Our Staff

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JULIA BERGKAMP

Master of Social Work Practicum Student

Julia has been dedicated to supporting the people of New Mexico for over 10 years in both direct and managerial positions. She arrived in Taos, New Mexico, with a Bachelor of Social Work from the State University of New York at New Paltz and is currently a practicum student with Future Focused, where she is working toward her Master of Social Work Degree  through New Mexico State University. 

Julia practices from the facilitating attuned interactions model (FAN), using a reflective approach. She remains consistently true to her compassionate and authentic way of being. Her strength is in building trusting and safe relationships by meeting individuals where they are, practicing humility, and honoring their lived experiences.

CURRENT FOCUS

Youth Mental Health X3 NeXt Coach
Julia is living a parallel process and learning alongside the X3 NeXt interns who are interested in the mental health field. She is providing coaching and Community of Practice opportunities to the interns so that they can share, learn, and mobilize by harnessing and applying their power.

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ALAYNA BOWMAN

Assistant Director of Social Emotional Learning & X3 Internship Support

As the Assistant Director of Social Emotional Learning & Internship Support, Alayna’s role is to support the X3 interns and staff as well as our partner mentors and schools. She collaborates with X3 staff and partners to cocreate and implement the curriculum and preparatory experiences for the standard, virtual, and group internships. Alayna further provides training and professional development opportunities for X3 coaches to support their coaching growth in conjunction with the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Well-being. 

Before joining Future Focused Education, Alayna worked with youth in the International District in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, and Belen.  She grew up in the International District and attended the University of New Mexico. Alayna has a passion for positive youth development. She hopes to create opportunities that prepare youth for their lives post-graduation. She loves spending time with her family, photographing people and places, and eating new foods with her two small children.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 team support and program development
Alayna facilitates the development  of systems and practices to ensure that X3 interns are supported and able to successfully complete their internship experiences. However, she also bridges them into relationships that can help them continue to meet their educational and career goals.

She provides differentiated levels of support and connection to family, school, and community-based structures collaboratively with the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Well-being.

Mentor, school, and X3 intern and coach support
Alayna cultivates positive relationships with all partners to ensure strong lines of communication and support are offered. At the same time, she guides X3 coaches to engage in relationship-centered social and emotional learning practices. Alayna cocreates and co-facilitates training with the X3 team and interns, as well as our partner mentors and schools. She additionally supports students who are currently matched at on-site internships.

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Lucia Duncan

FFE & CIS Alumni and Internship Director

As the Alumni and Internship Director for X3 NeXt, Lucia is collaborating with Communities In Schools of New Mexico to develop transition supports and work-based learning opportunities for youth in Santa Fe. 

Lucia has taught and mentored youth interns in a variety of settings, including New Mexico Highlands University. Prior to moving to New Mexico, Lucia was Manager of ZUMIX’s youth and community radio station in East Boston, where she collaborated with schools and community organizations. Lucia is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, has an MFA in film production, and loves to dance.

CURRENT FOCUS

CIS Alumni Program

Lucia is designing an Alumni Program with Communities In Schools of NM to create a continuum of support for youth transitioning out of high school.

X3 NeXt

Lucia is building out the employer base and recruiting youth participants for work based learning opportunities in Santa Fe.

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Lisa Harmon-Martínez

Learning By Doing Director

Lisa, who joined Future Focused Education as our Learning by Doing Director, has 13 years of experience as a high school educator. During that time, Lisa served in many roles, including as the co-coordinator of the bilingual program and a teacher–leader facilitator. Lisa is passionate about supporting teachers and conducting holistic assessments that demonstrate the extent of  students’ knowledge  and abilities while celebrating their complex linguistic and cultural wealth. 

She is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico. Her dissertation focuses on the assessments used to award seals of bilingualism and biliteracy around the country and in New Mexico and explores whether they are equitable and intended to value the identity and linguistic range of emerging bilinguals.

