Siembra Leadership High School in currently in transition. We are in process to hire a new Executive Director. During this search we are committed to fulfilling our mission and best serving students and families.
Jaqi Baldwin, LCSW, MBA
Operations Manager/Director of Student Support
Jaqi Baldwin was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is an advocate committed to ensuring that systems and programs are respectfully and authentically meeting the needs of young people in her hometown. Ms. Baldwin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico. In addition, Ms. Baldwin earned two and Masters’ degrees from New Mexico Highlands University, one in Clinical Social Work and the other in Government & Not-for-Profit Business Administration. She has dedicated the past ten years to working with and for young people in the Albuquerque community in the areas of education reform, protective services social work and community and mental health intervention and prevention work.
Ms. Baldwin is the current on-site school leader Siembra Leadership High School, a school that specifically works with opportunity youth through entrepreneurship. Ms. Baldwin views her school as a form of social justice, striving to provide the best educational model to young people that need it the most. Ms. Baldwin is excited about Siembra students being the youth component of economic development in the City of Albuquerque. As a founding school leader of Siembra Leadership High School, Jaqi has spearheaded the innovative infusion of social and emotional supports for all students to enhance academic success. In her role of Operations Manager, Jaqi is changing the face of school leadership in New Mexico as she is a social worker. Ms. Baldwin feels passionately about being a part of a team that offers education options and opportunities to our most precious resource – our youth.
Ms. Baldwin also demonstrates leadership in her role of President Elect of the National Association of Social Workers New Mexico chapter. Ms. Baldwin is excited to off her skills to this organization that moves the work of the social work professional forward in her home state. The focus of this work includes macro-level work to include policy, legislation and further systematizing and professionalizing this area of practice for all social workers.
Jaqi has also been an Adjunct Professor and Field Consultant for the New Mexico Highlands University Facundo Valdez School of Social Work for the past five years. Ms. Baldwin takes her opportunity to lead adults in social justice advocacy work seriously and creates safe learning space for up and coming practitioners to shine. Ms. Baldwin is happy to be a part of a learning community that fosters practices to best serve clients.
Louis Gonzalez, BA, MA
Director – Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Louis Gonzalez has been with the Leadership Schools for six years. He was a Project Teacher at ACE Leadership High School, a Project Based Learning Coach/Instructional Coach for Health Leadership High School, and now is the Director of Curriculum and Assessment for Siembra Leadership High School. Louis was trained in Project Based Learning by the Buck Institute of Education. Aside from education, Louis owns a small real estate rental business and is a ski patroller at Sandia Peak Ski Area.
Laura Liccione, BA, MA
Special Education Coordinator, Project Teacher/Advisor
Laura Liccione became passionate about teaching young people in high school. Ms. Liccione was mentored by a history teacher in school that modeled connecting with young people through education. Ms. Liccione is focused on developing in education and cultivating relationships since this time. Ms. Liccione received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with endorsements in Social Studies, Language Arts and Mathematics from the University of New Mexico. She then earned her Alternative Teaching Licensure in Special Education from Central New Mexico Community College. As an educator that values her own professional development, Ms. Liccione completed her Master of Arts in History from Wayland Baptist while being a founding teacher at Siembra Leadership High School. Ms. Liccione has been a professional educator in the Albuquerque community for seven years. During this time, Ms. Liccione’s philosophy has been one of putting students and families first. Ms. Liccione prides herself in her ability to build rapport with students. As a seasoned Special Education teacher, Ms. Liccione has grown as an educator and an advocate, ensuring students are met with warmth, empathy and unconditional positive regard. As a founding member of Siembra Leadership High School, Ms. Liccione has designed and implemented critical schoolwide structures and systems tailored to meet the needs of students. She continues to grow as a project-based learning teacher while incorporating community engagement and student support. Ms. Liccione develops student’s assets as young people to be part of downtown Albuquerque’s economic development.
Ronnie Reynolds, BA, MA
Project Teacher/Advisor, Re-engagement Program
Ronnie Reynolds was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has been working with young people for 29 years as a child care counselor and director at the YMCA, an educational assistant at Montezuma Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School, a teacher at Jefferson and Albert Einstein Middle School In Shoreline, Washington and now at Siembra Leadership High School.
He has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in the Curriculum and Instruction of Secondary Language Arts.
He is passionate about engaging students in the learning process and working with students individually to help them become lifelong learners.
