Faculty & Staff Directory
Learning Specialist. Rebecca has a BA in political science from Swarthmore College and a PhD in sociology with an emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research Methods from the University of California, Davis. She has taught anthropology, religious studies, and American studies courses at various universities and more recently been a tutor and then Associate Director of the Library at Santa Fe Prep. Rebecca just completed a six year term on the Santa Fe Public Library Advisory Board. Her son Jeremy Brooks graduated from Prep in 2014 and her daughter Lila Brooks in 2015.
Associate Director of Admissions. Summar Aubrey was born and raised in Santa Fe and graduated from Santa Fe Prep in 2000. She earned her BA in History from Yale University and her MA in Teaching Social Studies from Columbia University, Teachers College. Summar returned to Prep in 2019 after working in education in California for many years. She was Dean of Students at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, Director of Student Life for the Stanford University Online High School, and taught world history while serving as the Assistant Director of the Middle School at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. Summar loves exploring New Mexico with her family and is well practiced in the art of camping with a toddler.
11th/12th Grade Dean of Students, U.S. History Teacher, Director of Strength and Conditioning. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Masters of Arts in liberal arts from St. John’s College. Mark co-owned a gym for eight years and wrote on strength, fitness and movement for Breaking Muscle and The Wirecutter. Mark teaches the 11th grade U.S. History course that covers the colonial period through WWII. The class offers a wide variety of instructional materials including a traditional text, primary and secondary source scholarship as well as fiction, essays, podcasts, etc. As the students are kids of the Southwest, the class also includes a great deal of regional history and current events discussion to further connect them to the problems and possibilities of their home region.
AP Environmental Science, Geology, Climate Science, Algebra. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Sewanee: The University of the South and a Master of Science in Geology from Western Kentucky University. Tyler has over six years experience teaching science in public, independent, and international schools. For the last five years he worked as a professional geologist in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, where he was able to complete many environmental projects related to resource extraction and remediation. Tyler brings these experiences into the classroom and is passionate about field-based geoscience education. His current research projects include an environmental assessment of the Santa Fe Canyon Nature Preserve and a geologic investigation of Pennsylvanian-aged sediments overlying the great unconformity around Santa Fe. When not teaching Tyler, enjoys playing the guitar, hiking, gardening, and studying geology, but mostly, spending time with his wife and two young children.
Breakthrough Associate Director. Originally from Albuquerque, Jordan graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a bachelor’s degree in International & Intercultural Studies and Spanish. After graduating, she taught English in Puebla, Mexico as a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Grantee. Jordan worked for three summers as a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow, and she is happy to be back working full-time in the Prep community.
English. A Prep graduate from the class of ’09, Jackson holds a BA in English from Colorado College and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught and tutored English literature, writing, and ESL at schools in both the US and Ecuador. In addition to his love for teaching, Jackson is a writer, rock climber, meditator, yogi, and hiker. Jackson feels indebted to the education he received at Prep and is excited to continue that tradition as a teacher.
Associate Director of College Counseling. After graduating from Bryn Mawr as a sociology major, Hayley stayed on to pursue her Master of Social Work degree from Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. While at Bryn Mawr, Hayley was surrounded by extraordinary women who pushed her to become a strong advocate against social inequity and injustice. Working towards this goal, she co-founded a reading and writing group for local incarcerated women. She recommitted to this mission of making higher ed more accessible by serving as an Admission Counselor at Pitzer College in Claremont, California for five years. Hayley loves to travel, and spends much of her time subtly sending plane ticket deals from Scott’s Cheap Flights to her friends. Her dream destinations include Greece, Montana, Spain, Chile and Mexico City. Outside of work, Hayley is an avid beach-goer and fearlessly experimental baker.
Assistant Athletic Director, Middle School Athletics Director, Varsity Swim Coach and Middle School PE teacher. Dave received his Bachelor of Art degree in History from James Madison University. Currently, he is working on his Masters of Science Degree in Sports Management. His professional background is in coaching. Dave has coached for over 30 years at the club, high school and college level in multiple sports. Dave enjoys his free time biking and spending time with his family.
“I believe a teacher helps students to understand how they learn; what works, and what doesn’t. The most important aspect of this process is to work with students within a structure that each student builds; they are self-reliant, and can direct themselves to achieve.”
