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Special Programs

Jill Salley

Visual Arts Instructor

I am a native New Mexican who has lived, studied, and worked in Albuquerque most of my life. I was introduced to Spanish in School at age 11 and have studied and spoken it ever since! I love spending time with my husband, Trace, and our two children Ben and Pharris, who are students at NMIS. I am a kid at heart who loves speaking Spanish, so teaching kindergarten at NMIS is truly my dream job!

Eugenia Kuajara

Violin Instructor

Bio coming soon…

Arturo Padilla

PE/Health Teacher

Bio coming soon…

Iman Baaba

Arabic Instructor

I was born and raised in the Middle East. I migrated to the US in 1993, where I got married. I have been living in Albuquerque since then. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Literature and Morphology. I have been teaching at a private school for more than 11 years. I enjoy what I do and strive to enhance my teaching methods.

Shasta Leonhardt

Shasta Leonhardt

Music/Art Instructor

I was born in Albuquerque NM, and grew up in Northern California and New Mexico. I graduated from San Juan college with an associates degree in semiconductor technology. I started working full time at Intel in Rio Rancho NM in 1999. In 2004 I decided to go back to school for a bachelors degree, and in 2009 I graduated from UNM with a Bachelors degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in ceramics and sculpture.

While going back to school, I worked part- time at Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos, NM. I started working at Los Poblanos as a night manager and ended up doing a variety of tasks.  During my 4 years there, I cooked with the head chef, Johnathan Perno, helped start their Farm Shop, and made the popular hand salve lavender product.

My first child, Estoria, was born in 2010, and a year later my husband graduated from UNM with a Ph.D. In Chemical Engineering. Estoria’s name was drawn in the NMIS lottery and she started Kindergarten in 2016. My 2nd child, Sullivan, was born in 2016.

In 2017 I started teaching the after-school ceramics class at NMIS , and fell in love with teaching ceramics to the kids. I have now been teaching the after-school ceramics class for 3 and a half years. In 2019, I was offered a part-time teaching position for enrichment ceramics at NMIS, which I’m extremely excited about.  Children’s art has always been a passion of mine and I am so happy to apply what I learned in college to the skill set of all the budding young artists at NMIS.

7215 Montgomery Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 503-7670