Media Arts Collaborative Charter School
P 505.243.1957F 505.268.1651


AlaridPease, Isaac

Isaac AlaridPease

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. x203
Office/Room: 203

Isaac AlaridPease was raised in a centuries old, exposed adobe home in rural Abiquiu, NM.  He grew up with a menagerie of childhood pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, toads and innumerable chickens. He is a husband, father, teacher, and painter.  Mr. AlaridPease graduated cum laude with a BFA in painting and drawing from UNM in 1998.  He has taught widely in various after school and summer art workshop settings in Albuquerque and abroad. He earned his MA in Art Education from UNM in 2013.

Mr. AlaridPease believes young artists should actively explore their own creativity through careful inquiry into materials, through the acquisition of traditional art skills, and through exciting personal and theme-based projects. His own urban folk paintings and abstract expressions can be seen locally and online.

Angermeier, Courtney

Courtney Angermeier
High School Humanities

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 204

Courtney Angermeier is a teacher of 10th grade humanities and Comic book production. She also teaches at UNM, is a doctoral student in LLSS, and a local comic book artist and writer. She is committed to community building, critical thinking, social justice, and multicultural education.

Barrow, Andrew

Andrew Barrow

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 306
Office/Room: 308

Andrew Barrow is an Albuquerque native who earned his BA in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico and an MFA in Film from Ohio University. He has created numerous narrative films that have appeared in festivals across the country.

Every individual has an original story to tell. Through rigorous technical teaching and the fostering of individual creativity, those stories can all blossom into unique and memorable visual experiences.

Benner, Rachel

Rachel Benner
High School Science

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 105

Rachel Benner is a native New Mexican and was born and raised in Albuquerque. She attended New Mexico Tech (NMT) and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry in 2011. A life-long learner, Rachel is currently pursuing a Master’s in Science Teaching through NMT. Along with her love of math and science, Rachel has always had a passion to teach and is excited to be teaching at MACCS. Rachel’s prior teaching experiences include teaching chemistry at Sandia High School as a student teacher and working as a research assistant to students at Diné College on the Navajo reservation conducting environmental research and analysis projects. Rachel loves being with students and greatly enjoys helping them learn and overcome difficulties in math and science. She believes that comprehension of math and science is important in understanding the natural world and a basis for developing creative innovations for the future. As a teacher, Rachel hopes to help each student identify and develop his or her purpose in life. She believes that every student is capable of learning and hopes to instill a love of learning in her students so that they can pursue their dreams and be successful.

Beyer, Shannon

Shannon Beyer
Middle School Humanities

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 303
Office/Room: 303

Shannon Beyer graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a B.A. in Communications, specializing in editorial journalism.

Coates, Vary

Vary Coates
Middle School Science

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 101

Vary Coates grew up in Washington, DC. Later, she earned a BS from NMSU in Biology, and her MA from UNM in Secondary Education. Before becoming a teacher, she was a tree farmer.

Conforti, Anthony

Anthony Conforti
Media Coordinator / TV Production

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 307
Office/Room: 307

Anthony Conforti is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a BA in English/Creative Writing and Theatre Arts. He began his professional career in media working in the, then, embryonic New Mexico film industry as a production manager and editor. Subsequently, he spent twenty years as a television news and documentary producer. Upon retiring from the television news business, Anthony traveled and lived abroad and wrote and published the historical novel, “ACALAN” which was the result of many years of research in Latin America.

While media has been Anthony’s career, it’s more than that now.

It’s a life skill. We are in the information age, and even if we don’t work professionally in the media, we’re all voracious media consumers.

Anthony takes a media literacy approach to the teaching of journalism and production.

To be responsible citizens and wise media consumers we must understand how media and especially the news media work. We must be able to recognize the processes that drive the media and hone our own critical thinking skills in order to evaluate what we see, read and hear.

I believe that anyone who can speak can write. Many of us have been taught that we simply cannot write and that has stifled our innate ability. We all have heard stories and the ability to tell a story is another inherent human quality. Media and writing is fundamentally about telling a good story. It all begins with the story. My goal as a teacher is to bring out the storyteller in my students.

