Teachers

  • Amanda Tapia

    This is my second year at Alice King Community School and I love teaching fourth and fifth graders because of their creativity and enthusiasm. I earned my degree in Elementary Education from Eastern New Mexico University in 2003. I earned a Master of Pedagogy and Learning with an emphasis in Educational Technology from Eastern New Mexico University and National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2012. This is my eleventh year teaching. I’ve taught kindergarten, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and math and reading intervention. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my husband and family, reading, photography, working in the yard and taking care of my pets.

    Jeni Pope

    My name is Jeni Pope and I am so excited to be one of the new members of the Alice King Community! I taught for 10 years at an APS school in the North Valley. I graduated from UNM and completed my Master’s Degree at the College of Education. I work hard to build a classroom and school community where students feel safe, confident and excited about learning. My husband and I live in the downtown area and I love teaching in my home community! We have a Boxer named Milo and love to take him camping and hiking. We also love traveling and working in our garden and around our home. Our EA this year is Ms. Lyanne who is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Special Education. She is supporting the 2/3 team and will student teach in the Spring. We are looking forward to a wonderful school year!

    Jessica McQueston

    I am very excited to be teaching 2/3 at AKCS! I graduated from UNM in 2009 with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Special Education and am beginning my 6th year teaching. I graduated from UNM with my Master's in Special Education in 2013. Currently, I am working on a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). I strive to build a classroom with a strong sense of community and collaboration. I strongly believe in children learning to advocate for themselves and that advocating is a life-long process. I love to travel, craft, visit family, volunteer, and watch movies. We are so lucky that Ms. Donna will be working with our class this year. She brings a wealth of knowledge into our class. She has two beautiful daughters that have attended AKCS.

    Jordan Russell

    I am very excited to start my first year at AliceKing Community School! I will be teaching K/1. I am a graduate of the University of New Mexico where I received my bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Language Arts. I played volleyball at UNM while getting my degree. I was a setter on the team and loved every moment of it. I have been at AKCS for two years, working in Ms. Kelsey's, and was very excited to get the opportunity to become a teacher here. My hobbies include volleyball, being with family, relaxing with friends, and riding horses.

    Kelly Powers

    Thank you for sharing your child's educational journey with me. This will be my ninth year teaching and my second year at AKCS. I have a passion for teaching to the multiage philosophy. Challenging every learner based on his or her level is the foundation of this philosophy. I strive to build a safe, caring and consistent environment where students feel that they can advocate for themselves and others and also work together to problem solve. My wonderful husband and I have an amazing two-year old little boy. We enjoy traveling and volunteering for any cause involving children and animals. This year Ms. Fran Stuart will be joining our class as a student teacher. She is very excited to be at AKCS and to learn from your children. She will graduate from UNM in May 2013. She has five children ages 21-13.

    Kelsey Anderson

    This will be my 7th year teaching at AKCS. I graduated from New Mexico Highlands with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in history. I also had a volleyball scholarship and played as a middle blocker. I have a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. I love the philosophy and project based learning that happens at AKCS. I also enjoy the multi-age classroom because it is amazing to see students grow and learn. I truly love teaching and strive everyday to meet the individual needs of all my students. I also continue to play and coach volleyball. On many weekends, you would find me playing sand doubles! My other passion is traveling. This is a picture of me in Ireland from one of my trips. I have also traveled to Australia, Egypt, Costa Rica, Italy, , Russiaand Peru. This summer I traveled to Tanzania, Africa and went on a safari!

    Kristi Collins

    Hi! I am Kristi Collins and I teach 4th and 5th grades. I have been teaching 14 years and have been at AKCS since the 2010-2011 school year. Prior to that, I was at an APS school for ten years where I taught fifth grade for six years (five of which were in an inclusion setting). Afterwards, I worked as a parent liaison and math interventionist for four years. I also served as the school’s math leader for nine years, working very closely with the staff to develop a school-wide math assessment program. I have a master's degree in education. I am trained in AddVantage Math and the balanced literacy framework. Currently, I serve as team leader. My hobbies include reading, watching movies, and camping.

    Laura Baca

    Lyanne Silva

    Hello, I’m Ms. Lyanne and this is my 3rd year at Alice King Community School. I am so excited to be part of your student's growth and development this year! I received both my Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree from the University of New Mexico. I am dual licensed in Elementary Education and Special Education. I have a wonderful and supportive family. We enjoy spending time outdoors....hiking, camping, fishing, and bicycling along the Paseo del Bosque Trail. I absolutely LOVE baking, reading, and making puzzles! I am very excited to partner with you this year to ensure your child's academic success!

    Mary Kay Ready

    This is my seventh year of teaching K-1 at Alice King Community School. I have taught for 25 years. My previous experience has been in grades Pre-K through 2nd. I graduated from Lamar University and received my masters degree from UNM. My areas of specialization are early childhood and reading, and I have been trained in Reading Recovery. I love working with young children and teaching at AKCS. This school has a great philosophy: it allows us to take our students beyond programmed curriculum and treat each child as an individual. We have an academically strong program with a gentle, nurturing climate. I love the energy and excitement that these little ones bring to us each day. My assistant this year is Ms. Marcia Spensley. She has been at AKCS for many years as a Health and PE Assistant and she knows and loves all the kids. We are excited and happy to welcome our new little kinders for their first year of school and to welcome back our wonderful first graders!

