Nana Encinias, Albuquerque Public Schools
Nana Encinias is a native New Mexican. She began her career as a bilingual educator with Albuquerque Public Schools. She taught elementary Special Education and then taught in a dual language setting. After 13 years in the classroom she moved into an elementary assistant principal position and later took a position as a principal. She was the director of bilingual education for Los Lunas School District before returning to Albuquerque Public Schools as an Instructional Manager for the Department of Language and Cultural Equity where she is currently employed. Her passion is bilingual education and ensuring that students receive quality services to achieve bilingualism and bi-literacy.
Outside of work Nana is very involved with pet therapy work and training her dog for agility competition. Nana is currently the president of Southwest Canine Corp of Volunteers.
Victoria Tafoya, Rio Rancho Public Schools
Victoria Tafoya is a native of New Mexico, growing up in Albuquerque’s North Valley. She was a participant in bilingual programs throughout her schooling and was awarded the Title VII scholarship while attending the University of New Mexico where she received her degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Bilingual Education from the University of New Mexico. She taught with the Albuquerque Public School District as well as with the Department of Defense Schools in Yokosuka, Japan. After returning from Japan, she continued her studies at the University of New Mexico and received her Masters Degree in Educational Administration. Victoria has been with the Rio Rancho Public School District since 2004. She was previously the Assistant Principal at Puesta del Sol Elementary School and is currently the Executive Director of Federal, Bilingual, & Native American Programs. As a strong advocate for quality programs supporting linguistically-diverse populations, she maintains a focus on supporting students to become bilingual and biliterate in English and a second language as well as meeting state academic content standards in all subject areas.
Some of Victoria’s current projects in her district include facilitating a group of dedicated parents on the RRPS Native American Parent Advisory Committee. The Indian Education Program was recently named a “District of Distinction”. Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that work. The program recognizes innovative and established projects and initiatives that yield quantifiable benefits and that could be replicated by other districts. RRPS was one of 49 districts nationwide recognized in 2014, the inaugural year of the program. The district’s American Indian Summer Academy program provides an educational, cultural and enriching experience to instill a sense of unity and community among students. That focus has made a substantial difference in graduation rates.
In addition, Victoria is also a certified trainer in Thinking Maps and is supporting the district implementation of the strategies to equip learning communities with the tools necessary to become successful thinkers, problem solvers, decision makers, and ultimately, lifelong learners.
Victoria coordinates Title I, Title II, ESL and Bilingual programs in the district with her focus consistently on ensuring equitable access to quality education.
Victoria’s husband Greg, and two young daughters Solara and Selica, are an important part of her life and a continual source of support. It is her hope for her two daughters, and all students, that they possess the competence and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of our thriving, diverse society. Victoria believes that we should accept nothing less than high-level success from both students and adults, and that as a community, we work together diligently to support one another to accomplish it.
Michael Chávez, Deming Public Schools
Michael Chavez is the Director of Bilingual Education for the Deming Public School and adjunct instructor for ENMU’s TESOL Endorsement Program. An advocate for ensuring students’ language needs are being met, Michael has been instrumental in restructuring Deming’s bilingual programs to follow a dual language model, partnered with ENMU to offer Deming teachers TESOL endorsement classes, and ensured over one-third of Deming’s teachers complete training in sheltered instruction. He has served on several State committees and task force groups including: the WIDA ELD Standards adoption, Title III AMAO Target Committee, the ELL Test Accommodations Committee, ACCESS for ELLs Test Bias Review, and currently participates on the State Bilingual Advisory Committee as co-chair. His passion is focused on educating stakeholders in understanding that additive bilingual education programs are a viable and proven method for school improvement and reform by providing equity, opportunity, and high academic achievement.
