Governance Council Links
Executive Director: LaTricia Mathis
LaTricia Mathis started her path in education as an elementary teacher in 1993. Since that time, she taught many grade levels from elementary to high school before deciding to pursue a career in school administration. Graduating New Mexico HIghlands University with a Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2006, she has since been a school administrator at both the elementary and high school level. She came to The New America School-NM is 2009 to be the administrator and has enjoyed serving the students and families of NAS-NM since that time.
Principal: Ileana Gallegos
An Albuquerque native, Ileana Gallegos began her education career in 2009. She has spent the last 13 years as a Special Education teacher and administrator in Albuquerque's South Valley where she has worked with generations of NAS families throughout her career in elementary, middle and high schools. Ms. Gallegos previously worked at NAS as a College and Career Counselor and Special Education Teacher before leaving to earn her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2020. She has since served as a school administrator at both the elementary and high school levels and has returned to NAS to once again serve the students and families of the New America School-NM.
Student Services Director: Paul Perez
Paul Perez is 20-year military veteran and holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services Management, Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership, and a Masters of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Mr. Perez has been working with bilingual, diverse, at risk and underserved populations in New Mexico for the past 14years. His experiences include Program Support Assistant working in rural communities in support of Nurse Educators at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, Director of Wellness and Prevention for a large public NM school district, interim Program Manager at the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center as the PM for school based health clinics on Native American reservations, Director of Programs at NAS-NM, Director of Academics, Career Technical Education, and Counseling at the Albuquerque Job Corps Center.
Mr. Perez and his wife, Patricia, reside in Albuquerque, NM and are parents of three children, ages 25, 20, and 17. Their oldest daughter, Victoria, is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado and is currently in medical school, their middle daughter Anabella is in college earning her teaching degree, and their son Christopher is a senior in a local high school.
Front Office Support
Assistant Business Manager
Ms. Brown started with NAS in 2018 as a Math teacher before transitioning from the classroom into the main office as the NOVA Coordinator and Assistant Business Manager in 2022. Ms. Brown is born and raised in Albuquerque, she has her Bachelors degree in Mathematics from New Mexico Tech and is currently working on her MBA at the University of New Mexico. Ms. Brown has experience working with the students and has been with NAS for 6 years, she enjoys working with numbers and helping to manage the finances to ensure NAS runs smoothly. She is a proud wife and mother to three children and enjoys spending her time off exploring New Mexico and spening time in the community. She is excited to be a part of NAS and the positive impact the school continues to make on the surrounding community.
Born in beautiful Puerto Rico and raised in Texas, Marisol moved to Albuquerque, NM and has made it her home since 2011. She is a proud mom of two sons. Her oldest is a Marine and her youngest is a proud graduate of New America Charter High School. She is also a proud grandmother. Marisol has worked in the Charter School system for 16 years and five of those years at New America. You can find Marisol answering phone calls, greeting visitors, maintaining student records, providing information to students and facilitating communication between administrators, teachers, and students’ families. She looks forward to interacting with students, families and her peers on a daily basis.
Truancy and Security
Born in Leadville, Colorado and moved to Northern New Mexico when he was two years old. He attended High School in Mora New Mexico where he played Basketball, Baseball and ran Cross Country. Upon Graduating he went on to work for NMSU (The Mora Research Center). After five years he decided to go to New Mexico Highlands University. He then got a job at his alma mater coaching Basketball and Baseball and maintaining the school swimming pool. In 2001 he then was hired at Pojoaque High School as a Security Officer where he worked for ten years. Then in 2011 he was Hired at New America School as Head of Security, where he helps the students with whatever they need, always ready and willing to talk to them or give them some helpful advice.
Elfigo was born and raised here in the south valley. where he resides today. Elfigo has done many different jobs here in the valley.He has tried to be an encouragement to all he meets especially the younger generation. He started at New America as security for 6 years and then landed up in facilities for the last 2 years. He enjoys communicating with students and encouraging them to stay in school and out of trouble he has become friends with many of them throughout the years.
Student Support Services
Kaiya was born and raised in Albuquerque, graduated from Sandia High School, and moved to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico State University. After earning her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education, she was offered a job at the New America School in Las Cruces AND the New America School in Albuquerque. Having family in Albuquerque, she made the decision to move back to the 505. She has been with New America School ever since. New America School holds a special place in Kaiya's heart as it was the beginning of her professional career and has led to over a decade of working with the wonderful students, families, and staff of NAS Albuquerque. She began as an English Language Arts teacher and now serves as the Academic Advisor. Feel free to come visit her anytime!
