Elevation Children's Center is continually growing to add new programs and experiences for our students. We currently have an art teacher and drama teacher. We value the arts just as much as we do the sciences. Though freedom of expression we create critical thinkers and a thirst for knowledge.
Eva Strauss- Team Teacher
Eva is proud to share her personal narrative. “I was born in Santander, Spain, right next to Basque country. My mom is from Spain and my dad is from New England,” she tells us. She grew up in Albuquerque and has enjoyed her work with children; she has worked with UNM daycare and has volunteered at others. Eva works with Elevation on Mondays and Wednesdays in partnership with our neighbor Mandy’s Farm, which helps developmentally disabled people find meaningful employment in the community. Among her hobbies of going on walks and going to the movies, Eva is most enthusiastic about singing—you may hear her voice singing “Mi Cuerpo Hace Musica” and other Spanish songs during music.
Ken Moore- Art
Ken Moore was majoring in Psychology at the University of Michigan when he took an outreach class at a childcare center. The class opened his eyes to “how amazing young children were,” he said, explaining how the pieces suddenly fit with his studies in human development and the understanding that early childhood was the most important period of life.
The experience was a catalyst for a lifetime of work in education. After earning his B.A. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ken worked at a university school and co-founded “The Scrap Box,” an educational recycle and re-use program. “I’m a hopeless goldigger of junk,” he said, explaining that he was the “go-getter” in charge of finding interesting re-usable materials.
Ken’s educational aspirations continued as he earned his M.A. in Elementary Education with emphasis in Early Childhood Education from U.N.M., and continued on to collaborate with and instruct educators on curriculum and implementation of Reggio-inspired teaching. Ken has since served as an Assistant Director with U.N.M.’s Manzanita Center, as an education specialist with Head Start programs, and as an instructor at CNM. He most recently worked as a scholarship counselor for T.E.A.C.H. (Teacher Education and Compensation Helps), to help early childcare workers earn degrees and scholarships.
These days, you will see Ken creating inspiring recycled explorations in the art space. He says he is now coming back “full circle to where my heart is”—working with young children.
Mari Speigel- Team Teacher
Mari has been a gentle presence at
Elevation for over a year. She has more recently assisted with teaching music, to which she lends her singing voice and ideas for making music more fun. Mari suggested adding songs like the Chicken Dance for when we use egg shakers!
Mari has been with our neighbor organization, Appalooza Art Space and Mandy's Farm, for three years. Her favorite activities as a member there include swimming, art, and riding club. Mari loves animals and grew up among many, including alpacas, llamas, and angora goats.
The children at Elevation enjoy Mari as much as she enjoys playing music with them!