Teachers Who Inspire Awards

Partners in Education’s Teachers Who Inspire awards started in 1992, when an anonymous donor approached Partners with the desire to honor outstanding teachers in Santa Fe’s public schools. Since then, this generous donor has sponsored five $1,000 awards annually. In 2014, the donor increased the award to $1,200.

Teachers are nominated by their peers for their outstanding qualities in the classroom, leadership among their co-workers and service to the community. Recognizing that teachers’ salaries are small, the donor intends the prize money be used on the teacher’s personal needs, and not the classroom.

In 1999, an anonymous donor established an endowment at the Santa Fe Community Foundation to fund the Noah C. Rodriguez Award for Excellence in Teaching, now regarded as the premier award among the Teachers Who Inspire awards. The $1,200 prize is given in memory of Noah Rodriguez, a long-time teacher and administrator in the Santa Fe Public Schools.

Donor Phyllis Newcomer created a seventh award in 2004 to support teachers new to the profession. The $1,000 prize goes to an outstanding teacher with less than three years’ experience.



Aaron Abeyta – Capshaw Middle School

Nano Anaya – Ramirez Thomas Elementary School

Holly Call – El Camino Real Academy

Cara Esquivel* – SFCF Rodriguez Award, del Sol Charter School

Allie Farnlof – Mandela International Magnet School

Barbara Gerber – Santa Fe High School

Steven Iliff – Capital High School


Melissa Kovac – Amy Biehl Community School

Michelle Lord – El Camino Real Academy

Reed Meschefske – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Fe High School

Marquita Montano – El Camino Real Academy

Sylvia Montserrat Delavigne – Cesar Chavez Community School

David Tolen – Amy Biehl Community School


Devin Ayers* – Academy for Technology & the Classics

Eric Carlson – Academy for Technology & the Classics

Christine Hartman – NM School for the Deaf

Jaime Holladay – Capital High School

Robert Stark – Carlos Gilbert Elementary School

Meredith Tilp – Capital High School


Ernesto Cruz – Santa Fe High School

Chris Eadie – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Santa Fe High School

Rebecca Eignor – DeVargas Middle School

Teresita Hamman – Cesar Chavez Community School

Kimberly Hand – NM School for the Deaf

Kathleen Nakamura – El Dorado Community School

Sandy Sena – Sweeney Elementary School


Marilyn Barnes – Santa Fe High School

Natasha Skora Choe – DeVargas Middle School

Sharyn Gray – Wood Gormley Elementary School

Rosemary “Sparky” Griego – Academy at Larragoite

Stephanie Gurule-Leyba – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Capital High School

Cybele Leverett – Santa Fe High School

Janine Sammeth – El Dorado Community School


Christine Biree – Atalaya Elementary School

Kris Eaton – New Mexico School for the Deaf

Roni Rohr – El Dorado Community School

Tony Schillaci – Santa Fe High School

Judy Tyson – Agua Fria Elementary School

Megan Varela – El Dorado Community School


Maaite Girdner – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Carlos Gilbert Elementary School

Christina Barbachano – Cesar Chavez Community School

Zack Boatman – Santa Fe High School

Susan Dryja – EJ Martinez Elementary School

Barbara McDonald – El Dorado Elementary School

Brooke Nutini – De Vargas Middle School

Carolyn Salazar – Cesar Chavez Community School


Laurine “Dakota” Goldberg – SFCF Rodriguez Award, SER/SFPS Career Academy

Laurie Anderson – NM School for the Deaf

Terri Blackman – Wood Gormley Elementary School

David Forester – Santa Fe High School

Susanna Mireles Mankus – El Dorado Elementary School

Anita Navrot – El Dorado Elementary School

Margaret Romero – Gonzales Elementary School

Bob Sorensen – Rotary Award, Capital High School


Joey Chavez – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Santa Fe High School

Linda Archibald – Turquoise Trail Elementary School

William Korte – Ortiz Middle School

Nancy Sue Michels – Monte del Sol Charter School

Mary Olson – Wood Gormley Elementary School

Deanne Velasquez – Chaparral Elementary School

Channell Wilson-Segura – Capital High School


Jennifer Medeiros – SFCF Rodriguez Award, El Dorado Elementary School

Cheryl Dean – Capital High School

Leanne DeVane – Ramirez Thomas Elementary School

Edmund Gorman – Agua Fria Elementary School

Maria Candelaria Martinez – Nava Elementary School

Patricia Shain – El Dorado Elementary School


David Rodriguez – SFCF Rodriguez Award, De Vargas Middle School

Karlin Hummel – New Mexico School for the Deaf

Anne McGovern – Kearny Elementary School

Lisa Otero – Monte del Sol Charter School

Lisa Randall – Agua Fria Elementary School

Yvette Varela – Kearny Elementary School


Bill Rodriguez – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Nava Elementary School

Mary Jean Aragon – E.J. Martinez Elementary School

Brenda Korting – Santa Fe High School

Mary Ann Moser – El Dorado Elementary School

Clay Mowery – El Dorado Elementary School

Kathy Thorpe – El Dorado Elementary School


Laura Mayo Rodriguez – SFCF Rodriguez Award, Nava Elementary School

Regan Archuleta – Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Kennan Girdner – Alameda Middle School

Lynn Grimes – Turquoise Trail Elementary School

Elaine Juarros – Ortiz Middle School

Gwen Perea – Nava Elementary School

Theresa Vargas – EJ Martinez Elementary School


Maureen Nelson – SFCF Rodriguez Award

Rosalie Betts

Brenda Dominguez

Ruth Holmes

Robin Noble

Jackie Trujillo


Roland Villa * – SFCF Rodriguez Award

Teresa Alarid

Abbie Casias

Julia Gomez

Kay Hamilton

Shannon Lewis


Ernestine Hagman – SFCF Rodriguez Award

Kelly Hobbs

Claudia Miller

Melissa Morris

Valera Sovcik

Albert Trujillo


Lucille Fresquez – SFCF Rodriguez Award

John Gallegos

Jeannette Larragoite

LaVelle Martin

Patricia Rivera — SFHS

Gilbert Torres


Ana Cordova – SFCF Rodriguez Award

Corrine Hewitt

Marge Jones

Mary Massey

Melody McCormick

Gilbert Quintana


Anita Cisneros

Renée Mushen

Paula Olson

Francella Perea

John Schmelz


Orlando Baca

John Jimenez

Kathryn Lopez

Teresa Parsons

Nikki Ronald


Annetta Darmitzel

Naomi Garwood

Dennis Kadlubek

Lala Martinez

Kathy Waters


Valdez Abeyta y Valdez

Anthony J. Garcia

Carmen Garcia

Molly O’Brien

James Phelan


Mary Beacham

Cliff Cisneros

Gary Myers

Joan Shandler

Richard Snider


Dave Anderson

George Ann Armendariz

Gene Baca

Evelyn Garcia

Mary Helen Kelty


Bryan Fant *

Consuelo Gonzales

Jane Kadlubek

Pablo Ortego, Jr.

* deceased