New Mexico - Public Education Department

State Bilingual Advisory Council (SBAC) Members
Karen Garcia Brown
Dr. Berlinda Begay is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She resides in Red Mesa, AZ with her husband and four beautiful children. She is the Bilingual Multiethnic Coordinator for Central Consolidated Schools in Shiprock, NM. She oversees the Navajo and Spanish Bilingual Programs, and the Dine Dual Language Program at Eva B. Stokely. She has been in education for 20 years, and 15 years of that, dedicated to Navajo Bilingual education. Her passion revolves around her language and her culture. She is an advocate for Bilingual education and Navajo language revitalization. She strongly believes in advocacy for Native American students in all educational realms because they are the most underrepresented minority.

Dr. Begay received her B.A from Fort Lewis College in Bicultural Studies and Early Childhood Education. She has an M.A from University of Arizona in Bilingual Multicultural Education and an M.A from Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership. She recently obtained her Ed.D from Fielding Graduate University in Educational Leadership and Change.
Karen Garcia Brown
Karen Garcia Brown has 26 years of experience in public education. Currently the Multicultural Director for Farmington Municipal Schools, she began her career in the general education classroom teaching first grade, kindergarten, and third grade. Karen transitioned to administration as a dean of students for four years, then to a middle school principal position for seven years before moving to the bilingual department. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Fort Lewis College and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Adams State College. In addition, Karen holds four educator licenses; a New Mexico Level III-B Pre K-12 Administrative license, a New Mexico Level III-A Instructional Leader: K-8 Elementary- TESOL Endorsement, a Colorado Professional Administrator License, and a Colorado Professional Teacher License: Elementary Education-English as a Second Language. She has also been trained in the University of Virginia School Turnaround Program, as well as Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction. Karen's goal for her work with the SBAC is to help teachers and leaders improve instruction through a true understanding of the assessment, analysis, and instruction cycle while respecting cultural diversity.
Armando Chavez
Armando Chavez lives in Deming NM with his wife, Veronica, and three amazing children Armando, Alissa and Anthony. He is an alumni from Western New Mexico University receiving both his Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Master's degree in Educational Leadership. Armando Chavez currently holds the principal position at Columbus Elementary (Deming Public Schools). Working at Columbus Elementary is something he is proud of. He believes that students who are culturally diverse deserve a prescribed effort to fully reach their potential in their native and second language. His love of teaching continues as he instructs classes at Western New Mexico University.

