La Cueva High students honor NM Music Educator of the Year - Albuquerque Journal

La Cueva High students honor NM Music Educator of the Year

Gbs012918b
Deanna Amend, choral director at La Cueva High, enjoys a giant card made by her choir students to honor her as this year’s New Mexico State Music Educator of the Year on Monday. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

La Cueva High music teacher Deanna Amend got to her classroom at 6:15 a.m. Monday, expecting a busy morning of choir practice for an upcoming competition.

Instead, students arrived with balloons, doughnuts, chocolate milk and gifts to celebrate Amend’s recent designation as New Mexico State Music Educator of the Year.

The veteran teacher was emotional as she opened a poster-sized card signed by all her “kids from another mother.”

“You create such beauty in my life,” Amend told the class. “I cherish this time we have together.”

Sabrina Brightwell, a La Cueva senior, said she helped organize the party because her beloved choir teacher deserves recognition.

A kind, upbeat person, Amend is a mentor who can offer life advice between lessons on scales and melody.

“I love that she’s not just a teacher – you can talk to her about problems,” Brightwell said. “She understands.”

To La Cueva assistant principal Brett Rimer, Amend combines heart with high standards.

bright spot

During her 32 years in the classroom, Amend’s choirs have earned numerous New Mexico Activities Association championships.

She has also held leadership positions in the New Mexico Music Educators Association, which named her State Music Educator of the Year.

In February, Amend will bring her show choir to the Lone Star Invitational competition near Dallas. Another contest in California is around the corner.

“I like to show them (the students) off because they are so wonderful,” Amend said.

Amend also focuses on giving back – her students complete at least one service project per school year for agencies such as Roadrunner Food Bank, Joy Junction, Locker 505 Clothing Bank and the Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity.

Before coming to La Cueva, Amend worked at Eisenhower Middle School, Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Sandia High and Grant Middle School.

Rimer said Amend is a “phenomenal educator” who excels at explaining musical techniques and the ways they can help improve performance.

Four of her La Cueva students have gone on to pursue degrees in music education.

“She’s dedicated her life to music,” Rimer said. “That’s why she’s New Mexico music educator of the year.”

The award is a cherry on top of Amend’s successful teaching career. In May, she will retire from La Cueva to become a mentor for middle school choir directors.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” Amend said. “I set out really to serve. That’s what I wanted to do.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » La Cueva High students honor NM Music Educator of the Year


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to be ...
ABQnews Seeker
Parishes will chip in to cover ... Parishes will chip in to cover the payments on the debt
2
Biden signs landmark gun measure, says 'lives will be ...
ABQnews Seeker
President Joe Biden on Saturday signed ... President Joe Biden on Saturday signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series ...
3
Pâtisserie opens storefront location in Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
For the past two years, the ... For the past two years, the pastries of Blue Door Pâtisserie could be found displayed inside glass cases at Albuquerque’s Sawmill Market near Old ...
4
Home builder is No. 1 small company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Abrazo Homes may be a newer ... Abrazo Homes may be a newer homebuilder for the New Mexico community, but the company's employees say it has already established a great team ...
5
Construction firm is No. 1 mid-size company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Bradbury Stamm Construction, which has more ... Bradbury Stamm Construction, which has more than 150 employees in New Mexico and over 250 overall across two states, is a place that employees ...
6
Credit union is No. 1 large company in Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Employees at Nusenda Credit Union say ... Employees at Nusenda Credit Union say they feel they are making a difference in the lives of members. The company, founded in 1936 as ...
7
Abortion ruling thrusts companies into divisive arena
ABQnews Seeker
The Supreme Court's decision to end ... The Supreme Court's decision to end the nation's constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of ...
8
Coffee shop holds fundraiser for first responders
ABQnews Seeker
All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 ... All Ziggi's locations will donate $1 for every drink sold, both in-store and via their mobile app
9
Police: Man drove over, killed brother
ABQnews Seeker
Witness told police body was dragged ... Witness told police body was dragged on street