ECFC Spring 2024 NM Learning Tour: Speaker Bios

April 30, 2024 |
Orientation to the History and Uniqueness of New Mexico

Joseph H. Suina
Professor Emeritus, College of Education
University of New Mexico; and
Cochiti Pueblo Member

Dr. Suina is a University of New Mexico Professor Emeritus with twenty eight years of service in preparing educators for a multicultural world. He directed the UNM Institute for American Indian Education. His publications are primarily on Native culture and education. As adjunct professor for Colgate University in New York, he teaches courses in Native American Studies and education. Joseph Henry served multiple terms as Cochiti Governor and twice as the War Chief. Except for the college years, six years as an elementary school teacher, and five years in the Marine Corps, he remained close to home. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Vietnam Gallantry Cross and the Bronze Star in the Vietnam War. He currently serves on various boards and committees and the tribal council. He and Lorraine, his wife for fifty seven years enjoy five children, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild.

April 30, 2024 | Early Childhood Policy and Advocacy Landscape
Part 1: Discussion with State Leaders and Champions

 Claire E. Dudley Chavez, MPAff
Director of Policy
The Office of Speaker Javier Martinez

Panel Facilitator

A native New Mexican, Claire serves as the Director of Policy in the office of  Speaker Javier Martinez.  In this position, she leads all of the Speaker’s policy initiatives which are centered on leading with conviction, centered in community and standing up for working families.  For over twenty years, Claire has had the privilege of working for elected officials at the state and local level and with a number of non-profit organizations, with a focus on recognizing, celebrating and supporting the strengths of New Mexico's children and families.  Active in her community, Claire has volunteered on many non-profit boards.  Claire was recognized as a Forty Under Forty by Albuquerque Business First and nominated for a YWCA of Central New Mexico Woman on the Move award.  She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in American Studies from Franklin and Marshall College and received a Masters of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on child and family policy.


Jovanna Archuleta
LANL Foundation
Early Childhood Community Outreach Coordinator

Jovanna joined the LANL Foundation in 2017 as the Pueblo Outreach Coordinator working with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos to develop individual early childhood strategic plans.  In 2020, Jovanna was appointed the nation’s first Assistant Secretary for Native American Early Childhood Education and Care within the cabinet level state Early Childhood Education and Care Department of New Mexico, where she served under the Lujan Grisham administration from 2020-2022. Jovanna rejoined the LANL Foundation as Early Childhood Community Outreach Director, where she is revisiting the Tribal early childhood strategic plans and supporting the LANL Foundation Vice President of Early Childhood in expanding their early childhood work in advocacy, collaboration, and education.  She maintains the Foundation’s critical partnership with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council, Inc. to build upon the capacity to improve outcomes for children and families in an equitable and culturally responsive manner. Jovanna comes from the Pueblo of Nambe where she lives with her two children and husband. She has earned a Master’s in Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University and a Child Development Certificate through the Pueblo Outreach Cohort from Central New Mexico Community College.

Representative Gail Armstrong
New Mexico State Representative - District 49

Gail (Missy) Armstrong was born and raised on a ranch northwest of Datil. Her dad bought and sold cars and Cessna 195 airplanes in New Mexico. Her mother was a do-it-yourselfer remodel queen and real estate broker. Gail and her siblings were raised with all the values of rural NM including Hard Work, Respect and Honesty. Her passion for her community and the unique issues District 49 faces is what drives her. Gail loves the area she represents and continuously strives for a better tomorrow for you.

Married in 1984 to Dale Armstrong, Gail and Dale have raised four children and have ten grandchildren. They recently celebrated 35 years of marriage. Together, Gail and Dale started TLC Plumbing in 1987. The business continues to focus on the development of the workforce and continues to strive to improve the quality of life for the employees and the community as a whole.  Gail and Dale moved from Bosque Farms to Magdalena over 20 years ago to raise their children in the country. Gail and Dale knew this move would allow their children the chance to learn the same work ethic they had learned having been raised themselves, in rural New Mexico and a small community. Gail and Dale currently own and operate a cattle ranch, the historic Magdalena Hall Hotel, and the local gas station and mini-market named after the school mascot, Steer Stop. As a family, they are always striving to keep the community of Magdalena moving and growing through economic opportunities for local families.

Gail is known to work across the aisle as a true representative for her district and constituents' needs. Gail is a gatherer of people, she is a community lover, she loves to pull other’s gifts in and bring them into the equation of what is possible for the individual and the group. She cares about harmony and connection and functions as the relational oil in her family and her community. She is respected and known for being able to truly listen and understand the needs of each individual and work hard to gain an understanding of how to fight for the individual as well as the whole district's highest possible good.  Learn more about Representative Armstrong.

Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky
Cabinet Secretary for Early Childhood Education
New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department

Elizabeth Groginsky has more than two decades of executive leadership experience administering public and private human service organizations at the national, state and local levels.  In November 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Groginsky as the first cabinet secretary for the newly created New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department. Sec. Groginsky grew up in Colorado and Wyoming, and has longstanding family ties to Northern New Mexico, where she often visited as a child. She began her early childhood career in Colorado, where she served in various roles with Head Start, beginning as a family services coordinator, later administered a county Head Start program, and then directed the Head Start Collaboration Office for the State of Colorado.

