Teach Plus: Fifth Cohort Of New Mexico Teacher Leaders

Teachers selected from around New Mexico for the 2021-2022 Policy Fellowship cohort. Courtesy/Teach Plus


ALBUQUERQUE — Teach Plus, a national nonprofit that empowers teachers to lead improvements in educational policy and instructional practice, has selected a group of 14 demonstrably-effective teachers from around New Mexico for its 2021-2022 Policy Fellowship cohort.

The fifth cohort of Policy Fellows will focus on issues related to school climate, the teacher pipeline, and educator support. These champion educators will use their experiences and research to advocate for systems that will improve outcomes for students in the state and the overall teaching profession.

“It is always an honor to work directly with the state’s best educators who have different experiences, but share the same values and beliefs that all students can achieve at high levels. This year our teachers will focus on systems and strategies to recruit, retain and develop effective educators,” said Hope Morales, Teach Plus New Mexico Executive Director. 

Policy Fellow Chris Kenner, who teaches at Horizon Academy West in Albuquerque said, “I’m looking forward to working with the other New Mexico Teach Plus Policy FEllows and advocating for quality teacher training and licensure advancement. I want to help current educators advance in the profession and be rewarded for their dedication and effectiveness. This way, future educators will feel more motivated to stay in this rewarding profession.”

The educators in the new cohort teach early education through high school in traditional public and charter schools and represent 11 districts across the state including Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Hobbs and Lovington. They bring diverse perspectives and experiences rooted in their culture, communities, and years of experience. The Fellows have demonstrated effective teaching and will develop as teacher leaders to amplify the focus on equity and opportunity for their students.

Throughout the program, the Fellows are trained in policy, advocacy, research, and communications and develop the skills necessary to advocate for changes for New Mexico’s students. Each Fellow was chosen based on their strong commitment to the classroom and to equity, their ability to articulate the needs of their students, and their pursuit of excellence and innovation in their teaching.

“I wanted to become a Teach Plus Policy Fellow to make change in education for students and teachers. I want to build relationships with other teachers, and be able to say that I worked to make things better in education,” said Policy Fellow Gabrielle Begay who teaches in Hurley Elementary School in Cobre.

2021-22 New Mexico Policy Fellows:

  • Gabrielle Begay, Hurley Elementary School, Cobre Consolidated Schools
  • Alisa Cooper de Uribe, New Mexico International School, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Jaycie Homer, Sixth Grade Academy, Lovington Municipal Schools
  • Chris Kenner, Horizon Academy West, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Kelsey McCaffrey, Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Monica Nunez, Santa Teresa High School, Gadsden Independent School District
  • Katie Satathite, La Luz Elementary School, Alamogordo Public Schools
  • Chrissie Souders Lara, GW Stout Elementary, Silver Consolidated Schools
  • Jemmry Velasquez, Heizer Middle School, Hobbs Municipal Schools
  • Victor Zamora, Ruben Sanchez Torres Elementary, Deming Public Schools

Senior Fellows:

  • Jawna Carlo;
  • Nancy Johnson;
  • Aimee Parra; and
  • Kelly Pearce.

About Teach Plus

The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has developed thousands of teacher leaders across the country to exercise their leadership in shaping education policy and improving teaching and learning, to create an education system driven by access and excellence for all students. Visit teachplus.org.


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