NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Golden Apple Award recipient David Ubinger has been teaching for almost two decades. He is currently at Chaparral High School in the Gadsen School District near El Paso.

Ubinger was studying civil engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso when his life took a radical turn. He was working with high school students in a summer program and heard many of them say they’ve never been good at math. This was a mentality he rejected. “Math’s not genetic. Anybody has the ability and can learn math,” said Ubinger. “I wanted to be part of that change and help students out. Show them they have the ability.”

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Ubinger changed his major and earned a scholarship from NASA to teach math. “I want to be that person that sparks something for a student that says ‘I never considered the possibility of going into math or science or health or engineering field’.”

Over the years he has done just that. “I have a student that got her master’s from UNM in mechanical engineering and went on to NASA,” said Ubinger.

These days he teaches the hard science of math, with a minor in dreaming. Just don’t talk to him about the Golden Apple Award as an individual award. During his career, Ubinger went on to get his master’s in education from the New Mexico State University.