Since ECECD’s launch in July 2020, Sec. Groginsky has established New Mexico as a national early childhood leader, securing long-term funding for early childhood programs and services, enhancing compensation and professional supports for the early childhood workforce, implementing child care rates informed by one of the nation’s first cost estimation models, and expanding child care assistance to provide free child care for a majority of New Mexico families.

Prior to her appointment as ECECD Secretary, she served as the assistant superintendent of early learning for the District of Columbia, where she administered programs to ensure equal access to quality services for the District’s most vulnerable children and their families. In 2009, D.C. was first in the nation to pursue universal pre-K and today has the highest U.S. participation rate, with 85 percent of 4-year-olds and 75 percent of 3-year-olds. Before joining the D.C. Superintendent’s office, Elizabeth directed early childhood education for United Way Worldwide, where she helped expand the number of communities collecting and using population-based early childhood data. In addition, Elizabeth served as the first executive director of the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, a national coalition to improve state policies and practices in the development and use of early childhood data systems. In Washington, D.C., she oversaw one of only eight state Early Head Start Child Care Partnership grants.

Speaker Javier Martínez
31st Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives
New Mexico State Representative - District 11

Javier Martínez has represented Albuquerque's House District 11 since 2015 and previously served as the Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the House Taxation & Revenue Committee. As the child of immigrants who spent his early life along the southern border, Speaker Martínez has dedicated his career to helping New Mexico families create brighter futures for their children.

Speaker Martínez has been at the helm of some of New Mexico’s biggest policy wins for working families, including making the tax system more equitable with measures like the Child Income Tax credit, providing millions in sustained funding for early childhood education, and protecting voting rights for all of our diverse communities with the New Mexico Voting Rights Act.

Speaker Martínez graduated from the UNM School of Law with honors in International and Comparative Law and the Southwest Indian Law Clinic. Since then, he has continued to advocate for New Mexico's most vulnerable families at the local, state, and national levels. He has fought to ensure access to health care for all families, including immigrant families, advocated for smart growth policies, pushed for permanent investments in early childhood education, and fought tirelessly to protect civil rights for all.  Learn more about Speaker Martinez.

April 30, 2024 | Early Childhood Policy and Advocacy Landscape
Part 2: Building Power and Community Voice: The movement behind the work, discussion with community leaders and organizers


Shannon Cotsoradis
Director, Policy & Strategy
Buffett Early Childhood Fund

Panel Facilitator

As director of policy and strategy at the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Shannon supports nonprofit organizations, in Nebraska and nationally, which are working to improve the quality and access to care offered both in homes and at childcare centers. The fund focuses its philanthropy on children, birth to five, paying particular attention to infants and toddlers, a population often overlooked in public funding.

Shannon Cotsoradis has extensive experience in the early childhood education sector. Shannon currently serves as the Director of Policy & Strategy at Buffett Early Childhood Fund, a position they have held since January 2023. Prior to this, they held the role of President & CEO at Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative starting in 2016. Shannon also has a strong background in advocacy and leadership, having served as President & CEO of Kansas Action for Children from 2010 to 2016 and as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer from 2001 to 2010.  Shannon Cotsoradis has a strong educational background with degrees in Public Administration, Child Development, and Psychology. Shannon completed their Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from The University of Kansas between 1999 and 2001. Prior to that, they earned a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Child Development from Sarah Lawrence College from 1995 to 1999. Their undergraduate studies were focused on Psychology, as they obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Sweet Briar College from 1991 to 1995.

Valeria Holloway
Facilitator, Training Home Educators (THE) Accelerator, and Peer Coach
Growing Up New Mexico

Valeria Holloway is a licensed, five star home-based provider living and working in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Dona Ana County). Valeria has been an active member of many groups organizing and advocating around issues facing home-based caregivers.  She is a facilitator for THE (Training Home Educators) Accelerator and a peer coach with Growing Up NM. She also recently began leading a Las Cruces area network of home-based providers. Valeria says, “I prayed that I would be able to be some kind of support to New Mexico, to help other providers or other educators to make those connections with one another, to work together as a team”.

Anna Martínez
Community Organizer
Somos Un Pueblo Unido

Anna Martinez was born and raised in Santa Fe New Mexico. She works here as a community organizer with Somos Un Pueblo Unido. Anna has worked on the Just Transition campaign in the Permian Basin and focuses on Somos Un Pueblo Unidos' Early Child Care work around the state.

Ivydel Natachu
Community Organizer
OLÉ

Ivydel Natachu is an early childhood educator in Albuquerque, NM, with 17 years of teaching experience and multiple certificates and degrees.  She now organizes parents and teachers for an equitable early childhood education system in New Mexico.  She is a mother and loves fighting for professional wages for early educators across the state (and country).