Octavio Casillas is currently the Director of La Academia Dolores Huerta. He has earned the following degrees. Bachelors of Science in Education – New Mexico State University – 2002, Master of Public Administration – New Mexico State University – 2006, and Juris Doctor – University of New Mexico School of Law – 2011
Jesus Moncada, Christine Duncan Charter School
Patricia Alaníz, (Taos Municipal Schools)
Patricia A. Alaniz is a 5th Grade Dual Language teacher for the Taos Municipal School District (Enos Garcia Elementary School) and has taught there for the past 9 years. Her educational career began in 1990 as a Head Start teacher in Taos. After 3 years, Patricia, transferred to the UNM-Taos Early Childhood Resource Center where she spent 15 years conducting early childhood trainings for staff from licensed childcare centers and homes. In 2005, she received a Bachelors degree in University Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education and Spanish from UNM-Taos. In 2007, Patricia, earned an Alternative K-8 Licensure from Northern New Mexico University and went on to earn a Masters Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in TESOL/Bilingual ED from New Mexico Highlands University in 2010. Mrs. Alaniz currently holds a New Mexico Level Three-A Instructional Leader K-8 Elementary License with Endorsements in TESOL, Modern and Classical Languages, and Bilingual Education. As well as teaching 5th Grade DL at EGES, Patricia, continues as an Adjunct Faculty Member at UNM-Taos where she teaches an Early Childhood Foundations Course. Recently, she received a Certificate of Recognition for excellence in teaching and illuminating the world of Mathematics and Science and there by nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Mrs. Alaniz, who’s originally from Peñasco, has been married to her husband, Andrew, for 30 years. Together they have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.
Santi Gutiérrez (Clovis Municipal Schools)
Jesse Winter, Albuquerque Public Schools
Jesse Winter is a native born New Mexican. He attended Albuquerque Public Schools and continued his education at TVI and UNM. He graduated with a Bachelor in Comparative Literature and Spanish. He went on to complete a Master in Bilingual Education at UNM. Jesse has taught ESL in a secondary Dual Language program for seven years. Currently he serves as Co-chair to Board of Directors for Dual Language Education of New Mexico. in addition, Jesse is DLeNM’s liaison to the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education. He currently resides in Albuquerque with his two children whom he and his wife are raising bilingually.
Rosalinda Carreón Altamirano, Las Cruces Public Schools
Rosalinda Carreón-Altamirano was raised in Hurley, NM, attended the Cobre Consolidated School District, graduated from WNMU with a degree in Elementary Education & Spanish K-12. She holds endorsements in Bilingual Education, TESOL, Modern, Classical & Native Languages and an Early Childhood License. She began her career at Cobre teaching Kindergarten in 1976, continued as a bilingual Kindergarten teacher from 1981-1992 with the Gadsden Independent School District, joined Las Cruces Public Schools in 1992 as a 6-8 grade ESL/Spanish Language Arts teacher and in 1999 moved on to the district level as a Bilingual Facilitator/Specialist where she currently works for the Dual Language Enrichment Program.
She has served on the NMABE Board from 2002 as president- elect, president and currently as the president of the Southern Consortium. She has helped coordinate the State Spanish Spelling Bee in years past and continues to assist with the event and also helps with National Spanish Spelling Bee. Rosalinda is a member of the NEA-NM Board of Directors, served as chair of the Ethnic Minority Affairs, is the secretary of the Minority Caucus having served as president & treasurer, is on the NEA-Las Cruces Board as President-Elect, Membership Chair, Building AR, Budget & Bylaws Committees, serves as NEA-NM SW Region treasurer, past vice chair, EDPAC member. She received the 2009-10 SW Region Human & Civil Rights Award, the 2010-11 NEA-NM Human & Civil Rights Award & In 2011-12 received the NEA George I. Sánchez Human & Civil Rights Award for activities in Hispanic affairs that significantly impact education & the achievement of equal opportunity for Hispanics. She was the first Hispanic Bilingual Educator from New Mexico to receive this award. Rosalinda also served as New Mexico TESOL president & secretary. She has been a member of the Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Committee since 1995 that recognizes middle school students quarterly, served as chair and a committee member. She received the Chambers inaugural Educator Excellence award in 2007 for her commitment to Bilingual Education and minority students and in 2012 for her continued support of all students at the local, state & national level in all areas of education.
