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Nina La Roux – Honors Precalculus and Integrated Math 3

I am a first-generation American from a Russian immigrant family. I grew up in Texas and earned a BSA in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally, I began a career in programming but realized that I would be happier working with people than computers. In my search for a more fulfilling career path, I remembered how much I loved working with students as a learning assistant and tutor in college. 

Now, in my fifth-year teaching, I have developed a passion for helping students become strong critical thinkers.

I have taught both middle school and high school STEAM courses as well as coached tennis. No matter the subject, I enjoy creating lessons that allow students to explore and think deeply about the material. I strongly believe inquiry is an important part of learning, so I try to give students every opportunity to ask questions, make mistakes, and make discoveries along the way. It’s always exciting to see them make connections!

Among my favorite pastimes are creative hobbies, such as cooking and sewing, and being outdoors as much as possible, whether it is playing tennis or spending my summers backpacking in the mountains with my wonderful husband. I am looking forward to getting started at Menaul School in January 2023!

Pax Rasmussen – English 11

I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah, but currently live in Albuquerque with my wife and two-year-old daughter. Since 2015, I’ve been a faculty member in the Composition department at Western Governor’s University, and before that, I spent nearly 10 years as a staff writer, editor, and manager for a small magazine in Salt Lake (Catalyst Magazine). I have a BA in English and a Master’s in Communication (both from the University of Utah). For my thesis project, I created a half-hour documentary about community radio in Utah.

When I’m not working, I’m usually hiking or backpacking the backcountry of New Mexico…

Reading the weirdest sci-fi and fantasy I can get my hands on, or working in my janky backyard woodshop. My wife and I, along with my best friend and her wife, are going to start building straw bale houses on the mesa outside of Taos, New Mexico this coming summer.

Rev. Dr. Rachael Powell – World Geography and US History

I am so grateful to be a part of Menaul School after serving for nearly 19 years as an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. From sermons to confirmation, first communion instruction to adult education, teaching has been a passion throughout my ministry.

What a gift that I may continue in ministry through the vocation of teaching high school students as they dig into history and world geography!

A thread that connects these two vocations is one that I have studied for many years – narrative. I am fascinated by the narratives that construct who we are (this was the focus of my doctoral work). I confess the biblical narrative of God’s interaction with all creation has been my primary focus for the last 18+ years. However, the narratives that construct our history and our understanding of who we are in this beautiful and interconnected world follow immediately from that. Walking alongside students as they begin to weave together their personal narratives with those of human history is extraordinarily exciting!

In my down time, I love to spend time with my husband, Matt and my son, Sam. We enjoy hiking together, playing basketball and soccer at the park, travelling, and vegging in front of nearly any sporting event. I also love to read (historical fiction is my favorite genre), sing, play the piano, write (my first book was published last year), and take in an occasional performance at Popejoy. We love ABQ and anything smothered in green chile!

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