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Inspiring educator serves Roswell’s youth


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When her father was stationed at Walker Air Force Base, Terri Garvey and her family moved from their home in Kansas and began their journey in Roswell.

Terri Garvey (Submitted Photo)

Graduating from Roswell High School, Terri attained her bachelor’s in Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University.

Pursuing her master’s in the same field of study, with a focus on marketing, Terri states: “Life-long learning is an important part of my life. I have earned over 78 graduate credits above my MBA. I am a Level III, Master Teacher with the State of New Mexico, and a nationally board certified teacher since 2010.”

Marrying the late Robert (Bob) Garvey, a Roswell native and graduate of Goddard, Terri raised their son, B.J., and watched as he, too, attended Roswell High and went on to success working for a defense contractor in Missouri.

Being active in youth activities was also a passion: “My parents, Ken and Betty Gross, were always active with organizations. Members of the Noon Optimist Club, supporting the softball league that my sister, Cindy, and I were on, they set the example for my sisters and I to follow by being very involved with every activity their four daughters participated in; from softball, soccer, and band to the Soap Box Derby.” (Where, at 11, Terri was the first girl to enter the contest, won, and went on to the national derby held in Ohio.)

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Inspired by her parents, Terri said: “My dad was a carpenter, who taught us hands-on life skills, like how to build and repair furniture, how to tune up our car, etc.; while my mom taught us life skills, such as cooking and serving our community. She was a leader, a great example, and our greatest fan.

“Anything we needed, they supported. They also instilled in us a strong love of family and a concern for others.”

Because of that background, it’s no wonder she followed in her parents’ footsteps. The list of accomplishments, between school activities and church, is a long one.

“We started a children’s church with my mom, helped bring prayer partnership between adults and children, a military recognition to remember those currently serving our country, supporting fundraisers, such as Walk for Hope, and more.”

Her current role also brings her joy. Although not a member of the military, Terri has been teaching at New Mexico Military Institute since 1989. It was a year prior, while working on her MBA, that Bill Wyles (NMMI’s Director of Development at the time) asked her what she was going to do with that hard-earned MBA. She said, for the first time, “I want to teach.”

Terri said: “I worked with Terry Moore and Lester Smith at the beginning, who were my mentors, and I feel very blessed that I made the decision to work there.”

Terri is a true fan of the Institute. “NMMI is an amazing school and a great place to work,” she said. “I am blessed every day to work with fabulous cadets from all over the world — especially when teaching Economics, as this enhances our discussions and I always learn something new from the cadets. In addition to the students, I am also fortunate to work with an amazing group of faculty and staff. Many are just like family.”

In Terri’s role, she’s able to share her passion for business and give her cadets an opportunity to take her knowledge and experiences and apply them to further their understanding of the world. “I would say the greatest ‘gift’ NMMI has brought me is a sense of service. I am able to give back to a younger generation, provide for my family, and be a contributing member of the city of Roswell.”

Her civic activities include serving as 1st vice president and past president of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, promoting professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education, headquartered in Roswell; as well as serving statewide as chair of the organization’s Technology Committee and as state webmaster. Terri also supports the goals of Schools for Africa, bringing school supplies to children in need, and supports the Assurance Home.

But her work doesn’t end there. Serving as director and upcoming president of Sunrise Optimist Club, Terri understands their mission to provide hope and positive vision in order to bring out the best in youth and the community.

For the past 20 years, Terri has served and supported the students of New Mexico through the New Mexico Collegiate Business Articulation Consortium; and is a charter member of Foundations for Teaching Economics.

Terri is also a member of Grace Community Church, supporting Bible study, ‘Life Changer’ classes, and more. Not only does her strong faith aid her each day, but Terri also states that, “my life experiences have helped me see the value in celebrating every day and making the most of every moment in life.”

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Amy Lignor Special to the Daily Record