Icela Pelayo, New Mexico Public Education Department
Icela Pelayo received her Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California where she focused on learning, instruction and policy in P-12. She completed her undergraduate studies in Spanish Language and Literature, and Political Economy of Industrial Societies at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies at USC, Icela earned her M.A. in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University while serving as a public school teacher in South Los Angeles, California where she worked with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, including English learners (ELs). As a teacher leader she collaborated with administrators, teachers and parents to foster authentic home-to-school connections and create lasting community partnerships. Her research background includes the intersection of policy with respect to and the instruction of ELs, especially as these relate to teacher quality, culturally and linguistically responsive instruction and educator training and professional development. Icela’s most recent work focused on developing and implementing a model of culturally and linguistically responsive coaching and professional development with bilingual early childhood educators working in a multicultural setting serving English learners (ELs).
Dr. Pelayo is currently Director of the Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau at the New Mexico Public Education Department. She is committed to ensuring New Mexico’s students have access to rigorous, culturally and linguistically responsive education via effective bilingual multicultural education and language instruction education programs (Title III) that increase academic achievement and educational outcomes for all students. Dr. Pelayo serves as Program Director for Academic Language Development for All in New Mexico, a $1.2 million, three-year project supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Academic Language Development for All in New Mexico project will provide statewide teacher and leadership training to address the academic language learning needs of ELs and CLD students.
Teri Frazier, Gallup McKinley County Public Schools
Ms. Teri Fraizer is a native of Laguna Pueblo, and currently resides in Gamerco, New Mexico. She has been employed by Gallup McKinley County Schools for 19 years as a New Mexico History teacher for 13 years at Gallup middle School, and currently works in GMCS administration as a Quality Improvement Specialist and has served in this capacity for 6 years. (serving as a consultant to the GMCS Navajo Language and Culture Program).
Community involvement includes; President of the Laguna Community Foundation, member of the Laguna Education Commission, Laguna Pueblo Convocation, and Laguna Community Learning Exchange@ Laguna Pueblo.
Teri received her Bachelor of Arts Degree( Education) and Master’s Degree( Educational Leadership) [Summa Cum Laude] from Western New Mexico University in Silver City. She has also earned a History Fellowship from American University in Washington D.C.
A published author for National Geographic, “Indian Nations of North America”, Teri enjoys writing, spending time with family (including pets Bigotes, Schtamutz, and Tanner!), native art collecting, and is recognized by the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian)as a world-class potter/painter.
“My passion is educating ALL students while ensuring that American Indian students have opportunities to learn and revitalize their respective cultures through language acquisition”.
Current Employment: She is a doctoral candidate from the University of New Mexico,
Department of Literacy, Language, and Sociocultural Studies. Also, she was awarded the UNM
Digital Scholarly Communication, Hillerman Fellowship to plan and develop a digital critical
literacy curriculum project with Curriculum Advisory committee form by some New Mexico
teachers and outside of formal school system. In addition to doctoral work, she is a graduate
assistant to the Native American Studies at UNM. She works with the Native American Faculty
to administer the Native American Studies’ Master’s degree proposal.
School District or Organization (if applicable): University of New Mexico – Native American
Studies and Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication
Education/Degrees; where earned: Present Ph.D. Candidate, Department of
Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, University of New Mexico
2004 M.A. Education Leadership Policy Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1999 Dual B.A. Southwest Studies and Sociology, Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
Personal info and interests: She is Diné from Chíchiltáh, New Mexico. She enjoys spending time with her father who is an
influential of sustaining their culture and Diné bizáád.
Hopes/interest regarding membership on the NMABE Board: I hope to learn from all
bilingual communities in New Mexico and collaborate on sustaining the tribal heritage languages
in communities and revitalize Indigenous languages in all schools. My efforts to share resources
to all bilingual language educators at all schools including communities of New Mexico and it is
my goal to support your efforts in utilizing your core values as your framework to teach your
student’s to sustain their heritage language.
Additional Info: I am interested in ensuring acts and policies to
protect the Indigenous students and educators to continue to speak their heritage language and
practice their culture in all schools. I am interested in sharing some information that I learned
from local level, to some Indigenous Nations, New Mexico Public Education Department –
Indian Education Division, Nationally – Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposiums &
National Indian Congressional Education Association, and International – Hamilton, New
Zealand about sustaining Indigenous Languages in all schools.