Charles and Linda White worked in the Las Cruces Public Schools for thirteen and fourteen years, respectively, and felt strongly that they wanted to create a scholarship at New Mexico State University to assist young people intending to enter the field of public education. Although neither attended NMSU, their experience in Las Cruces led them to admire the work of the University and the high quality of young teachers who are trained there.
Charles, a native of Albuquerque, received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico, in social studies and educational administration/counseling. He taught in Albuquerque junior highs for four years, and then, at age 26, became the principal of Wilson Junior High in Albuquerque. In 1973 he moved to the APS Central Office as Director of Employee Relations, and he served as Deputy Superintendent for APS in 1977-78 and 1980-90. He left the field of education from 1990-93, serving as Chief of Appeals (administrative law judge) for the Idaho Department of Employee in Boise, but returned to New Mexico in 1993, serving as Associate Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent for the Las Cruces Public Schools, 1993-2005. At the time of his retirement, Charles had worked in New Mexico public education for 42 years, and had served as a consultant in employee relations and educational administration in numerous New Mexico school districts and universities. Among his many community activities has been service on the Board of Advocates for the College of Education at NMSU.
Linda King White, although born in Iowa, regards Boise, Idaho, and “all the West” as her true home. She received her BA in English from Utah State University, MA in English from Stanford University, and Ed. S. in Counselor Education from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She worked a total of 22 years as a school counselor before her retirement from the Las Cruces Public Schools in 2006, with the last nine of those years at Camino Real Middle School. Other positions she held were as Executive Director of the YWCA of Albuquerque and Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Idaho. She served on the Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1985-1990, and on the Board of United Way Southwest New Mexico, 2001-2005.
Both Charles and Linda experienced life-long connections with education, starting well before their actual careers. Charles, as a teenager, worked summers for APS in the book warehouse, and studied for his university classes while staffing a gate at APS athletic events. Although his earliest dream was to pitch for the New York Yankees, following his education on a baseball scholarship at UNM, he will always cherish the feelings of new beginnings and never growing old that the start of every school year brings. Linda remembers belonging to the Future Teachers Association at Boise High School, and the thrill she experienced in inviting and then introducing the Chancellor of Boise Junior College at the FTA banquet. In addition, her mother worked for 25 years as a junior high registrar in Boise, so that Linda and her brother always teased, “Mom never got out of junior high.” Ironically, that’s where Linda spent most of her career in education as well.
Having seen their own four children successfully navigate the challenging seas of higher education, Charles and Linda are pleased to encourage additional young people to aim for careers in public education. Educators may never experience the excitement of playing in Yankee Stadium or receive sprays of flowers following a stunning performance of “Swan Lake,” but the joy that comes from seeing “the lights go on” in a child’s eyes will warm one’s heart forever.
Class Level: Entering FR
Required Minimum GPA: 2.5
Other requirements: Must be grad of a NM public high school enrolled in the CoEd.