CURRENT FOCUS

Graduate profiles and capstones in New Mexico
Lisa and the Capstone Initiative Team work directly with the Public Education Department, schools, and districts, by offering support and resources as they develop or refine graduate profiles and capstones as a way to reimagine teaching, learning, and assessment in the state. This initiative is offered as a solution to the inequities pointed out in the Yazzie/Martinez ruling, as well as a means to re-engage students across the state.

To grow the Capstone Initiative, Lisa and the team offer design sessions and professional development and facilitate a number of collaborative learning groups, which include New Mexican students and educators, as well as school and district leaders.

X3 NeXt, post-secondary internships, and career pathways
Lisa and the X3 NeXt team are exploring youth apprenticeship in New Mexico by working with schools, employers, and post-secondary partners to develop meaningful career pathways that can begin as early as the 10th grade and continue after high school graduation.

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Jaime Hernandez

Assistant Director of Workforce Learning

Jaime Hernandez is a native New Mexican raised in Belen and Albuquerque’s South Valley. The proud son of Mexican immigrants, he is a first generation college graduate, holding a degree in Communications and Public Relations from Eastern New Mexico University. In his role as Assistant Director of Workforce Learning, Jaime collaborates with all X3 initiatives to expand the programmatic reach across the state.

Jaime comes to Future Focused after working as Program Manager of Work-based Learning at the Department of Workforce Solutions and the Public Education Department. Working with both business and education has shown him the importance of giving every young person the opportunity to gain employability skills to shape their career. Jaime’s goal is to help close equality gaps, break cycles and barriers, reduce brain drain, and show how talented New Mexicans truly are. 

Jaime played college and semi-professional soccer, he is now a youth soccer coach, husband, and father of three.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 Internships and X3 NeXt
Jaime works on recruiting and expanding employer partnerships across the state to open up new and diverse internship opportunities
Jaime also coaches and mentors X3 interns  

Work-based Learning
Jaime focuses on strengthening collaborative partnerships with post-secondary institutions, cities, industry associations, and other key partners to bolster the work-based learning opportunities in the state

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MISTIE GALLEGOS

Director of Operations

Mistie has been part of the Future Focused team since 2015. As the director of operations, Mistie manages the systems and processes that the organization uses to ensure that our work is of high quality and our employees are cared for. A background in engineering informs Mistie’s approach to solving problems and building systems.   

Mistie was born and raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque and studied at New Mexico State University. She interned and then worked at Intel for 13 years before moving to Future Focused Education. Knowing firsthand the power of internships to grow skills and professional networks, she has helped lead X3 and X3 NeXt program development to ensure that interns and employers have meaningful and supported experiences. Mistie’s family is her greatest joy, so when not at work, you can often find her attending her children’s sporting events or crafting for team functions.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 and X3 NeXt operations
Mistie established and now oversees comprehensive onboarding processes, employer contracts, stipend awards, internal communication, and other logistics for the X3 and NeXt programs, balancing an entrepreneurial mindset with quality standards and systems. 

Supporting organizational growth and expansion
Mistie dedicates herself to streamlining and documenting processes and practices as Future Focused extends our work to new geographies in and out of New Mexico. Mistie is helping the organization continue to scale our programs while prioritizing support for the unique needs of young people.

Finance management
Mistie manages the organization’s finances and partners with the executive director to support Future Focused’s financial health and growth. This includes grant management and reporting while also building systems to accommodate the organization’s growing portfolio of fee-for-service projects. 

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Nicolette Garcia

X3 Next Intern Coordinator

Nicolette comes to Future Focused Education with a background in social work. Motivated by her own lived experience navigating post-secondary education and career pathways, she strongly believes in the importance of supportive professional relationships and opportunities for non-traditional students and young people.

