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Bertha Jasso

All Good Things Come to an End By Valeria Quezada Often, the expression-“All good things must come to an end,” rings of truth. The first week of September, Bertha Jasso retired from NMSU Carlsbad, which she had been affiliated with since 1995. Her amazing passion and knowledge of different educational programs led to Bertha becoming the ‘key’ to the Adult Education effort in New Mexico. That and her connections with contacts at the county, state, and national level contributed to the success of the Adult Education effort. She also served on a number of boards, such as the St. Edwards board, Head-start Program, as well as advocating with students in Santa Fe, and much more. With a new director coming forth, Bertha was ready to give guidance and ensure that her ‘baby, ’the Adult Education Program, will continue to become even more successful. Bertha Jasso is a truly inspiring woman with a drive for furthering education; her efforts during her many years of working will be appreciated for years to come. To know her well, is to know that education is her passion. About Bertha, Dr. Andrew Nwanne (Interim President NMSU-C) offered –“Bertha Jasso dedicated a significant part of her career to the service of NMSU Carlsbad. Her passion for education and exemplary service have been instrumental for the success of Adult Basic Education at NMSU Carlsbad. Her collaborative leadership style and focus on student success have made a difference in the lives of others. ”Bertha’s journey towards education begins in El Paso, Texas. There, she grew up being close to her grandma, Francisca Ortega, who sparked her love of education. Her family and her

grandparents lived next door to each other in a duplex. In that very duplex, Bertha was instilled with her grandmother’s values, goals, morals, and love of education and reading. At an early age ,her grandmother taught her and her brother to read in English, as well as Spanish. Her educational career went on to begin in 1975 in the El Paso Community College as a switchboard operator. Then in 1981,she married her husband Javier Jasso who was serving as an officer in the Air Force. Together, and later on with their two kids, Bertha traveled through the USA, Far East, and to Central America. In 1995, after 23 years of active duty, Bertha and her husband settled in Loving, New Mexico. Hereat NMSU Carlsbad, Bertha’s passion for education truly grew. Her career with NMSU-C began with Adult Basic Education, as a part-time instructor teaching ESL, computer literacy, and accounting. In 1997,shewas hired as a full-time administrative assistantto the ABE Director Tino Abil. Then in 1999,shemoved to the Manufacturing Sector Department and worked under the leadership of Dr. Phillips. In 2000,shewent on to Continuing Ed -working with Mrs. Beverly Weston. Thenin2003,she had the opportunity to workin Financial Aid overseeing scholarships. In April 2007, she became the Adult Ed Director under many leaders and, as of most recently, Dr. Nwanne’s Leadership.Throughout these years, Bertha worked to obtain her Master degree in December of 2006. This led to a world wind of opportunities with Leadership/Professional Development at local, State, Regional and National levels. The Adult Education Program is Bertha’s biggest legacy! Bertha says, “It’s a misconception, most people think this programis for drop-outs and just to receive a GED for free, but it is more than that.”

After speaking with Bertha, this program truly is much more than that. It’s a life-long learning program funded by the State and Federal programs. The Adult Education Program gives adults of all ages life skills. It is also an opportunity for those who graduated years ago to continue their education, bring their educational skills up to par, and asses where they are educationally before spending their money with an actual college. Bertha continues, “This program also offers job training, teaches English, offers part-time jobs to students, retired teachers, parents, and volunteers!” Bertha says one of her main concerns is that there are over 400,000 people who are illiteratein New Mexico, but5% of those people a reserved with this free program. Bertha says her favorite part of being part of this program is seeing the adults walk across the stage at the commencement ceremony with a big smile on their face! As well as seeing and hearing of them moving onto becoming successful business owners, nurses, engineers, etc. ‘My biggest reward is hearing of individuals who went through the program tell me, “You made a huge impact on my life,”’ expresses Bertha. Now at the road to a new path in life, Bertha remembers her grandma’s words, “Education is not only knowing the information, the most beautiful thing is to pass it on to others.” Bertha Jasso is a true believer that there is absolutely no age limit on education. Now that she has retired, Bertha plans to move to back to her hometown, El Paso, Texas. There, she hopes to volunteer with the various high schools. She also wants to help first-generation US citizen parents learn how to be a support system for their children who go to school and guide them to prepare for their child’ shin her education. After a very successful and impactful path in education Bertha says, “I can now enjoy my retirement with my one and only love, Javier S Jasso.”

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