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Posted: February 14, 2020

A Valentine's Day Love Story

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy writes about the gift of relationships that allows employees to give their best.

Del Norte teachers Marco Martinez & Laura Corral

Del Norte teachers Marco Martinez & Laura Corral

You’ve heard me often talk about my affinity for the APS family. During my 40-plus years in this district, I’ve seen over and over again how the gift of relationships allows us to give our best to the future – the students we serve.

In our daily work, we are fortunate to be able to laugh, cry, commiserate, plan, celebrate, and share with people we love. You may be one of the many APS employees lucky enough to work with a BFF, trusted confident, or even the love of your life.

We don’t know how many couples are employed by APS, but do we know there are lots of them out there. Are you among them? This Valentine’s Day I would like you to meet one APS couple who inspires and delivers: Marco Martinez and Laura Corral.

Marco and Laura were recruited nearly 20 years ago from Chihuahua, Mexico, by two assistant principals from Highland High School to help increase the graduation rate for bilingual students. The two educators understood the difficulty Spanish-speaking students sometimes have in understanding complicated math and science formulas, so they started producing and posting STEM videos to supplement classroom lessons. The couple's YouTube channel, Laracos Math, now has more than 800 video tutorials with nearly 30 million views! 

In no time, the pair earned an impressive list of accolades for their craft. Five years ago, Marco was honored at the White House by President Barack Obama for excellence in teaching. Today Marco teaches algebra at  Del Norte High School, where just down the hall, Laura teaches technology. Their passion for public education and each other is unforgettable. 

We asked Marco and Laura about their experience working for nearly two decades together in APS. 

How did you meet?

We were placed in the same classes in tenth grade, which is the freshman year in high school in Mexico. We became best friends. Marco helped Laura with math; Laura helped Marco in chemistry. Six years after our first date, we got married.

Has public education always been a shared passion for you both?

We, as well as our children, received our education and degrees from public education schools. Public schools are a unique opportunity to return the community the benefits we have received and give us the chance to impact the life of the next generations.

What do you love about APS?

APS is a place where everybody is welcome. APS is a reflection of the diversity of New Mexico. We have had the privilege to work with people with a real passion for our kids. Teachers would not be able to do their work without the assistance of nurses, counselors, custodians, bus drivers, maintenance personnel, security, and many more. Our job is just the visible part of a whole system that works 24/7.

Is there anything about your love story that your colleagues would benefit from knowing?

We are here for the other all the time. We have good days and some not so good, but we understand each other because we can relate to our experiences. We encourage each other to keep learning and growing. We are one of many couples working at APS with a lot of faith in our students, and we love that.

Is there something about the heart of APS that people outside our circle don’t get?

APS is part of the family for many people. We have found our best friends at APS. Some of our former students are now our colleagues or parents. In one way or another, APS is the bridge that connects the community. Practically everyone in Albuquerque is a student, an employee, a parent, a relative, or alumni in one of our schools.

Do you have a favorite Valentine's memory?

The best part of Valentine’s Day is that we have many during the year. Of course, the one in the middle of February is great because we see our students, children, and friends celebrating. The most beautiful thing is to enjoy the present moment with someone you love. 

I couldn't agree more! Marco and Laura represent the love that emanates from classrooms, schools, shops, and offices across this district, not just on Valentine's Day, but every day. Happy Valentine’s Day Marco and Laura, and to every one of you who leads with your heart.