Principal | Grand Heights | Early Childhood Center
EDUCATION | Graduated from Artesia High School in 1989, ENMU (Portales) BSE (1995) Family & Consumer Science Degree with Early Childhood and Elementary endorsements, Grand Canyon University – Masters in Teaching (2005), ENMU (Portales) Administration Certification (2011)
Tell us a little about yourself…What are your hobbies and interests?
My husband Eric and I have two sons. Brian lives in Albuquerque and Chance and his wife, Morgan, live here in Artesia. Outside of school my interests focus around our three grandchildren, Mayci, Casen, and Madi.
Tell us a little bit about your educational background and role in the school system.
I was born and raised in Artesia, NM. I attended ENMU after high school and returned home in 1995 to begin my teaching career. My first teaching opportunity was as a junior high Home Economics teacher. I was 23 and boy did I have a lot to learn! For the first few years, my students taught me more than I probably taught them. It was in my second year of teaching that I met my husband, Eric, who was a teacher and coach at the junior high. I absolutely loved my job and the students that I had the privilege of teaching for 20 years. When I interviewed with Dr. Caton for the principal position at Grand Heights, I told him my 20 years as a Home Ec. teacher felt like 5 years because I had such a deep passion for teaching students life skills. For 20 years I was able to share recipes and watch students get excited about cooking with their friends in the lab, sew basic items like dice, pillows shaped like lips, and stuffed animals that looked like you could buy in a store (Well…some didn’t turn out so great).I loved the curriculum because it covered what I would consider essential life skills.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The rewards of teaching are never ending. In my new role as the principal at Grand Heights, some of my former Home Ec. students are now parents of my kindergarteners. I have an instant connection when they come to register their child and I feel like most of them still look like they just stepped out of the 8th grade yearbook. I consider it a true blessing to live in a small town where most students graduate and choose to stay or come back home to raise their family. A few of the teachers at Grand Heights were also my former students. Going from a junior high Home Ec. teacher to a kindergarten principal is quite a change. Kindergarten students are always happy to see you and will never miss an opportunity to tell you a story. I often tease people and say Grand Heights is like Disneyland; the happiest place on earth! Honestly, the students coming through our doors each day warm my heart more than words can express.
Do you have a motto or saying that you live by?
“We only have 180 days with our students – make each day count! We will never get this chance again to teach and touch their lives.”
What is the best piece of advice you would give someone who wants to be a teacher?
My best advice to anyone who wants to be a teacher is to love them [the students], build a relationship, understand where they come from and never give up on them. Everything else will fall into place.