In addition to all that, he loves hanging with his wife and cats in any leisurely capacity.
Numair Latif, BS, MS
Eliseo Guajardo, BA, MA
Eliseo Guajardo was raised as a ‘military brat’. He was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to different cities such Madrid, Spain and San Bernadino, California. He came to Albuquerque and graduated high school in Albuquerque and has been here ever since. He became a teacher in 1997 and has taught now for 22 years as a high school mathematics teacher. He earned a Bachelors in Secondary Education with mathematics endorsement from the College of Santa Fe and a Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from New Mexico Highlands University. He is ABD for his Doctorate Degree in Organizational Leadership.
He has taught mathematics to students in Albuquerque for over 20 years. He worked in a Learn By Doing school the last three years and is very comfortable teaching in this environment. He enjoys instilling the confidence in students so that they are willing to learn. He always hopes to instill in students the skills necessary for students to become successful now and in the future. His goal is for his students to become lifelong learners.
Kristen LaVolpa, BA, MA
Kristen LaVolpa began in her early years teaching dance. She started a program while completing her Masters work called (H.O.P.E) (Hip Hop Offers Positive Expression) an after school program designed to support at-risk youth through interactive art and dance projects. This program was funded through the APS Healthy Schools Initiative and the APS Health and Wellness Department. Kristen is still very active in the street arts scene in Albuquerque, she belongs to an all female dance collective and offers female empowerment workshops for young girls in her community.
In addition to her extracurricular experience Kristen has over 8 years experience in secondary education. She taught 10th grade service learning at South Valley Academy. Placing students at non-profit organizations throughout Albuquerque and supporting them in various projects, life skills and work at their sites. Kristen also taught the Senior Seminar/ Senior Action Project class offered to seniors at South Valley Academy. She was instrumental in helping develop some of the curriculum using a social justice education framework. This class is required of all seniors graduating from SVA. Kristen has over 5 years experience guiding students through action projects designed to positively impact their communities.
She prides herself on developing innovative curriculum that challenges students and helps them connect to the community and push them out of their comfort zone.
Kristen is also an entrepreneur. Last year she and her husband opened a coffee and yoga house (Helix Coffee and Yoga House) in Nob Hill. She knows first hand the ins and outs of running a business, marketing, and making difficult business and financial decisions. She is a certified yoga instructor and loves sharing the gift of yoga with young people.
Kristen is excited to join the Siembra Family and share her knowledge and background as well as help students turn vision into reality!
Anna Aguilera, BSW, BA, LCSW
Anna Laura Aguilera, LCSW, was born and raised in New Mexico. Mrs. Aguilera attended New Mexico State University where she earned a Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages and a Master of Social Work. Mrs. Aguilera has over a decade of experience in direct practice working with New Mexico youth, children and their families. Mrs. Aguilera has worked in the areas of mental health, child welfare, domestic violence and the education system. For the last five years Mrs. Aguilera has worked as a school social worker at the high school level. Mrs. Aguilera believes that it is important to build positive and supportive relationships with students and their families in order to help students achieve higher academic and social outcomes. Mrs. Aguilera is committed to help students achieve their highest potential and become successful leaders in our community.
Natalie Tavitas, BA, LCSW
Natalie Tavitas is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a board-approved supervisor. Natalie graduated from New Mexico State University with both a graduate degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a focus on Family and Consumer Sciences. Natalie developed a passion for working with young people while she was employed at Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) for a number of years. Even after working in the field of medical social work after her years at CYFD, Natalie realized that the work she was meant to do involved young people and helping those young people thrive through their strengths. This is why she was drawn to school social work. Natalie is committed to supporting students and removing barriers by providing social-emotional support, improving access to resources and collaborating with the school, family and community.
Dee Callwood, MSW Intern
Social Work Intern
Dee Callwood is a graduate student at New Mexico Highlands University Facundo Valdez School of Social Work. Dee has a bachelor’s degree in social work and will receive a master’s degree in social work in May 2019. Dee found his passion for school social work while completing his first internship at Siembra during the 2017 – 2018 school year. Dee values the opportunity to support students and families. Dee is passionate about community engagement, outreach and group work. Dee is excited about building a strengths-based school culture for students.
