Salazar Elementary School
Alma Bonilla was born and raised in Santa Fe and attended Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS). She was a substitute teacher for SFPS prior to her role at Communities In Schools, and she has always enjoyed working with children and families. She is looking forward to interacting with families in our community and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed and someday give back to their communities. Alma has a BA in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico.
LINA CHAVEZ DE LARA
Nina Otero Community School
Born in Aguascalientes, Mexico and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Lina graduated from Capital High school in 2016. With the support of programs such as Breakthrough Santa Fe and AVID, she continued her education by attending St. Edwards University, where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Biology in 2020. During her four years of college, Lina participated in volunteer programs that worked with students, immigrant communities, low-income groups and people experiencing homelessness. Coming from an immigrant family and understanding the struggles that students go through, Lina hopes to use her experience and skills to act as a source of support for students and their families.
ALICIA DEL AGUILA
Ramirez Thomas Elementary School
Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Alicia pursued her dream to attend college by participating in academic programs such as Breakthrough Santa Fe and AVID. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Kinesiology with a focus in Physical Therapy and a minor in Spanish. Coming from a Hispanic family, Alicia has always been aware of the challenges students like her face in order to graduate from high school and move on to higher education. Alicia returned to Santa Fe with the intention of helping students with similar backgrounds to pursue their educational goals.
Capital High School
Maria was born and raised in Santa Fe and graduated from Santa Fe High School. She attended college in Durango, Colorado where she received her B.A. in Spanish and her teaching degree and taught Spanish at Durango High School for 19 years. She went on to earn her Master's Degree in TESOL through Concordia University and moved back to Santa Fe in 2019. Maria comes from a family of respected educators who truly enjoy working with youth. She looks forward to continuing this tradition in her work with Communities In Schools.
Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Originally from Mexico, Flor immigrated to Santa Fe with her husband and three children some years ago. As Flor supported her family and children as they all embraced a new culture, she also got certified to offer professional support for people with disabilities, which gave her an opportunity to get to know amazing people here in Santa Fe. Through this work, she learned about the opportunity to study thanotology, the study of loss and supporting people through loss, and is now in the process of getting certified as a thanotologist. She is excited to put her studies and experience to use as a Site Coordinator, creating a safe space for students and connecting them to resources in our community.
El Camino Real Academy
Born and raised in Santa Fe, Daisy graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in culture and arts in a global perspective. During her time at UNM, she worked as a Student Success Leader, supporting students and helping them find resources and connect to the community on campus. Being a first generation college graduate and native Spanish speaker allows her to relate and connect with students at El Camino Real Academy. What excites Daisy most about her work with Communities In Schools is the opportunity to give back to her community, provide a strong support system to her students as well as the necessary resources and guidance for students to succeed.
Nava Elementary School
Blanca was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated from Earlham College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science. Being raised on the South Side of Santa Fe, Blanca is no stranger to the hardships that many families navigate in their day to day lives. These challenges have inspired her to be a present and active member of her community, with hopes of bridging the socioeconomic gap through educational resources.
Ortiz Middle School
Tashina is from Denver, Colorado. She attended college at Metropolitan State University of Denver with a major in Spanish and a minor in Anthropology. She moved to Santa Fe in 2012. She eventually obtained her teaching credentials, and taught for 8 years before joining the Community in Schools team. During her years of teaching, Tashina witnessed the many challenges that students faced inside and outside of the classroom. Witnessing these challenges is what led her to join the CIS team. She hopes to continue her advocacy for students in a more meaningful way with Communities in Schools.
Chaparral Elementary School
Born in California and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Becca attended Penn State University for undergrad. She went on to pursue her Master's in Mental Health Counseling at Manhattan College. She has a strong commitment to bringing mental health awareness to the workplace and providing an education to students and their families about mental health. She believes her position at CIS will give her the opportunity to do that as well as provide resources for the school community!
Nina Otero Community School
Meagan grew up on the Connecticut shoreline and recently moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. After completing her bachelor’s in social work in 2019, Meagan worked as a head teacher in a toddler classroom and assisted in pre-k classes. It was here that Meagan discovered a passion for providing calming environments, individual connection, and educational services for students within schools. During this work, Meagan earned her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. Most recently, Meagan worked as a School Based Health Clinician, providing mental health services for students and family sessions within an elementary school. As a site coordinator, Meagan looks forward to assisting students and families with education barriers and encouraging a positive perception of school!
ERIKA REYES GONZALEZ
Capital High School
Erika was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in Santa Fe. She graduated from Capital High School in 2003. With the support of programs such as Engaging Latino Communities for Education and Aspire to Success, she is proud to be a first generation college graduate. In 2014, she received her Bachelor's of Social Work from New Mexico Highlands University and completed her Master's in Social Work in July, 2020. Erika is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). She was raised in a low-income immigrant household and understands the challenges that many students and their families undergo every day. Erika “pays it forward” by helping students achieve their academic goals and by motivating them to aspire towards higher education.
Capital High School
Adrian attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Honors in Composition and Rhetoric. Having been raised in a low-income community, he wanted to come back to Santa Fe and work with students from a similar background to help set them on a path towards their dreams. He will work with the students of Capital High School, where he graduated in 2015, to help students realize their own potential and to become thoughtful communicators who inspire their own community to pursue a college education.
Kennedy Siegman is joining our team as the new site coordinator at Milagro Middle School. Kennedy has worked with Youth Shelters since 2020 in various capacities. She started as an intern and eventually was hired on as the Program Manager of the Rapid Rehousing Program. In conjunction with her time at Youth Shelters, she completed an internship at Gerard's House for her MSW program.
THOMAS "SINTE" TORREZ
Capital High School
Sinte Torrez is a proud Mestizo artist of Mexican, French, Iroquois and Mohican descent. He was born and raised in Wisconsin and has called Santa Fe home since 2006. Sinte studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in New Media Arts & Film in 2013. Sinte has over 23 years of experience working with youth in various programs from Juvenile Corrections to Emergency Shelters and After School Programming. Sinte has been a Site Coordinator with Communities In Schools of New Mexico since 2014.
Aspen Community School
Originally from Northwest Arkansas, Harper graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Social Work. Harper worked at a community development nonprofit as a housing coach in Birmingham, AL before moving to Santa Fe in 2022. Most recently, she served as a case manager for women and families experiencing homelessness at Casa Familia Urgent Transition Center. As a licensed social worker, Harper is committed to meeting children where they are at and supporting them to reach their academic and social emotional goals.
Sweeney Elementary School
Jennifer was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and has lived in Santa Fe since 2017. Jennifer completed her Bachelor’s in Communication at the University of New Mexico and her Master’s in Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University. As a licensed social worker, Jennifer worked in various schools in Santa Fe as a therapist for one year as well as completed both of her internships throughout the Santa Fe Public Schools. Jennifer is passionate about communication, holding space for others, and serving the community she loves.