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Amy Wray equips students for life

Isabella Barton | Editor

Teacher Appreciation week is dedicated to celebrating all the things our teachers do.  They work with us when we are getting overwhelmed, always there to educate and support our growth into an adult.

Mrs. Wray poses outside her classroom door.

Friends who know Mrs. Wray personally say that she is a teacher worth appreciating.  In conversations I’ve had with Wray, I’ve seen her be more than understanding.  She is willing to work with students who may not deserve her kindness simply because they took advantage of her. I’ve also seen how passionate she is about her students and her job. It’s very rare to see real passion in somebody’s eyes, and I’ve never seen anyone with such a drive to educate and help high school adolescents and people  in general.

“I love seeing who [students] are at the beginning of the year and watch how they progress over the year,” said Wray.  She has been teaching for 17 years, and currently teaches Bible Lit and Yoga here at La Cueva.

She wants students “to become good, really good, readers and writers, because that’s the content.”   More than this, her favorite part of teaching is watching students figure out who they are, what they want for their lives, and then start to plan and prepare for life outside of high school. “But more than that I want them to have confidence in who they are and know that they can go out and make a difference and that they’re already equipped with certain skills and passions that are going to help them in life.”

Mrs.Wray is a model for kindness and passion.  “I want them to know that I support them.”

Teacher Appreciation: Mrs. Robinson

KAYLIN CARPENTER | FEATURES

Mrs. Robinson poses with her trusty forensic tools.
Photo by Kaylin Carpenter

Teacher appreciation week is all about recognizing the teachers that go above and beyond for their students. For most teachers that means being flexible with late assignments and assigning less homework, but for Mrs. Robinson, it means hours outside of school to create real life learning experiences for her students.

Mrs. Robinson’s favorite class to teach is forensics. She said her favorite part is, “…the sparkle in a student’s eye when they solve a crime.” In the class, you learn almost everything you need to know to solve a crime. From collecting fingerprints to analyzing DNA, forensics students learn how to do it all, thanks to the time and effort put in by Mrs. Robinson.

Towards the end of the second semester every year, Mrs. Robinson conducts the crime project, notorious for being one of the most fun and intense projects in the school.

This year, the forensics class took a field trip to balloon fiesta park to watch a car hiding Michelle Casanova’s (fake) dead body burn. Mrs. Robinson got both the Bomb Squad and the Fire Department to come and make the crime project perfect. Not only this, but Robinson also asked many students and teachers to assist and make the crime seem as real as possible. Although it rained for most of the crime day, Mrs. Robinson stuck it out and made sure that all of the teams experienced the most accurate crime scene possible.

Mrs. Robinson is the perfect example of a teacher that puts countless hours outside of school to make sure her students are having the best experience possible. From creating crime scenes to appointing judges and witnesses, Mrs. Robinson is one of the best teachers here at La Cueva.

“It isn’t just about forensic science and evidence…it’s about problem-solving. It’s about reasoning through difficult issues and coming to a logical conclusion. “So this is a class that is going to help you for the rest of your life,” said Robinson.

Science teacher Mr. Stewart

Katie Poindexter | Journalism

Also an experienced EMT, Mr. Stewart knows how to resuscitate people as well as breathe life into his science curricula. Photo by author.

Mr. Stewart, science teacher at La Cueva High School, has been helpful through his time here with teaching kids skills and knowledge in chemistry, biology, astronomy,etc. His experience in the outside world has made him the teacher he is today. Mr. Stewart has been in the army, air force, has worked in a cemetery doing grounds work, has worked in a funeral home, has been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and then finally a substitute teacher. Stewart says the army and these jobs, “Helped shape my work ethic, ideals and values,” making him a teacher that works hard to teach his students the material they need to help them through life.

Stewart started college at CNM, but then transferred to UNM. He has a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Through doing AVID programs at APS, tutoring middle school students, he found a liking for teaching and decided to become a teacher.

Now, Mr. Stewart keeps his class fun and interactive.  “I like seeing students progress over the  year,” he said. Stewart shows that he does care about the students learning and their comprehension. Stewart makes his classroom a community and says he wants students to feel comfortable if they answer a question incorrectly, though he does get fatigued when they ask questions he’s already answered.  Stewart has tried to make himself available for his students by allowing them to make up tests and quizzes and dropping in occasionally on Monday and Tuesday tutoring. Stewart’s teaching seems to be effective with his students. Austin Denton, one of Mr. Stewart’s students said, “He has a fun style of teaching. He makes sure he explains things in detail. I like him. He likes to have roast battles.”

Mr. Stewart has created an online component to chemistry this year as well. Though he has outlawed food and drinks in his class, he still keeps his class organized and makes it a good environment for students to learn in.