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Dolores Valdez de Pong, student of Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas


Dolores retired at the end of the school year, May 2012. Dolores was a student of Carol Jean (Wehrwein) Thomas during her Junior and Senior Years (1966-1968) at Centauri High School, La Jara, Colorado. In her long teaching career, Dolores received many awards, including "New Mexico Teacher of the Year." On that particular occasion, when asked to name the teacher most influential in her preparation to teach, Delores responded, "Carol Jean (Wehwein) Thomas."

"The New Mexican," Santa Fe, NM, 30 Apr 2012, p. 1:

"Final curtain: Dolores Valdez de Pong plans to end 37-year teaching career at Carlos Gilbert Elementary School

By Robert Nott, The New Mexican.

'Raindrops' fell on stage in the auditorium of Carlos Gilbert Elementary School on Friday afternoon, but Dolores Valdez de Pong did not shed the expected teardrops at the same time--even though she was watching as her final school theater production, 'Spring Has Sprung,' came to an end.

Valdez de Pong is retiring this May after nearly 37 years of teaching at Carlos Gilbert. She taught third grade for 14 years, second grade for 21 years and first grade for the last two years.

Since day one, she's involved art, theater and music in her curriculum, often accompanying her original productions by playing the piano -- the same piano she discovered in the corner of the Carlos Gilbert gym back in December 1975, when it all started.

She recalled standing in the back corner of that gym, when the district first hired her, watching as students performed the school's holiday play.

'I thought to myself,' "Gosh, I'm going to be part of this school?" I never dreamed it would turn into a 37-year career.'

The Colorado native still remembers being inspired by the actions of one of her high school teachers, Carol Jean (Wehrwein) Thomas, who included theater in all of her lesson plans.

'What I like about drama is it develops an esprit de corps in the classroom, where every student works together,' Valdez de Pong said Friday, after the final curtain had come down on her last show. 'With a play, you can integrate a lot of different curriculum topics into the classroom. It's a fun way to get concepts across.' . . .

The 'farmer' introduced the show, and the 'rainbow' and the 'flowers' and the 'ants' and the 'worms' and the 'clouds' and the 'raindrops' all played their parts to perfection, engaging in song, dance and comedy. The cast presented Valdez de Pong with a bouquet of flowers at the end. She fought giving in to the tears. . . ."


Owner/SourceNew Mexican
Date30 Apr 2012
File nameWEHRWEINDeloresValdezdePongApr2012.jpg
File Size78.81k
Dimensions350 x 233
AlbumsTEACHER Carol Jean Wehrwein Thomas

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