Special Programs

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Special Programs
Yellow polygon
Shasta Leonhardt

Shasta Leonhardt

Health/Art Teacher

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.

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!

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.

Erika Lovato

Kinder Music Teacher

Bio Coming Soon!

Reda Elkomy

Arabic Instructor

Bio Coming Soon!

Eugenia Kuajara

Violin Instructor

Bio Coming Soon!

Libia Sugar

PE/Health Teacher

Bio Coming Soon!