In collaboration with Future Focused staff, she works to promote the growth and success of the X3 program by providing direct social, emotional, and life skill support as well as logistical coordination for X3 interns. She leads the buildout of the X3 NeXt program, which provides career exploration and post-secondary navigation and expands access to high-quality internship and apprenticeship opportunities. 

She has a deep respect for the diverse multicultural populations of New Mexico and the Southwest and hopes to enhance the capacity of people to address their own individual and community needs. In the future, she plans to continue her education at the post-graduate level to best work with and serve her community.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 NeXt
Nicolette works with X3 NeXt to prepare young adults to step into jobs in key New Mexico industries by combining college coursework, professional mentorship, and wrap-around support for life’s challenges.

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DEBORAH GOOD

Director of Organizational Learning and Research

For more than a decade, Deborah has explored how community-based and participatory research and evaluation can inform program, policy, and practice in a variety of settings. She was born and raised in Washington, District of Columbia, and studied social work at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she earned her master’s degree in social work (MSW) in 2009 with a specialization in research, community, and policy. Prior to joining the staff of Future Focused Education, Deborah was Director of Data and Research for Mission: Graduate at the United Way of Central New Mexico, where she led the collaborative development of the Central New Mexico Graduate Profile, an exemplar statewide. 

At Future Focused, Deborah not only leads the organization’s internal evaluation and continuous improvement, but also supports organizational learning and growth through group facilitation and strategic thought partnerships on all initiatives. She has lived in New Mexico for eight years and currently telecommutes from Corvallis, Oregon, but makes regular trips to New Mexico for work engagements and a healthy dose of green chili.

CURRENT FOCUS

Program evaluation at Future Focused Education
Deborah collaborates with staff and partners to collect meaningful data on all Future Focused initiatives and programs to produce a rich body of data that can help improve and grow programs, educate policymakers, and share promising practices and models.

Program evaluation for others
Deborah provides program evaluation services to schools, districts, and nonprofits that wish to collect meaningful data for improvement and to tell their story. Future Focused draws on diverse approaches to evaluation, including Results Based AccountabilityTM, participatory action research, data equity, and culturally responsive evaluation.

New definitions of school success
Deborah helps schools, districts, and charter school authorities engage their communities to redefine school and student success. She has further facilitated the development of community-informed graduate profiles and performance frameworks.

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GRACE GRANILLO

Organizational Learning Manager

Grace comes to Future Focused Education with nonprofit administrative experience informed by her education and interest in organizational change and development. She received her Bachelor in Psychology and Communications and completed her Master in Public Administration with a minor in Community & Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico. Her role cuts across Future Focused’s initiatives and includes internal evaluations, data management, organizational learning and continuous improvement, the dissemination of learning, and data and evaluation projects for external clients. She endeavors to employ diverse methods, including participatory, collaborative, culturally responsive, and non-Western approaches, in the design of Future Focused project and program evaluations. Grace is passionate about elevating the experience and expertise of young people in New Mexico to improve their educational systems and outcomes.

She is a lifetime resident of Albuquerque and lives in the North Valley with her fiancé, niece, and fur babies. Her happy places include running through the Bosque and being in the community garden with her hands in the dirt.

CURRENT FOCUS:

Capstone experiences in New Mexico
Grace co-facilitates a statewide Youth Participatory Action Research internship, which recruits and pays youth to conduct research on graduation profiles and capstone projects through a lens of liberation and community empowerment.

Organization-wide systems development
Grace assists with the development and refinement of processes and tools that allow Future Focused to work more effectively as a learning organization. 

Program evaluation for Future Focused and others
Grace collaborates with programmatic teams to develop data plans and evaluation parameters to collect data to improve and grow Future Focused and other programs, report to funders and policymakers, and share stories of learning.

 

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ITZEL GUILLEN

X3 INTERN COACH

Itzel Guillen works with the Future Focused X3 internship team to coach and mentor students, build company relationships, and bolster recruitment.

