New Mexico Parent Teacher Association

Our Mission

The New Mexico PTA’s mission is to initiate, support, enrich, and advocate for the critical role of family engagement in the education and life experiences of children in New Mexico.

Our President

MaryBeth Weeks is currently the New Mexico PTA President. Her term of office began on July 1, 2019 and goes through June 30, 2021. She served as a local PTA President and as a member of the NMPTA Board of Directors before assuming the office of New Mexico PTA’s President. MaryBeth has participated as a member of the New Mexico Public Education Dept Family Cabinet, the Rio Rancho CPAT and as a member of her elementary school’s SAC. She is the mom of seven children ranging in age from nineteen to six. Four of her children receive special education services through her children’s school district. MaryBeth is an advocate for equitable education for all children and believes that every student can succeed when education is provided in an appropriate learning environment.

Our Board of Directors

President: president@newmexicopta.org
VP for Membership: vp.membership@newmexicopta.org
VP for Legislation & Advocacy: vp.legislative@newmexicopta.org
VP for Finance: vp.finance@newmexicopta.org
Financial Officer: financial.officer@newmexicopta.org
Secretary: secretary@newmexicopta.org
Bylaws Chair: bylaws@newmexicopta.org
Health & Wellness Chair: health.wellness@newmexicopta.org
Diversity Chair: diversity.chair@newmexicopta.org
Reflections Chair: reflections@newmexicopta.org
Education Chair: education.chair@newmexicopta.org

Past Presidents

(WWI & The Spanish Flu Pandemic)

May 7, 1915 – 1917            Mrs. John Wilson of Albuquerque stressed the “need for more enlightened treatment of the problem of child delinquency and the raising of children to make better citizens.”

First State Convention: November 1915 in Albuquerque

1917 – 1923            Mrs. Ruth C. Miller of Santa Fe served as President during a period of exponential membership growth such that NMPTA was granted a Charter Membership in the National Congress and became a recognized state branch. Members were very active in helping schools along many lines; providing warm lunches, weighing children, making home visits, adding to libraries, supplying pictures, phonographs, records, and playground equipment.

(Roaring Twenties & Black Friday Economic Crash)

1923 – 1924            Miss Birdie F. Adams of Silver City was elected at the May 1923 state convention in Las Vegas, NM.   Described as a “fiery little teacher with red shoes” Miss Birdie was named as Honorary President for Life of the New Mexico Congress.

1924 – 1926            Mrs. J.C. Waterman of Mesilla Park was a relative newcomer to the state of New Mexico when she was elected President. At the 1925 convention in Silver City the recommendation that “25 members or fraction thereof entitles a local PTA to one delegate” passed unanimously. By 1926, membership had increased to 2,082 and Mrs. Waterman presented a copy of “The Child, Its Nature and Its Needs” to the 4th Street School of Albuquerque because they had the greatest membership increase.

1926 – 1928            Mrs. W.W. Phillips of Roswell served many years at the local and executive levels of PTA. It was through her insightful and faithful efforts that the first state bulletin was published. She also established a state PTA office in the Roswell County Courthouse. The chief activity during her term was the “Summer Roundup” of preschool children and many local physicians and nurses were very helpful. The 1927 Convention theme was “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

1928 – 1929            Mrs. A. A. Woodworth of Albuquerque goal for her term was “A More Efficient Organization with an Informed Membership”. The State PTA office moved to the County Superintendent’s office in Albuquerque. “New Mexico was a large state – there being only 6 persons per square mile. Counties were sometimes divided by mountains with no railroads or highways connecting. It was geographically difficult to divide the state into districts, which was being recommended. A large percentage of the population was, and still is, composed of Spanish people who were interested in their children but did not run to organizations. Both handicaps made it extremely difficult to carry on Parent-Teacher work.”

1929 – 1930            Mrs. A.A. Halbert of Las Vegas only served six months of her term. There were 2000 paid memberships with 36 separate PTAs. Local units furnished hot lunches for undernourished children, bought playground equipment and books and funded school nurses for part time duty.

(The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression)

1930 – 1933            Mrs. George Wilcox of Dexter, a member of a leading pioneer New Mexico family, was elected because of her charming personality, her background in Parent-Teacher work, and her outstanding leadership skills. She presided over the 1930 annual state convention whose theme was “The Good of Every Child”. Resolutions were passed to endorse the work of the State Department of Public Welfare, the Girls Welfare home and the New Mexico Industrial School for Boys.

