Humanitarian, educator, and loving mother, Barbara Joan Goodman (“Joan”) passed away at home on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 after a long illness.
Joan was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Monday, May 14,1945 to the late Dr. Milton M. Goodman and Mrs. Harriet Claire Goodman. She also was preceded in death by her sister, Sally Claire, and her niece, Virginia “Ginger” Brown. She is survived by her son, Aaron Goodman of Albuquerque, New Mexico; her grandson, James Brown of North Carolina; and cousins in Alabama.
After graduating from high school, Joan attended the University of New Mexico (“UNM”), completing a double major in Elementary Education and French and receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1967. Upon graduation, she was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in France. In 1968, Joan received a French Government Scholarship to continue those studies. She returned to New Mexico in 1969 and subsequently earned a Master’s degree in French from UNM.
Joan began a varied and distinguished career as an educator in 1970. For the following twenty-six years, she served as a primary school teacher for (sequentially) the Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Los Lunas and Rio Rancho Public Schools. Her teaching was exemplary, combining her passion for subject matter, particularly mathematics, with her boundless creativity and love for children. Her teaching excellence was recognized and rewarded in 1992, when she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics from President Bill Clinton. Other prestigious and consequential awards followed, including, among others: the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) National Elementary Mathematics and Science Teacher of the Year in 1995; an Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in 1996 from the Intel Corporation; and an Award for Excellence in Teaching from Rio Rancho Public Schools in 1996.
Although Joan “retired” from teaching in 1996, she never stopped working as an educator until a few weeks before her death. During the past two decades, she coordinated educational programs for the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI), worked as a field supervisor for UNM’s Pre-Service Teacher Education Program, and most recently served as a part-time instructor and Clinical Supervisor for Elementary Education and Early Childhood with UNM’s College of Education. Joan touched the lives of thousands of students. Dedicated to the success of her students, she taught one of her last classes from her hospital bed in the spring semester of 2021.
Joan also affected the lives of countless others. She was a tireless volunteer for and advocate of myriad organizations seeking to improve the lives of displaced and historically disadvantaged persons. Her devotion to improving educational opportunities for Native American communities was well-known and resulted in a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Indian Higher Education Consortium in 2014. She was the Vice President of the local branch of The American Association of University Women where she developed many informational programs for the branch. Joan’s irrepressible humor, unceasing generosity, deep well of wisdom and consistent warmth were her hallmarks. Joan was a humanitarian.
Joan’s most important role was that of a mother to her son, Aaron and her late niece, Ginger. Joan treasured the time spent with her loved ones, including her beloved pets. She took great pride in their accomplishments, and always provided unwavering, unconditional support.
A memorial service is pending. Immediately following the memorial service, a gathering with refreshments will be held. Please see French Funerals-Cremations' website for any updates. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Aaron Goodman for development of a University of New Mexico student scholarship in Joan's name and honor.
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