Itzel is a first generation college graduate. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico with double minors in Chemistry and Human Medicine Human Values. Before joining the Future Focused Education team, she worked as a program assistant for EOC at The University of New Mexico. Her favorite hobbies are spending time outdoors, hiking, and reading.

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Patricia Jiménez-Latham, Ed.D.

Assistant Director of Capstone Communications and Outreach

Patricia comes to Future Focused Education with 38 years of experience in K-20 education settings and the non-profit sector. Patricia’s years of experience have centered on ensuring equity and access to high quality education experiences for diverse student populations and the educators who welcome them into their classrooms.

Patricia was the former director of the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University where she served in various roles for over 18 years. She continues to be part of the New Mexico Highlands School of Education family as an Alternative Certification Teaching Program Field Supervisor. Most recently, Patricia served as project manager for Transform Education New Mexico, a grassroots non-profit organization created by advocates across the state to ensure implementation of the landmark lawsuit, Martinez/Yazzie vs. the State of New Mexico (2018).

CURRENT FOCUS

Capstone Program Support and Outreach
Patricia supports New Mexico school districts and the New Mexico Public Education Department to develop graduate profiles and capstones. This includes co-facilitating Communities of Practice and engaging in community outreach to offer new opportunities to grow programs across the state.

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Derek Kuit

Operations Manager

Derek was born in California and raised in Arizona and New Mexico. A Sandia High School graduate and first-generation college student, Derek went to the University of New Mexico as a non-traditional student and earned a double major bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology and was a Ronald E. McNair scholar. He also holds a master’s degree in educational psychology with a minor in educational leadership. 

Derek comes from the world of education research and program evaluation. This background will help as he grows his role into project and operations management.

CURRENT FOCUS

Developing and growing the X3 program’s operational processes and procedures
Derek is supporting the growth of the X3 Internship program by developing processes to streamline the operations of X3 initiatives as they expand. Derek also works behind the scenes to ensure X3 interns submit the required paperwork and receive their stipends.

Growing the use and value of the WorkReady Certificate
Derek is helping to build up the value of the WorkReady Certificate among interns and employers. The WorkReady Certificate offers X3 interns the opportunity to show employers the range of skills they have developed throughout their internship experiences and can be included on a resume.

Providing project management for Fee-for-Service projects
Derek supports new Fee-for-Service projects in the role of project manager.

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SOFIA MARRUFO

Master of Social Work Intern & X3 Internship Coach

Sofía is a native New Mexican and proud first-generation Mexican American originally from Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque. A St. Pius alumni, she holds two bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and psychology from the University of New Mexico. Her interest in social justice led her to pursue a career in social work, and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree at New Mexico State University. 

Prior to her work at Future Focused, Sofia served as Director of Transitional Living and Respite Services at Hogares Inc. and is currently employed at the Millich Law Firm, where she assists in litigation pertaining to estate law and elder abuse.

Sofía is a published poet and has taught traditional Mexican ballet folklorico for over 20 years. She is further continuing with the 317-year-old family tradition of making adobes and designing vigas. She enjoys spending time with her fiancé, traveling, and writing bilingual short stories for children.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 Internship coach support
Sofia currently works as a support for Future Focused Education’s X3 coaches and interns participating in the group internship at Highland High School. She brings her social work background and adolescent mental health experience to collaborate and create thoughtful, work-based learning group activities.

Culturally-sensitive, trauma-informed care
Sofia’s primary focus as she enters the social work profession is to provide safe therapeutic spaces and interventions for monolingual students by integrating family and cultural values, beliefs, and practices, while acknowledging the impact and devastating effects of trauma. Her goals also include policy reform surrounding the hardships and injustices faced by undocumented immigrants. 

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MIKE MAY

Director for Workforce Learning

Mike has worked in education since 1996. He has held teaching and school leadership positions domestically and internationally in a variety of settings, including laboratory, charter, public, and private schools. 

