PED: Community Advisory Panel Re-Established To Advise Secretary Steinhaus On Education Policies, Programs


Fifty-five New Mexico teachers, students, family members and business leaders will meet virtually for the first time Saturday to begin advising Public Education Secretary (Designate) Kurt Steinhaus on statewide education policies, programs and initiatives.

The Secretary’s Community Advisory is an avenue for community feedback on essential programming in public education while also promoting equity and access to the business of public education.

“I formed this group because I’m committed to engaging with those who are most directly impacted by the Public Education Department’s work, and by that I mean New Mexico’s students, teachers, parents and business leaders,” Steinhaus said. “I look forward to getting their feedback, and I hope this program will serve as a model to districts and schools for cultivating community partnerships.”

The Public Education Department believes strong connections between school, home and community foster student success, and the Secretary’s Community Advisory is a new outlet for that ongoing work.

Community advisors will: 

  • Inform the PED on resources, policies and programming communities need to ensure educational equity;  
  • Collaborate with other stakeholders in their community to provide feedback that represents diverse perspectives, experiences and needs;  
  • Support PED leadership in creating policies and statewide initiatives that promote equity and inclusion in New Mexico’s public schools;  
  • Within the advisory, collaborate, research and identify effective statewide practices and strategies, and record recommendations;  
  • Learn about and advocate for innovative policies and legislation that help elevate public education; and
  • Share the information, resources and insight gleaned from this experience with community members to catalyze and bolster engagement at the local level.

“This is about adding seats to the proverbial table.  It’s about sharing access, information and power with those who experience daily the impact of the decisions and policies made in Santa Fe,” said Katie Avery, the department’s director of Strategic Outreach. “No one is better equipped to inform the work of the Public Education Department than the communities we serve – we are grateful to those who responded to the invitation and eager to get to work.”

The advisory group currently consists of 55 stakeholders total: 

  • 14 educators
  • 13 parents or guardians
  • 13 students
  • 15 civic members — three each from five geographical regions in New Mexico.

The Public Education Department is actively recruiting to bring each sub-group to 15 members. Applicants from northern and southwestern New Mexico, historically under-represented areas, are strongly encouraged to apply by contacting

The department used email, social media, newsletters and phone calls to invite New Mexicans to complete online applications and submit a letter of recommendation and two professional references. Candidates then were invited to a virtual interview with a panel of cross-agency PED staff.

The commitment is for one full calendar year. During that time, advisors will attend regular meetings, both virtual and in-person, and meet as needed with PED leadership and staff. 

Secretary’s Community Advisory


Andrea HumphreyAlbuquerque
Carla WilliamsAlbuquerque
Carol HernandezMoriarty-Edgewood 
Elisabeth GillettAlbuquerque
Elvira DennisonShiprock
Hope MoralesRoswell 
Jennifer CruzAlbuquerque
Jody RobertsAlbuquerque
Jonalyn J. Tagge-WestFarmington
Lindsey SumulongLas Cruces 
Sarah Amador – GuzmanSanta Fe 
Stephanie MackAlbuquerque
Vanessa RoanhorseAlbuquerque


Amanda RankinBelen
Anna RichardsFarmington
Carol LeyendeckerAlbuquerque
Debra WoodwardGrants-Cibola
Elizabeth KriegelDeming
Jessica MartinezAlbuquerque
Karen CerequasLos Lunas
Linda DonwerthLovington
Marie SalasCimarron
Michael OgasLas Cruces
Nancy JohnsonCarlsbad
Rajasekhar BadditiClovis
Rebecca SpaethRio Rancho
Tena JoslinFarmington


Cynthia NavaAlbuquerque
Hillary McPartlonSanta Fe
Carmen GonzalesSanta Fe
Jean HertzmanLas Cruces
Pamela PowersAlbuquerque
Karen KinsmanAlbuquerque
Kersti TysonEspanola/ Los Alamos
Patricia Jimenez-LathamAlbuquerque/Las Vegas
Abenecio BaldonadoSanta Fe
Angela LopezAlbuquerque
David RomeroLas Vegas
Lina GermannSanta Fe
Jaime HernendezAlbuquerque
Wynne ColemanRio Rancho
Alexis EsslingerFarmington


Antonio MuruaLas Cruces
Carlyse HernandezMoriarty-Edgewood
Gavin MorrowDes Moines
Hailey MaresBernalillo
Keana HuertaCobre
Kiley CarneyAlbuquerque
Dublin SlackAlbuquerque
Liam MeyerLas Cruces
Mariah Herrera Cuba
Maximiliano QuintanaSanta Fe
Paloma Del ValleGadsden
Samuel NaranjoBernalillo
Tatiana HerreraAlbuquerque