 

1933 – 1935            Mrs. S. P. Nanniga of Albuquerque led the letter writing campaign to all newspapers in the state asking their support of the Child Labor Amendment and Health legislation. Governor Hockenhull declared the first PTA Week in New Mexico and four radio programs promoting Parent-Teacher work were broadcast that year.

1935 – 1937            Mrs. P.S. Myers of Raton aimed to enlarge health programs, to stress safety from a state point of view as well as locally, and to work toward better trained leaders. With PTA’s help the Driver’s License law was passed in the New Mexico State Legislature. Monte Vista Elementary PTA remained the largest PTA in the state with 386 members.

1937 – 1939            Mrs. George Reese of Roswell led the state PTA in co-hosting the National PTA Convention in Salt Lake City in May 1938. Raton District was recognized for its unusual gains in membership and growth of local units – three of which were communities where English was not spoken by the adults. Publishing PTA materials in Spanish as well as English was initiated.

1939 – 1941            Mrs. G.C. Bess of Albuquerque asked the cooperation of the State Department of Public Health in that all births be registered, and birth certificates given out. PTA members were asked by Governor Miles to sit on the state committee to study the school financing system. The State Congress asked that all local units support and write Senators and Representatives asking them to support the Johnson Bill S. 517, to prohibit the advertising of alcoholic beverages by radio. A new mimeograph machine was purchased through donations from different local units all over the state; thus the state bulletin was published with little expense.

(World War II)

1941 – 1943            Mrs. P.V. Thorson of Roswell served only six months as state president before her husband was promoted to executive position with the Sam Houston Boy Scout Council in Houston Texas. She spent her time in office travelling the state conducting Summer Institutes at teach of the state schools of higher learning in New Mexico. The Eugene Field Elementary PTA in Albuquerque held a flower show with the help of the children in the school, carried a Health Program and raised funds for needy children by holding a game night.

Mrs. George Wilcox was elected by the board of managers to fill the unexpired term of Mrs. Thorson. This was the second time that Mrs. Wilcox had stepped in to fill the unexpired term of a State President. The April 24-25 State Convention was held in Raton and was a most unusual convention city because it was cut off from the world by a flash flood. Few delegates reached the city except by way of Amarillo Texas. Raton had no water during convention and only ice drippings were available for drinking. No delegate was able to wash during the two days spent in Raton. Since December 7, the New Mexico Congress had cooperated closely with all defense and war efforts and in many instances sponsored identification and registration of children, nutrition classes, home nursing classes and classes in first aid. Dr. Wivel conducted a panel discussion on “What War Means to Us”.

1943 – 1946            Mrs. K.A. Yoder of Roswell was elected President at the April 1943 one-day State Convention whose theme was “Let Us Build a New Earth – through Religion, Education, Health and Economics”. Orated on the need to equalize the educational opportunities for rural youth with those of urban youth, promoted a sense of universal parenthood and pondered whether the war necessity was crowding out children’s interests and if “when the war was won and peace reigned whether our children are going to be able to appreciate and guard it”.

The Tinnie Elementary PTA in Roswell reported on their community school lunch program and planted a successful Victory Garden as evidenced by all the fruits and vegetables canned that Fall. National PTA created a wartime pledge that began: “We, the members of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers , in defense of our beloved country and our country’s most sacred heritage and responsibility, her growing sons and daughters, do hereby solemnly pledge ourselves, individually and as an organization:”

Regular radio broadcasts on PTA issues began in New Mexico, , with earnest mothers and fathers and compelling speakers taking the time to awaken the people generally to the need of spending individual thought, time, and effort toward helping steer our young people through the crisis and stabilizing them for the troubled era to follow. A survey was made to determine the scope and extent of child labor and to investigate conditions under which children were working (Due to war conditions).

In the fall of 1945 the membership for the State Congress was 8876.