At Future Focused, Mike leads the X3 Internship team and has created ecosystems in Albuquerque and around the state through which marginalized local youth and young adults are supported via access to pathways to industry exposure, training, and employment. Mike grew up in a rural community. Because his own path was shaped by work-based learning (WBL) experiences in politics, communications, and education policy, Mike believes in the transformative power of mentorship through accessible, supported, and compensated WBL experiences. He fights to offer that same access to others and creates the relationships and systems that contribute to more prosperous communities. Mike has lived and worked internationally in Honduras, Switzerland, and Germany and enjoys travel, languages, and spending time hiking, biking, skiing, and paddling in the Land of Enchantment’s beautiful outdoors.

CURRENT FOCUS

X3 Internship
Mike leads Future Focused’s X3 Internship program, which engages young people aged 16–24 years. To date, the program has placed over 1,000 interns and paid out close to $1 million to youth. Mike has developed expertise in recruiting employers to invest in young talent in their communities and in supporting schools to engage with employers effectively.

Extending the Work-based Learning runway
Upon graduation, many students experience a cliff effect as their support and mentorship structures disappear. The best laid future plans frequently go off track in the face of economic realities. Mike is working with local employers, K-12, and post-secondary institutions to create a local WBL landscape that supports a more intentional transition out of high school toward training and higher-wage career pathways. 

Future Focused Instituto del Puente and statewide Community of Practice
Future Focused Instituto del Puente is working to scale work-based learning across New Mexico. To support this work, Mike facilitates a statewide Community of Practice in partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department to support educators and employers from around New Mexico to refine, design, and expand WBL opportunities in their communities.

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TONY MONFILETTO

Executive Director

Tony’s family has a long history in New Mexico, and his Chicano heritage informs his vision. Tony has worked in education since 1990. Over the years, he has been a leader in establishing the context for a network of schools in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a broader vision for schools to become catalysts for the creation of healthier and more prosperous communities.

In 2008, Tony began working on ACE Leadership High School, the first in a network of the next generation of career-focused schools that are designed to serve students who are off track with respect to graduation or are no longer attending school. He has a vision to provide “the best education for the students who need it the most” throughout New Mexico.

He is focused on working with the directors at Future Focused to help build their portfolios of work. All his work focuses on the inherent value of young people and their lived experience, which frames his approach to the most complex and seemingly intractable problems we face.

CURRENT FOCUS

Future Focused Instituto del Puente
Tony is working with Mike May to launch Future Focused Instituto del Puente. The Instituto is a component part of Future Focused Education with a specific mission to scale work-based learning across New Mexico. Together, they are creating the policy vision for the New Mexico Legislature and Public Education Department and the right conditions in the school districts of our state.

School transformation
Tony is working with Lisa Harmon-Martinez to implement graduate capstones and graduate profiles across the state of New Mexico. Together, they are implementing a “vertical” strategy education transformation. This includes statewide Communities of Practice that impact all levels of public education, teachers, young people, and district leaders. 

School and community reciprocity
Tony and Moneka Stevens are collaborating to create the Youth Civic Infrastructure Fund as a way to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations in New Mexico so that they can become vital partners with schools. 

Social and emotional learning and well-being
Tony is helping Ali Moore realize her vision of social and emotional learning as the pathway to learning and lifelong well-being. The success of the X3 Internships and the future of the Capstone Initiative are rooted in care and concern for young people, and the record numbers of disengaged and alienated young people are their focus going forward.

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ALI MOORE

Director of Social-Emotional Learning and Well-being

Ali focuses on the advancement of culturally- and linguistically-responsive social emotional learning and support practices. This work enhances the positive development of youth, and the professional growth of adults working with youth, to transform community and workplace settings. Ali is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) from New Mexico with over 15 years of social work experience domestically and internationally.

Her work in New Mexico has included: in-home services to youth and families, building case management services within School Based Health Centers, training youth peer support workers, and opening a peer-support drop-in center for transition-age young people who have experienced disconnection from school, work, family, and/or community. Ali is part of the leadership team with SEL4NM, and a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. 

