High School Art
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
High School Science
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 105
Alfred Amaya is a graduate of the University of Texas in El Paso. He earned a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Mr. Amaya has had eight years of teaching experience in Texas and New Mexico.
“As the Media Arts Collaborative Charter Science Instructor, I will do everything in my power to teach my students what they need to know and understand how science is in our daily lives. It is my firm belief that education is the key to success.”
High School Humanities
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
High School Film
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 306
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.
Christine Castillo, a native New Mexican, graduated from West Mesa High School in 1983. After managing McDonald’s Restaurants for 5 years, she attended UNM wanting to major in Music Education, but when APS cut elementary school band program, she changed her focus to Physical Education with a Minor in Music. Immediately upon graduating in 1996 from UNM with a BS in Physical Education, she was hired as an Adaptive Physical Education teacher at Manzano High School where she taught for 20 years. The fall of 1996 found Chris in her first coaching job as well as C Team Volleyball Coach and Assistant Varsity Volleyball Coach for 15 years. In 2006, Chris was awarded Assistant Coach of the Year for Manzano High School. In 2003, Chris started one of the first Special Olympics High School Delegations to give her students an opportunity to be active and social throughout high school and beyond. In 2004, she was honored as NM Special Olympics Coach of the Year, followed by being named International Top 40 Special Olympics Coach of the Year in 2007. In 2008, she won the Golden Apple Award in Teaching Excellence for NM High Schools. In 2009, she became a National Board Certified Teacher. In 2015, she was Manzano High School Teacher of the year. Chris remains committed to building self-esteem, self worth, and confidence through PE, sports, and competition.
Being an Adapted PE Teacher allows me to adapt, change and modify the PE curriculum to meet each of my student’s individual needs. Each student’s success is how I measure my effectiveness as a teacher.
Middle School Science
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
High School Humanities/ Internship Coordinator
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 107
Allie Coleman grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from The New School University with a degree in Philosophy and Literature. She recently completed a Masters in Secondary Education at The University of New Mexico. Ms. Coleman is grateful to be on a team of innovative educators and excited to work with students in an inquiry based curriculum. When she is not thinking about the classroom, she can be found practicing yoga or backpacking with her dogs.
Media Coordinator/ TV Production
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
Middle School Humanities
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
High School Math
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 106
Creighton Edington started his teaching career in 1996. As a teacher, Mr. Edington focuses on applying abstract mathematics concepts to solving real-world problems. Over the years, he has taught science, math, social studies, and art including high school AP Physics with Calculus and AP Environmental Science. However, his true passion is academic competitions. Mr. Edington has coached state championship teams in Science Olympiad, Botball, BEST Robotics, and RoboRAVE. Additionally, he has sponsored student finalists in the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program, Supercomputing Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition.
Aside from teaching, Mr. Edington has a wide range of experiences including coaching sports and education projects in West Africa, serving on submarines, and working on farms and ranches in New Mexico and Texas.
Although Mr. Edington has received several awards during his career, he acknowledges the fact these awards are a reflection of the hard work and dedication of his students. Some of the awards include:
Advocate Award – Society for Science and the Public, Washington, DC
Advisor of the Year, Air Force Research Lab, Albuquerque, NM
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Educator (2007 & 2014), MIT
Educator Award, National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT), Denver, CO
Teacher Appreciation, Supercomputing Challenge, Los Alamos National Laboratories
Man of the Year, Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Socorro, New Mexico
Coach of the Year, New Mexico Science Olympiad
Sponsor of the Year, New Mexico State Science and Engineering Fair
Advisor of the Year, New Mexico MESA (Math Engineering and Science Achievement)
High School Math
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 206
James Hruschak has taught mathematics in all grade levels of middle and high schools settings in New Mexico, from the mid-2000s until now, and then recently added a Science endorsement. He has worked in a combination of Albuquerque Public Schools and charter schools around the Albuquerque area. He enjoys several hobbies from walking, biking and visiting the state’s many outdoor attractions.
