tony monfilettoTony Monfiletto

Director at The New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Tony Monfiletto is the Director of the New Mexico Center for School Leadership. The Center operates as a hub and incubator for the schools. He co-founded ACE, Health, and Technology Leadership High Schools which are dedicated to the premise that “Learning by Doing,” 360 support, and the highest level of private industry collaboration can dramatically improve the opportunities for marginalized young people. Technology Leadership opened in August 2015 as the third in a series of five schools designed to provide the best education for the students who need it the most. He is also a co-founder and former leader of Amy Biehl High School.

Over the past 20 years, Tony has been actively involved in creating a policy climate that welcomes innovative solutions to our most challenging public school challenges. He has served on many legislative and executive committees and he is passionate about re-thinking the metrics of success for the next generation of schools that can prepare young people for an dynamic future.

He is a past staff member of the Legislative Education Study Committee in Santa Fe where he specialized in school finance and helped create the appropriations strategy for the state. He also worked in Chicago in the early 1990s to help decentralized the district. This big picture context has been vital for positioning the Leadership High School Network in his home town of Albuquerque.

Tony has been a public school teacher and charter school co-founder and principal. He earned a BA from New Mexico State University and a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Finance from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and he is an Aspen-Pahara Institute and Sizer Fellow.


Justin Trager

Director of School Networks at the New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Justin Trager serves as the Director of School Networks with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership. His work focuses on facilitating the growth, learning, and innovation of the various schools in the networks. Justin has spent the past 20 years working in schools and with non-profit organizations.

His commitment to social justice work began during his years spent serving in AmeriCorps at Appalachian Communities for Children in Southeastern Kentucky and as an AmeriCorps Leader with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in New York City. He has developed and implemented two nationally recognized service learning programs at Waterford High School (Connecticut) and at South Valley Academy. Justin helped to facilitate the high school design process at the Native American Community Academy and has spent the last seven years as an Administrator at South Valley Academy  He is passionate about the power of public education to empower and transform individuals and communities.

Justin holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from Boston University and an M.A. in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology from the University of New Mexico’s College of Education. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Albuquerque in early 1999. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, cooking and eating good food.

IMG_5996Mistie Gallegos

School Development Manager, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Mistie was born and raised in the South Valley of Albuquerque, where she currently lives with her husband and their three children. She attended New Mexico State University where she earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. She worked for Intel Corporation for thirteen years, originally selected to participate in the first high school intern program offered at the Intel location in Rio Rancho, NM. As a process engineer, she supported the continuously changing needs of the NM Intel site. She was actively involved in a factory shutdown and the new facility startup producing cutting edge technology. Mistie worked to document, train and support the transfer of critical information and learnings.

In July 2011, Mistie became the Executive Director of All-Star Youth (ASY). She manages recreational programs for youth, ages 4 to 15, supporting more than 350 families throughout Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Mistie brings ASY programs to lower income areas providing opportunities for youth to stay physically active while participating in a team environment. She maintains working relationships with local schools and community centers so youth can remain engaged in their communities.

Suzanne JohnsonSuzanne Johnson

Director of School Learning and Research, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Suzanne Johnson serves as the Director of School Learning and Research with the New Mexico Center for School Leadership, leading project management, facilitation and research.  Prior to joining The Center, Suzanne served as the STEM Instructional Manager for Albuquerque Public Schools, where she was responsible for supporting K-12 science education and integrating technology, engineering and math into the same.

Suzanne has built partnerships in STEM education throughout Central New Mexico and was appointed a member of the Math and Science Advisory Council of NM Public Education Department.  As an engineer turned educator, Suzanne has a passion for professional and curriculum development as it relates to developing students into successful, contributing members of society with a respect and zeal for self, others and the community in which we live.  She holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. Suzanne has worked in various industries such as automotive, consumer products, facilities engineering, project management, and telecommunications and believes strongly in learning by doing.

In 2013, Suzanne moved to Albuquerque after teaching and developing science programs in public school systems in Alabama and Georgia. Suzanne’s varied background gives her a unique perspective in developing the strongest programs and supports for our children.


larry_myattLarry Myatt

Co-founder of the Education Resources Consortium (ERC)

Dr. Larry Myatt has been deeply engaged in education leadership development and school redesign for over thirty years.  He founded Fenway High School, a pioneer in the small schools and school-to-career movements, and was its Headmaster for twenty years before accepting an assignment to advise Boston’s High School Renewal Initiative. During that time he was a key member of the HSR-Parthenon Group Off-Track Study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led the companion Alternative School Quality Review initiative. He co-founded Boston’s Center for Collaborative Education and founded and directed the Greater Boston Principal Residency Network at Northeastern University from 2000-2008.