Ali is most proud of her role as a partner and a mama to five children who keep her humble, honest, and practiced in her own SEL and wellness strategies so that she can show up as her best self for those who need her the most.

 CURRENT FOCUS

SEL Capacity Building
Ali collaboratively advances trauma-responsive SEL practices that can be adapted to various cultural and environmental contexts to improve mental wellness and wellbeing.

X3 Coaching Team
Ali supports the growth of the X3 coaching team, which serves as the primary support for interns and mentors. Her coaching is grounded in SEL and ongoing reflective practice, so that support and learning is modeled alongside interns and in collaboration with schools, family, and community partners.

Multigenerational Impact: Creating Opportunities for Young Parents
In partnership with X3 Young Parent Alumni and statewide community partners, Ali is creating family-centered strategies to engage young parents in paid work-based learning opportunities to bridge them into college and career pathways for economically viable futures for themselves and their children.

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William Mutidjo

Project and Data Systems Manager

William is proud of his diverse personal and professional background. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, he moved to the United States for college to study Automotive Technology at Portland Community College. After working for dealerships, commercial fleets, and local government William’s desire to work professionally on community-based organizations and nonprofits led him back to school for a career change.

After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Psychology he served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally, working at a nonprofit affordable housing developer. William most recently worked in administration at a local preschool and the University of New Mexico. William is passionate about effectively serving his community and is committed to supporting work that promotes positive social change.

CURRENT FOCUS

Project and data systems
William oversees SalesForce management and support to all team members and levels of programs within Future Focused Education.

Technical support
William provides technical support and assistance to schools and partners who utilize Salesforce software.

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MONEKA STEVENS

Director of Reciprocal Partnerships

Moneka is a community organizer. For the past 20 years, Moneka has worked in community development and curriculum design focused on positive youth development and youth leadership. At Future Focused, she serves as the community engagement director and  supports  schools in shifting to community-centered and community-driven practices. She served as the former director of the New Mexico Youth Alliance, a statewide youth council committed  to community transformation through policy development. She also served as the co-director of Community Learning and Public Service, a university-based organization developed through community partnerships, to engage university students in youth development. 

She serves on the boards of Dorn Charter School, Together for Brothers, and Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of New Mexico with a concentration in family studies, health education, and community and regional planning. She earned her master’s degree in community and regional planning.

CURRENT FOCUS

Youth Civic Infrastructure Fund
Moneka supports youth organizing in our state through the Youth Civic Infrastructure Fund, which focuses on education transformation and philanthropic innovation. The fund builds collaborations between non-profit organizations and schools to engage youth in their communities to affect social change.

Sin Fronteras Education Partnership
Moneka collaborates with schools to expand family partnerships through Sin Fronteras Education Partnership (SFEP). SFEP is a learning series that provides educators, educational leaders, community partners, and school staff with strategies to practice equitable family partnerships in their school communities. The community helped to co-create this learning series to ensure that the training content reflects the needs (and builds on the assets) of New Mexico communities. 

Anti-racism trainings and convenings
These discussions reflect on systematic racism and explore how schools must transform to be accountable to students, families, and communities. Moneka does this by implementing an anti-racist framework that makes students successful because of their communities rather than in spite of them.

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Maria Rogahn

Assistant Director of Learning by Doing, Capstone Project Manager

Maria brings over 30 years of experience to Future Focused Education, including classroom teaching, program development and management, family/community engagement, community organizing, case management, and academic research. 

With a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from the College of Santa Fe, she has worked with communities in Albuquerque, Socorro, the D.C. area, Boston, Guadalajara, and Ghana. Guided by a fierce commitment to efforts that center equity and justice, Maria is a proud member of Families United for Education (FUE), a coalition of students, parents, teachers, and community members organized to address institutional racism in Albuquerque Public Schools, and of the Planning Committee for La Cosecha, a national, annual dual language conference hosted by Dual Language Education of New Mexico.