1946 – 1948            Mrs. M.E. French of Portales was elected because of her outstanding personality and her diligent and faithful work in her own local PTA. In her first year the total units in the state totaled 95 and the membership rose to 11,342. She attended the National PTA Convention in Denver, Colorado. Safety Education was recommended by the New Mexico PTA to be taught as part of the instructional curriculum and emphasized in every public school in the state. During the Spring of 1947, all councils in the state were asked to prepare a kit for an overseas teacher for the National Red Cross. These kits were sent to the Greek, Polish, and Italian Red Cross for distribution.

Monte Vista Elementary PTA in Albuquerque (the oldest PTA unit in the state) still held the record for being the largest unit in the state with five hundred and fifty members.

1948 – 1950            Mrs. J. P. Brandenburg of Taos worked for the reorganization of the State Department of Education in a joint committee with the NMEA. New Mexico was chosen as one of the states to receive a scholarship at Northwestern University for a three-week workshop in PTA Leadership. The 1949 State Convention theme was “Peace and Security in Our Time”. They began a tradition of singing The Lord’s Prayer as the invocation at the banquet – each individual holding a small candle. The convention body voted to work toward advancement in the care of the mentally retarded, kindergartens and adult education.

(Cold War)

1950 – 1952            Mrs. A. H. Nicolai of Albuquerque had served 9 years on the Albuquerque School Board when she assumed the President role. The National PTA headquarter slogan for New Mexico was “Cash por la casa” and aimed to fill with cash the black pottery bowl made by Maria of San Ildefonso. Resolutions at the 1951 State Convention included reaffirming faith in the ideals of the United Nations and recommending the passage of a constitutional amendment to reorganize the State Department of Education.

1952 – 1955            Mrs. Aaron Margulis’ (Hendryson) of Santa Fe adminstration goals were to provide help to local PTA units, supply vital programs and support study groups. The State Congress sponsored a “Get Out the Vote” campaign and sponsored dental clinics. The 1954 convention was held in Tucumcari and reported a statewide total membership of 31,324. A safety program to install traffic lights or impose speed limit control legislation around schools was instituted.

1955 – 1958            Miss Recene Ashton of Pinos Altos employed the theme of “The Challenge of a Changing World” throughout her administration. PTA bookshelves were established and legislation was pushed to bring New Mexico’s marriage laws into line with other states and urging the passage of a law against the sale, distribution or exhibition of pornographic or indecent literature or materials. Finally, the passage of Constitutional Amendment #2 allowing for an elected State Board of Education and an appointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction was passed in 1958 after intensive campaigning by State PTA.

1958 – 1961            Mrs. Herbert Price of Santa Rosa and PTA units all over the state cooperated with the State Department of Health and urged all members and their families to take the Salk Vaccine against polio. Mrs. Price made a tape recording in cooperation with the Dept of Health about immunization laws. Resolutions urged the continued interest and cooperation with local White House Conference Committees on Children and Youth to study the problems of the children of migrant workers and to support legislation to arrive at a permanent solution to the funding problems of public schools.

(Vietnam War & Civil Rights Movement, Cuban Missile Crisis, Moon Landing)

1961 – 1964            Mrs. Charles T. Stone of Roswell had an administration theme of “The Future in Our Hands” with goals promoting leadership training, continuing the Rocky Mountain Project – Home and Family Life Education (HAFLE) that stressed the importance of moral and spiritual values, working for adequate New Mexico schools, aiding school libraries and coordinating the forces of home, school, and community in behalf of the child. Financing for New Mexico schools was in peril and State PTA worked with Governor Jack Campbell in increasing the state sales tax by 1% to 3% with all monies going into the General Fund. The 1963 State Convention put forth resolutions urging traffic safety enforcement in school zones, teaching of American Democracy versus Communism by well-qualified teachers, funding for guidance counseling personnel and adopting the first State Legislation Action Program.

1964 – 1967            Mrs. Forrest Sackett of Santa Fe was the first President to be elected as President-Elect one year before assuming the presidency. New Mexico PTA celebrated its’ Golden Anniversary Convention in Farmington in 1965. Resolutions were passed concerning emotionally disturbed children, fallout shelters, and engaging qualified librarians in schools. This year also saw the National PTA Convention being hosted by New Mexico in Albuquerque.

1967 – 1967            W. J. Sturgeon of Santa Fe spearheaded changes for supporting special education services and housing for troubled juveniles and mental health centers. Comprehensive summer programs throughout the schools were encouraged.

