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New Educator


By Sharon McIntire COVID-19 has turned the whole world topsy-turvy. Perhaps most so at our schools.It’s a crazy time to start a new job as Director of Human Resources. But that’s what Lisa Robinson has done.She certainly has the background for her new challenge. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern New Mexico University and her master’s in educational administration at College of the Southwest, she spent a combined 30 years teaching in Hobbs and Lovington.She beganher career in Hobbs as assistant in the Human Resources department, and then taught in Hobbs and Lovington. In addition to regular education classes at both the elementary and secondary levels, she has taught special education and Title I classes, and hasbeen an elementary as well as secondary principal.Teachers usually choose either elementary or secondary teaching; it’s unusual to find one who is comfortable with both. “They are certainly totally different systems,” she admits. “Elementary and secondary schools are two different animals.“But my heart is always with kids, regardless of the age. I was a middle school principal in Lovington,and it was just an amazing time. I absolutely loved those kids.”Then her husband Sean, a superintendent for ConocoPhillips, was transferred to Carlsbad. She was enthusiastic about the move and about her new home. After 30 years in the demanding world of education, you’d think she would consider a rest –even retirement. Instead she packed up her family and moved to Carlsbad, leaving her other daughter, a social worker for the Lea County Guidance Center, behind in Hobbs.She has settled in well. “I love it here,” she says. “Carlsbad is such a beautiful city, and there is so much to do.” Being an outdoors enthusiast she’s looking forward to exploring when the world opens up again.“And everybody I’ve met has been more than nice; everyone is so helpful and pleasant. I immediately felt at home.” Her 14-year old daughter, Kanbel, who will enter CHS as a freshman this year, is also eager to explore her new life and pursue sports and local school events.Robinson started her self-described “dream job” in May during a pandemic when no one had a clue what the 2020-2021 school year would look like. She credits her predecessor for her relaxed state of mind. “Therese Rodriguez has been wonderful. I had a whole month where we worked side by side, and her help was invaluable. I can’t imagine doing this job without that transition time. I’m so thankful for the administration for giving me that opportunity.“My main focus is in opening the new school year in the new COVID-19 world we live in. I want to continue the legacy Therese has built of meeting staff needs and individual employee

needs. And I want to return our teachers to their classrooms in a safe environment. It’s a unique year with the COVID-19, and I’m working with the administration and with the current staff to help take care of all the concerns the virus has inflicted on us.“We will be sure that all the CDC and Department ofHealth guidelines are in place to minimize the risk to our students and staff,” she added, “and we have extended FMLA for teachers to accommodate any medical needs that may be necessary.”Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, no one is quite sure what the school year will look like, and the administration office staff is scrambling daily in an attempt to read our governor’s mind. One thing is -well, mostly -set in stone: our schools will open. Ten days prior to that opening, the JumpStart program will offer all students the opportunity to get back into the school routine and get ready for the new academic year.Everyone at the administration building is committed to getting students back into the classroom as much as is possible while still keeping them healthy. “The social aspect of education is as important as is reading, writing, and math,” she stressed. “We are dedicated to our students. We will continue to improve our system so we can provide the best possible education for the children in our community“We’re going to have to be very fluid in making changes and adapting to changes,” she states. It is possible that the year may be spent partially in the classroom and partially at home with online classes as the number of students who are in a classroom at one time is limited. “In the end, every child is an individual, and it’s our job to provide an education for each and every one of them.”Carlsbad will be ready.“We have a healthy application pool,” she says, “and the teachers I’ve seen are ready to go. They’re ready to get back to class and get after it.” She admits it will be a challenge, but says, “I can’t wait to see how creative we are. We need to look at this as an opportunity instead of an obstacle. Who knows better than teachers how to get this done?”And her face lights up as she looks into the future. “I can’t wait to get out to the classrooms. I’m very excited to see all their smiling faces when school reopens.”

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