Derrick Adkins headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Project teacher/advisor
Siembra Leadership High School
Albuquerque Public Schools

Derrick Adkins is a Teacher/Advisor at Siembra Siembra Leadership High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he serves as project teacher/advisor. Derrick is an accomplished level 3 teacher who supports new teachers as the On-Site Teacher Mentor. He created and coordinates an evening school program for students in need of additional support to graduate. Derrick currently holds a license in School Administration and serves as Administration Support Specialist at his school site. He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in History and MA in Secondary Education and is currently completing his master’s program in Education Administration at Eastern New Mexico University.

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Victoria Apodaca-Fisk headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Social studies teacher
New America School
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Victoria Fisk is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Victoria is a social studies teacher at the New America School in Las Cruces, where she is the faculty advisor to student council and founder of the group’s hygiene drive benefiting Camp Hope residents.  Victoria is active in the Military Spouse Caregiver Support Program, has participated in the 2016 Las Cruces Downtown Plaza Opening, and is a member of the anti-bullying coalition. She has been recognized as a Life Changer of the Year Finalist (2017), Charter School Teacher of the Year (2015), Engage New Mexico Educational Champion Award (2015), and Golden Apple Finalist (2014). Victoria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies with an emphasis on Latin American Studies and received her Masters in Curriculum and Education from New Mexico State University.

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Gary Bass headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
1st-8th grade dual language digital literacy teacher
El Camino Real Academy
Santa Fe Public Schools

Gary Bass is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Gary teaches digital literacy in Spanish and English at El Camino Real Academy, where he runs an after-school STEM club. Gary is a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language and the school’s liaison to the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network. He has previously taught in China, Syria, and Vietnam. Gary received his BS in Elementary Education and his MA in Curriculum & Instruction from New Mexico State University and holds a graduate Certificate of Educational Technology & Information Literacy from SUNY- Buffalo.

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Julia Burrola-Ortiz headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
2nd-3rd grade math teacher
Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School
Charter School

Julia Burrola is a  2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Julia teaches 2nd and 3rd grade math at Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School.  She also serves as a member of the Secretary’s Teacher Advisory and as a State Ambassador for the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network. In 2018 she was recognized as a “New Mexico True Teacher”. Julia graduated with a BA in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. 

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Jawna Carlo headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
7th grade science teacher
Artesia High School
Artesia Public Schools

Jawna Carlo is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Jawna teaches 7th grade science at Artesia High School, where she serves on the leadership team and is the science department head. Jawna is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, has piloted a new science curriculum with OpenSciEd, and was involved in the NM STEM Ready Secondary Science Course Mapping working group. She graduated from College of the Southwest with a BS in Secondary Education and Science and received her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.

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Eliana Esquibel headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
Instructional coach
Vado Elementary School
Gadsden Independent School District

Eliana Esquibel is an instructional coach at Vado Elementary School. Eliana has been teaching for seven years. She has presented to teachers at conferences and has hosted workshops at her school. She was named Teacher of the Year for the 2017/2018 school year by North Valley Elementary. She also received a Hispanic Leadership stole upon graduation with her MA. Eliana graduated from New Mexico State University with a BA in Elementary Education that came with a bilingual and TESOL endorsement. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a MA in Curriculum and Instruction in Language, Literacy and Culture.

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Allison Fitzgerald Heneghan headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
6th grade Earth and space science teacher
Harrison Schmitt Elementary School
Silver CSD

Allison Heneghan teaches 6th grade Earth and Space Science at Harrison Schmitt Elementary School in Silver City, NM. Allison is currently serving on the New Mexico ‘dream team’ to develop free open source NGSS aligned curriculum for NM teachers, she is a new Teach Plus fellow, and she is a member of the Grant County MSS (Making sense of science) leadership team (bringing high quality professional development in the sciences to rural SouthWestern NM). Allison earned her BA and MS in Biology at New Mexico State University, focusing in botany and genetics.

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Kiersten Jacoby headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
9th-12th grade science teacher
Gallup High School
Gallup-McKinley County Schools

Kiersten Jacoby is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Kiersten teaches 9th grade biology and dual credit anatomy & physiology at Gallup High School, where she has developed a Health Pathway program. Kiersten is the core team leader for the science department and has led professional development on The Next Generation Science Standards and the NM STEM Ready! standards. She previously taught anatomy & physiology and biology at the University of New Mexico-Gallup. Kiersten is a National Board Certified Teacher in the biological sciences. She graduated from California Polytechnic University with a BS in Equine Science and an MS in Equine Exercise Physiology.

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Nancy Johnson headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
3rd grade teacher
Desert Willow Elementary School
Carlsbad Municipal Schools

Nancy Johnson is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Nancy teaches 3rd grade at Desert Willow Elementary School, where she is the professional learning community facilitator for the 3rd grade level team, team leader for Discovery Education, and member of the Science Adoption Committee. Nancy has served as science coordinator for Elementary in Artesia Public Schools; reading adoption coordinator in Hagerman, New Mexico; principal in Roswell, New Mexico; and SAT coordinator in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She received the 2018 Teacher of the Month Award from Carlsbad. Nancy serves as the school liaison for the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network. She earned a BA of Science in Education and an MA in Education from Eastern New Mexico University.

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Danielle Kusmak headshot
Teaching Policy Fellow
5th grade teacher
Tulorosa Schools

Danielle Kusmak is a 2019 Teach Plus New Mexico Teaching Policy Fellow. Danielle teachers 5th grade in the Tularosa Basin, where she provides professional development for K-12 teachers and collaboratively serves as an NM Teacher Leader School Liaison. She is on the board of New Mexico Science Teachers Association and the New Mexico Partnership for Math and Science Education, and chairs the “Lead-On” committee focused on industry leadership opportunities in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Danielle was nominated as an Outstanding Agriculture Teacher of the Year and has taught elementary education as well as high school biology, agriculture, ag Mechanics, and Horticulture. She received her Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Education from New Mexico State University and her Masters in Educational Administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

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