Administrative Assistant, Davis New Mexico Scholarship. Sarah came to Santa Fe to attend the Master’s Program at St. John’s College. After receiving her degree, she spent a few years teaching at various schools in town. Now she has moved from the classroom to bookkeeping for the Davis New Mexico Scholarship program. Sarah is married and has a beautiful baby girl named Maria. Be sure to wave if you see them walking around campus!
Head of Middle School, Algebra 1. A 1994 graduate of Prep, Chris holds a BS in psychology from the University of New Mexico and an MA in teaching from Johns Hopkins University. Chris is entering his 19th year at Prep and 8th as Middle School Head. Away from school, Chris loves outdoor adventures with his family and playing pickleball.
“The early adolescent years are as critical as ever. At Prep, we strive to engage, challenge, support, nurture, and inspire our middle school students to be budding scholars and compassionate and responsible community members–and win their attention over screens, soundbites, and playing it safe.”
Latin. Marissa graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Spanish from the University of Colorado with an emphasis on language acquisition, cultural studies, and educational methods and theories. She has worked in both private and public schools in California and Colorado. Marissa is passionate about traveling and has studied abroad in the Dominican Republic, Spain, Italy, and Costa Rica. She has also led several student international trips. Apart from teaching, Marissa enjoys Salsa dancing, yoga, and spending time with her family. As she enters into her 12th year of teaching, she is excited to be part of the Prep and Santa Fe community.
Upper School Science. Jocelyne has been teaching middle and high school science for 21 years. She holds a bachelor’s in Natural Sciences from UHH in Hawaii, with a minor in Earth and Space; a master’s level secondary science teaching certificate also from UHH; and a masters in Earth Science from UNC in Colorado. Her research involved describing an extraterrestrial impact structure (crater) located near Peerless, Montana that formed ~430 mya. Jocelyne has a Level II secondary science teaching license with the state of New Mexico and previously held a professional teaching license in Colorado. Jocelyne teaches 11th grade Physics in both a regular class format and a more accelerated honors class format. She also teaches an 11th/12th grade elective in Earth Sciences on Natural Disasters.
Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Viral Ecology. Ellee Cook (Dr. E) is an academically trained scientist with a passion for science education. Ellee graduated from Santa Fe Prep in 2009 and returned to campus in 2019 to teach science. She holds a BS (Trinity University) and PhD (University of Missouri) in Biological Sciences. Outside the classroom, Ellee enjoys historical fiction, green chile, and trips to the mountains-preferably on horseback!
P.E., Middle School Track and Field Coach. Lis has been teaching and coaching middle and high school students for 19 years. Lis grew up in the Chicago area and attended St. Lawrence University in Upstate New York. Upon graduation, Lis immediately moved to Santa Fe to pursue her interests in outdoor education and the visual arts. She is a certified USA Triathlon coach of a youth triathlon and track and field team outside of school. Not only does she enjoy teaching and coaching kids, but she is also a five-time Ironman competitor, former river guide, expeditionary backpacking leader, and a motivated athlete herself. When Lis isn’t running around with the P.E. students at school, she can be found running around some more with her husband, daughter, and two rambunctious dogs.
Registrar. Jennifer moved from New York City to Santa Fe in 1998 when she first worked at Santa Fe Prep as College Counselor. After twenty five years in that field (including at Monte del Sol in Santa Fe and Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School in Albuquerque) and many years as Registrar at Desert Academy, she is thrilled to be returning to Santa Fe Prep in a new capacity. Jennifer has an undergraduate degree from Smith College and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Marián Giráldez Elizomgelizo@sfprep.org
Spanish. Marián received her bachelor’s degree in English philology from the Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid. She also holds a M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics from the University of New Mexico, with a focus on vocabulary learning in Spanish as a Second Language and Spanish as a Heritage Language. Marián has extensive experience teaching at both, high school and university level. She is originally from Madrid, Spain, but has lived in New Mexico since 2008. As part of her hobbies Marián enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, hiking and exploring new places.
Performing Arts Department Chair, Acting, Advanced Drama, Musical Theater, Fall Play and Musical Director. Brad holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Boston College and a master’s degree in education from City College of New York. He also graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, a two-year acting conservatory in New York City. Brad has also worked as a college counselor at Northeastern University, an actor in New York, and has been teaching since 2000.