Dolce, Michael

Michael Dolce
Middle School Humanities

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 304

Michael Dolce was a poor student when he was in school.  It was not because he lacked the intelligence or skill requisite to succeed, but because, he, like so many kids in school felt that education, as it was being offered to him, was more about teaching obedience and conformity than it was about taking what he and those around him brought to the table and developing these attributes in such a way that each individual in a classroom could be rendered visible to themselves.  Michael does not excuse his failure, but it very much informs what made him the teacher he chose to become.

Michael stands in defiance of anything that resembles cookie cutter instruction, intended to make compliant worker drones out of unique and essential human beings.  No matter how many students Michael may have in his classroom, Michael considers it his essential duty, as a mentor, to help each person he encounters see what makes them singular and irreplaceable.  From there, it is Michael’s eternal hope that students can envision a life ahead of them in which they find right livelihood, happiness, material success and compassion for others.  Humanities has proven, for him, to be the best vehicle to enable this individual sojourn to commence.

Espinoza, Sharene

Sharene Espinoza
Physical Education

Sharene Espinoza was born in San Diego California and grew up an Air Force brat. She has lived in 6 different states, 2 countries, and traveled all in between. Her father’s last assignment landed their family in New Mexico where she graduated High School and went on to obtain her Bachelor of science in Education majoring in Physical Education & Health minoring in History at Eastern New Mexico University.

Sharene has been teaching over 8 years and has also coached cheerleading and dance teams. With one state championship in 2008! She is also actively involved In numerous community service projects and activities.

“I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy the teaching profession!  I absolutely love being a positive influence on the lives of young people and helping them grow to be healthy, educated, young adults. “

Johnson, Kamatara

Kamatara Johnson

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 107
Office/Room: 107

Kamatara (Paula) Johnson has been teaching high school English for the last 19 years. Originally a Cheesehead, she now can answer the question: red or green, after 11 years in New Mexico.

Kamatara truly believes that every student can learn, but that learning has to start where the student is. With scaffolding, students can begin to experience success which leads to higher level thinking skills and independence.  

Kamatara’s goal is for all of her students to read at, or above, grade level, to learn to write, speak, and present persuasively, and to establish a supportive learning community for all students.


Lairsey, Kenneth

Kenneth Lairsey
Middle School Mathematics

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. x103

Kenneth Lairsey was born in Guam, has a BA in Anthropology and Sociology, and an MA in Educational Leadership.  He has been working in public education since 2000 as a teacher and an administrator.  Philosophy on life:  Live, Love, Learn, Laugh – experience it, share it, understand it, enjoy it.  Learning to read and understanding math are the greatest achievements you can do for yourself. 

LeTard, John

John LeTard
High School Mathematics

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 106

John LeTard has a B.S. degree in Pure Mathematics from the University of New Mexico, as well as an A.A.S degree in Culinary Arts. After working as a Chef in New Hampshire and here in New Mexico, for over fifteen years, he returned to school to get his most recent degree.

Outside of mathematics classes, John is a tournament chess player, amateur robotics enthusiast, fisherman, and carpenter. He also has been known to walk around in the mountains, and raft down rivers.

John believes that math is the perfect gateway to learn logical thinking and problem solving. Learning mathematics is not a process of memorizing formulas and answers, but creating a path to discover your own method of solving problems.

Lucil, David

David Lucil
Spanish Instructor

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 206

Before teaching Spanish in the United States, David taught English as a Second Language in Colombia, Ecuador, and Spain. Throughout his travels, David gained an appreciation for cultural diversity, language acquisition, and el fútbol.

Learning languages builds brainpower and can channel one’s creativity towards greater self expression.

Although David grew up chasing turkeys through cranberry bogs in Massachusetts, he now steers clear of New Mexico’s terrestrial cuckoo, the Road Runner.

Pahls, Jeanne

Jeanne Pahls
Special Education

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 103
Office/Room: 104

Jeanne Pahls has been teaching for 31 years in a wide variety of settings: suburbs, inner-city, Native American communities, public, private and charter schools.  Dual certified and TESOL endorsed, she has taught grades 1-12.

Her other interests include, photography, writing, social justice issues and running for public office every once in a while.  She has been a foster parent in the past and she and her husband, Bob, have recently adopted two wonderful children.

Richardson, Tom

Tom Richardson

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 305

Tom Richardson has been working with photography for over the last 15 years in many capacities including commercial photography, fine arts, and academia. His personal photographs have been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts from UNM and a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Florida. As an advocate for photographic education, he is excited to be working with the young hearts and minds at MACCS. On photography, he states:

What excites me about photography is that it is grounded in reality but completely abstracted from it at the same time.

Ross-Raymond, Alex

Alex Ross-Raymond
Middle School Moving Media

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 302
Office/Room: 302

Alex Ross-Raymond grew up in rural New Hampshire and moved to New Mexico in 2007 to volunteer with Americorps.

Alex has a BA from University of New Hampshire in Studio Art and Women’s Studies. She went on to earn a MFA from Vermont College of Fine Art, specializing in multimedia video installation.

Alex uses video to encompass multiple modes of working that include writing, drawing, and performance.  She sees the arts classroom as a creative community, and all students as cultural producers.

Russell, Sherry

Sherry Russell
Special Education Coordinator

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 103
Office/Room: 104

Sherry Russell worked in business and many other things before she became a teacher, and once her kids were in school. Sherry earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History. Later, she earned her certification to teach, then went on to get a Master’s degree in Special Education.

I love working with students, and feel that everyone can learn, maybe differently than other people, maybe faster, maybe slower. If your student needs something different to help them learn, I will be happy to assist them or help teachers work with them to help them succeed. I love working at MACCS!

Salway, Ryan

Ryan Salway
Animation, Game & Graphic Design

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. x202
Office/Room: 202

 A love of learning has lead Ryan Salway to study business, computer science, fine art, architecture and animation along his path of education. Animation has been the most fulfilling path as it uses knowledge from all fields allowing Ryan to be a designer, a draftsman, an actor, storyteller and much more. Now as an instructor Ryan is able to pass on his love for learning and the arts to the eager students of MACCS.

While teaching at MACCS Ryan is also a multimedia designer at Northrop Grumman as well as freelance designer and animator. His work has included projects for every division of the armed forces as well as Intel, NASA Challenger Center and other large corporations in the US and abroad. Ryan has enjoyed freelance work illustrating a children’s book, creating TV commercials and working on the Award winning feature Film “A Lonely Place for Dying”.

 Ryan enjoys being active in the community of artists, animators and game designers taking part in IGDA, game jams, film festivals and other events when possible. 

I feel that art is a way of life. Any aspect of human behavior that a practitioner takes care to master can be an art when a desired product is crafted. Programmers, mathematicians, writers and more are often forgotten by the visual artists and musicians, however any creation that enriches life is art. The amalgamation of diverse knowledge is at the root of creativity.

Shoemaker, Jessica

Jessica Shoemaker
High School Humanities

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 201
Office/Room: 201

Jessica Shoemaker was born on Whidbey Island in Washington but grew up in Albuquerque. She received her B.A. in History with a minor in American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2002. In addition to her love of animals and music, Ms. Shoemaker enjoys traveling and learning about history. She is especially interested in 20th century US and European history and had gained a deep appreciation for the history of New Mexico as well. Ms. Shoemaker believes that critically examining history is a crucial aspect of community building and social justice and this belief prompted her to become a teacher. She completed CNM’s Alternative Teacher Licensure Program in 2011 and is excited to be a part of the MACCS community where she hopes to share her passion for learning with her students.

Tapp, Myriam

Myriam Tapp
Middle School Art

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. x301
Office/Room: 301

Myriam Tapp was born and raised in the providence of Quebec, Canada. She has studied art all of her life, recently receiving her Masters of Fine Art from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Her artistic practice includes ceramics, video, and art installation; her sculptures become a screen for projection.

Teaching art for the past several years, she is looking forward to creating interesting projects with the youth of MACCS.