Middle School Art
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 301
Christopher López was born and raised in Northern New Mexico where he learned to create art, raise animals and grow food. He comes from a strong lineage of educators and artists, which helped shape him into the artist he is today. In 2000, Mr. López graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. He is a father of two wonderful children, he calls his greatest creations. He is an active artist incorporating his education as an artist to set a positive example for anyone who is working towards the path of art and creativity.
The spirituality of telling stories, he feels, is important and moments in time that represent memories and visions. He also works through emotions and feelings in his work.
“We have all felt pain, pleasure, stress, love, happiness, sadness…normal emotions that we all share, some more powerful than others. I create because I have to, it is a major part of my life and all I do. If I am working in the garden, I think, what I can do to make these plants grow beautifully? I care about how they grow, so they in return share their sustenance with me. When people look at my work I hope it evokes feelings and memories they can relate to because I feel we all want to relate in one way or another, that is why I create!”
Spanish/ Skills for Success
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 400
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.
Special Education Director
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 104
Jessica Mares was raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM, and she comes from a long line of educators and advocates. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Psychology and Evolutionary Anthropology. While attending UNM, she worked as a substitute teacher in APS, and found a passion for teaching. After graduating in 2012, she worked toward obtaining her special education teaching license.
Jessica has a variety of interests, from philosophy and art to comic books and video games. Her mantra is, “Knowledge is power, gained from both victory and defeat.”
Jessica believes in providing support and encouragement for all students, while maintaining the integrity of a challenging and rigorous curriculum.
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 103
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 103
Paul Meeker has been teaching middle and high school since 1988 in New Mexico and Louisiana. However, he has taken several extended breaks to serve on active duty (stateside and overseas) with the U.S. Army National Guard from which he is retiring this month (August 2018) after 29 years.
Two of his favorite pieces of wisdom are as follows:
“… no assurance, no fixed point. Always one must throw oneself into the wave.” – Ransom from C.S. Lewis’s novel Perelandra
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Mr. Meeker is looking forward to an exciting inaugural year with MACCS students and staff!
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 103
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.
Middle School Math
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 304
Laurie Price holds an M.S. in Pure Mathematics; a B.F.A. in Studio Art, and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Art; all from the University of New Mexico. She has taught seventh grade Bilingual Mathematics for APS. While living in Madrid, Spain she taught English as a Second Language both for language academies and in private settings. As sole proprietor of her home-based business, SchoolWorks, she taught Mathematics, English, Spanish, Italian, and Flamenco Dance to children and adults. As a Teaching Assistant at UNM she taught College Algebra using her own highly effective cooperative learning method.
Laurie uses a student-centered project-based approach to teaching Mathematics in which the teacher functions as the instigator, organizer, and coach. She encourages students to collaborate, to engage in fearless experimenting, and to employ innovative creativity. She continually enriches the material by bringing in art, math history, and philosophy in order to better engage the students and increase their understanding of the topics at hand. She finds that when students become excellent thinkers and problem solvers they develop a deeper understanding of mathematics and an increased ability to apply mathematical concepts, procedures, and approaches to everyday life.
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
Animation, Game & Graphic Design
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 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.
Middle School English/ Media Literacy
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 303
Anne Strader has lived on and off in Albuquerque from the age of 12. She has traveled and lived in many places around the world including England, Japan and Venezuela. She graduated with a B.A. from UNM in Communicative Disorders, a B.A. from the College of Santa Fe with a degree in Elementary Education where she obtained a K-8 teaching license. In 2008, she became a Nationally Board Certified teacher and achieved a Master’s Degree in Media Literacy from Webster University in 2013. Her teaching philosophy is student-centered, project-based with high expectations and a healthy dose of critical thinking to help students develop excellent 21st century skills.
High School Humanities
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 201
Jessica Vierra 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. Vierra 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. Vierra 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.