in East Texas, but almost 5 years ago I joined the community of Artesia after getting married. I attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, TX and received my Bachelor’s in English and Associate’s in Bible.

 Upon moving to Artesia, I began teaching English Language Arts at Park Junior High School. I then got my teaching license through an alternative licensure program at ENMU followed by my Master’s in English which I finished in December 2019.

 I have been teaching for 5 years and every day is a new adventure! I think my favorite part of my job is being able to invest in students on a level that goes beyond academics. My husband is a youth and children’s pastor, so I get to pour into kids even outside of the classroom. This gives me a unique opportunity to speak life into students in numerous outlets on a regular basis.

Article originally published in Focus on Artesia 2020 Spring edition.