Armando Chavez has received the Champions of Change award in 2014 in Washington D.C. for his continued work with immigrant populations. He is a member of the Benevolent Protection Order of the Elks where he holds both Loyal Knight and Secretary positions. He received the Officer of the Year award from his local lodge 2750. He was humbled by his acknowledgment of being named 2016 Bilingual Administrator of the year for the State of New Mexico.
Armando Chavez
Karen Dondelinger is the coordinator of the ESL program at Rio Rancho Elementary School. Karen grew up in Texas, but has lived most of her adult life in New Mexico. Karen earned a Master’s degree in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies from UNM in 2005. She holds a level III teaching license with an endorsement in TESOL. Karen has helped train teachers in Rio Rancho on the use of sheltered instruction for ELL students. Karen wanted to be a part of SBAC because she is passionate about ensuring high quality instruction for all students in New Mexico.
Geni Flores
Geni Flores is the coordinator of the Bilingual Education/TESOL program at Eastern New Mexico University. She came to ENMU in 1999 after having taught high school Spanish and ESL for many years. She grew up in New Orleans, La and has lived in New Mexico throughout her adult life. She is an instructor in bilingual and ESL education and teaches the diversity classes for the College of Education.
Suzanne Jacquez Gorman, Ph.D.
Suzanne Jacquez Gorman, Ph.D. is a Hispanic native New Mexican, born in Cuba New Mexico and raised in Santa Fe, NM. She is product of the Santa Fe Public School District. She has 25 years- experience working as a bilingual educator. She worked as a bilingual teacher at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School in the Albuquerque Public School District for six years and also taught bilingual classes at EJ Martinez Elementary and Nava Elementary School in the Santa Fe Public School District. She has worked as a Research Assistant for the ENLACE Program, Teacher Resource Specialist, Language Acquisition and Support Coordinator, Assistant Principal, Principal of the Former Agua Fria Elementary School and Current El Camino Real Academy for nearly 10 years. She is currently working as a District English Language Coach for the SFPS district. She has served as a Co-Chair for Dual Language Educator of New Mexico Board of Directors, Member of the DLeNM Board of Directors, as well as former Board Member of the NM World Class Teacher Network and Partners in Education in Santa Fe. She is the recipient of Title VII Scholarships as she worked towards her bilingual teaching endorsements and Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Jacquez Gorman is proud of her three elementary school-aged children Jacquelyn, Don and Enrique who are enrolled in the "EL Camino' Real Academy's" Dual Language Program. The former Agua Fria Elementary School now EL Camino Real Academy received recognition as a Bright Spot for the State of NM and was also named as an International Spanish Academy under her leadership as the school's principal. She has been an advocate in developing and implementing best practice bilingual programs in New Mexico and has a vested interest in helping NM to continue to be a model state for bilingual education not only for her own children but all children in the state of NM. Si se puede!
Lillian N. Griego
Lillian N. Griego is the Bilingual Director from Pojoaque Valley School District. She was born in Socorro, NM but was raised in Alpine, Arizona. Her parents are Herman and Flora Najar. After graduating from NMSU, she married David Griego and moved to La Madera where they live with their three children Jacob, Leo and Kelli. Lillian grew up speaking Spanish and English interchangeably, and doesn't remember learning either language. Lillian grew up in a predominantly Anglo community. It wasn't until she moved to New Mexico that she had the opportunity to learn with and teach Hispanic people. She never realized what she was missing, but knew once she moved to Northern New Mexico and worked with children from her own race that she realized she was home; she was where she belonged, and she was going to make a difference for these children and their families.

Lillian attended NMSU where she obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education with a Language Arts Endorsement. She earned her TESOL and Bilingual Endorsements from Western New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands University. She received her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from New Mexico Highlands University. She most recently attended UNM where she received her Diagnostician's Certificate/License.

Lillian has been an educator for 15 years. Five of those years she worked as a teacher, and ten years as an administrator. Of the 15 years, Lillian has been a Bilingual Teacher or Bilingual Director for 11 of them. She feels that it is important for children to learn or at the very minimum be exposed to a second language. She also feels that it is more than the language; it is the culture, the heritage, and the history of the Hispanic people. Hispanics have played a major role in the American and World History, yet are not in the forefront of the news, of leadership, of their states. She feels that if she can change that, with just one student that she has worked for, then she has accomplished her goal. Teaching students to feel pride in who they are as a Hispanic people has been a goal of hers for many years.

