New Mexico Teachers for 2004

by Harry F. Pomeroy, Jr. Awards Chairman, NMAS

At the NMAS Annual Banquet in November 2004, these teachers were honored as NMAS Outstanding Teacher Awardees – Mariann Patterson, Socorro and Gilberto Lobo-Martinez, Albuquerque

Mariann Patterson

My teaching career began in Las Cruces in January 1968 as a math-science teacher at a small Catholic school, Immaculate Heart of Mary. I taught there only a year and a half until my husband finished his education. We then moved to an isolated ranch north of Bingham, N.M. where we lived for over fourteen years. During that time I had three children and home-schooled them until we could move nearer to a school. At that same time I started work on my master’s degree at New Mexico Tech and began teaching science at Carrizozo High School. My children graduated from that school and all three continued their educations in the science-agriculture field due to the interest they acquired from their mom being a science teacher and their father a rancher.

At Carrizozo, my students were very active in science fair. We had many winners at the regional level participating at Roswell and later at Portales. Each year five or six students moved on to the state science fair. The main goal I had as a teacher was to expose rural students to professional people and to show them areas they knew nothing about. Even though we never had a stu- dent move on to the internationals I felt we accomplished the major goal, which was exposure to science. During those years I received several awards inclduing the 1987 Biology Teacher of the Year, New Mexico Biology Teacher Association, and 1003 Sponsor of the Year, Regional Science Fair, Portales, New Mexico. All were great honors.

In 1994 I accepted a teaching job in Socorro. The first year was at the alternative high school teaching science and math and then on to the high school to teach chemistry. The next year I proposed human anatomy be added to our science curriculum and the administration agreed, if I could encourage enough students to sign up. Over forty students signed up so we were able to have two classes. Since that time I have taught chemistry and human anatomy, the two areas I enjoy the most.

I continued to work with and encourage students in science fair. During 1998-2999, I had students win at the state level and partici- pate in the International Science Fairs at Louisville, Kentucky, Fort Worth, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan. What an honor that was for my students and how fortunate I was to accompany them. Four years I worked with Science Olympiad as sponsor. That was exciting! The students had been second in the state several times and in 2002 won the state competition and competed at the National Science Olympiad. Science Olympiad is an outstanding program giving many students the opportunity to acquire knowledge in many interdisciplinary areas and much recognition.

This year I have accepted the position as head of our science department. As such I have turned over Science Fair and Science Olympiad to younger teachers. I hope they will get as much gratification from their participation as I have. Time moves on and we must try new experiences as our students will.

My greatest accomplishment in teaching is the accomplishments of my students. I have taught two doctors of medicine, two veter- inarians, a pharmacist, a lawyer, a landscaper, several nurses, sev eral teachers, several Ph.D’s and several ranchers with Master’s Degrees. How much greater can it be!

Gilberto Lobo-Martinez

Gilberto Lobo-Martinez was born in Mérida, Yucatán México. He became a veterinarian and a teacher. He was a professor and chairman of the Pig Production Department at the ‘Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’ from 1975 to 1986 and was also a private consultant to different pig farms in Mexico. In 1982 Gilberto won a scholarship from the British Council to participate in a one month intense course involving pig production in Scotland. During his tenure as a professor he wrote, in collaboration with Dr. Olegario Garcia, a book about pig diseases “Enfermedades de los Cerdos” that was published by Editorial Trillas in 1989. He received a scholarship from the Organization of American States (OAS) to study for a Masters in Educational Administration at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He received his master’s diploma and started working full time at the Office of International Technical Cooperation (OITEC) at UNM.

But for the last eight years Mr. Lobo has enjoyed being a 6th grade teacher in the Dual Language Program at Truman Middle School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Lobo’s classroom is like living in a learning ecosystem. Students become caretakers of a real food chain by raising plants, different kinds of rodents and hatch- ing insects that will nourish the larger animals, such as reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, and spiders. The environment serves as a focal point, often providing an application for the wide range of math and science concepts that students will encounter in their futures.

Mr. Lobo has also served on the board of directors for the “Asociación de Veterinarios Especialistas en Producción Porcina” and the “Dual Language Education of New Mexico”. He received the Crystal Apple Award in 2002 for his unique approach to inte- grating subjects throughout his classroom.

Gilberto says, “The most important thing I do every day is I have the opportunity to find ways to motivate and challenge students, so we can learn from each other and at the same time enjoy our learning.”

Mr. Lobo is married to Martha Briz. He has 4 daughters (Marthita, Maricarmen, Marisol and Ivonne), and two grandsons.