Letter to New Mexico Gubernatorial Candidates

Letter to New Mexico Gubernatorial Candidates

Dear Gubernatorial Candidate,


As adults, we can often point to someone who has inspired us and helped us get to where we are today.  Often, that person is a teacher. In your journey to become the next Governor of New Mexico, was there an educator who inspired you, challenged you, and believed in you?  


Research indicates that teachers are the most influential factor in a child’s academic success.  Teachers are also the ones who implement the educational policies developed at the Statehouse, and who know what their students need and how to help them achieve at high levels.  Yet decisions about education are all too frequently made without teacher input and without teacher voice.


We hope to work with you to change this.  We are a group of champion educators from across New Mexico who bring forth knowledge, experience, and a desire to be part of the policy decisions that affect our students and our work in the classroom.  We adhere to a platform of educational values that support student learning, enhance the teaching profession, and move New Mexico’s citizenry forward. We support:

  • Equitable opportunities for all students ​​
  • High-learning standards that support student pathways to college and careers ​​
  • High-quality assessments aligned to learning standards ​​
  • Accountability systems that are rigorous, accurate, and used as tools for educator growth and recognition​


We are also members of the Teach Plus Network. Teach Plus is a national non-profit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in policy and practice, and operates in 11 states including New Mexico.  Through the Teach Plus Policy Fellowship, which has thus far trained 35 New Mexico teachers, educators from across our state have focused on a range of issues including the teacher evaluation system, our state’s ESSA plan, mentorship, retention of effective educators, and prioritizing PreK for students in most need.  The Teach Plus Network includes more than 100 teacher partners and is poised to grow this year and into the future.


There are more than 320,000 students and 22,000 teachers in New Mexico’s public schools. New Mexico’s students have made academic progress, but there is a need and an opportunity for improvement. We believe that that every child in New Mexico deserves to reach their highest potential, and that we can achieve this goal through strong leadership and collaboration.  We look forward to partnering with you in this important work.


Teacher partners of the Teach Plus Network:  

Hope Morales, NM Teach Plus State Director, Roswell

Danielle Kusmak, Tularosa

Kiersten Jacoby, Gallup

Vickie Kwiecinski, Albuquerque

Sheila Fitch, Clovis

Tamara Jones, Roswell

Edward Pena, Bayard

Mia Anderson, Santa Fe

Elizabeth Bowden, Los Alamos

Cherie Romero, Pojaque Valley

Zoe Gierman, Santa Fe

Pam Price, Santa Fe

Jamie Furney, Roswell

Anna Weaver, Ruidoso

Joe Dan Lovato, Albuquerque

Rena Stone, El Rito

Jill Hare, PhD, Silver City

Michelle Lopez, Jal

Mignon Simitz, Roswell

Dr. Trinidad Tolar, Silver City

Julie Sticklan, Las Cruces

Brittany Behenna Griffith, Santa Fe

Aja Currey, Las Vegas

Jill Hutchinson-Bass, Santa Fe

Dawn Bilbrey, Portales

Christine Eisenmann, Clovis

Jeneen Lujan, Pojaque Valley

Julia Burrola, Albuquerque

Andrea Thomas, Shiprock

Erin Armijo, Albuquerque

Nancy Johnson, Carlsbad

Sharon Fogle, Los Alamos

Victoria Apodoca Fisk, Las Cruces

Cindy Burger, Deming

Dustie Gonzalez, Clovis

Cassandra Brown, Santa Fe

Gary Bass, Santa Fe

Tennise Lucas, Roswell

Kelly Pearce, Albuquerque

Georgia Savage, Gallup

Mary Ellen Dannenberg, Santa Fe

Jessica Sanders, Roswell

Darlene Fortier, Santa Fe

Amanda Bader, Rio Rancho

Katy Vaz, Roswell

Shana Spicer, Albuquerque

Juan Aragon, Albuquerque

Ruth Gallegos, Kirtland