"> Media Arts Collaborative Charter School
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AlaridPease, Isaac

Isaac AlaridPease

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. x301
Email: ialaridpease@nmmediaarts.org

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
Humanities 10

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 204
Email: cangermeier@nmmediaarts.org

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.

Barbolla, Andrew

Andrew Barbolla
7th & 11th Humanities

Email: abarbolla@nmmediaarts.org

Through parent involvement, teacher collaboration and student motivation, we can achieve our goals in professional growth and academic achievement, as well as for group and personal success.

Barrow, Andrew

Andrew Barrow

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 203
Email: abarrow@nmmediaarts.org

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
Mathematics / Science

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 303
Email: rbenner@nmmediaarts.org

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
Humanities II

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 107
Email: sbeyer@nmmediaarts.org

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

Coates, Vary

Vary Coates

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 101
Email: vcoates@nmmediaarts.org

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. 104
Email: aconforti@nmmediaarts.org

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.

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. “

Lucil, David

David Lucil
Spanish Instructor

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 206
Email: dlucil@nmmediaarts.org

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.

Minnerly, Blake

Blake Minnerly

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 206
Email: bminnerly@nmmediaarts.org

Blake Minnerly holds a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a minor in music composition. He has been a professional musician and songwriter for over twenty years, as well as playing saxophone, guitar, mandolin and percussion in a number of bands in Madison, Chicago and Albuquerque. He has been a part of numerous recording sessions, including with the band Red Earth, which won two Native American music awards (NAMMIES) in 2000 and 2002 for best new artist and best world music album. In 2003, he began recording projects in his own home studio and composing soundtracks for short films. His composition for the film “Babof” won the best soundtrack award in the duke city digital shootout in 2004. In 2005, he lived for one year in Brazil, where he worked as sound editor for several Brazilian documentaries. He is a certified pro-tools operator and holds a certificate from the audio masterclass learning center in London. Along the way, he has gathered 15 years experience in the classroom as a teacher of math and physics at the secondary and post secondary level. He is extremely thrilled to be able to combine his love of teaching with his love of composing, playing and recording music.

Watch Blake’s Latest Video

Penfold, Christine

Christine Penfold
Grade 6

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 304
Email: cpenfold@nmmediaarts.org

Christine Penfold is “Native” New Mexican and grew up and was raised in many parts of the United States, including Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. She attended Central New Mexico Community College (formerly TVI) where she worked as an Educational Technician in the Developmental Division of both TVI and UNM. She earned her Bachelor’s in New Mexico History and Elementary Education at the College of Santa Fe. She is Highly Qualified in all core content areas and uses all types of Differentiated Instruction to teach students in her classroom. Christine is currently earning her Master’s in Science Teaching at NMT.  Prior to beginning as the 6th grade teacher at MACCS, Christine worked in a public middle school for 12 years. Christine loves working with middle school aged students and enjoys teaching.

Christine is committed to education using:

  • Problem and Project-based learning
  • Hands-on, experiential education practices
  • Use of technology and media for presentation of demonstration of student knowledge and mastery of understanding
  • Uses collaborative learning
  • And loves working with and teaching middle school aged students.

I believe that middle school is a place where students need to explore all the types of job fields and occupations that are out there for their futures. I try to provide experiences in all fields to allow students to investigate. I want them to know that anything they want to become is within their ability, from water technician, to science illustrator, to culinary artist, to architect or mathematician, to biologist, and photographer. I want my students to be able to synthesize what we have learned in my classroom and transfer it to any other situation or scenario they might be presented with in life. My job is to create confident, self-assured young people that are skilled in communication, collaborating and information seeking.

Richardson, Tom

Tom Richardson

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 305
Email: trichardson@nmmediaarts.org

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.

Robinson, Maggie

Maggie Robinson
Art & Graphic Design

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 202, 301
Email: mrobinson@nmmediaarts.org

Maggie Robinson grew up near Philadelphia and earned a B.A. from the University of Scranton focusing on Fine Art, Women’s Studies, and Art History.  In 2009, Maggie moved to Albuquerque to persue an M.A in Art Education at the University of New Mexico.

Maggie fell in love with the art of teaching during her tenure as Conservation Educator at the Philadelphia Zoo. Camps, workshops, overnights, and outreach programs are some of her specialties.   Community art centers, after school programs, and private tutoring are some other venues that Maggie uses to get out the message that everyone can, and should, do art.

Maggie is passionate about facilitating art projects inspired by student interest and imagination. Projects are carried out within an environment guided by an ethic of care, where taking care of both art and student are central.  She is most concerned with creating a safe space where students learn to skillfully and creatively express personal themes on projects posing challenging problems.  A fully democratic education means a literacy in the skills and history of art and an understanding that art is inseparable from humanity’s journey through time. Art is a verb, and it too, is a way of living.  Learning how to do art is learning how to take risks, make mistakes, perseveire through frustration, stay postive, be compassionate, and admit where we need improvement.  It teaches us the socio-emotional skills so crucial to success and happiness in our personal and professional lives as adults.

Artistically, Maggies works with painting, bookmaking, papermaking, printmaking, textiles, and graphic design.  She spends a lot of time waiting patiently while she does other work as the images her imagination put forth slowly grow and blossom into something tangible and encourages her students to do the same.  Beauty is something that everyone can access, not just by observation, but by attentively participating in the act of making something out of nothing.


Russell, Sherry

Sherry Russell
Special Education Coordinator

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 103
Email: srussell@nmmediaarts.org

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!

Shoemaker, Jessica

Jessica Shoemaker
Humanities 9

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 302
Email: jshoemaker@nmmediaarts.org

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.

Vierra, John

John Vierra
Math Instructor

Office: 505.243.1957 ex. 106
Email: jvierra@nmmediaarts.org

I earned my AA from Albuquerque T-VI, a BA from UNM, and my MALA from St. John’s College Santa Fe.  I have been teaching for over sixteen years in grades 5 and 7-16.  I am endorsed in Mathematics, Social Studies, and Language Arts.  The courses I have taught include: Philosophy, English, Fine Arts, Physical Science, American and World History, Western Humanities, and Mathematics (Basic through Calculus, including college level Advanced Algebra).

I have lived most of my life in Albuquerque.  New Mexico is a great state to live in.

Education is the science and art of bringing forth the inherent intelligence, aptitudes, and nature of an individual.  The result of this process is a person who has the confidence, knowledge, awareness, and skills to participate meaningfully in his or her own life and in the lives of those around him or her.