The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Our People: Doing something good


October 22, 2017

Leslie Thompson

Patrick McCreary is en route during his race at the U.S. Open on Oct. 15.

Patrick McCreary was born in Niagara Falls, New York, the fourth of six children. He is a teacher, designer and technical director in Eastern New Mexico's Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking. He has taught college for 16 years, three of them at ENMU Portales.

He recently celebrated competing in his two-hundredth race with a win at the U.S. Open Triathlon in Rockwall, Texas, on Oct. 15. In addition, his time would have also won three younger age divisions. McCreary competes as an amateur age-grouper. He has been competing for twenty-nine years throughout the United States. He has three-second place finishes at the USA National Championships and has qualified to represent the United States at the International Triathlon Union Championships in England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Australia and New Zealand. His highest finish to date is a World second place in Beijing, China. McCreary is also a professional actor who continues to tour.

What do you like about the work you do?

I love working with young people. I love teaching new concepts and creativity in theatre. I believe everyone has a genius that's sometimes yet to be developed. I'll challenge you, engage you and inspire you to use all of your creative juices. As for performance, I like that I get instant feedback on how I've done. The next day is a whole new day and opportunity.

What challenges have you faced in work or performance?

At a world championships in 2008, I was hit by a car on a bike course. I woke up on a gurney on the way to emergency room. There was serious trauma, no breakage, but for number of weeks and months I didn't know if I'd be racing again. But with the support of family and friends and being patient with myself I was able to race again in three years. I went on to place second in the world in Beijing, China in 2011. Things happened unexpectedly but I was able to overcome fear and doubt.

What's your idea of a perfect day?

If I can be of service to everyone I come in contact with. If I can inspire them, help them become a better person, help them learn their capabilities, talents, or help them see the need for them to be in this world. I live by searching for ones own in another's good, much of which is the golden rule.

When you were a kid, what did you think you'd be doing as an adult?

When I was 9 years old, my parents took us kids to a amphitheater and we saw the "Sound of Music" live on stage. There was this audio cable on stage that malfunctioned, interrupting the fake tree and fake rocks on set where they bounced around a bit prompting the stage to seemingly begin to fall over.

Right in that moment I knew I wanted to be in the magic of performing arts. I've been involved in theater in education for about 45 years now; I knew it was my calling.

What is your favorite quote?

My personal philosophy is to think non-ill, to speak non-ill and to do non-ill.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


What was the last costume you wore?

I wouldn't count being a tux in a concert singing as costume. But maybe the last time I performed Abraham Lincoln at a benefit concert through the university this year was the last time I was in costume.

If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Piano. I would like to play (Frederic) Chopin's 'Military Polonaise.'

Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment?

My athletic achievements are a few. But I had a former student that wrote to me and said she started a small theatre of her own. She told me that she was inspired by me and wanted to tell me thank you. When I get letters like that I think that maybe I'm doing something good, something right and that what I do is not all self-gratification.

What do you envision your life being like in 10 years?

I would like to do more musical programming for the region. The last events that we've held in the music department have been heavily attended. There's a hunger of this type of programming so I'm hoping to have more programs where the general public can participate as well.

— Compiled by The News Correspondent D'Nieka Hartsfield


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