Welcome 10/12 Learning Specialist: Deana Puskar


Deana Puskar

Welcome to the 10/12 division Ms. Puskar! Deana Puskar was recently hired to take on the position of the 10/12 division learning specialist. As a learning specialist, she strives to support students in their classes and help them become more functional learners. Although she is a new staff member, Puskar is very familiar with the Academy as a school. She has two sons, both of whom have attended or are attending Albuquerque Academy.
Puskar has been working in education her entire career. She has done a variety of different jobs in education, and she has taught at almost all grade levels. Puskar has a degree in special education, which allows her to teach in any subject area. When asked why she decided to work with high schoolers, Puskar said, “Middle and high schoolers work best with my personality. For me it is great to work with middle and high schoolers and help them realize that it’s not just about the classwork anymore, it’s more personal.” Puskar also touched on a variety of moments that helped her realize her passion for teaching and education. Taking a class in educational psychology, and eventually getting her masters degree in it, was one of those moments. “[Educational psychology] really inspired me because it taught me how kids and people learn. I really loved it,” she said.
Puskar is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but she has lived in a variety of places since then. She first came to New Mexico in 1998, when her husband acquired a job at Sandia National Laboratories. Her family moved away for a few years, but eventually they decided to return. Since then, she has lived in New Mexico. Some things that she enjoys when she is not working are reading, meditation, and hiking. She is also a vegetarian, so she loves to try out new recipes and make them tasty without meat. “First and foremost, I love being a mom,” Puskar also said as she discussed her passions.
Although she has been working at the Academy for a few months, Puskar doesn’t feel as though her job has really started yet because of Covid-19. “I don’t think I’m doing the job I’m really going to do. Right now, I’m just doing what all of us are doing, trying to support others as best we can.” Puskar said that it has been hard trying to start at a new school like this, but everyone has been supportive. “There’s a lot of understanding in this community, and it has been awesome,” Puskar said as she talked about starting at a new school and making mistakes.
Covid-19 has been hard for all of us, and we need to stick together. Puskar is happy to meet with any students who may be having issues with their classes. In addition, Puskar is happy to help faculty come up with better teaching methods and ways to connect with their students. Whether you are a student or staff, Puskar is happy to work with you!