About Pauline Armijo
Pauline was the oldest of 9 children born to Jesse and Ernestina Lopez. She graduated from Albuquerque High School in the Spring of 1965 and was married that same year. Pauline was lucky to have parents who taught her the value of education. Her father Jesse was a WWII Veteran and POW. Upon his return from the war, Jesse used his GI bill to attend the University of New Mexico. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Math and became a Math teacher on the Isleta Reservation he went back to school and got his Master’s degree in Education and continued as a Math teacher at Isleta schools for over 40 years. This was a pretty amazing accomplishment for a Mexican American to do at that time. So you can see where Pauline got her passion for teaching.
Pauline worked as an Educational Assistant with APS for a number of years until she was approached by a women’s organization who expressed their interest in helping her and other EA’s to return to college and become a teachers. Knowing that this was an opportunity that she should take advantage of she quickly said yes and began taking classes at the University of Albuquerque in 1981. The College of Santa Fe purchased Univ. of Alb during the time she was attending classes so she received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the College of Santa Fe in 1985, the same year her oldest son, Mark, graduated from high school. She quickly started working as a 2nd grade Elementary school teacher at Laguna/Acoma schools. She moved around to a number of other BIA schools and also went back to school for her Master’s in Education and received that degree in the Spring of 1993 from UNM. She loved school so much that she was also getting ready to start her PhD program right before her death. Her entire teaching career was with the BIA and she was beloved by her students and the community.
Pauline knew the value of an education and she also knew that she would not have been the teacher that she was had it not been for the kindness of organizations that offered scholarships to those in need. During her time in the BIA schools she organized many clubs and extra-curricular activities for her students. I mentioned earlier how loved she was by the communities that she taught in, she was constantly being invited to feasts and other cultural Native American traditions. She made every student feel special and instilled in them the need to continue their education beyond high school.