Principal Madeline Lyon has been in education for fifty years. Her career began as a nun in Ohio, where she taught high school, developed and taught a gifted program for grades one through eight, and taught GED classes in a men’s prison. Ms. Lyon graduated from Notre Dame College in Ohio with a BA in English and Theology. She also holds an MA in English and an MAEd from the University of Akron. Ms. Lyon came to St. Francis School as a teacher in September 2005. She moved to Pagosa Springs, Colorado on June 2008, but continued her affiliation with St. Francis School as President of the Board. Ms. Lyon returned to St. Francis to teach in 2012 and became Principal in January 2013.
Bridget Hanrahan grew up in northern New Jersey and having grown up in the suburbs of a big city, giving a try at rural living is appealing for a different pace. She recently graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, MA with a B.A. in Education Studies and History. She has a love for reading, photography, and enjoying the little moments. This will be her first-year teaching. She knew that she wanted to be a teacher since a young age, due to the long-lasting impressions her own teachers had left and hopes to inspire them in similar ways. She is looking forward to teaching Kindergarten this coming school year and can’t wait to see each student grow in their own way.
Sherry Winkler hails from the Great Lakes State of Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University and did her graduate work at Michigan State University. She has taught over 28 years there as a Catholic school educator for grades first through ninth. She left teaching for a while to raise her three daughters. During that time she continued teaching Religious Education for her parish, owned a preschool and ran a family-owned Czech Bakery. However, she feels her true vocation is working with young people in a school setting. Mission work has always been at the top of her list of giving back to society. So, when she was offered the opportunity to teach among the Apache Nation, she sold her house, packed her bags and drove here in September of 2018. God is Good All the Time and she strives every day to let that light shine among all the students of St. Francis.
Hi! My name is Valerie Gomez and I came to St. Francis School as a volunteer teacher in 1995. I graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois with degrees in Political Science and Russian Area Studies. As a volunteer teacher, I realized that my true calling was to be present in the classroom, not in a foreign embassy. I met my husband Manuel Gomez at St. Francis Church, and we got married in 1998. Twenty years later, we have seven beautiful children, four of whom have graduated from St. Francis School. In 2010, I earned my elementary and secondary teaching certificates through the Alternative Licensure Program at San Juan College. I have an elementary teaching license from the State of New Mexico and hold middle school certification in History, Geography, Economics, Civics, and Government. My greatest joy as a teacher is seeing lightbulbs go off when my students put the pieces of learning together. I also love the gift of teaching kids that are the children of former students. There is no higher compliment. God truly puts you where he wants you to be when he wants you to be here.
Hi, my name is Manuel “Herby” Gomez and I am currently the 7thand 8thGrade homeroom teacher at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Lumberton, NM. I can boast that I am the only St. Francis alumna that is teaching here at the school. I can remember when the current school was erected in 1973. I was fortunate that I attended the school from 1st– 8thgrade. I also graduated from Dulce High in 1978, my son Christopher keeps reminding me that I graduated 40 years before he did. I attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 1986. I went on to work in several states in private industry and for the federal government. I returned to Dulce in October of 1993 and was the owner-operator of Gomez Grocery for 20 years. I met my wife Valerie, (a volunteer teacher) at the back of St. Francis Church in Lumberton in 1997. We were married in July of 1998 and the Good Lord has blessed us with seven children – 6 boys and Estella. I thank the Lord and St. Francis School for the opportunity to be part of the staff for four years now.
Mr. Hernandez started his first year as a volunteer teacher at St. Francis School in August 2018. His professional background is in personal finance. He has held positions as Investment Advisor, Stockbroker, and Mutual Fund Specialist in various 401(k) Investment Management Firms. He went on to obtain a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Western International University. His academic background is in math and science. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University where he participated in and organized engineering competitions for college-bound high school students. It was during college that he found an affinity toward education where he worked as a tutor of Math, Physics, and English as a second language for students ranging from elementary school to college. He and his family moved to New Mexico in 2012 and at that time he decided to devote himself to homeschooling his three children. He believes that First Grade is a pivotal time in children’s lives when they are able to establish a strong foundation in reading, thus opening up a world of opportunities. Mr. Hernandez enjoys living in Northern New Mexico with his wife and three children (currently all students at St. Francis).