1967 – 1969            Mr. Cecil Poppe of Albuquerque presided over the 1968 state convention in Deming. Resolutions concerned Bureau of Land Management taxes and providing quality kindergarten.

1969 – 1971            Mrs. Norma Airmet of Albuquerque oversaw resolutions concerning the enforcement of new air pollution standards and a funding program for equal education opportunities.

(Disco, Earth Day)

1971 – 1973            Mrs. Evelyn Prentice of Albuquerque emphasized that curriculum be determined by local and state school boards and supported legislation to raise penalties for convicted drug sellers and distributors. A bond issue was put forth to support music and art education in the schools.

1973 – 1975            Mrs. Amelia Poppe of Albuquerque put forth resolutions encouraging the parental oversight of television viewing by children and the use of school zone signs in areas of elementary and secondary schools.

1975 – 1977            Mrs. Jerry Bird of Roswell. At the 1975 convention the state PTA opposed the proposal that State Board of Education members be appointed by the Governor. They requested equal opportunity for children to participate in the Emergency School Aid Act, encouraged the special cultural arts programs, asked that requests for information of personal or private nature be restricted. At the next convention resolutions encouraged comprehensive school health education, parenting, and violence on television.

1977 – 1979            Mrs. Margaret Dike of Albuquerque. Opposition to tuition tax credits, TV violence, and child abuse and neglect were issues during this term.

1979 – 1981            Mrs. Georgia Cunico of Albuquerque. The 1981 State Convention delegates supported the continuing school lunch program as a nutritional program, the concept of community education, and encouraged PTAs to work with schools and educators for drug education.

(Desktop Computers, Just Say No, Trickle Down Economics)

1981 – 1983            Mrs. Virginia Ford of Albuquerque. New Mexico, once again, hosted the National PTA Convention in Albuquerque in June 1983.

1983 – 1985            Mr. Dave Syme of Albuquerque. Resolutions supported funding from the state legislature for the Ident-Find-A-Child Program, supporting the annual Safety Public Awareness Week, and resolved that judges be made more sensitive of the damaging consequences of their decisions about sole custody of children and abductions during his term.

1985 – 1987            Mrs. Mildred Corbett of Roswell. Support of the Children’s Trust Fund, quality education, and the Adopt-A-School program happened at the 1985 state convention along with a call for Public Service Announcements on alcohol abuse.

1987 – 1989            Mrs. Donna Cuniff of Las Cruces. At the 1987 state convention resolutions concerned school aged childcare (Latch Key Kids), encouraging raising the age of consent to 16, addressing the concern of personal liability for volunteers, and encouraging responsibility for playground duty. In 1988 state PTA addressed school-based healthcare clinics, lead testing and removal, state approved safe houses, background checks for school and daycare personnel, the Volunteer Protection Act and legislative funding for education.

1989 – 1991            Mrs. Sherry Stewart of Las Cruces. Lead testing and removal along with Radon testing and mitigation were addressed. The 1990 state convention in Hobbs marked the 75th year of PTA in New Mexico!

(Walkman)

1991 – 1992            Mrs. Pat Ponder of Roswell

1992 – 1995            Mrs. Margaret Dike of Albuquerque

1995 – 1999            Mrs. Marcanne Kouri-Beck of Albuquerque

1999 – 2000            Mrs. Carol Lee O’Keefe of Albuquerque           

 (Cell Phones, 9/11, War on Terror)

2000 – 2003            Mrs. Renata Witte of Albuquerque

2003 – 2005             Mrs. Leslie Boggs of Albuquerque

2005 – 2007            Mrs. Debbie Morgan of Tijeras

2007 – 2009            Mrs. Angi Gonzales-Carver of Albuquerque

2009 – 2011            Mrs. Mercedes Sandoval of Albuquerque

2011 – 2013            Mrs. Sue Holland of Raton

2013 – 2015            Mrs. Kim Kerschen of Albuquerque

2015 – 2017            Mrs. Renata Witte of Albuquerque

2017 – 2019            Mrs. Wendy Ford-Licon of Albuquerque

2019 – 2021            Mrs. MaryBeth Weeks of Rio Rancho

Milestones of
New Mexico PTA

Meet
The Founders

National PTA