Originally from Minnesota, Maria has called New Mexico her home for 25 years. In her free time, she embraces opportunities to improve her Spanish, explore the outdoors with her husband as well as their two children and five dogs, and uses her decades-long journey with mental illness to help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness and treatments.

CURRENT FOCUS

Capstones in New Mexico
Maria is a core member of the Capstone Initiative Team, an effort to support schools and districts in designing capstone projects as a way to reimagine teaching, learning, and assessment in the state.  

Local support for implementation
Maria provides fiscal management of the Initiative, organizes technical assistance for schools and districts , documents Communities of Practice and Capstone Educator Network meetings, provides support to local contractors, manages module development for graduate profiles and capstone design and implementation, organizes in-person and online events, and arranges site visits.

Our Board

Katie Avery

Katie Avery

Katie Avery is a Professional Learning Director with Panorama Education, where she provides strategic advising to school districts nationwide who are committed to centering student, family, and staff voices in efforts to improve school culture and climate.  Katie also engages in local consulting, supporting public education and education-adjacent entities with stakeholder engagement, family resource development, and equity-centered design and programming.  Before moving to New Mexico to serve as the Strategic Outreach Director for the Public Education Department in 2019, Katie led educator development at the Flamboyan Foundation.

Katie spent the first fifteen years of her career in Washington D.C. where she served as a bilingual Montessori teacher, charter school co-founder, teacher evaluator and coach, engagement trainer, anti-bias facilitator, and educational director.  She holds a BA in Criminal Justice from The George Washington University, attended The Barrie Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies for her Primary Teacher training, and currently lives in Albuquerque with her two truly awesome children.

Leigh Caswell

Leigh Caswell

Leigh Caswell, Vice President of Community Health at Presbyterian Hospital, helped develop Presbyterian’s Mobile Farmers’ Market and the Food Farmacy, which offers food to patients who have limited access to healthy food, as well as the Presbyterian Community Health Resource Center, which opened in June at the Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital campus. 

Caswell has a passion for climbing, mountain rescue, and social justice. While her professional life is all about public health, she is dedicated to helping people thrive and making sure they have access to nutritious food and healthy lifestyles.

Jason Espinoza

Jason Espinoza

Jason Espinoza is co-owner of KW Consulting LLC, which is a full-service form specializing in government affairs and association management. Jason has years of experience in public policy development, government affairs, and association management. He served as President and CEO of New Mexico’s statewide chamber of commerce and prior to that served as its Vice President of Government Affairs. In both roles, Jason led the organization’s public policy and government relations efforts.

Jason also has successfully led two statewide business associations. Jason has demonstrated an ability to increase revenue and member engagement. Jason received national recognition for membership growth and retention from the Association of State Chamber Professionals. 

 

Nichelle Gilbert

Nichelle Gilbert

Nichelle Gilbert serves as Director of Operations for the Partnership for Community Action (PCA). Through advocacy and leadership development, PCA focuses on building a movement around critical community issues such as education, economic equity, wellness, and immigrant rights. In her role, Nichelle oversees day-to-day operations for the organization, implementing a broad strategic plan aligned with the mission and vision while strengthening infrastructure to increase efficiency and effectiveness. 

Prior to her position at PCA, Nichelle served at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center for over a decade, working to increase and support a diverse health workforce for New Mexico. Nichelle holds a MBA with a concentration in strategic planning and policy from the University of New Mexico.

 

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego

Dr. Meriah Heredia-Griego is currently the Evaluation, Learning and Impact Consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in New Mexico. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Dr. Heredia-Griego served as the Acting Deputy Director for the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee. She has been a bill analyst for the New Mexico Council of University Presidents, the University of New Mexico and the New Mexico State Senate.

