Personal Information

Background:West Virginia is where I was born and raised. Graduating from St. Albans High School in 1965 and Marshall University in Huntington, WV, in 1970, I served one tour of duty in the Republic of Viet Nam with the US Army in military intelligence (interesting if not oxymoronic nomenclature) before moving to Las Cruces , New Mexico to continue my education at New Mexico State University, graduating in 1974.     [RIGHT:  The dawn of a new day fades the moon and catches the tips of the Organ Mountains in crisp silhouette a mile higher than and ten miles east of the lights of Las Cruces.  LEFT:  The marvelously unique "Big Jim" hybrid chile, developed at NMSU and grown all over Las Cruces' Mesilla Valley, is shipped to chile connoissuers worldwide.  (Photos from the City of Las Cruces website.)]

The most important event in my life  occurred many years ago:  I realized my need of a personal Savior and accepted Jesus Christ as my sovereign Lord. He now is my Commander in Chief, and I accept orders only from Him. (Want to know for sure how to get to heaven--and enjoy life now to its fullest? This little "Bridge" illustration will help explain that. If you want even more information, read the Gospel of John in your Bible and/or e.mail me with your questions. :-)

Family:My wife and sweetheart, Sharon, (another WV hillbilly) and I have been married since 1976. For over twenty years, she has taught lower elementary grades at Mesilla Valley Christian School. Our three children, all M.V.C.S. graduates,  are son Jeremy, NMSU graduate in Civil Engineering (2000) and Theatre Arts (2003); daughter Charity, Mrs. Beau Pihlaja of El Paso, NMSU graduate in English and Journalism; and Sarah, Mrs. Jason Johnson of Las Cruces, NMSU student in Early Childhood Education. 

Sharon and I are active in the First Evangelical Free Church of Las Cruces; Beau and Charity are active in the Beth El Bible (an Evangelical Free) Church of El Paso and Jason and Sarah are active in the First Assembly of God of Las Cruces and are parents of our only grandchild, Jason Deane "J. D." Johnson, Jr.

My parents are the late Adrian Gwin (1916-2001), for 58 years a newspaper reporter and feature writer for the Charleston Daily Mail, and his widow Dorothy (Keeney) Gwin (born 1915), a retired junior high art teacher in whose 7th grade art class I was first introduced to the Old English hand. (She gave me an A on my calligraphy project but sent me and several others to the office for disrupting class--we all got paddled by the principal!) Mom has lived here in Las Cruces, NM, since November 1999. My parents-in-law are the late Stan Hamrick (1922-2001), retired from Union Carbide, and the late Frances (Droddy) Hamrick (1924-1978).

My lovable, younger (and only) brother Pat lives in St. Albans with Gracie, Maggie, and Bouncer (a better-trained, more respectable, and more lovable canine trio you have not met!).

Career: I've been a teacher since 1974. My first two years teaching were at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Las Cruces, after which I accepted a position with the Las Cruces Public Schools where I've been ever since, having taught junior high school remedial reading; middle school Language Arts at Zia Middle School; high school English composition at the S.T.A.Y. Program through San Andres High School, LCPS's alternative high school; and currently sixth and seventh grade Language Arts at White Sands Middle School. I taught many calligraphy classes through NMSU's Non-traditional Program (now part of the Dona Ana Branch Community College) and the LCPS Teachers' Center for the 15 years from 1976 to 1991, running a small calligraphy studio and supply house, La Mano Elegante, from my home for most of that time.

Genealogical Information:  In May 1999, I came intrigued with preserving the genealogical work of my late uncle, James Bassett Gwin II, and making it available to others.  What you'll find in the next room is evidence that this not only is occurring but that I have been smitten as well by the Bug myself.  So click on over to my Genealogy Page if you're of such a mind!

Some Original Poetry:Much is that of a poetaster, but some of it is better.

    For questions or comments concerning this page, please contact me, John M. Gwin
    Last Updated April 2010.