Pedro Rivera, MSW Intern
Social Work Intern
Eduardo Garcia, BSW Intern
Social Work Intern
Leslie Kelly, Board President
Leslie Kelly moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico from Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1986 in search of a career as an educator, sunshine and a more agreeable year round climate. She has a BS in Special Education and a MA in Counseling. Throughout her 30+ year professional career, she has worked as a school counselor, mental health clinician, educator, prevention specialists and administrator. Her passion is working with, and on behalf of, children, families and communities facing challenges due to social, educational, and economic inequities. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis competitively, working out, music, reading, her dog Lucy and husband Clay. Sam and Madeline, her two grown children, reside in Colorado and Washington and she tries to see them as much as possible. She currently is working at the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) as the Charter School Program Grant Manager. The work is exciting and the opportunity to learn and grow professionally is a welcome challenge.
Dr. Frank Mirabal, City of Albuquerque
Dr. Frank Mirabal was re-appointed by Mayor Tim Keller to serve as Director of Community Engagement in late 2017. In this role, Mirabal engages a variety of stakeholders in community governance, which creates a platform for decision-making through a variety of participatory approaches. A veteran of City Hall, Mirabal was first appointed by Mayor Richard J. Berry in 2014 to serve as Director of Collective Impact. During the previous administration, Dr. Mirabal led city-wide efforts focused on civic tech, entrepreneurship, education, workforce development, and civic participation—all through the lens of equity and inclusion. Prior to his work in government, Frank served as the President of Contigo Research, Policy & Strategy, a national consulting firm that provided research, public policy and strategy services to governments, nonprofits, philanthropy and social enterprises. During his tenure at Contigo, Mirabal helped raise awareness and visibility of community schools, health care career pathways and integrated education/workforce collaboratives in New Mexico and across the country.
Dr. Mirabal earned a Ph.D at New Mexico State University in Educational Leadership and has both a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a BA in Communications and Journalism from the University of New Mexico. Frank is a 2017 Pahara/Aspen Institute Education Fellow and was a 2016 Presidio Institute Cross-Sector Leadership Fellow. He has also been a featured contributor to Education Weekly, Hechinger Report, Governing Magazine, and the Living Cities Blog.
Charlie Wisoff, Entrepreneurial Expert
Charlie Wisoff is the Head of Product at a local data privacy startup,. Lens helps individuals retain ownership over their data while sharing it digitally. Prior to working at Lens, Charlie founded CivNet, an online platform for community engagement. Charlie has been working in the tech and civic fields since 2010, including working for the Kettering Foundation and the Sustained Dialogue Institute. During this time, Charlie helped organize Kettering’s annual A Public Voice event that informs high level public officials of how everyday Americans deliberate on political issues; and he served as assistant to Hal Saunders and helped organize the historic Dartmouth Conferences, track II diplomacy between the US and Russia. Charlie graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He believes that the most fundamental problem we face today is figuring out how we as a society, a country, and a community can decide and act collectively to make change. Charlie grew in Summit, NJ and moved to Albuquerque in 2014 to be closer to his wife’s family.
Carl Garcia, City of Albuquerque
Carl Garcia currently serves on the Siembra governing board as the role of a parent board member. Carl is the proud parent of Chris Garcia who has attended Siembra for 3 years. Carl has been employed with the City of Albuquerque for 28 years and currently serves as a zoning code supervisor in the planning department. He has worked in several departments in the City of Albuquerque one of which included working as executive assistant to former Mayor Jim Baca. In 2007 Carl worked with his state representative to pass a state law implementing Financial literacy in all New Mexico high schools as an elective. Carl has a passion for helping to improve quality of life for the citizens of Albuquerque and strongly believes that with the right guidance, care and compassion every student at Siembra can mature to become productive and contributing members of our wonderful City or wherever they choose to live. Carl is dedicated and committed to ensuring that the students at Siembra receive the highest quality education possible.
Vanessa Roanhorse, Roanhorse Consulting LLC
Vanessa is an inclusive solutions-driven problem solver committed to liberating all peoples and delivering impactful mechanisms for social, environmental and economic change. She launched her company Roanhorse Consulting in order to work with unheralded populations to achieve and aspire their self-determination by forging communities of practice, creating equity through entrepreneurship, and encouraging economic empowerment from within. Vanessa works with Indigenous founders and founders focused on Indigenous solutions to access resources. She is the Co-Founder of the Native Women Lead organization invested in growing more Native and Indigenous women to be leaders and CEO’s and is building a network of Indigenous CEOs and leaders to build our social capital that weaves business and culture together to build better economies for our people.