Kate Noble
President & CEO
Growing Up New Mexico

Kate Noble is the President & CEO of Growing Up New Mexico. She has spent the past six years immersed in early childhood in New Mexico including leading substantial projects to listen in communities and aggregate data and recommendations for the early childhood sector. These  projects include: completing the Preschool Development Grant Needs Assessment (2019) and  Strategic Plan (2020), launching the Home-based Child Care Accelerator, initiating shared  services supports for child care providers, and vetting ‘A Business Plan for Early Childhood’  which led to Senate Bill 22 creating the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.  Kate was born and raised in Santa Fe. After graduating from Santa Fe High School, she attended Columbia University in New York City. Kate then spent ten years in New York and London as a producer, reporter, and anchor for BBC World News, covering business and economics, before moving back to her hometown. She then worked for almost ten years in economic and community development for the City of Santa Fe.

Miles Tokunow
Deputy Director
OLÉ

Miles Tokunow is the deputy director at OLÉ , where he has been working since 2016. He has organized community members in New Mexico around issues of Economic Justice and Democracy Reform. Most recently, he has celebrated passing the NM Voting Rights Act, a statewide Paid Sick Leave law as well as passing a constitutional amendment to guarantee affordable access to Early Education. When he doesn’t have his OLE hat on, he spends his time with his wife Naima, dancing, writing zines, gardening and chasing after his two kids and three dogs.

May 2, 2024 |
Building Partnerships in a Diverse State: Reflection Panel

Olivia Roanhorse
Chief Operating Officer, Research and Evaluation Portfolio Lead
Roanhorse Consulting

Facilitator

I am Diné (“the people” in Navajo) and grew up in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation, with my twin sister. Our maternal clan is Near to Water (To’ahaní) and our paternal clan is Bitter Water (To’dichiiníí). The Diné recognize and ground ourselves in our connectedness through our clans and we greet one another as relatives, recognizing our places in the world. I currently reside in unceded Tewa territory, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with my daughter and partner. As a twin, my sister and I were blessed into our community. Twins are prominent in Diné creation stories and were unique in their journey to kill Monsters plaguing the Navajo people. I honor those stories and regularly reflect on the gifts I bring and the learning I can do with others.

I have over 25 years of lived experience navigating, learning, and unlearning the complexities and processes in public health, academia, and nonprofits. These are all Western-based institutions and ways of learning. While I appreciate some of what I learned from them, they each have their own systemic barriers they have created in how they serve communities, especially Indigenous people. I am committed to working in true partnership with Native communities who center their lived experiences, culture, and language to strengthen the health and wealth needs of their communities.

Jennifer Duran-Sallee
Senior Program Officer
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Jennifer Duran-Sallee is a senior program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in New Mexico to support thriving children, working families and equitable communities.  As a senior program officer and leader focusing on early childhood education, Duran-Sallee provides management, supervision and mentorship to achieve the foundation’s strategic priorities.  Duran-Sallee holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural biology from New Mexico State University, a master’s in public administration from Texas State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of New Mexico.

RJ Martinez
LANL Foundation
Early Childhood Program Manager

RJ Martinez joined the LANL Foundation in July 2017. In his role as Early Childhood Coordinator he works closely with the EC Director in coordinating Early Childhood initiatives in Rio Arriba County and Statewide.  RJ is an enrolled member of Santa Clara Pueblo. He currently serves as a Tribal Councilman for his community. Prior to joining the LANL Foundation he spent 13 years in Student Affairs working for colleges and universities, two years in Human Resources for the Santa Clara Development Corporation (SCDC), and served as SCDC Interim CEO. RJ holds a BA in Sociology from Fort Lewis College.

Mabel Muñoz
Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood Development, US
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Mabel Muñoz currently leads the Early Childhood Development Initiative – U.S. at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In her role, she oversees a grantmaking portfolio that supports young children’s healthy development, as well as improved economic and health outcomes for their families and communities.

Mabel most recently worked at the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) leading the Early Childhood Programs department. She was responsible for the implementation of several initiatives that supported the early learning and care field in preparing children for school and life. Prior to joining VCOE, Mabel worked at First 5 Los Angeles where she managed an $86 million grantmaking portfolio focused on early care and education, workforce development, policy and advocacy, and health. Mabel holds a Master of Business Administration from the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University and a BA in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles.  She currently resides in Camarillo, California with her husband and two children ages 6 and 8.

Kawin Nunnery
Program Associate
JD Maddox Foundation

Kawin Nunnery joined the JF Maddox Foundation in January 2021. She is a native of Hobbs, NM and a 2002 graduate of Hobbs High School. Kawin obtained her undergraduate degree in public administration, from Grambling State University in 2006 as a full ride scholar of the Daniels Fund Scholarship, as well as her MPA from University of Phoenix. Her career includes over 10 years of experience in Human Resources and Employee Development & Engagement. She has dedicated much of her career to working in geriatric healthcare and public service organizations.  Kawin has served and worked with many local boards, committees, & programs to include but not limited to Rotary Club of Hobbs, United Way of Lea County, Hobbs Schools Equity Council, & My Power, Inc. Her life goal is to be an inspiration to those in her sphere of influence. She finds great reward in the smiles of others, and values faith & family. Kawin is the wife of Terrel Nunnery, BS, MPR, her college sweetheart. They are the parents of two amazing daughters, Skye and Sasha Nunnery.

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