Michelle grew up in Ohio, but has lived across many western states in her professional and personal pursuits. With a deep-rooted value in education, Michelle is a lifelong learner who earned an MA in Counseling and holds several certifications including life coaching, yoga instruction, rites of passage guiding and eco-psychology. During her career, she has developed and coordinated various programs for teens and adult learners. She was a therapist at various agencies before she began leading initiatives for programs that meld mental health and education into daily practices, including training school staff on positive behavior interventions and supports, and providing consultation on trauma informed care implementation. She believes the success of every student/human has its foundation in meaningful relationship.
Director of Finance/Ops/HR
Natalie joined the leadership team at Communities in Schools of New Mexico after serving on its board of directors for several years. Natalie began her career in education as a high school teacher and K-12 literacy specialist before pursuing post-graduate degrees in history and gender and sexuality theory. She then pivoted to a career in law enforcement, where she specialized in mental health services, community relationships, and sensitive crimes investigations. Later, she served as CEO of a behavioral health and social services agency, during which she also directed a county-wide homeless services program. Upon moving to New Mexico, Natalie returned to education as the director of a school for students with learning differences and special needs before joining CISNM. A lifelong volunteer and advocate, she is passionate about serving the children and families most in need in our community.
Director of Data & Evaluation
Israel is a native New Mexican. He has worked for various non-profit organizations in Santa Fe, focusing on database management/development, business analysis, and program management. He has always been passionate about helping and supporting the community. Israel holds an MBA from New Mexico Highlands University.
Suicide Prevention Program Manager
Christina was born and raised in Northern California and first moved to New Mexico in 1995. Caring deeply about equity, health and hope for all students, families and communities, she has taught, learned, and led within high schools, colleges and community based organizations in New Mexico, California, Maine and Massachusetts. Here in New Mexico, her work with the NACA Inspired Schools Network, the New Mexico Simon Scholars Program, South Valley Academy and Amy Biehl High School centered on designing, implementing and facilitating programs that provide equitable opportunity for college access, persistence and completion: in particular, for first generation college students and their families. Most recently, she served as Founding Director of the Davis Maine Scholarship program in rural coastal Maine—a program modeled, in part, after the Davis New Mexico Scholarship. Christina’s role at CIS will be as our Suicide Prevention Program Manager.
Deborrah relocated from the Bay Area to Santa Fe in 1998 to raise her kids in beautiful Santa Fe. She has worked in the accounting field for many years for a variety of businesses including a beverage manufacturer, an arts production company, and a finance company where she processed loan and grant applications for small business owners during Covid. Deborrah graduated from UNM in 2019 with a BA in Instructional Technology and Training.
Ellie grew up in Montana, where she completed a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Spanish at the University of Montana. She moved to Santa Fe in 2017 and worked with youth experiencing homelessness, providing basic needs and helping youth move toward stability. That work inspired her to pursue a Master of Social Work with a Bilingual/Bicultural Concentration from New Mexico Highlands University. Ellie joined the CIS team in 2021 as a Site Coordinator at El Camino Real Academy and now works with the program administration team in support of Site Coordinators.
Community Resource Navigator
Lauren was born and raised in Santa Fe, and is a proud graduate of Santa Fe Public Schools. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Lauren worked for Communities In Schools of Central Texas in Austin for several years, helping to coordinate services for children and families. She has worked as a school-based therapist in Santa Fe and is passionate about helping families and children to feel safe and understood and to achieve their goals.
Volunteer Program Manager
Kate is a native Santa Fean. After a six year stint in the Washington DC metro area, Kate returned home to raise her family and be closer to the mountains. With two children in Santa Fe Public Schools, Kate spent the last nine years volunteering in the schools and the community, becoming intimate with many of the challenges that CISNM aims to mitigate. Kate is also active on local boards with CISNM partners. Kate has a BA from Skidmore College in New York.
Director of Philanthropy
Jessica joined Communities In Schools of New Mexico as the organization’s Grant Writer and Researcher in 2019, and assumed the Director of Philanthropy role in 2022. Jessica has raised funds for many youth serving organizations in northern New Mexico, and brings over 20 years of experience with grant writing, fundraising and resource development to the role. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and brings a strong commitment to childhood and family well being, educational equity, and social justice to her work.
Stephanie joined the Santa Fe CIS team in 2014. She previously served with CIS as a Site Coordinator for a dual language school in Michigan. Stephanie’s rich experience includes work in youth development as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador and teaching experience in Honduras. After seven years of her deep commitment and compassionate support for her students and school as a Site Coordinator at Aspen Community Magnet School, Stephanie now brings her experience and skills to the program administrative team, in support of other Site Coordinators.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Nicole spent her childhood in southern Arizona and her adulthood in New England and in New Mexico. She has worked as a non-profit volunteer and professional for a combined 20 years, so far. Nicole’s experience outside of marketing, social media and development is plentiful. She has worked in sales, operations, design, personal assisting, executive assisting, event planning, photography, and has spent time touring with independent musicians. Nicole attended Vermont College for Creative Writing and received a certificate in Digital Marketing from the University of Vermont. She lives in Santa Fe with her dog, Buxton.