The collective experience, knowledge, and expertise of the Raíces Founding Team is the foundation of the initial Governance Board and sets the precedent of future Board membership. In addition, the written Bylaws state all the components needed to administer and lead Raíces in compliance with the original vision and mission of a biliterate and multidisciplinary K-5 curriculum. The Founding Team represents years of successful academic leadership and administration as well as being innovators and leaders in their respective professional careers. All future Board Members will possess similarly diverse qualifications as the first Board.
Founder and Author of Xinachtli Framework/Curriculum Team, Carlos Aceves: holds a BA in Elementary Education, an MA in Educational Psychology, is a Certified Elementary Bilingual Educator with 25 years’ experience as a bilingual elementary school teacher, and author of Mesoamerican-based Curriculum. Fluent in English and Spanish.
Board Member-Secretary/Founder/ Dr. Jane Asche: holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics, an MA. in Elementary Education, and an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education with extensive experience in community and board development and the development of community-business-school partners
Founder/Curriculum Team, Laura Flores: holds a BS in Education with a specialization in Special Education & Elementary Education, MA in Elementary Mathematics, MA in Educational Administration, National Board Certification in Literacy, and level three K-8 New Mexico Teaching License with endorsements in TESOL and Bilingual Education. Fluent in English and Spanish.
Founder/Project Coordinator Lucia V. Carmona: Lucia is a NACA Inspired School Network Fellow; holds a BA in Sociology, is an expert in community engagement and community organizing with 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, rural community development; leadership development and parent engagement.
Founder, Olga Pedroza: was a city councilor and renowned community leader who served during the first 18 months of the founding process. She was a civil rights lawyer who held a BA in sociology and MA in education and was an invaluable legal consultant. She passed away suddenly February 9, 2018.
Board Member /Founder Irene Oliver-Lewis: Irene has 40 years of experience as an artist teaching scholar; great expertise in Latino/multicultural arts, education, and humanities projects; and was a founder of an award-winning arts-based charter high school, Alma d’Arte. Fluent in English & Spanish.
Founder, Silvia Sierra: holds an MA in Health Sciences and a certificate from the US/Mexico Border Health Commission Leadership Training Program and is a graduate of Leaders across Borders first graduating class; and has an extensive background in public health services. Fluent in Spanish & English.
Founder/Curriculum Team, Dr. Wanda Bugler-Tamez: holds a BS in Elementary Education with mathematics emphasis an MA in Educational Administration, National Board Teacher Certification in Early Adolescence Mathematics, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction; and is currently Project Director/PI for the Mathematically Connected Communities (MC2 ) project
Founder, Monika Garcia-Tellez: immigrated to the U.S. as a young Spanish-speaking child; holds a degree as a medical assistant; has extensive volunteer experience in supporting children in high-risk situations; has served as president of the Parent Teacher Organization in her child’s school and is employed as a Spanish-English bilingual interpreter for Cyracom Corporation. She Passed away suddenly in the fall of 2021.
Board Member-Treasurer/Founder Ray Reich: holds a BS in Psychiatric Social Work and has thirty years of volunteer mentoring experience, consulting and counseling individuals and families in matters from employment to recovery from drug abuse; and is a highly successful business entrepreneur with an extensive background in business finance. Fluent in Spanish and English. He passed away on April 9, 2023.
Founder, Dr. Nicholas Natividad: holds Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at NMSU; holds a Ph.D. in Justice Studies with a concentration on issues of social justice in crime and law; and his research and teaching interests include borderland studies, race and identity studies.
Founder/Curriculum Team, Amanda Walden: holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies and an MA in Special Education; has done extensive work with immigrant families in Latin America and the U.S.; is currently a special education teacher in the Las Cruces Public Schools; and is fluent in Spanish & English.