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Posted April 29, 2016

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Joe Montoya, Petroglyph Elementary

Coach Montoya is blowing his final whistle and retiring after 38 years of coaching and physical education in New Mexico’s public schools! Joe began his career in Cuba, New Mexico in 1978 where he taught health and coached every sport offered to students. He later became the athletic director for the Cuba Public School district for five years. In 1984, Joe and his family made the move to Albuquerque where he was the varsity boys track coach, the assistant football coach and health teacher at Rio Grande High School. Marie Hughes and Lavaland Elementary hired Coach Montoya to join their physical education programs in 1988. Soon after, Coach worked at the “Satellite” school on the Westside which led him to help open Petroglyph Elementary in 1992. Joe is the last remaining original staff member who opened Petroglyph Elementary 24 years ago.

The students and staff at all these schools have been fortunate to have had Joe as a colleague, mentor and role model of hard work and dedication.  A former student recently relayed a story about how Coach Montoya’s belief in a strong work ethic inspired him to get through law school, attributing his success to Joe’s leadership.

Coach also has a strong conviction that every physical education program should be developmental, helping kids of all levels and experiences learn lifelong skills. He has certainly achieved this throughout the years and has helped transform physical education in Albuquerque Public Schools.

Although sweat pants, t-shirts and tennis shoes were all that were required for Coach Montoya to get ready for work every day, he also brought a bright smile, kind word and sense of dedication that made him one of the best P.E. coaches in the district.  He believed every kid could succeed and worked hard to help even the couch potatoes find an appreciation for movement, skills and team play.

Joe is looking forward hitting the golf courses and catching a few dozen fish in his retirement. He also will be working on restoring his ‘66 Ford pickup truck. We wish him many happy days ahead with this wife and three grown kids.

Please help us send Joe off to a happy retirement by celebrating his years of service on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 2:15-3:30 p.m. in the Petroglyph Elementary School cafeteria.