Choose Your Next NMAEYC Board of Directors

President Elect, VP of (NAEYC) Accreditation,
VP of Membership Services, Secretary Up for Election

Eight early childhood professionals from around New Mexico vie for your votes. Meet the candidates below. Voting ends on Tuesday, April 24. NMAEYC members will receive an e-mail with the link to the online ballot.

For President Elect

Kathy DeSoto-Strickland

Is a NM PreK teacher in Grants. 

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I have served on the NMAEYC board representing the Four Corners region and am in my second term as Vice President of Public Policy. As a board member, a teacher and a T.E.A.C.H. Scholar, I have had the privilege of witnessing the growth and change as New Mexico moves forward in continuing to develop and improve the field of early childhood. NMAEYC has played a critical role in that development and I would like to continue to be part of that vision.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Board Member and Vice President of Public Policy for NMAEYC.

• A founding member of Western Regional Early Childhood Collaboration.

• Western State Leadership Network Co-Chair.

• Early childhood educator for 12 years.

• Cooperating Teacher for N.M.S.U. and U.N.M.

Lucille Yellowman

Is an early childhood educator near Fruitland in the Four Corners Area.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I will make sure that NMAEYC continues to be an organization that educators are proud of and turn to when they are needing to learn new ideas to support them in their classrooms.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• President of the NMAEYC Four Corners Chapter.

• Served on the Save the Children program with Johnson O'Malley.

• Co-ordinated fundraising events within the community and worked with high schools students as their sports sponsor.

For Vice President of (NAEYC) Accreditation

Helen McDonald

Is the director of La Casita Preschool in Santa Fe.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I have been a director of a NAEYC Accredited program for 6 years, and have a deep respect for the standards of quality it asks of its accredited programs. I would like to continue to support the NMAEYC Accreditation Facilitation Project, and help programs through this process of transition with the new streamlined standards for accreditation of programs.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Involved in non-profit boards for over 6 years.

• Director of a non-profit early childhood program.

• Serves on the task force for the Collaborative Teachers Institute in Santa Fe and on the planning committee for the Early Childhood Initiative through the Santa Fe Opera.

Aurora Hvidsten

Is Preschool Pre-K teacher in Santa Fe.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I am a preschool Pre-K teacher in my 8th year of teaching. I've been a member of NMAEYC for my entire time teaching. I think the work that NMAEYC does to support teachers, programs and administrators is essential, especially in a state that often lags behind in early childhood education and support systems. As a teacher that just went through the accreditation process, I especially want to support other programs to pursue accreditation, as it was an amazing process that was both challenging and enriching.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Co-lead teacher.

• Serves on the task force of the Collaborative Teachers Institute (CTI) in Santa Fe.

• Led various workshops through the Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) for fellow educators.

• Lead Teacher for the summer program Reading is Magic which supports children grades 1st through 4th who are behind in Reading.

• Run the reading is Magic after school program during school months.

For Vice President of Membership Services

Victoria Roanhorse

Works for a nonprofit in Albuquerque that provides hands on science education to children as young as 2.5 as well as college students.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I want to run for VP of Membership Services to help raise awareness on the benefits of membership with NAEYC and NMAEYC. NAEYC has great publications, the Hello Forum and opportunities for professional development. As a board member, I wish to inform members about Power to the Profession.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Write science curricula for Pre-K camps and professional development for educators and childcare providers.

• Works with a group that manages grants with United Way and IMLS.

• Coordinates outreach with grant programs.

Larissa Garcia

Is a lead preschool teacher in Albuquerque.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

I would like to further my involvement with NMAEYC and help it grow. My passion is early childhood and know how important an educator's work is. I've been in the ECE profession for 15 years. I hope to leave a lasting mark with postive change and growth.

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Lead teacher for 8 years.

• Volunteer teacher for Sunday school for kindergarten and 1st grade.

• NMAEYC conference committee member.

For Secretary

Alberto Mares

Is an early childhood consultant in Española.

Why do you want to run for a board position and what would you accomplish if elected:

No one really knows what a secretary does anymore. It's an antiquated term and job, however, the secretary continues to play a vital role on a nonprofit board. He/she doesn't just take notes, but instructs the board on parliamentary procedure so that meetings are effective and efficient. I am a current board member and my goal if elected is to provide continuity in leadership, vision, and nonprofit best practices. 

Leadership experience and accomplishments:

• Past NMAEYC President.

• Past NENMAEYC President.

• NAEYC Affiliate Advisory Council Representative.

• TEACH National Council Representative.

• Current NMAEYC Board Member.

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