    Sammy Johnston

    This is my third year teaching K/1 at Alice King Community School and I am extremely excited to be a part of your child's education! I had the honor of doing my student teaching internship with AKCS, as well, and am truly grateful for a wonderful place to foster my love for children, helping to mold young minds and constantly meeting the needs of every student that walks in our door. I have a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, both from the University of New Mexico. Outside of school, I am an avid sports fan, I love to travel and spend time with loved ones. We are so thankful to have Ms. Annie as our Educational Assistant this year. Annie Gant joined AKCS when it was still NACC, a year after the school was founded. She studied Art and Psychology at the College of Santa Fe, and was a member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society for Psych students. Annie is the mother of 1 son, JP III, a Firefighter w/ Bern. County, mother-in-law to Danielle, a professional Baker, and proud grandmother to JP IV (Baby J).Her hobbies include music, gardening and New Mexico Literature. We look forward to a wonderful year together, working with our ever growing students.

    Shayna Lazar

    My name is Shayna Lazar and I am excited to be here at Alice King. I was born and raised here in Albuquerque. I have my Bachelors and Masters degrees both from the University of New Mexico’s College of Education. This is my eighth year teaching. Prior to being at Alice King, I taught fourth and fifth grades in APS. I am looking forward to working with each child in reaching his or her full potential as a learner.

    Shay Van Der Mey

    In 2001, I began coaching and working with children in recreational and school environments after moving from Albuquerque to Phoenix. Throughout these experiences, I found a love of teaching and wanted to continue to inspire children. In order to continue my desire to make a positive impact on the children I interacted with, I began taking classes to be a teacher. I graduated in 2004 with my Bachelor's Degree and began my first position as a 1st grade teacher. I taught this level for two years before moving to teach 6th grade ELL/ Language Arts for 6 years. Throughout my years teaching 6th grade, I knew how important it was to influence these children to become lifelong learners and readers and completed my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction in Reading in the summer of 2010. In 2011, I came back to Albuquerque to continue my teaching career at Alice King Community School where I taught 6th grade for one year and have been in a 2nd/ 3rd combination class since. This is my 10th year teaching, and I love the benefits of multiage and having my students with me for two years. My professional development and education over the years has focused on SIOP, Backward Design Planning, ELL instruction in self-contained and multi-age classrooms, cooperative learning, curriculum planning, Thinking Maps, guided reading instruction, and robust vocabulary instruction. Now being back in my hometown of Albuquerque and teaching at Alice King, I will use my previous experiences and collaborate with my colleagues and parents to ensure the success of the students here at our school.

    Sisy Stauss

    Hi! I am Ms Sisy and I will be teaching a 2-3 class this year. It is my first year at Alice King Community school, previously I taught at Eubank E.S for 6 years. I have TESOL and Bilingual endorsements; I am currently enrolled in a "Teaching of Mathematics" class from Stanford University, taking advantage of their online classes. When not teaching, I enjoy learning about how children's brains work, that is, what does research say about practices that are beneficial for the brain and often result in happier, more complete, accomplished children. I am looking forward to a great, wonderful, busy year at Alice King.

    Tara Bishop

    I am very blessed to be a part of the extraordinary Alice King community of dedicated teachers. I began my teaching practice in 1987. I have a BA in art education and a Master’s degree in elementary education from the University of New Mexico. I have taught numerous grade levels and designed and implemented art programs for children at a number of elementary schools, the City of Albuquerque, the Exlplora Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Art Studio. As your child’s fine arts teacher, I will acknowledge his or her interests and talents in art, drama, and music. I hope to instill a love for the arts that will last a lifetime.

    Valerie Apodaca

    Hello, my name is Ms. Val and this is my 9th year at Alice King Community School. While at Alice King, I have taught grades K-3. I love the challenge Alice King brings to me each school year. At Alice King, we have the opportunity to create our own curriculum to fit the needs of our students. This means that I can be creative in the ways that I teach children. I enjoy keeping up to date on the latest educational research and strategies and frequently incorporate them into my teaching. Having a strong, meaningful curriculum is an important factor in the success of every child, however; before children can begin to learn they need to feel secure. Children need to be in a comfortable learning environment. I strive to create a classroom environment that is calm, nurturing, respectful and thoughtful. I enjoy teaching children how to work together and how to solve problems when they do arise. I enjoy teaching life skills that they will use for years to come as they journey through school. Thank you for choosing Alice King to send your children to. I am tremendously looking forward to working with your child! On a personal note...I have been married for 6 years to a wonderful man named Julian. We have four little dogs that are spoiled rotten! Some things I enjoy doing in my spare time are; fishing, camping, crafts, watching movies, cooking, home projects and traveling.