Having been chosen as a member of the State Bilingual Advisory Committee is yet another avenue she plans to use to further the understanding and appreciation for the heritage and culture she loves.
Dr. Leslie Costa-Guerra
Dr. Leslie Costa-Guerra is a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Santa Fe Public Schools. She is Hispanic and Native American from Tesuque Pueblo. She earned her PhD from New Mexico State University in Special Education with her dissertation focusing on Tewa language patterns in New Mexico Students. She has researched many issues surrounding language development and learning in New Mexico. She is a part of several bilingual organizations both locally and nationally and presents her research findings to educators around the United States.
Danielle Larrañaga
Jaime Holladay works for Santa Fe Public Schools. She has over 13 years of experience in education, ranging from classroom teaching at the secondary level to working as an adjunct faculty member at the community college level. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Jaime is currently completing course work towards an administrative license.
Danielle Larrañaga
Danielle Larrañaga is a native Hispanic New Mexican born in Albuquerque, although she grew up mostly in California she returned to New Mexico to attend college where she graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Minor in Bilingual Education and a Master's in curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading. Danielle holds a New Mexico Educators Level III K-8 Elementary License and a Level III Pre K-12 Administrative License with endorsements in Bilingual Education and TESOL. She began her career in the general education classroom teaching in Northern New Mexico and later left NM to teach Bilingual Education in 2nd and 5th grades in California. In 2008 she returned to New Mexico where she continued her career teaching in Bilingual Education with Albuquerque Public schools. Since then she has transitioned from classroom teacher to District Resource Teacher and then to Instructional Manager with the department of Language and Cultural Equity where she is currently the Director, overseeing Title III and Alternative Language Service programs within APS.
Danielle Larrañaga
Jennifer Martinez is a principal for Belen Consolidated Schools. She is in her 12th year in education. During her tenure in education she has been a Spanish Bilingual teacher, ESL teacher, K-2 Curriculum coach, Title III Coach and principal. She obtained her BA in Bicultural Studies from Fort Lewis College from which she graduated Magnum Cum Laude. She obtained her a MA in Curriculum and Instruction and MA in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Her educational philosophy is about growth, academic success, and higher critical thinking. The beauty of bilingual education is not only teaching the standard of language arts but also the connection of cultural importance. Through Bilingual education learning communities can be educated on the importance of academic success and critical thinking utilizing the culture, history and future world events; teaching students to advocate for not only their families but also themselves.
Adrian I. Sandoval
Adrian I. Sandoval is married and a father of two children that are products of dual language education programming at the elementary level. His son of 16 years has been fortunate enough to continue to participate in a dual language setting in high school. However, his daughter of 12 years, due to the scarcity of dual language at the middle school level, participates in a traditional middle school setting. Over the years and under various capacities, Adrian has had the privilege of speaking with parents and families about bilingual education, supporting English learners and our culturally diverse students, and considering ways to best support our children to be successful in school and life. Adrian began his career in education over 23 years ago. He is secondary licensed and holds endorsements in Modern Classical & Native Languages, Social Studies, TESOL and Bilingual Education. His educational career has taken him from being recognized as a district level Fannie Mae first year teacher of the year to functioning as our state's Title III Coordinator, working as an associate with the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations (CESDP) at New Mexico Highlands University, and currently as a professional development coordinator with Dual Language Education of New Mexico.
Joe Strickland
Joe Strickland is currently the Director of Federal Programs for Clovis Municipal Schools and oversees the District's Title III Program as well as the Bilingual Multicultural Education Program. At Eastern New Mexico University, Joe earned both a Bachelor of Science in psychology and requirements for elementary education certification. He earned a Masters of Education from Lesley University in Integrating the Fine Arts into Curriculum and education administration courses from Wayland Baptist University. He has served in the field of education for 23 years as a 2nd -8th grade National Board Certified teacher and as Director of Human Resources. He was second runner up for New Mexico Teacher of the Year and represented New Mexico at International Space Camp. Joe is married to Jana, a twenty-plus year kindergarten teacher and they have three children. He has a passion for public education and serves as an advocate for all students.
Maricela Duarte-Stern
Maricela Duarte-Stern Was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She's a Writer and an Educator. Mrs. Duarte-Stern is a former graduate of Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua where she earned her Bachelor's degree of Philosophy. She also attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a Master's Degree in Latin American Literature. Her poetry and literary works have been published in multiple cultural magazines, anthologies, books, and newspapers in both countries: Mexico and the United States
Belinda Tsabetsaye
Belinda Tsabetsaye is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zuni. She is employed with the Zuni Public School District as a Coordinator for the Zuni Language/Bilingual and Title III Programs. She received her B.A. and M.D. from the University of New Mexico and eventually earned her spot in the Zuni Public Schools Bilingual Program. She has been working in this capacity for 6 years. She has been in education for 35 years as an Educational Assistant, GRADS Instructor, Even Start Program Coordinator, Pre-K Program Coordinator and Bilingual/Title III Program Coordinator for Zuni Public School District. Belinda also served as a member of the New Mexico State Seal Bilingualism-Biliteracy Task Force.
  Office of the Governor of New Mexico Sunshine Portal US Department of Education Teach NM Score
Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Facebook