For over a century, Menaul School has been producing church and civic leaders of the highest caliber. A sampling of those leaders follows:
Amanda Cheromiah – 2004: A Native American from the Pueblo of Laguna and a graduate of the University of Arizona, Amanda now works with her alma mater as a coordinator in the office of Academic Outreach. Her passion is helping low-income minority first-generation college-bound students succeed. In addition, she organizes the College Academy for Parents, College Knowledge for Parents, and College Knowledge for Counselors.
Tomas Garcia – 2001: Tomas graduated from Yale in 2005 with a B.A. in Political Science, from Harvard in 2008 with a Master of Public Policy, and from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011 with a Juris Doctorate. He worked in NM Governor Bill Richardson’s administration, was selected to clerk for NM Supreme Court Justice Charlie Daniels beginning in September 2012, and is currently an associate in the Modrall Sperling Law Firm in Albuquerque.
Kateri Garcia West – 1999: Kateri has worked in the cardiac device industry for nine years and is currently a Territory Manager for ZOLL LifeVest, covering the state of NM. She started her career as a mechanical device design engineer for Medtronic Inc. in Minneapolis, MN, where she earned a patent for her work on novel pacemaker reliability test methods. In 2003, Kateri completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kateri has helped launch Wings of Africa International, based in Minneapolis, MN, a Kenyan nonprofit agency aimed at building schools for orphaned girls in Kenya. She is a former Menaul Board of Trustees member.
Niki Tapia Brito – 1987: Niki received her B.A. in American Studies in 1991 from Stanford University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico Law School in 2001. Since graduation from law school, Niki has worked in the District Attorney’s Office – first as an Assistant District Attorney II in the 7th Judicial DA’s Office, then as an Assistant Trial Attorney in the 2nd Judicial DA’s Office, and currently as a Senior Trial Attorney in the 2nd Judicial DA’s Office. She was nominated “Rookie of the Year” for the State’s District Attorney’s Conference in 2002.
Dr. Richard G. Lovato, MD – 1980: Richard graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed his residency in General Surgery and Transplants at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. A respected surgeon in Albuquerque, Dr. Lovato successfully completed a kidney transplant for another Menaul Alumni, Ambrosio Ortega (Class of 1946).
Cristina Ortega – 1972: Cristina has taught elementary school in New Mexico for over 25 years. She is the author of two children’s books: The Eyes of the Weaver (2005) and The Key to Grandpa’s House (2007). Her two brothers and sister were born while they all lived on campus at Menaul School where her father (Ambrosio Ortega, Class of 1946) taught high school. Keeping with family tradition, Cristina boarded at Menaul and graduated in 1972. Cristina retired from the Albuquerque Public Schools after 29 1/2 years, 26 of which were devoted to teaching.
Victor MacFarlane – 1969: A leading African American real estate developer, Victor is managing principal, chairman, and chief executive officer of MacFarlane Partners, which he founded in 1987 to provide real estate investment management services to institutional investors. Under his leadership, MacFarlane Partners pioneered the urban investment concept among institutional real estate managers in the mid-1990s and today has become one of the leading real estate investment management firms in the United States.
Dr. Arturo Madrid – 1956: Arturo is a gifted teacher and author and an articulate national voice for the impact of Hispanic life on American culture. He was named the Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Arthur M. Duran – 1951: Coach Duran has influenced student athletes at all levels of competition. In 1974, he was the coach of the Bolivian National Women’s Basketball Team; in 1976, he assisted with the Brazilian Olympic Basketball Team; and in 1979, he coached the Somali National Team.
Herb Fernandez – 1949: Herb received the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Service Award after 33 years of federal service. He was chief of the Air Force Weapons Laboratory’s Nuclear-Systems Security Division – a division that provides technical support for Air Force and NATO nuclear systems.
Florentino (Tino) Garza – 1945: After earning his law degree from UCLA, Tino entered into private practice. In 1987, he was selected by the San Bernardino County Bar Association for its highest honor, “awarded to a member of the legal profession who has best exemplified the high standards of the profession and the administration of justice.”
The Honorable Alfonso Romero – 1942: Alfonso served as a Marine in North China during WW II, practiced law in California, and served seventeen years on the California State Trial Court bench.
Ted Trujillo – 1940: Ted graduated from UNM in February of 1944 with a degree in Biology and Chemistry and an officer’s commission in the first Naval Reserve class. He served in World War II as a communications officer, returning from Japan in 1946 to attend graduate school at the University of New Mexico. In 1947, he accepted a job as a bio-chemist with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Bio-Medical Research Group. He was the author and co-author of 35 scientific publications, many dealing with cancer and cancer treatment.
Bedelio (Bill) F. Gurule – 1938: Bill served the U.S. in the South Pacific during WW II and was a Japanese prisoner of war. Professionally, he worked as a public accountant and developed “partnership investments.” In his spare time, Bill became a published author.
Conrado P. Gutierrez – 1937: A chemist by profession, Conrado retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after 36 years. Active in his church and community, Conrado was best known for his work on behalf of women, minorities, veterans, and disadvantaged persons.
Dr. Martin Candelaria – 1918: Innovative teacher, coach, WW I veteran, humanitarian are all words used to describe Dr. Candelaria. Dr. Candelaria was the first Hispanic and native Spanish speaker to teach at the Colorado Teacher’s College (now University of Northern Colorado), where he built a department of foreign language using the first language laboratory and instituted the teaching of foreign language in grade school.