New Mexico is rich in relationships. Our interconnectedness is an incredible asset to be built upon.

With that in mind, The Center has sought out opportunities to expand and access unique and innovative perspectives through strong partnerships and collaboration on a local level. Relationships with industry and community partners and a community of sister schools give us the best chance for long-term growth and innovation.

New Mexico Forum Foundation

Everette Hill
Everette is the Principal and Managing Director of the Social Innovation Strategies Group. Hill has 20 years experience in the non-profit sector developing and managing programs, developing grass-roots community-based public policy initiatives, and providing organizational development and technical assistance supports to individuals and organizations in the social sectors. He has been a guest lecturer in the Public Policy Department at the University of New Mexico, and has held leadership roles on the New Mexico Children’s Cabinet, the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC), the Next Generation Fund, Citizens Schools, and Prosperity Works. Hill is a charter fellow of the Strategic Leadership Institute, developed and supported by the McCune Charitable Foundation. He is a graduate of Occidental College where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and History, while also studying Sports Medicine and Religious Studies. In 2001, he earned his Masters Degree in Counseling from the University of Phoenix, where the concentration of his work was in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy.

Partnership for Community Action

partnership for community action

Adrián A. Pedroza
Adrián A. Pedroza is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Community Action, a grassroots, community-based organization that works to build community leadership around issues of immigration, education reform, and public health. Previously, Mr. Pedroza led 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, Mr. Pedroza worked for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman as a Constituent Services Representative in New Mexico. Under Governor Bill Richardson, Mr. Pedroza was appointed to the inaugural Hispanic Education Advisory Council. He is currently a founding and executive member of the New Mexico Learning Alliance and served as a founding member of the Latino/Hispano Education Improvement Task Force.  Mr. Pedroza sits on the board of the New Mexico Civic Engagement Partnership.  He holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico.

At the Partnership For Community Action we see the need for more high quality educational choices in the International District. The Project-Based Learning, student support, and community engagement activities of the school are aligned with our values as community advocates. The approach taken by the school is an invaluable opportunity for parents and families to participate at the ground level in helping the school makes our community healthier.

bernalillo countyBernalillo County Community Health Council

Enrique Cardiel
Enrique Cardiel is the Community Health Education Coordinator for St. Joseph Community Health. He joined St. Joseph Community Health in Fall of 2006. He has a strong background in health from his work with the New Mexico Department of Health, as a health promotion specialist in Albuquerque’s Southeast heights. Enrique is also an active volunteer in the community, working with drug education initiatives, as well as, el Partido Nacional, La Raza Unida, Community Health Partnership and Because We Care Foundation.

Mission: Graduate

Dr. Angelo Gonzales
Angelo Gonzales is Executive Director of Mission: Graduate, a cradle-to-career education partnership in Central New Mexico, which is committed to producing 60,000 new graduates with college degrees and credentials by 2020. Dr. Gonzales is also a Research Assistant Professor in the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Education; chair of the New Mexico AfterSchool Alliance Leadership Council; president of the board of the Albuquerque Teacher Federation’s Teacher Leadership Foundation; and a founding board member of the New Mexico Learning Alliance. Dr. Gonzales helped organize the Albuquerque Dropout Prevention Action Team and was an active participant in community-led education reform coalitions. Before graduate school, Dr. Gonzales served in the senator’s Washington office as a legislative assistant for homeland security, border policy, and immigration; and he has also worked at Sandia National Laboratories and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Gonzales earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, and he holds a B.A. in chemistry from Pomona College. He was born and raised in New Mexico and graduated from Albuquerque Public Schools.

McCune Foundation

McCune Charitable FoundationWendy Lewis
Wendy Lewis is the Executive Director of the McCune Charitable Foundation. At the Foundation Wendy leads the 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. Preceding joining the Foundation, Wendy’s professional experience has 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.

Wendy also serves on the Advisory Council of the Center for School Leadership.

School reform is a vital area of interest for the McCune Foundation in New Mexico and we are happy to support initiatives like the New Mexico Center for School Leadership with our philanthropy.

State of New Mexico

state of new mexicoHannah Skandera
In December of 2010, Governor Susana Martinez nominated Hanna Skandera to lead the New Mexico Department of Public Education. Previously, Ms. Skandera served as Florida’s Deputy Commissioner of Education under former Governor Jeb Bush. Ms. Skandera has served as a senior policy advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education. During former President George W. Bush’s Administration, she assisted Secretary Margaret Spellings with policy development and implementation, strategy, and communications. Ms. Skandera also served as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Undersecretary for Education.

The efforts of the Center in developing the Leadership High School Network represent a promising innovation in personalized education in New Mexico. The Center and the schools that have been incubated through its efforts are excellent examples of “Break Through” design. These schools and their leaders have harnessed the local wisdom of employers and constructed schools based on the future of our economy.


pnmJo Ann Newton
Jo Ann Newton is the Vice President of External Affairs at PNM. Jo Ann oversees external affairs activities, which includes outreach with environmental stakeholders, energy efficiency, community and corporate giving, government relations, marketing and communications. Before joining PNM in 2009, she served as vice president for investor relations with Edison International. A Jurist Doctorate from New York Law School, she has extensive expertise with highly complex and regulated industries including energy and telecommunications.

She is also an Advisory Council Member of the Center for School Leadership.

As a major employer and leading philanthropic organization in our state, PNM is committed to the vitality of the communities we serve. We believe in investing in efforts to develop local talent to drive future workforce readiness … PNM has been engaged in supporting schools in the Albuquerque area and around our state for many years.  We understand the unique challenges and opportunities represented in our communities and we believe that LHSN schools will provide an important option for children and families. We offer our strongest support.

albuquerque public schoolsAPS

Dr. Annalee Maestas


university of new mexicoDr. Vanessa Svihla
Dr. Vanessa Svihla is an Assistant Professor in Organization, Information & Learning Sciences at the University of New Mexico. She received an M.S. in Geology and a Ph.D. in Science Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Svihla is a learning scientist who studies learning in authentic, real world conditions; this includes a two-strand research program focused on (1) authentic assessment, often aided by interactive technology, and (2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn. She is passionate about interdisciplinary research as a means to find innovative solutions and applies integrated methods to investigate complex phenomena.

Project-based learning has been shown to narrow achievement gaps in high-poverty, urban settings. My research, funded by the Office of the Provost at UNM seeks to demonstrate rich and reliable means of assment that is instructional relevant to project-based learning, namely, performance assessment. I also greatly appreciate the schools’ approach to engaging business. I am very familiar with the Leadership High School model and I believe it is an invaluable opportunity for young people to learn by doing; this approach helps students see relevance in what they are learning.

ted x


 Tech Leadership Partners

  • Little Globe (Valerie Martinez)
  • Sandia Tech Park (Jacque Kerby)
  • Intel Corporation (Natasha Martell Jackson)
  • NM Tech Council (Eric Renz-Whitmore)
  • City of Albuquerque (Mayor Richard Berry)
  • City of Albuquerque City Council (Rey Graduño)
  • CNM STEMulus Center (John Mierzwa), board member of Tech Leadership
  • UNM Arts Lab (Tim Castillo)
  • UNM Children’s Hospital (Javier Aceves), board member of Health Leadership High School