CORRALES, N.M. – After teaching for 38 years and serving the Texico School District for 19 years, Bonnie Garner is retiring from Sandia View Christian School (SVCS) at the end of this school year.
“She will be greatly missed by students and staff alike,” said SVCS School Board Chairwoman Kathy Clifford. “We have all benefited from her innovative teaching style and making sure students learned to read.”
Garner grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still enjoys frequent visits to her homeland. After receiving her degree in Elementary Education, she began her teaching career in Perry, Fla., in 1983.
“I had 8 students and 6 grades,” said Mrs. Garner. “It was a brand-new school and we met in a mobile home.”
Since then, Mrs. Garner has gone on to earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a reading emphasis and has received Texico’s Excellence in Teaching award multiple times. She has served as SVCS Principal and is currently its reading specialist and teaches first and second grade.
Over the years, Mrs. Garner has taught hundreds of students, at times teaching multiple generations of the same family.
“Mrs. Garner is the true picture of a passionate teacher,” said Christie DeBerg, parent of three former students. “She shared the desire to read with all of my children and because of that, their foundation is so much stronger. We are very blessed to have had her as a teacher.”
Mrs. Garner’s zeal for her students has contributed to her longevity as a teacher. Her love for music and art have also played an integral part in her teaching curriculum.
One of her students' favorite field trips in the past has been visiting nursing homes in the community to sing songs to their residents.
While Mrs. Garner is happy to see her students grow and excel in their education, she says that what she is going to miss most in working with the students is helping draw them closer to God.
“I love her, she is a wonderful teacher,” said Makayla Soto, one of Mrs. Garner’s current students. “She has taught me to enjoy reading, music, art and is always willing to play with us.”
After retiring, Mrs. Garner has plans to travel and spend time with her family.
“My husband, Tim, and I plan to travel in our RV as much as we can,” said Mrs. Garner. “We want to spend time with our grandson who was born in April. I also want to spend more time with my oil painting projects.”
Mrs. Garner is leaving big shoes to fill and her absence at SVCS next year will definitely be felt.
“We are sad to see her go but also extremely happy to see her start her retired life knowing that she has definitely earned it. She deserves every moment of her new path in life discovering new adventures,” said Clifford. “She has been an inspiration to us all and will be sincerely missed. Her legacy will have lasting positive effects for years to come.”
By Debby Márquez