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About Jim Sauer

Garald James Sauer Jr.


PO Box 1083, Magdalena, NM 87825

575.854.2241 (W)


Garald James Sauer, Jr. (Jim) came to Magdalena Elementary School after retiring from the United States Army with an Honorable Discharge in 1995.  He was sponsored for a career in education by DANTES and the Troops to Teachers Program and has been an educator for going on 20 years.

He has conducted numerous in-classroom research projects designed to identify and understand the lack of academic achievement in student learners. These studies have resulted in the investigation of instructional techniques to improve student performance, motivation and interest in school.  It was from these insights that the school implemented high interest education programs that focused student attention on learning about a topic and then reinforcing that understanding by “taking the students there” to collaborate among community educators, park rangers, and scientists.  He has presented workshop sessions on incorporating high interest learning scenarios into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) formatted lessons at the Annual Principals Convention, City of Albuquerque Arts in the Park, Challenger Learning Center, and the historic Tuskegee Airmen Association LLC Events.

Outside the classroom, he developed, and implemented weekend and summer classes.  The RocketKid activity investigates rocket design and flight.  The Tuskegee Airmen Aviation and Space Challenges develop an educational and experiential interests in aeronautical engineering, space technologies and career opportunities.  Summer Academy developed and enhanced social studies with true to life studies into earth history and society.  Mr. Sauer is currently developing a summer program pertaining to archeology.  It will be a STEM-based program that studies prehistory paleoecology and Native American sites around Magdalena giving the participating students an opportunity to identify and map artifacts with the US Forest Service and instructors from Texas A&M.  He is currently developing two robotics activities bent upon improving student focus and in-depth analytical abilities along side teachers Diana Tyler-Sauer and Sandra Saulsberry.  Over the last summer he worked for the American Chemical Society where he developed classroom and laboratory investigations and experiments for 3rd thru 5th grade students. His fifth grade class participates in a Department of Defense STEM education program sponsored by New Mexico School of Mines and the Air Force Research Laboratory.  Students attend these classes on off days when classes have been dismissed for the weekend.    Jim has mentored teachers moving from one level of licensure to another as well as pre-service teachers engaged in student teaching.

In his past professional career Jim served in numerous leadership positions of Infantry, Aviation, and Research Organizations.  In later years he managed programs specific to Misty Picture (an 8 Kt event) and later served as Test Group Director (TGD) for Misers Gold (a 4Kt event).  The experimental series studied the nuclear effects of blast, thermal, and dust loading for the Defense Nuclear Agency.  As TGD for Vahall II, he was directly responsible for the conduct of investigations into blast, ground shock, and fueled air explosives (FAE) studies for the country of Norway.  While assigned to the Directorate of Combat Developments, he performed duties as Subject Matter Expert for the Commander of the Aviation Center and School conducting studies in Directed Energy, Flight into Chemical Environments, Susceptibilities and Vulnerabilities of High Technology Systems operating within intense electronic, nuclear, non-nuclear, chemical and directed energy environments.  He was instrumental in identifying serious short comings in major combat systems and correcting/hardening the same. Trained to fly in special environments, Mr. Sauer conducted the first flight into the devastated area of the Mount Saint Helen’s Eruption the day of the explosive event.  Aside from conducting Search and Rescue Operations, he took more than 750 photographs documenting the devastation.

Mr. Sauer’s dedication has not gone unnoticed by his community.  As an educator, he has received several awards including the Abraham-Goze Merit Award for Enhancing Quality of Life, the New Mexico School Board Association Award for Student Achievement, the Turner N. Whiley Teacher of the Year Award for Space Science Education.  He was awarded the Robert L. Cannon Educators Award and was selected by NRAO to represent an education exchange between San Pedro, Chile and Magdalena in a Sister-Cities Project.  In 2014, he was selected by the Air Force Association as District Teacher of the Year, and later as the organizations Teacher of the Year.

Jim has degrees in Engineering, Biology, Environmental Science and Education with in-depth studies into Geology, Electrical Engineering and Marine Biology.  He specializes in curriculum and instruction. He is a Level III teacher with endorsement in Technology Education.  If the State of New Mexico issued endorsements to elementary licensure in Mathematics and Science, he would qualify.

Outside of professional interests, he travels, dabbles in fishing, builds and flies high power rockets and enjoys life with his wife, Diana.

Other Awards and Achievements

Eagle Scout

Order of Arrow Scout

Arrow of Light Scout

American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award

Various military awards and certifications


Jim Sauer

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