In 2007, Dr. Myatt was awarded the Harry S. Levitan Prize from Brandeis University for career accomplishment in education. He is a former CES National Faculty member at Brown University and was a professional development consultant at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, including being the facilitator of the Annenberg Superintendents Study Group. He is the author of numerous articles on leadership and school restructuring and has led and consulted to school re-design efforts in numerous cities and states.

Larry is a Founding Convener for The Forum for Education and Democracy, and works actively nationwide to support efforts to reduce the high-school drop-out rate. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Boston Green Academy and served as the Senior Fellow for Leadership and Education Ventures at Northeastern University from 2009-2011. Dr. Myatt is a principal founder of the Education Resources Consortium, leading an array of highly-experienced educational consultants and coaches in support of capacity-building in schools and communities.

lg-Michael1Michael Soguero,

Director of Professional Development at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
Michael Soguero has been a leader in education reform since 1993 when he was a founding member of Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center (PDC) development team in Estes Park Colorado which was created as a laboratory for the most cutting edge instruction for at-risk youth in the United States.  This formative experience laid the groundwork for becoming a leader in the burgeoning high school reform movement in New York City.  While in New York, he had a series of  experiences that concluded in a deep and profound understanding of organizational development and specifically small high school design.

Michael became the Co-Director of the School for the Physical City and later the Founder and Director of the Bronx Guild where his work was held up as an exemplar of effective small school leadership.  His success is best seen through significantly higher graduation rates than other peer institutions.  He quickly became a trusted mentor to other aspiring principals and a partner for teacher training with the Teachers College at Columbia University. His school was recognized by Teachers College for “Excellence in Teaching.”  This experience led Michael to become a lead facilitator for the Scaffolded Apprenticeship program within the New York City Leadership Academy where he sharpened his facilitation skills, his broad understanding of urban school reform and the power of dynamic leadership as a means to reform schools and change the lives of students.

After nearly 10 years in New York City, Michael returned to Eagle Rock as the Director of Professional Development where he is currently employed.  The Professional Development Center was created by American Honda Education Corporation to help transform high school education in the United States. Michael has made great strides in realizing that mission earning a 95 percent satisfaction rate from 300 clients served last year including the Big Picture Schools network, the Leadership High School Network in Albuquerque NM, and many individual schools participating in the Coalition of Essential Schools.  He is a an avid reader and passionate about the latest organizational development theories and facilitation practices.

people_tkubik_200_200Tim Kubik

Kubik Perspectives: Education, policy & politics in perspective

Tim works on a variety of initiatives through Kubik Perspectives, LLC, all designed to increase student engagement with an ever-changing world.  He earned a Joint Ph.D. in History and Theory from the Johns Hopkins University, and has designed and taught courses at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate level.  With Asia Society and the Buck Institute for Education, he has trained over 2500 teachers in numerous workshops on project- and simulations-based learning.  Currently working on a book project, The World…Immediately, Tim is also an active and vocal partner in policy and political initiatives to improve education in his home state of Colorado.


Advisory Council

Adrian A. Pedroza

Adrián A. Pedroza is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Community Action, a community-based organization that works to build strong, healthy communities throughout New Mexico by investing in people and families – supporting them to become strong leaders in the community. Previously, Adrián worked with the University of New Mexico High School Equivalency and College Assistance Migrant Programs, which provide educational opportunities to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. In addition, Adrián worked for former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman in New Mexico. Under Governor Bill Richardson, Adrián was appointed to the inaugural Hispanic Education Advisory Council. He is currently a Commissioner on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics serving on the Early Learning Sub-Committee. Adrián serves on the National Advisory Board for the early childhood school readiness and parent engagement curriculum Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors. In 2012, Adrian received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Recently, he was selected to be a part of the WK Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Fellowship Program, where he will work with diverse leaders to strengthen networks and communities to become vigorous advocates for vulnerable children and their families. He holds a B.A. in political science and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico. Adrián is most proud of his family – his wife Valerie, six year old daughter Mariana and four year old son Marco.

Shad James

President and CEO of the Jaynes Corporation.  He is a graduate of Bradley University and the Robert O Anderson School of Business at the University of New Mexico.  Shad is a past President of the Associated General Contractors-New Mexico Buildings Branch and one of a few visionaries for ACE Leadership High School.