“The best thing about teaching at Prep is the enthusiasm of our students. Classes are filled with students open and willing to participate in activities, and who respect each other’s work.” -Brad Fairbanks
Associate Director of Technology, Computer Science, Fencing, Speech and Debate. A native New Mexican born in Placitas, Ambrose graduated from Prep in 1993, and earned a BFA in graphic design from Colorado State University. He has worked professionally in the industry for over 15 years as a production artist, designer, art director, web developer, video editor, web standards guru, and copy writer, and he is a stickler for clean, semantic code. In addition to art, design, and code, Ambrose is an accomplished stage actor and working stunt performer.
Director of Studies. With over ten years as a classroom teacher, Kendel oversees the curriculum in both the middle and upper schools and coordinates faculty professional development.Prior to arriving at Prep in 1996, she taught at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. Kendel has a bachelor’s degree in comparative religion and anthropology from Dartmouth College and a Master of Theological Studies in comparative religion from Harvard Divinity School. She completed secondary-level educational coursework and certification at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2001–2002, she was awarded a Klingenstein Fellowship to study at The Klingenstein Center, Teachers College Columbia University. She has two children: AJ, Prep class of 2021, and Emery, Prep class of 2024.
“Prep students are without a doubt tremendously well-prepared. But what really astounds me is their ability to make things happen! Of course, our students believe in themselves, but what sets Prep students apart is truly knowing they can have an impact and doing so with absolute determination.” -Kendel Fesenmyer
9th/10th Grade Dean of Students, 10th Grade Class Sponsor, English 12, M.A. Healy Chair for Teaching Excellence. Liz received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and her master’s degree from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She taught at schools in San Francisco and Boston before making Santa Fe her home. While a proud native of Western Massachusetts, Liz loves the culture, landscape, and sense of place of northern New Mexico, and is happily raising her daughter Rachel here in Santa Fe.
“During a recent student-led Honors English discussions, I listened to 18 juniors/seniors who I hadn’t taught since 9th grade. Their depth of analysis and quality of articulation deeply impressed me. It was a great testimony to the teaching going on at Prep.” -Liz Friary
Assistant to the Head of School. A California native, Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from California State University Fullerton. Her professional background is in art and education, and she has worked for public and independent schools in California and New Mexico. Outside of work she enjoys exploring photography, travel, hiking, and cooking.
Algebra II, Pre-Calculus Honors. Camila grew up in Santa Fe and graduated from Prep in 2006. She studied math at Claremont McKenna College and received her master’s in math at UT Austin. Following UT Austin, Camila went on to pursue a passion for ceramics and art. Camila incorporates mathematical forms and ideas into her art and uses 3D modeling and digital fabrication to make the work. Camila spent the last four years teaching and getting her MFA from CU Boulder, and is excited to return to Santa Fe and Santa Fe Prep.
Operations Manager, Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor. Mel has been at Prep since 1997. Previously he spent seven years at the Pecos River Learning Center as maintenance supervisor. He has been a member of the Carpenters Union since 1997, and enjoys wood working and working on old cars in his spare time.
Account Payable Manager. Originally from Albuquerque, Heather has lived in Santa Fe most of her life and considers herself a local; Santa Fe is a beautiful town that has brought much joy to her life. A 2014 graduate of Santa Fe High, where she played softball for four years, Heather continues to play for fun in her free time. She also enjoys bass fishing (her personal best was a 4lb smallmouth bass), and although she does not like to handle fish, she enjoys the excitement of reeling them in. Heather became a mother to her loving son in 2017, and he has shown her “true love.” Heather joins Santa Fe Prep following a four-year stint as a universal banker. Excited to be at Prep, Heather is eager to see what the future holds.
Science, Summer Camp Director. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the United States Military Academy, and a master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Outside the education field, Jim has served as an army officer and production supervisor for General Motors. When not teaching, Jim enjoys being a private pilot, paragliding, paramotoring, and playing the guitar. His two sons graduated with Prep’s class of 2010 and 2013.
Spanish. Olga is a native of Barcelona, Spain. She received her bachelor’s degree in English philology with a minor in French studies from the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. While in college, Olga received an Erasmus Grant to study at Roehampton University in London where she lived for three years. Olga also holds a master’s degree in audiovisual translation by the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona. Olga is passionate about traveling and languages. She is fluent in five languages and has studied a total of nine languages, including Russian and Basque.
