NMAEYC Staff and Board Group Picture

Meet the Team

These are some of the people who are working to promote the best interests of Early Childhood educators throughout New Mexico!

Alicia Borrego

Alicia Borrego

Executive Director

Alicia Borrego is a native New Mexican, where she grew up helping run her family’s small shoe business in the small, rural town of Espanola. In 1995 she moved to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico (UNM). She graduated from UNM in 1999 earning her BA with double major in Southwest Studies and Political Science.  In 2010, she graduated Delta Mu Delta, from New Mexico Highlands University Graduate School of Business earning her MBA. Alicia continued her professional development as a 2014-2015 Noyce Leadership Institute Fellow. She is the 2022 Executive of the Year by the NMSAE.

Alicia began her career at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in 1999 as the HR Manager, later becoming the Museum’s Deputy Director in 2008. After working for 15 years at the Natural History Museum, in October 2014, Alicia joined Explora Science Center & Children’s Museum as the Director of Administration & Operations, and later became the Senior Manager of Administration & Operations at the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, WA. In December 2016, Alicia was named President & CEO of the Economic Council Helping Others Inc. (ECHO Inc.) in Farmington, NM. While at ECHO, Alicia ran several emergency assistance programs, food banks, a preschool and formed several partnerships that assisted low income communities. Alicia ultimately became the Executive Director of New Mexico AEYC in September 2019.

In her many years working in museums and non-profits, Alicia spearheaded many important community engagement initiatives, actively fundraising, working alongside the community in advocating for various policy affecting low income families, early childhood education, and arts and culture. 

Marie Gonzales

Marie Gonzales

Finance Manager

As a dedicated and detail-oriented accounting professional, Marie Gonzales has been meeting the accounting needs of non-profits agencies. She currently works as the Finance Manager for NMAEYC. With her careful analytical mind as well as careful computational skills, she is able to perform precise auditing tasks, ensuring that financial transactions are accurately represented.

Marie received a BA in Business Management from the University of Phoenix with a 3.75 GPA. She worked as the Senior Accountant for Youth Development, Inc. for 24 years, where she checked all incoming and outgoing transactions. Additionally, she summarized and analyzed all financial documents in order to prepare financial reports. She continues to work in the non-profit community; this experience gave her a deep appreciation for how non-profits seek to improve the quality of life for our region; one program at a time.

Michelle Garcia

Michelle Garcia

Communication and Program Support Coordinator

Although, not originally born in New Mexico, Michelle Garcia considers herself a native to the Land of Enchantment. Michelle has lived in Albuquerque since 1989 when she moved here with her family. As a child Michelle spent her free time working for her family’s telecom business, which helped her develop a strong work ethic. After graduating from Manzano high school in 1997 she went to work in the telecom industry while also taking college courses. 

After suffering a debilitating back injury, Michelle medically retired from the phone company and decided to go back to complete her degree. As a busy wife and mother of five, Michelle attended the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and minor from the UNM Honors College in Interdisciplinary Arts, and a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Human Development and Family Relations. She was awarded the Outstanding Student Award from UNM’s College of Education and Human Sciences, and was in the top 3% of her graduating class.

Michelle is an alumnus of the El Puente de Encuentros fellowship (2021-2022) and currently volunteers as one of their Program Coordinators. Michelle is currently working on completing her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Clinical Practice with plans to also complete her Ph.D. in the same field. Michelle began working for NMAEYC as an intern in January 2022 and stayed on contract as the Communications and Program Coordinator.

Kathryn Montiel

Kathryn Montiel

Accreditation Consultant

Kathryn “Katie” Montiel is a native New Mexican, born in Albuquerque but residing in the southern half for most of her life. She spent her adolescent years in Alamogordo, where her love for the early childhood education field first began. She took child development courses throughout high school and was a member of FCCLA, wherein she designed and implemented early childhood advocacy projects for state and national competitions.

After graduating high school in 2014, Katie attended ENMU in Portales and graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education in 2017. In 2021, she obtained her Master of Special Education with an early childhood concentration. Katie taught preschool in a NAEYC-accredited program between 2018 and 2023, one of two such programs in eastern NM.

Her favorite “geek out” topic in the field is the physical classroom environment and the many ways in which it can support or hinder learning. She resides in Portales with her husband, son, and German Shepherd.

Our Board of Directors

Dr. Kathy DeSoto-Strickland

Dr. Kathy DeSoto-Strickland

Board President

Kathy DeSoto-Strickland was born and raised in Grants, New Mexico where she resided until she and her husband moved to Aztec about two years ago. She has two grown children, Cara and J.E., and three grand dogs. She has been in education for over twenty years and has taught New Mexico Pre-K in Headstart and the public schools. She has a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education, a Masters degree in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood. She is an active member of the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children where she has had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors for the last 11 years. She currently holds the position of Board President. In her spare time she enjoys reading, boating, and spending time with her family. 

Dr. David Atencio

Dr. David Atencio

VP of Public Policy

Andrew Martinez

Andrew Martinez

VP of Professional Development

Dr. Loui-Vicente Reyes

Dr. Loui-Vicente Reyes

VP of Research

Jackie Shipley

Jackie Shipley

VP of Membership

Angelica Vanchaik

Angelica Vanchaik

Treasurer

Alberto Mares

Alberto Mares

Secretary

Holly Gurule

Holly Gurule

Member at Large

Dr. Colleen W. Bowman

Dr. Colleen W. Bowman

Member at Large

Ruth Porta

Ruth Porta

Member at Large

Michelle Pruitt

Michelle Pruitt

Member at Large

Christine Loya

Christine Loya

Member at Large

Shara Foster

Shara Foster

Member at Large

NMAEYC is now a virtual organization!

Mailing address:
1933 San Mateo Blvd NE #258
Albuquerque, NM 87110

PHONE: 505 264 5464
info@nmaeyc.org

Many thanks to our sponsors and grant funders!

Brindle LogoKaplan Early Learning Company LogoLakeshore LogoTeachstone Logo

Connect With Us

      

© 2024 New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children