Michelle Melendez

Michelle Melendez has been dedicated to community health and equity since 2001 as a strategist, program manager and director. Michelle is Fund Development Director at First Choice Community Healthcare in Central New Mexico. She previously served as Director of Workforce Training for First Choice where she established a training center, career ladders, curricula and partnerships with local high schools, community college programs and funders. Before that, Michelle was Patient Services Director at First Choice and served as liaison with the media, community organizations and elected officials. Before coming to First Choice, Michelle was the Community Services Director at St. Joseph Community Health, a non-profit conversion foundation that came from the sale of a hospital.  Michelle developed and led numerous community organizing initiatives and a women’s economic development collective while at St. Joseph’s. Her first job in community health was with the NM Department of Health, Public Health Division as a health promotion specialist. Her background includes a 12-year career as a newspaper journalist in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. She earned her bachelor and master’s degrees from UNM and was trained at the Center for Creative Leadership as part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellowship for health sector leaders, and has served on many boards and commissions, including the Board of Trustees of UNM Hospitals and the governing council of Health Leadership High School.

Kathy Davis

Kathleen “Kathy” Davis, RN serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Ms. Davis holds a Bachelor’s of Nursing from West Texas A & M University and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University New Mexico. Kathy was fortunate to be a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow from 2000-2003 and continues as an Alumnus. Ms. Davis serves on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence and provides leadership for the New Mexico Action Coalition focused on deploying the IOM Future of Nursing priorities. Kathy serves as a Peer Reviewer for The Journal of Nursing Administration. In 2011, Kathy was inducted into the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management’s Hall of Fame and received the Women of Influence Award from the New Mexico Business Journal.

Elizabeth Keller

Elizabeth, who was born and raised in New Mexico, received her B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her Masters and PhD in International Development Studies at Oxford University. Elizabeth spent years working in economic development and natural resource governance in North America, Southern Africa and South and Southeast Asia before returning to New Mexico in 2010. She is thrilled to be back in the Land of Enchantment. She and her husband Tim are raising their daughter, Maya, in an incredible community of family and friends. Elizabeth currently works at Sandia National Labs where she focuses on complex systems analysis and global security studies. Since returning to Albuquerque, Elizabeth has also engaged with UNM as an adjunct professor in the water resources masters program, is an affiliate of the Utton Transboundary Resource Center, and participates as a member of the STC.UNM advisory council. She has served as a member of the New Mexico Center for School Leadership’s advisory council since 2013.

John Mierzwa

John Mierzwa is Director of STEMulus Initiatives for CNM’s STEMulus Center in Downtown Albuquerque, and was previously CEO & Founder of Deep Dive Coders, a web development and programming bootcamp in Albuquerque. John has been a framer and VP of Sales & Operations for a $218M construction company as well as founder of a language school in Las Vegas, NV and of Startup New Mexico. He is passionate about startups, business and education, and especially about the intersection of all three.

JoAnn Newton

JoAnn Newton, Vice President of External Affairs, has been with PNM since October of 2009. Prior to joining us, she served as Vice President of Investor Relations at Edison International in California. She had previously held various regulatory and financial management positions at Pacific Telesis and Bell Atlantic corporations. Before her promotion to Vice President, JoAnn was the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, and prior to that, PNM’s Director of FERC Compliance. JoAnn is a graduate of Smith College, where she was a math major, and of New York Law School. She and her family live in Corrales.

Shannon Groves

Shannon Groves is a Senior Health Policy Analyst for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, the state’s largest commercial health insurer. She previously worked for Presbyterian Healthcare Services, New Mexico’s only not-for-profit integrated delivery system. Shannon has worked in healthcare in New Mexico for more than six years and serves as a liaison between Blue Cross and the New Mexico State Legislature. Shannon is active in the business community, serving on the Health Policy Committee for the Association of Commerce and Industry and on the New Mexico Insurance Exchange Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Shannon earned a B.S. in Biology from New Mexico State University and a Masters in Business from the University of New Mexico.

Wendy Lewis

As Executive Director of the McCune Foundation, Wendy Lewis leads the foundation’s strategic vision that supports projects on a wide range of issues including arts, education, economic development, environment, health, and social services. She also oversees McCune’s significant, program-related investment in the revitalization of downtown Albuquerque.
Before joining the Foundation, Wendy’s professional experience encompassed early regional management for the start-up of Borders, Inc.; holding the directorship for Photo Eye Gallery, a fine art-photography gallery in Santa Fe; and spearheading several cottage industry enterprises.
Wendy’s life-long passions include gardening, photography and beekeeping. Her honeybees enjoy residence in Santa Fe and in an orchard in Velarde, by the Rio Grande.