Executive Director of Breakthrough Santa Fe. Dieu holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and Music with a minor in Spanish from Bowdoin College. After college, she worked in college admissions at Bates and Bowdoin Colleges before pursuing her master’s degree in Higher Education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She spent two years working in college counseling in Boston before transitioning to Breakthrough. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Dieu is excited to return to the Southwest to explore the desert and mountains, eat lots of green chile, and work alongside students and families in Santa Fe!
Music, Chorus, Jazz Band, Chamber Music, Music Theory. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in jazz piano from the University of Miami. Chris has worked as a professional pianist/keyboard player for many jazz, pop, and rock bands, and he performs regularly in Sante Fe with his trio.
Maintenance Department. Mauricio grew up in a large family on a farm in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He has three children.
Global Studies. Dina received her bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Indiana University and a graduate degree from St. John’s College. She continues to take classes and is currently working towards adding a special education endorsement to her New Mexico teacher’s license. She has been a classroom teacher for 25 years, teaching history, health, and English courses. For the past four years, Dina has worked as part of the administrative team at Santa Fe Prep and decided to transition back to the classroom this year because she missed teaching. Dina is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and running.
English 8. Breshaun has a master’s in Children’s Literature and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in the Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies department at the University of New Mexico. Her current research explores Shakespeare pedagogy across multiple grades. She has taught for nearly twenty years in traditional and non-traditional learning environments from Shakespeare performance summer camps for Kindergarten students to college classrooms. Breshaun is also a Reader at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., which houses the world’s largest collection of printed works of William Shakespeare. Her passion for teaching is matched only by her desire to continually learn how to be a better educator. Breshaun’s personal teaching philosophy is that a person learns best when exposed to new concepts and ideas and is then engaged in enjoyable and critical thinking activities. Ultimately, this leads to enlightenment.
English, English Honors, Anthropology. Kristin has taught middle and upper school classes for almost 15 years at Prep. Her teaching interests center around the student and their engagement in the continual process of learning, including an awareness of their learning styles, interests, strengths, and endless avenues of possibility. Her classes are crafted so that “school” is an environment where learning is collaborative, constant, ever changing, always relevant to personal, societal, and historical contexts, and, hopefully, fun! Ms. K was born and raised in Santa Fe, received a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from California State University, Fullerton, and is currently enrolled in a graduate program in Language, Literacy, & Sociocultural Studies at the University of New Mexico focusing her research on identity and emotion in learning. When not teaching, Ms. K loves to write poetry, sing in a local band, and hike with her (big) Labrador Retriever, Buster.
Science 7. Having grown up on a boarding school campus in Colorado, Robin’s teaching career has included experiences in day and boarding schools in England, and most recently, on the north shore of Boston. A graduate of Bowdoin College with an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry, Robin received a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Ohio State University. Recently, Robin completed the Master Naturalist program through the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the Climate Masters course with the Santa Fe Watershed. Robin’s passion for travel and outdoor adventure has taken her on a variety of student trips, including cultural experiences in Italy and Russia, sea-kayaking in Belize, and rock-climbing in Moab. When not at school, Robin enjoys photography, hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family.
Administrative Assistant, Davis New Mexico Scholarship. Claire has worked as an educator and arts administrator for over ten years, teaching and directing education programs for various organizations and museums in Santa Fe and the San Francisco Bay Area. Claire received degrees in art education and painting from Bradley University and an MA in Art History from the University of Colorado Boulder. In the few precious moments when she is not chasing after her two young daughters, she can be found painting and printing in her art studio or digging around in her garden.
Algebra I, Geometry. Zoe earned her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland. After college, she moved to Kentucky to help build a chemical agent destruction pilot plant. Her love for New Mexico brought her to Santa Fe in 2015. After several years working at LANL, she decided to pursue a more meaningful career working with youth at Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. Now, she is delighted to be part of the Santa Fe Prep community. In her free time, Zoe enjoys working on her house, being outside, snuggling with her cats, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Sarah Meghan Leeslee@sfprep.org
Photography and3D Art. Sarah holds a history degree from Stanford University and an MA in Media Studies from San Diego State University. She worked as a professional photojournalist for about 20 years with The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times based in Rwanda, Africa and Mexico City, Mexico. She has taught photography at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, and the University of California at San Diego Extension. Sarah’s hobbies are hiking, backpacking and swimming.
