May 25, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Education Secretary Dr. Veronica C. Garcia Names Members to Indian Education Advisory Council

(Santa Fe, NM)--Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García has appointed 14 members to the New Mexico Indian Education Advisory Council, a component of the Indian Education Act signed in 2003 by Governor Bill Richardson. The Council provides recommendations and suggestions to the Public Education Department’s Indian Education Division regarding educational issues for Native American students in New Mexico.

The Council will hold its first meeting on Friday, May 28, from 9:00am to 1:00pm, in Santa Fe, at the Sierra Vista Complex, located at 1300 Camino Sierra Vista.

The following members were appointed:

· Jicarilla Apache Representative: Iola J. Begay, education specialist with the Jicarilla Apache Department of Education in Dulce;

· Mescalero Apache Representative: Zelda Yazza, a parent in Mescalero;

· Navajo Nation Representatives: Sarah Adeky, community planner specialist with the Navajo Chapter in Ramah; Pauleen A. Billie, executive director of the Navajo Area School Board Association, Inc., in Window Rock, Arizona; Dr. Larry W. Emerson, an education consultant in Shiprock; and Dr. Kalvin G. White, principal investigator with the Diné Education Department in Window Rock;

· Southern Pueblos Representatives: Albenita (Abby) Arquero, Native American education director with the Bernalillo Public Schools in Bernallilo, and Wilfred Eriacho, Sr., retired bilingual director for the Pueblo of Zuni;

· Northern Pueblos Representatives: Donovan Gomez, Talent Search director with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc., in San Juan Pueblo, and Irene Tse-Pe, tribal administrator with the Pueblo of San Ildefonso;

· Bureau of Indian Affairs Representative: Dr. Benjamin Atencio, education line officer and superintendent of education with the Office of Indian Education Programs, Southern Pueblos Agency, in Albuquerque;

· Urban Indian Representative: Kiutus (Ki) Tecumseh, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Agency, in Albuquerque;

· Head Start Representative: Ann Zuni, director of Headstart and Childcare for the Pueblo of Isleta; and

· Non-Indian Representative: Justin B. A. May, executive director of Teach for America with the New Mexico Navajo Nation in Gallup.