Katie Elder '08: Once a Bosque Student, Now a Bosque Teacher
The student has officially become the teacher. This fall, Katie Elder ‘08 made the exciting transition from BEMP educator to Bosque School biology teacher. Katie’s connection to Bosque goes way back to when she entered Bosque School as a 6th grader. After graduating from Bosque in 2008, she went on to receive two BS degrees from Humboldt State University—one in Biology and another in Wildlife Conservation and Energy. “I stayed connected to Bosque because of the man, the myth, the legend: Dan Shaw,” said Katie. “When I was a prospective student as a tiny 5th grader, his quirky description of the BEMP program is what made me want to go to Bosque School. And since that day, he has been such an incredible mentor to me, helping me chase my passions in life.”
Mr. Shaw hired Katie to do biology work with BEMP every summer while she was in college, which helped her make connections with local biologists, find her voice, and discover her passion for helping others see their own potential. After college, Katie worked at a few marine labs and then moved back to Albuquerque where she began working for BEMP as an educator/biologist, specializing in working with high school students on independent ecological research projects.
Now, she has the opportunity to come full circle and, as a Bosque School teacher, to help students discover and follow their passions and interests. “To see students be excited and proud of their work while making meaningful contributions to the world is the most amazing thing ever,” Katie shared; this is what inspires her to teach.
“The transition from BEMP to a Bosque School teacher has been incredible,” expressed Katie. “I have had so much support from the Science Department in making the switch. It has been great to continue doing my favorite part of my job at BEMP—helping students see their potential and get excited about science!”
Katie admitted that this is an interesting year to begin teaching in a classroom setting, but says that her 10th-grade and Advanced Biology students have been “incredibly generous” in welcoming her into their community. “I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for that,” said Katie. “In this ‘Zoom world’ that we are living in, the simplest forms of human connection have huge impacts for me.” Seeing a student smile after one of her “attempts at a joke” makes her day, not to mention when a student actually chimes in and makes a “punny” biology reference of their own. “The students at Bosque School are like none other, and I am so grateful to be in this community, especially in such an unprecedented year.”