Parent Liaison/Social Work
A native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque who obtained her social work degree from New Mexico Highlands University in 2017. Prior to becoming a school social worker, she served as a therapist at Small Steps Child Counseling for five years. This is Ms. Montoya's second year as both social worker and Parent/Community Liaison at New America. She is very excited to support student mental health and wellness needs. She looks forward to continuing to get to know the students and families. Please feel free to reach out if your student is needing any support with mental health or any other specific needs. I am also here as your student and family support liaison to support students and families to locate resources they might be needing to decrease stress both in and outside of the school environment. I am here to help and look forward to connecting with you!
Graduation Outcomes Specialist
Born in Albuquerque and raised in Indiana, Ashley knew that New Mexico has always been home and moved back after graduating high school in Indiana. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and a Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology from Arizona State University. She comes with experience as she worked at the Children, Youth, and Families Department working with children of all ages. Mrs. Valenica has experience working with families with diverse backgrounds and comes to us with knowledge of multiple resources that can benefit the NAS families and students. Mrs. Valenica is now serving in the position of Graduation Outcomes Specialist where she helps our students stay on track for graduation, apply for college and figure out their future plans and goals. Mrs. Valencia is excited to serve in her role at NAS.
Michael Adams joined our staff in 2019 and quickly became integrated into many aspects of New America School. From Art Club to Social Studies, you can often find Mr. Adams engaged with students and working towards making our school exciting and relevant to the next generation. Coming from a background in construction and small business ownership, Mr. Adams has a deep respect for the families that he has encountered through New America School. For 10 years Michael worked with acid-stained concrete and for 8 years he owned and operated a martial arts school. Mr. Adams holds degrees in both Secondary Education and History, both of which are passions of his. Feel free to stop Michael anytime you see him on campus, he's always up for engaging with families and incorporating all voices in our students' education
Born and raised in Gallup, NM. Mr. Aguayo graduated from New Mexico State University. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Mr. Aguayo comes with 20 plus years of experience in education. He has taught multitudes of students throughout his career. In addition, he is certified NMAA Coach for Swim, Golf, Softball, and Baseball. Mr. Aguayo is now serving as a Math Instructor for NAS. He is currently teaching Algebra I, Geometry, and Financial Literacy. His goal is to encourage, and motivate all NAS students to be successful in their math classes.
English Language Arts
Ms. Giannini is an Albuquerque native. She graduated from Valley High School, CNM and UNM, earning degrees in liberal arts, secondary education and English. She is currently earning a masters degree in educational leadership from NMSU. Ms. Giannini has taught 6th through 12th grade English Language Arts, AVID, Yearbook, AP Literature, AP Language, and Newspaper at Albuquerque Public Schools and Gallup McKinley County Schools. Prior to becoming a teacher, she held a store manager position and ran a small business. She also worked at Brush Ranch River Lodge in Pecos, NM and was a secondary ELA Interventionist at Pecos Independent Schools. Ms. Giannini is excited to be a part of the NAS family.
Mr. Rodgers was born in Michigan, raised in Brazil, and graduated from high school in Texas. After earning a degree in behavioral science from the United States Air Force Academy, Mr. Rodgers was commissioned as an officer and stationed at Kirtland Air Force base where he managed aircraft maintenance operations for five years. Upon separating from the military in 2019, he began his education journey at NAS, where he has enjoyed teaching ever since. Mr. Rodgers is now a level II teacher endorsed in math and science, in addition to being TEFL certified and fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish. In his free time, he enjoys practicing endurance sports and watching movies while consuming copious amounts of vegetables.
Mrs. Tafoya was born in California, raised in New Mexico. With undergrad degrees in Criminal Justice and Business Management, she decided she wanted to be a part of a greater purpose and found her true passion in Special Education. She graduated from Arizona Global Campus with a Master's in Special Education. She is currently taking classes at Grand Canyon University for a Master's in Educational Leadership. She has worked in Special Education since 2018. While raising five kids of her own, Mrs. Tafoya has a passion for educating students of all abilities and being part of a positive impact in the community.
English Language Arts
Hello! My name is Joel Tercero and I teach English at New America School. I have just recently moved back to NM after teaching in Washington State. It's great to be back in the land of enchantment with an amazing group of students!
Ms. Valkenburg obtained her Bachelor's Degree at the University of New Mexico after completing her Associates Degree in Illinois at Rock Valley Community College. She is excited to be a part of the Science Department at New America School. She adds her 12 years of teaching experience to the growing amount of skills we learn every day with our amazing students and staff.