First Grade Team
Alisa Cooper de Uribe
I have the Wild West in my blood, having been born in Wyoming and raised in Ratón, New Mexico. My horse-saddling, cattle-wrangling skills are fairly non-existent, though, since I spent my childhood outside the classroom with my nose in a book or my hands in the dirt, relishing imaginary worlds and building forts behind our house. Somehow, no one was surprised when I declared myself an English major on my college application form. My liberal arts undergraduate experience was filled with English and Spanish classes at Abilene Christian University, where I enjoyed two study abroad programs in the UK and Mexico. Graduate school then took me to Middlebury, Vermont, where I spent four summers steeped in Spanish while living the rest of the year in New York City. I worked at the Metropolitan Opera for a season (feel free to ask me how I met Plácido Domingo!) before teaching and librarying at The Buckley School. Spanish degree in hand, I promptly found a husband (the one and only Patricio Uribe) and a life in the Mexico City area, where I worked as a translator and blogged about the culture around me like there was no tomorrow. All that writing ultimately landed me an extraordinary job in immigration law here in Albuquerque, but the classroom continued to call, and I answered. After our daughter Clara was born in August 2011, the pieces all fell into place for me to become a part of the marvelous learning community that is NMIS. And though I can’t guarantee that my students will be able to rope a calf by the end of the year, there’s a good chance that they’ll have stuck their hands in plenty of dirt and listened to Plácido Domingo.
I was born and raised in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, a border town with our neighbor state, Arizona. I completed my elementary and middle school studies in Mexico, but when I was 15 years old, I came to the other side of the border to learn English. It was a true challenge to begin 10th grade in a new school, with new friends, and a new language. When I faced this challenge, I realized the importance of being bilingual, so that was my first call into bilingual education. After graduating high school I moved to Tucson, Arizona to pursue higher education. In 2007 I was able to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. I have taught primarily kindergarten and 1st grade. In my spare time I enjoy painting and playing the piano. My goal is to get my Master’s Degree in Art Education to combine my passions for art and education.