About Us

Choose Love Ambassadors

New Mexico

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Fun Facts

  • I am a musician/singer/songwriter
  • I have an album of kids’ songs called “Cat’s Pajamas”
  • Previously worked as a radio Disc Jockey
  • Serve on the Leadership Team of the California Afterschool Network
  • Coached Little League for 11 years, served as league president for 4 years
  • I am adopted
  • Got my first ‘teaching job’ when I was a junior in high school, teaching 5th grade computer programming
  • I have two pet cats: Chairman Meow and Zoe
  • Favorite food is New Mexico Green Chile
  • Favorite color is purple
  • Loves all types of music and favorite artists are Rick Springfield and the Grateful Dead
  • My hobbies include photography, cooking, and playing poker

Rick Rood…

Has been on the front lines of Out-of-School-Time for 30 years, working directly with children and front-line staff.  With degrees in Education, Afterschool Care, and Applied Mathematics, Rick is a student of the thought leader movement, distilling lessons from master teachers like Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, and Brendon Burchard – giving them practical application to education professionals.

In addition to running Out-of-School-Time Centers, Rick has also taught kids’ music, computer programming, and youth leadership workshops.  Rick is a contributor to “Youth Today!” and is the author of “Games Teachers Play Before the Bell Rings”.  Rick is a Certified High Performance CoachTM and works privately and in groups with education professionals to help them achieve higher levels of performance in their work and personal lives.

Rick is the driving force behind Transforming Teachers, Transforming Education, an organization rooted in the Positive Youth Development philosophy dedicated to training and inspiring youth-serving professionals.  Through Transforming Teachers, Rick has delivered workshops and keynotes to thousands of education professionals, helping teachers transform their “inner game” of teaching to better serve youth, children, and families.

Rick currently serves youth as a Mathematics Teacher at MAS Charter School in Albuquerque, NM, where he lives with his wife and kids.

Tennise Lucas…

Has been an educator for 20 years, primarily in elementary school. She received an MEd from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her New Mexico Teacher Certification is from ENMU, administrative training through the National Institute of Student Leadership, and administrative certification through ENMU.

Tennise came out of the classroom last year and stepped into more administrative roles. Besides teaching, she has been involved in leadership roles in her former school, district, and state. She was fortunate to begin educational policy work five years ago, first as a Secretary Teacher Advisory member and Ambassador with the State of NM Public Education Department under the leadership of former Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski. Tennise then joined Teach Plus NM to continue the policy work under the leadership of Hope Morales. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the organization.

It was through this policy work that Tennise started to explore the need for social emotional teaching at school as an actual curriculum. Then, she moved to Albuquerque and is currently working at Mission Achievement and Success Charter School as the High School Dean of Students and Attendance Coach where the curriculum has been used since before she began.

“I continue my own journey as I study the teachings of those like Jack Canfield, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Edith Eger, and others. My goal is to continue to help shape education in NM and help foster this movement of Choosing Love.”

Fun Facts

  • I am a certified tap dance instructor.
  • I taught Irish dance and tap dance for over 20 years in Roswell, NM.
  • I have worked as many things before my educational career, including as an editor-writer for a marketing company, including “Incident” a magazine with the International UFO Museum.
  • Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Senior Fellow
  • Favorite food is New Mexican
  • Favorite colors are turquoise and red
  • I have collected Unicorns since I was 5 years old.
  • I am from a ranching family, I can ride horses, brand cattle, fix fences and dig post holes.
  • I love ALL types of music.
  • I love animals, however, I do not have any at this time.

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