Dr. Heredia-Griego holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University, a Masters of Community and Regional Planning and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Chicana/o Studies from UNM. During her time at UNM, Dr. Heredia-Griego served as Director and Research Assistant Professor at the UNM Cradle to Career Policy Institute (CCPI), previously the Center for Education Policy Research (CEPR), where she partnered with key education agencies and stakeholders to conduct applied research in the areas of education policy and program evaluation. Her work has been critical to making data and research available and useful for decision makers. She has nearly twenty years of experience working with students, families, leaders, and policymakers to address some of the biggest challenges facing children and families in New Mexico.

 

Dan Hill

Dan Hill

Dan Hill, Future Focused Education’s Board President, is an education lawyer who primarily represents charter schools. Previously he was the General Counsel for the New Mexico Public Education Department. As a former teacher and Teach For America corps member he maintains a deep commitment to public education. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law, and the University of Arizona. He has two children, and in his spare time runs ultramarathons.

 

Mayte Lopez

Mayte Lopez

Mayte Lopez is the Educational Program Manager and Course Facilitator in the Home Health Aide Training Program for Encuentro NM, a non-profit adult education center for Latine immigrants in ABQ. Mayte has over five years of experience in community organizing and advocacy, program and curriculum development and implementation, data collection and analysis, in both Spanish and English. She currently teaches the entry level Home Health Aide Training Course two times per year. 

During her role at Encuentro, she has lobbied in Washington D.C. with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, participates on the Essential Jobs, Essential Care Steering Committee in New Mexico, and has spoken to the realities and importance of investing in immigrants as domestic workers at the American Society on Aging National Conference with PHI.

John Mierzwa

John Mierzwa

John Mierzwa is CEO and cofounder of Ingenuity Software Labs, a custom software firm. Ingenuity Software Labs has designed and developed various custom software applications for commercial, nonprofit and government clients in all types of industries around the country. He is the Founder of Deep Dive Coding Bootcamps, a software development bootcamp in Albuquerque, later acquired by Central New Mexico Community College. 

John was Director at the CNM STEMulus Center in Downtown Albuquerque since its inception. He helped forge partnerships with businesses, government agencies and foundations to build opportunities for low-income residents, people of color and others to learn to code and obtain high-paying jobs in New Mexico. 

John serves on the boards of Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico, Technology Leadership High School, Future Focused Education, Computer Science Alliance, and the New Mexico Technology Council. John holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

Glenna Voigt

Glenna Voigt

Glenna Voigt serves as a Public Education Commissioner for the State of New Mexico.  She is a WK Kellogg Foundation Fellow and the retired founding Principal of the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School, the first state-authorized charter school in New Mexico.  As an educator, Glenna believes that public education policy should support schools as incubators for students as independent thinkers and creators within their communities and society at large, while providing them the 360 degrees of support they require to grow and flourish within the 21st Century. 

 Prior to becoming a school administrator, Glenna was a physical education teacher, athletic coach, a photographer in the U.S. Air National Guard, and a teacher in Tokyo, Japan. Glenna serves on three boards and in her free time enjoys playing golf, piano, cycling and reading.

Kateri Zuni

Kateri Zuni

Kateri Zuni is a proud daughter of the Isleta and Zuni Pueblos. She is a BA graduate of the University of New Mexico in multimedia journalism and political science. She earned her MA in Studies of Law with a concentration in Indian Law from the UNM School of Law in 2019.

Kateri is the Associate Director for the Center of Southwest Culture whose mission is to develop healthy Indigenous and Mexicano/Chicano communities through economic development, cultural, and educational programs. She previously worked as a radio producer and youth coordinator for Generation Justice where she was trained in Positive Youth Development practices for youth engagement. She was also awarded the 2018 New Economy Coalition Climate Reporting Fellowship as a result of her work. Kateri serves as Board Chair for Naeva, formerly the Native American Voters Alliance Education Project. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband and son.