Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
By Christina Stock
Today, the last part of celebrating women will feature more examples of local leaders in Roswell talking about the women they admire and who influenced them most.
Carrie-Leigh Cloutier is well-known in the community working as CEO of the nonprofit organization Chaves County CASA. CASA stands for court-appointed special advocates. Each volunteer at CASA is appointed by a judge to advocate for a child’s best interest at court. Additionally, they have specially trained dogs to give emotional support for children who have to appear at court.
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Asked what woman influenced her most in her life, Cloutier wrote in an email, “That’s easy. My mom. She’s smart as heck. She taught me to love books. She taught me to be a passionate advocate — fearless in the fight against injustice. She taught me how to fight the good fight. She sang us awake every morning and created a beautiful home. She loves her grandchildren fiercely and accepts them for who they really are.
Cloutier said that she can’t imagine raising her children and having a career without the support of her husband. “So today, I admire all of those single mothers out there who are exhausted and alone, but creating a beautiful life for their kids.”
Edie Stevens is best-known for her work at the Roswell Community Little Theatre, be it on or off stage or as a director.
Stevens wrote in an email that many women influenced her in her life, such as, “A strong grandmother, a beautiful cousin, an incredibly intelligent friend. To say what woman influenced me most required serious contemplation. I believe the woman who influenced me most in my life was Mrs. Jeanne Moeller, my high school English teacher in a little town in New Hampshire — I believe she retired to Las Cruces, New Mexico. She taught us a great many things about the English language, and never let us ‘get by’ with slipshod work. Because of the lessons she taught me, I was able to excel at writing college papers, and now have my master’s degree. I would have to say that was a huge influence!”
Asked what women she admired most, Stevens said, “I admire strong intelligent women, and I’m pleased to say I know several. There is something to the talent of women who persevere through times that are challenging, only becoming stronger, wiser. For this question, I’ll pick Angela Lansbury, as I believe many know the talented actress. She began her career in the 1940s, and is probably best known in the U.S. for her role as Jessica Fletcher in ‘Murder, She Wrote’. She has won a great many awards, and is a complete master of facial expression. I admire her professionalism promoting the dramatic change in the role of women in movies, stage and television.”
Jane Anglin is probably the most productive citizen of Roswell, having been involved in politics and nonprofit organizations most of her adult life — often in leadership positions. The native New Mexican was born in Deming and moved to Roswell in 1980. Anglin said jokingly that when she was offered a teaching job at Mesa Middle School, they didn’t hire her for her “wonderful teaching skills,” but because she could coach volleyball. Having her master’s degree in biology and her minor in English, Anglin taught throughout her entire career, kids from pre-K through college and various schools in Roswell; the most challenging was being a rotating science teacher, she said. Retired, Anglin still volunteers as a tutor at the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy. Next to teaching, her passion is with community and politics. “When I was in college, I even held a state office with the New Mexico NEA (National Education Association New Mexico), I was state secretary.”
Among the many organizations Anglin volunteers is United Way, La Entrada, the Historial Society for Southeast New Mexico, State Curriculum Organization and Roswell Tourism Council to name a few. Many of the organizations she volunteered at rewarded her with awards for her work.
A role model for many, Anglin looks into her family’s past for guidance. She said, “The person who influenced me or that I admire is my great-grandmother. They lived in a cave dugout in Matamoros, Texas. They came here on a buckboard, not even a covered wagon. They first settled in Atkinson Canyon, which is around Cloudcroft because that’s where they first stopped. It is named for them and still is. Then they went down toward Alamogordo and eventually ended up around Lordsburg where they ranched for many years. I admire my grandmother because of her pioneering spirit. She lived to be transported on a buckboard and see a man walk on the moon.
“Grandma A, (Atkinson) she was 98 years old, was out on the ranch with one of her son-in-laws, she fell and broke her hip. And in those days, a broken hip was a death nail. Otherwise, I am pretty sure she would have lived to be 100. When she came to from the surgery, she asked, ‘Am I 100 yet?’ She really wanted to do that.
Pioneering spirit, fortitude, endurance, fearless but not fierce. My grandmother was quite religious. She didn’t allow anybody or her children to call bulls “bulls,” they had to be called taurus because bull was just too vulgar,” Anglin said and laughed.
Asked about which women she admires most today, she said, “There are so many civic-minded women in this community. I am at awe of many of them, I don’t always agree with some of them. And you know one of the ones that I think of is Juliana Halvorson. She is everywhere, she doesn’t want the limelight, she is brilliant, both in systems mechanism and in her technological skills. Just amazing. And Amy (McVay Tellez, executive director of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico) — she is amazing, she is just hardworking, she has great ideas and she has a heart of gold.”
Anglin has advice for the generation growing up today: “Get involved. It doesn’t have to be on a big scale, just try different things so you can know what your passion is, ‘cause if you set your sight on one thing and it doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged, try different things. Just get out there, get involved in some form.”
Amy McVay Tellez
Amy McVay Tellez was born and raised in Roswell. She works for the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico as executive director. McVay Tellez said that most of all she admired her late mother. “She always signed her whole name, Elizabeth Ann McVay Fry. She had just recently married.” Her mother had passed on in October 2020.
“My mother lived by the foundation that I live in and that’s family, faith and community. I am a proud testament that she gave most of her life back. She never thought of herself, but not only that, she was the hardest working woman I know. I’ve looked up to her my whole life. I had the best upbringing I could ever ask for. But if I kept it at my house, we wouldn’t be helping, meaning to understand that others don’t have it alike and so. I never realized it until she passed. That’s why she was so involved in family, faith and community. We weren’t just keeping our little extraordinary home going, we went out to the community and helped others. Whether it’s in church, us taking people home, or coaching and helping other people. That was our way of giving back to others. I’ve always admired leadership that doesn’t need volume at home. She created a controlled environment with a high expectation and we were laughing the whole time and complied with her expectation.”
Asked what women influenced her most, McVay Tellez said, “I always take my time to embrace our local treasures: Ordinary women doing extraordinary things. I started working when I was 16. My first boss was Loretta Walker. Today, she is still one of my very best friends. Loretta Walker gave me life lessons I use today. It was always faith first, and there is nothing you can’t do if you work your tail off. Something she taught me was the value of time — in time you can do anything. Time is of essence. It goes back to another boss, Judy Nine, which was one of my mom’s best friends. I did have a high regard to the Kay Rogers of the world and the Betty Kings, local women that have put their mind to something and are still successful today. The other thing, it goes back to my form of worship, especially today, my pastor Rick Hale’s wife said, behind every man is that woman who works hard. And that’s what my mom did, too.”
McVay Tellez said she appreciates and respects today’s women and what got them to have success. “I look up to the women most that didn’t keep it in, but shared it; shared what they learned; they shared their blessings with the community, too. I lived here all of my life. I probably could give you 20, 30 names, but just women that have lived like I have been raised, working hard, there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it.”