Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Residents share stories of favorite teachers

Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Highland Elementary School fifth grade teacher Janet Kennard teaches math concepts to her class Friday. Kennard, a teacher for 14 years, is a second generation teacher. Her mother taught in Clovis schools for 36 years.

Freedom New Mexico

They made difficult subjects seem fun at school.

They were an encouraging voice at a time when most of us needed one.

They changed our lives.

Favorite teacher? A better question might be, who doesn’t have one?

We asked and you told us. Today’s newspaper is a tribute to these too-often unsung heroes:

“Hazel Ward in fourth grade was the one who inspired me to be a teacher. Looking back on it now, she was an excellent teacher. She expected a lot of us. At the time, she was a kind, sweet person and we did a lot of fun activities in the classroom which enhanced our learning but we didn’t know it. She was such a special lady that’s when I decided I wanted to be a teacher.

Elizabeth Watson in eighth grade had always been a family friend and I didn’t want to be in her class because I had always called her Elizabeth. Even so, I loved her class, language arts, and just never called her anything. I just waited until she looked at me so I could tell her something.”

— Virginia Bowers of Muleshoe, a retired teacher

“Lois McCready. She was my fifth grade teacher. She was my first teacher in Clovis when I moved from Farwell. She made learning fun. I know all my states and capitals because of her. I know my planets. She loved kids and her job and you could just tell it. I was in her class the day Kennedy was shot. I remember she was so upset and distraught but she explained it to us. It was a little scary for kids but she was very reassuring. She was always a very loving and supportive teacher. I remember education came alive the way she taught and her personality. I attended her funeral when she passed away a little over a year ago.”

— Clovis mayor Gayla Brumfield

“Elaine Howell. I was in her honors English class senior year at Clovis High School. She made English fun, which is hard to do. She didn’t really care too much about rules. She wasn’t a bad person or anything but wherever there was good literature, that’s what we studied regardless of what the general population thought about it. We read strange and interesting things. She was unorthodox. You never knew what to expect. It was exciting and fun. She was goofy as all heck. I’ll never forget her as a teacher.”

— Curry County Sheriff deputy Erica Romero

“Mrs. Hall, my fifth grade teacher. I can’t remember her first name. I remember her kindness, her caring ways. And the way she delivered her lessons. She always delivered her lessons in just a fun and exciting way. I really like teaching fifth grade better than the other grades I’ve taught.”

— Highland Elementary School fifth grade teacher Janet Kennard