Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 204
My name is Maria, but I prefer to be called Beckie. I’m an Army brat, born in Germany, but raised all over. I have been married 31 years, have one son and three fur babies.
For college, I attended both the Dona Ana Branch Community College and New Mexico State University, GO, AGGIES. My credentials include having a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Education (Elementary and Special Education) and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Technology.
My interests include Reading (Anne Rice and Ann Rule), coloring adult coloring books and listening to classic rock, especially The Doors. My main priority is my three puppies: Isabella Boots, Itty Bitty and Mojo.
High School Film
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 406
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.
High School Humanities
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 202
As is often the case in life, Kim Berlat found teaching rather circuitously. She had not set out to become a teacher, but when she landed that first job in a classroom as an Educational Assistant, her path became clear.
Over the past 30 years, Ms. Berlat has taught Gifted and Talented, middle school and high school English Language Arts, Journalism, and Adult Basic Education. Recently, Ms. Berlat decided see what life was like on the “other side” and spent two years as an assistant principal at an elementary school.
In addition, Ms. Berlat has mentored and/or sponsored students in a variety of academic competitions including local, state, and national writing contests, Science Fair, Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), Science Olympiad, and Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam.
Having a career that spans 30 years or more is not unique or unusual. Many people have done the same. What makes Ms. Berlat’s career different is her passion. She was passionate about her work with students 30 years ago when she was an Educational Assistant and she has that same dedication and enthusiasm for education today.
Middle School SPED
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 306
Born in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and raised in El Paso, Texas, Robert Burnett attended El Paso High School and was a member of the Varsity Soccer Team. He played Soccer for Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, before transferring to UNM. He received a BA in Business degree in Psycho-Social problem-solving at UNM, and then an MA in Special Education/ Behavior Disorders at UNM as well.
Mr. Burnett has twenty years teaching experience with students with severe social behavioral/ emotional needs and mental illness. He is a varsity Soccer coaching with experience at West Mesa HS, Albuquerque HS, La Cueva HS, and Albuquerque Academy. He is also a part time whitewater raft guide as well as an EMT..
Mr. Burnett is a Biking and Cross country skiing enthusiast.
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.
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.
High School Math
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 106
Rachel Kilman graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. She works hard for students to be safe, successful and self-sufficient in the classroom, and gives them opportunities to demonstrate and practice this during activities.
Ms. Kilman ties in her passions for drumming, martial arts, and crafting into the classroom. She loves it when the students find connections between their passions and the Math they are learning!
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!”
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 103
Special Education Director
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 105
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 year with MACCS students and staff!
Dr. Tanya Mueller
High School Science Instructor
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 109
Dr. Tanya Mueller has her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech, and both her Master of Science and Doctorate in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Though much of her research has focused on the behavioral ecology of various species of mammals, her doctoral research focused her interests on the development of adolescence as a distinct life history stage. Her work with baboons paved the way for her to study adolescence in indigenous populations, identifying how different this stage of life is for American teenagers.
She is currently employed by both the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College teaching a variety of anthropology courses and is excited to bring her love of science to the high school students at the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School. Though this is her first year working with predominantly high school students, she has regularly worked with middle school and high school students as a guest lecturer and has been tutoring middle and high school students in a variety of subjects since the early 1990s. Her understanding of adolescence and the challenges it brings carry over into her teaching philosophy, and she is able to tailor her teaching to meet individual students’ needs.
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.
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.
Spanish Instructor/ Humanities Coach
Office: 505.243.1957, Ext. 301
Stephanie Tuttle grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her education took her to different parts of the country. She has advanced degrees in Spanish and Spanish Literature from the University of Missouri and Yale University. After falling in love with Spain while studying abroad there, Ms. Tuttle has returned many times. She lived and worked in Seville for three years, teaching English to young children.
In her nearly 20 years of teaching, Ms. Tuttle has taught literally all ages of students, from pre-K to college. She has found each age group to be unique and full of potential. Knowing her students has always been central to Ms. Tuttle’s teaching, and she is excited to get to know the students at New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts.
Ms. Tuttle has lived in New Mexico for 15 years and loves her adopted home state. When she is not at school, she enjoys getting out under the beautiful blue sky and hiking, biking, or playing soccer.