WW MBA Fellows Named in New Mexico

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FOR RELEASE: Thursday, February 21, 2019
CONTACT: Patrick Riccards | [email protected]  |  (703) 298-8283

Thirty of New Mexico’s Leading Educators Join Prestigious National Program To Prepare Next Generation of School Leaders 

University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University Recognize 2018-19 Woodrow Wilson Foundation MBA Fellows in Education Leadership

PRINCETON, NJ (February 21, 2019)—Thirty of New Mexico’s leading educators have been honored as Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellows in Education Leadership, joining a statewide movement to help successful educators become strong school and school district leaders. These 30 join more than 100 outstanding educators who have been selected for the program since its launch in 2015.

Developed by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson (WW) New Mexico MBA Fellowship program was launched in 2015 in partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department, New Mexico State University (NMSU), and the University of New Mexico  (UNM)to develop a new model in education leader preparation, equipping graduates to lead needed change for 21st-century schools across the state. The WW New Mexico MBA blends school-based clinical practice with innovative business school coursework to ensure graduates have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to guide schools and districts in a new kind of education environment while driving increases in student success.

New Mexico was one of the first three states, along with Indiana and Wisconsin, to offer the WW MBA Fellowship, which integrates graduate education coursework with an MBA curriculum tailored to school leaders’ needs.

“The New Mexico MBA in Education Leadership Fellows continue to demonstrate that strong leaders are essential for student and teacher success,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. “Because of the combined commitment and hard work of UNM, New Mexico State, and the NM Public Education Department, a new pipeline of education leaders is being created for the state, ensuring all New Mexico public schools have access to well-prepared, well-equipped individuals to lead their schools and improve educational quality.”

“This program taught me how to think like a leader in education. I already knew how to think like an educator. This program taught me concepts that I apply to my every day work in the leadership role I am in now following my MBA,” said Rosalia Leyba a recent graduate from the MBA in Education Leadership Program at UNM.

“New Mexico State University’s College of Business is honored to work with Woodrow Wilson fellows in the MBA program,” said Andrea Fletcher, assistant dean at the NMSU College of Business and MBA in Education Leadership program director. “They have demonstrated incredible dedication to growing as leaders in order to support the hard work of schools in the state of New Mexico.  Through this rigorous educational opportunity, they are developing exceptional skills in managing limited financial resources, empowering educators to support student academic performance, leading change in the complex K-12 landscape, and creating a culture where both staff and students can thrive.”

Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship is intended for education professionals nominated by their school districts or charter school leaders. Those school systems partner with participating universities to establish internal pipelines and cultivate new leaders. Fellows selected have demonstrated effective leadership and will use their knowledge of school culture to help transform schools from within. Each Fellow receives a stipend, which covers full tuition, materials, and associated program expenses. In exchange, each Fellow agrees to serve in an approved school or district leadership role within the state for at least three years, with Foundation-supported coaching.

Funding for the Woodrow Wilson MBA’s New Mexico initiative was initially provided by a grant from the New Mexico Public Education Department. Additional support has been provided by the Daniels Fund.

Both NMSU and UNM are partnering with a variety of area school districts and charter schools to develop partnerships that will sustain clinical placements—or in-school learning arrangements—and mentoring opportunities for the WW MBA Fellows.

The WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership draws on the Foundation’s experience with its state-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which works to transform teacher education and recruit excellent candidates to teach math and science in high-need schools. The Teaching Fellowship is now operating in six states in partnership with 31 universities.

Although the New Mexico based MBA in Education Leadership Programs are no longer funded through Woodrow Wilson’s initiatives as a fellowship, the vision set forth by the WW fellowship continues in preparing educators with an innovative business coursework program that draws upon on their knowledge of public education systems.

The programs are recruiting for a new cohort to begin coursework in summer of 2019.  UNM and NMSU’s commitment to creating a new pipeline of educational leaders in order to improve the educational systems in NM continues through this program. To learn more about the MBA in Education Leadership programs in NM, visit UNM and NMSU websites.

A full list of WW New Mexico MBA Fellows follows at the end of this release.


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation: Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About New Mexico State University: A comprehensive land-grant institution of higher learning, New Mexico State University is dedicated to teaching, research and service at the undergraduate and graduate levels. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College, a Hispanic-serving institution and is home to the very first Honors College in New Mexico.

About the University of New Mexico: Founded in 1889 as New Mexico’s flagship institution, the University of New Mexico (UNM) represents a cross-section of cultures and backgrounds. In fall of 2013 28,644 students attended the main campus with another 7,609 students at branch campuses and education centers. In 2014, Hispanic Business Magazine ranked four UNM schools among its top 10, including the Anderson School of Management, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, and the School of Engineering. Among the University’s outstanding research units are the Center for Advanced Research Computing, Cancer Center, New Mexico Engineering Research Institute, Center for High Technology Materials, Design Planning Assistance Center, and the Mind Research Network. Forbes Magazine consistently names Albuquerque among the best places for business and careers in the country, and Kiplinger’s calls Albuquerque one of the smartest places to live.


The 2018–19 Class of New Mexico MBA Fellows in Education Leadership:

New Mexico State University

  • Amy Conley, McKinley Elementary School—Farmington Municipal Schools
  • Ann Arnold, Rio Rancho Public Schools
  • Danielle Ortega, Sunset Elementary School—Roswell ISD
  • David Salas, Cimarron Municipal Schools
  • Elias Allison, Fairview Elementary School—Espanola Public Schools
  • Heather Cannon, Los Lunas, New Mexico
  • Jeanette Molina, Las Cruces Public Schools
  • Joslynn Chávez-Garcia, Bataan Elementary School—Deming Public Schools
  • Rochelle Hastings, Farmington High School
  • Sandra Fusco, Apache Elementary School—Farmington Public Schools
  • Savannah Lucero, Edgewood, New Mexico
  • Tamisha Molenda, Alameda Elementary School—Las Cruces Public Schools


University of New Mexico

  • Melissa Arellano, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Brenton Bartley, Lincoln Middle School—Rio Rancho Public Schools
  • Gregory Butz, Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, Albuquerque
  • Denise Dockendorff, James Monroe Middle School—Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Peter Gloyd, Digital Arts & Technology Academy/Mathematics, Albuquerque
  • Santino Hernandez, Polk Middle School—Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Derek Kostelecky, Wilson Middle School—Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Charlene Lucero, Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque
  • Davina Lucero, Peñasco Elementary School—Artesia Public Schools
  • Alexandra Lutz, Rio Rancho High School
  • Justin MacDonald, Digital Arts and Technology Academy, Albuquerque
  • Isaí Navarrete, Rio Rancho High School and Rio Rancho Middle School
  • Isla Porras, Manzano High School, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Matt Salas, Nuestros Valores Charter School, Albuquerque
  • Yvonne Salazar, Jefferson Middle School—Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Pamela Silva, Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque
  • Diane Thomas, S.R. Marmon Elementary—Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Ronald Worley, Valley High School—Albuquerque Public Schools


Looking for Fellowship Applications?

Fellowship applications and opportunities can now be found on our new website, citizensandscholars.org.

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