LANL Foundation Celebrates 16 Area Teachers For Receiving Their National Board Certification

Teachers from Northern New Mexico were honored by the LANL Foundation May 13 at a luncheon in Espanola. Photo Courtesy LANL Foundation


On Saturday, May 13, the LANL Foundation honored 16 teachers from Northern New  Mexico who have achieved their National Board Certification, alongside their coaches and other support  providers, at a luncheon at their Española office. The 16 teachers have achieved their certification over the past several years, with Saturday’s event being the first time the group has been able to gather to celebrate due to pandemic-era restrictions.  

The NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) process offers an opportunity for  teachers to advance their professional status (including licensure advancement and a significant pay differential) through National Board Certification (NBC). Research shows teachers who have achieved their NBC see increased student academic performance and success within the classroom.  

“One of our main focus areas within Education Enrichment at the LANL Foundation is supporting  professional learning experiences and advancement for teachers and educators,” said Paul LeFrancois,  K12 Program Coordinator. “Having even one Nationally Board Certified teacher in a school can make a  huge difference to the whole school. But, it doesn’t have to be done alone. Through our cohort model with integrated coaching and program support, we strive to see the number of NBC teachers grow in Northern New Mexico.” 

“This was the best professional development I’ve ever received,” said Zelda Sanchez of Atalaya Elementary School, Santa Fe Public Schools.  

The 16 National Board Certified Teachers: 

Nina Bunker, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Public Schools 

Cadie Carrillo, Tierra Amarilla Elementary School, Chama Valley Schools 

Wilmer Chavarria, Española Public Schools 

Cyrus Dudgeon, Española Public Schools 

Sophie Forbes, Alcalde Elementary School, Española Public Schools 

Naomi Garcia, Ramirez Thomas Elementary School, Santa Fe Public Schools 

Liz Gilroy, Arroyos del Norte Elementary School, Taos Municipal Schools 

Heather Harrell, Dixon Elementary School, Española Public Schools 

Lisa Loughran, Enos Garcia Elementary School, Taos Municipals Schools 

Jennifer Miyashiro, Rio Rancho High School, Rio Rancho Public Schools 

Claire Noonan, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Public Schools 

Ben Ogren, Taos Middle School, Taos Municipal Schools

Kelci Pike, Taos Academy Charter School 

Jennifer Rossiter, Lincoln Middle School, Rio Rancho Public Schools 

Celina Roybal, Alcalde Elementary School, Española Public Schools 

Zelda Sanchez, Atalaya Elementary School, Santa Fe Public Schools 

The NBCT program can take one to three years, depending on how aggressive a teacher wants to be with  their class load. Three portfolio components and a test are required. Funding from the LANL  Foundation covers all class fees per participant, hands-on candidate support, local meetings and  testing, and retake fees. Candidate Support Providers (CSPs) working with the LANL Foundation,  identified below, provided one-on-one support to the teachers throughout the process. Several  Candidates also received financial reimbursement through the New Mexico Public Education  Department’s NBCT Scholarship. 

“I never would have pursued this without the extra support,” said teacher Lisa Loughran of Enos Garcia  Elementary School, Taos Municipals Schools. 

Candidate Support Providers: 

Pat Graff, NBCT 

Terri Blackman, NBCT 

Melissa Eager, NBCT 

Lisa Joseph, NBCT 

Sharyn Gray, NBCT 

LANL Foundation’s support for local teachers pursuing National Board Certification is through a  partnership with TRIAD, National Security LLC. The luncheon featured a meal from The Feasting  Place, a local pueblo owned and operated group, and music from accomplished guitarist Roberto  Capocchi. 

Since 1997, the LANL Foundation has been investing in education, learning, and human potential in  Northern New Mexico. Through diverse programming and collaboration with key partners, the LANL  Foundation works to ensure that all New Mexicans have the skills and confidence they need to be self sufficient lifelong learners who are engaged in their communities. LANL Foundation is dedicated to the  enhancement of students’ access to academic and technical opportunities, leading to quality jobs by  supporting college and career readiness in schools, districts, communities, Pueblos, Tribes, and  Nations. For more information visit: