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. As Director of Student Support, Jaqi is excited to spearhead the innovative infusion of social and emotional supports for all Siembra students to enhance academic success. She has dedicated the past ten years to working with and for young people in the Albuquerque community in the areas of school social work, protective services social work and community and mental health intervention and prevention work.
As a mental health clinician, Jaqi provides individual, family, and group interventions to support students. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and Masters’ degrees in both Clinical Social Work and Government & Not-for-Profit Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University. With this background, Ms. Baldwin is in a unique position to not only provide and implement social/emotional support but also offer industry-relevant support for Siembra students in the entrepreneurial pursuits. Ms. Baldwin is also a licensed high school teacher and feels passionately about being a part of a team that offers education options and opportunities to our most precious resource – our youth.
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
Charlie Wisoff, Entrepreneurial Expert
Charlie Wisoff is the Head of Product at a local data privacy startup, Lens. Lens helps individuals retain ownership over their data while sharing it. Prior to working at Lens, Charlie founded CivNet, an online platform for community engagement. He has been working in the tech and civic fields since 2010, including working for the Kettering Foundation and the Sustained Dialogue Institute. Charlie graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He grew up in Summit, NJ and moved to Albuquerque in 2014 to be closer to his wife’s family.
Edward Tabet-Cubero, Bilingual Education Expert
Edward Tabet-Cubero is a veteran bilingual educator who currently serves as Associate Director of Dual Language Education of New Mexico. DLeNM is a non-profit technical assistance that supports schools and policymakers in their efforts to provide emerging bilingual students with equal opportunities to learn by building upon their linguistic and cultural assets. With a BA and MA Ed from New Mexico State University, Edward has promoted bilingual education across the US as a classroom teacher, award winning site administrator at the elementary and secondary levels, district office administrator, and university instructor. In 2014, Edward was selected as a WK Kellogg Leadership Fellow where he is applying his skills in collaboration with a leadership cohort across a variety of sectors to improve outcomes for families in New Mexico. In his role as Secretary for The NM Coalition for the Majority, Edward is frequently called on by legislators to share his expertise regarding educational policy focused on diverse student populations. His current focus is on the convergence of best practices in the education of emerging bilingual students, instructional leadership, and public policy.
Javier Martínez, Attorney and State Representative
Javier Martinez serves as Policy Director and General Counsel at the Partnership for Community Action (PCA), a community-based organization that works to build political and economic power in Albuquerque’s South Valley. Javier is a product of Albuquerque’s public schools and graduated from the University of New Mexico, becoming the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. In 2010 Javier graduated from the UNM School of Law. For the past 15 years, Javier has advocated on behalf of New Mexico’s most vulnerable families. He has fought to ensure access to health care for all families regardless of immigration status, advocated for smart-growth development policies, pushed for permanent investments in early childhood education, and fought tirelessly to protect civil rights for all. Javier lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley with his wife, Diana and their children Marisela and Camilo. Javier represents Albuquerque’s House District 11 in the New Mexico State House of Representatives.
Taylor Chavez, Entrepreneur and Student
Taylor Chavez is the founder of Startup Teen, an organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial education and assisting teens with the mentorship and resources needed to get their ideas off the ground. In addition, she is the co-founder of Teeniors, a startup enabling tech-savvy teens to assist senior citizens with their technology needs. Taylor, a junior in high school, is passionate about entrepreneurship and organized the first ever Startup Weekend exclusively for Teens. In 2014, she received the Hautepreneurs, Haute Honors Award as Teen Rising Star Youth and spoke at TEDxABQ in 2013.
Daniel O. Trujillo, CPA, CFE, CGFM, CGMA
Daniel Trujillo has been doing state and local government audits for various entities including New Mexico school’s in his time as an auditor. Daniel is a CPA licensed in New Mexico and has sat on governing council of a local charter school between 2010 and 2013. Daniel also is a Certified Governmental Financial Manager and Certified Fraud Examiner. Daniel has experience planning, performing and evaluating audits and continuously seeks continuing education to stay up to date with changing requirements and regulations. Daniel currently sits on the Board of Directors for the UNM Alumni Association and is a member of their finance committee.
Daniel Trujillo earned his BBA and also his MACCT from the University of New Mexico; Robert O. Anderson School of Management. He is a member of the AICPA, NMSCPA, ACFE and the AGA.