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UNM-LA Community Education Welcomes Mike Katko

on November 17, 2017 - 10:49am

Mike Katko, new program coordinator for Community Education at UNM-LA. Photo by Nancy Coombs/UNM-LA

UNM-LA News:

UNM-Los Alamos announces Mike Katko as its new program coordinator for Community Education. In this position, Katko will arrange the Community Education schedule, including recruiting instructors for a variety of classes.

Katko is an educator and businessman with many years of experience. He has served at all levels of education in New Mexico public schools, from elementary and secondary level teacher to principal and principal mentor. Additionally, Katko has worked as an adjunct professor at the university level, and served in elected chairmanships on two boards with the New Mexico State Government.

After graduating from Los Alamos High School, Katko joined the military, serving as Special Ops in the United States Air Force. He received his Bachelor’s degree from NMSU, then taught for one year before moving back to Los Alamos to open Tony’s Pizzeria. Although he and his wife loved the restaurant business, after more than a decade, Katko said he was drawn back into education. He pursued his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration at the College of Santa Fe, then served as a school administrator in Los Alamos, Espanola, Santa Fe and Pojoaque.

A sports enthusiast, Katko has been announcing football and basketball games for many years. He continues to announce games on KRSN radio, and still announces games in Pojoaque.

After Katko retired from public schools in 2014, he traveled for two years, visiting his birthplace in Spain and walking 100 miles along the Santiago di Campostela (the Way of St. James) to the cathedral, and spending time in Italy.

Katko also continued his lifelong hobby of writing, and published a book of poetry, “Skies and Other Poems.” He recently completed the manuscript for his first novel, “Big Medicine Pretty Water,” and is looking for a publisher.

Back in Los Alamos after his travels, Katko began thinking about education again, and he started looking for a place to use his skills.

“I failed retirement for sure,” he joked.

The Community Education position appeals to him he said because, “UNM-LA is our community resource. I saw a chance to give back to the community.”

“I will be tailoring instruction to lifelong learners,” he said. “I have been out talking to people, asking them what kind of classes they would be interested in. People should feel free to contact me if there is a class they would like to take or teach in the UNM-LA Community Ed program.”

Gabe Baca, UNM-LA program manager for Adult Basic Education and Community Education is Katko’s supervisor. Baca spoke of Katko filling the Community Ed coordinator position saying, “We’re excited to have Mike join our team. He brings a lot of enthusiasm, and because he’s spent much of his life in Los Alamos, he brings great ideas about how UNM-LA can support the community.”