Associate Director, Davis New Mexico Scholarship. A staunch advocate for public and equitable education (and a true education nerd), Hanna has spent nearly a decade volunteering, working with, or working on behalf of youth and educators. Before joining the Davis New Mexico Scholarship team, she spent five years in the Bay Area leading national data collection, analysis, and dissemination efforts at Breakthrough Collaborative. While in the Bay, she could often be found at free lectures or the farmers market honing her “Berkeley mom” aesthetic (she is not, in fact, a Berkeley mom); she is eager to see what that all means in Santa Fe. Hanna holds a B.A. in sociology from Pomona College and sits on the board of Camp Common Ground.
Director of Admissions and Marketing. Originally from Connecticut, Mary made the trip west after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history from Denison University. She joined the admissions office at Santa Fe Prep in 2012. In addition to her work in admissions, Mary also serves as Director of Marketing. Mary’s professional background is in business administration and management. Prior to joining Prep, Mary owned and operated Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works with her husband Kent. Mary and Kent have two children: Brooke ’19 is a freshman in college in North Carolina, and Sam ’22 is a sophomore at Prep. In her spare time, Mary loves to run, hike, ski and share time with her family.
Assistant Head of School/Head of Upper School. Jessyca was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. After working with NM Game and Fish for a few years, she went to Oregon State University to pursue a master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy, Fisheries Science, and Education. Education became her true passion and she has followed it ever since. Jessyca has held many positions in education, from a long-term substitute to a Deputy Director, most recently in Mexico. Having worked in both public and private schools both stateside and abroad, Jessyca brings nearly 20 years of experience working with students, staff, parents, and other stakeholders. In her free time, Jessyca enjoys spending time with her husband and their two mini dachshunds, whether traveling the world or going to Home Depot. She also enjoys running, yoga, reading, camping, amateur photography, and much more.
Library Assistant. Jen is originally from Massachusetts and has been living in Santa Fe for the past 14 years. She received her BS in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut. After working as a pharmacist, Jen has most recently been working and volunteering in Santa Fe schools. In her free time, Jen enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling (especially to beaches) with her husband, Rob, and their three daughters: Kelly (class of ’26), Audrey (’27) and Nicole (future ’29).
Director of Library Services, Instructional Technologist. Catherine has a BA in geography from San Francisco State University and an MLS from Indiana University. Prior to coming to Santa Fe Prep, Catherine directed library and technology services at schools in St. Louis and Washington, DC. She has also worked in software development and at independent bookstores in St. Louis and Atlanta. Catherine is currently serving on the AISL board as secretary. In her free time, Catherine enjoys reading, tennis, and being outside.
Director of Advancement. Michael holds a MA and PhD in French Literature from Princeton University as well as a BA from Colgate University and has vast experience in independent schools as a teacher of French and Latin both in NYC and in Denver, Colorado where he served as foreign language department chair at Kent Denver School. Michael became the Director of Development at Kent Denver in 2006 and grew a successful career as an advancement professional and non-profit fundraiser for The American School in Paris, The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and La Napoule Art Foundation. Michael has also served on many non-profit boards, including: Breakthrough Kent Denver; The Art Students League of Denver; The Anchor Center for Blind Children; and The Joshua School for Autistic Children. When not at work, Michael enjoys cooking and baking, playing classical piano, and doing crossword puzzles with his two standard poodles, Walter and Bill.
Front Office Manager. Anna is a Native of Nanbé Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh. Trained in Food & Beverage and Restaurant Management she is also certified in Culinary Arts. She was a professional chef for several years and Assistant Manager of a 5-star restaurant in Princeville, Kauai. Prior to joining the front office at Prep in 2007, Anna served as the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Nanbé Pueblo. Anna has a work history of office management and has held several executive assistant positions. She loves to spend time making beaded jewelry. Her son is a graduate from Prep’s class of 2012.
Maintenance Department. John is a native Santa Fean whose family owns Cordelia’s Restaurant. An avid bowler, he is also a devoted dad to two daughters and a son.
3-D art. Photography. Matt earned his Masters in Fine Arts from UC Berkeley, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with Department Distinctions. While at UC Berkeley, he received the prestigious Eisner Prize for Visual Art and was named as a Fellow with the Arts Research Center. He taught Painting, Drawing and Introduction to Visual Thinking at UC Berkeley and also worked as a professional artist before moving to an earthship in the quiet and rugged desert near Abiquiu, NM. Matt is a practicing artist and is represented by several art galleries, including Form & Concept (Santa Fe) and Visions West Contemporary (Denver, Jackson Hole, Livingston and Bozeman). He has shown his work across the country, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Berkeley Art Museum. Matt’s artwork has been collected internationally and has been published in New American Paintings, The Wall Street Journal and several other publications. Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and new baby, long distance runs in the mountains and working in his art studio.
History Department Chair, 12th Grade Modern U.S. History/ Latin America Studies. Dan has been teaching at Prep for 17 years. Dan received his bachelor’s degree with a double major in communications and theater arts from Metropolitan State College in Denver. Prior to becoming a teacher, he was a theatrical lighting designer and worked at such places as the Santa Fe Opera and the Denver Center Theater Company. One of his passions is traveling and he has been fortunate to have traveled and lived extensively throughout the world.
“Some of the best things about teaching at Prep are the creative, compassionate colleagues, working in a beautiful environment, and teaching students who are engaged, creative and fun.”
Spanish, Breakthrough Student Support Coordinator. Marvin graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in foreign language education and Spanish literature. He has assumed various roles in the field of education with particular emphasis in access to opportunity. A jack-of-all-trades, Marvin delves into a variety of hobbies including dancing, acting, running, traveling, and writing.
7th Grade New Mexico History, Service & Environmental Learning Assistant. Lisa graduated from The Colorado College with a major in Southwest Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies, earned her NM K-12 teaching certification at the University of New Mexico, and has completed many graduate level courses in a variety of Southwestern topics. A native Santa Fean from a family of educators, Lisa has taught and tutored in local public and private schools. Lisa has worked in the museum world as well: as a field researcher in northern New Mexico with the School for Advanced Research; as an educator at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; and in the development of educational programs for the New Mexico History Museum. One of her primary goals as an educator is to create meaningful learning experiences for students to discover the significance of multiple perspectives and narratives in the telling of a comprehensive story of the past. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, especially while exploring the outdoors in our beautiful state of New Mexico.
“Prep is a place where students and teachers venture on varied paths of learning experiences, whether it is in the classroom completing independent research and group projects, or hiking through Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and exploring local museums. At Prep we delve deeply into our pursuit of knowledge and community connections.”
“The cool thing about Prep is that we give students tools that they will go on to use for a lifetime. Importance is placed not only on the content of classes, but on mastering the skills necessary to be a lifelong learner. In doing so, our students learn how to be active and engaged participants in the wide world around them.”
Director of Communications. Kathleen comes to Santa Fe Prep from Cleveland, Ohio, where she spent 13 years as a communications professional at Hathaway Brown School. Her varied career has included positions in marketing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in customer service for a global insurance company, in police and education beat reporting at a small daily newspaper, in mental health services at a residential treatment center for adolescents, and in the psychiatric intensive care unit of an inner-city hospital. She has spent much of her professional life working as a freelance writer, editor, and public relations specialist, and she had her own consulting firm for 10 years, with clients ranging from start-up businesses to Fortune 100 companies. She holds a degree in English and psychology from John Carroll University and her work has appeared in a number of regional and national publications. She and her husband Steve Gleydura are recent empty-nesters, with their three children off at college.
Davis New Mexico Scholarship Student Support Intern, Alejandra graduated from St. Edwards University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. Alejandra had the opportunity to be part of Breakthrough Santa Fe and the first generation of Davis New Mexico Scholars. She is excited to be back in Santa Fe and still be part of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship community here at Prep!
Assistant to Division Heads. Barbara comes to Santa Fe Prep from New London, Connecticut where she spent 20 years as a high school English teacher at Ledyard High School and adjunct instructor at UCONN. She was a longtime AP English teacher and still participates in the annual reading of the language and composition exam for the College Board. Barbara spent many summers involved in National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops for teachers. She is a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio and earned an undergraduate degree in English education from Ohio State University. She also holds a master’s degree in humanities from Hofstra University. She and her husband Thomas Green, a bassist and educator, both enjoy travel, hiking, cooking and gardening.
Math Department Chair, Algebra II Honors, Statistics, Precalculus. Aiyana received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education from the College of Santa Fe. Aiyana has taught at Santa Fe Prep for 13 years. In addition to teaching mathematics, Aiyana has co-led trips to Nepal and Mongolia for Prep students. Before teaching at Prep, she taught at the Rio Grande School, The Institute of American Indian Arts, Ortiz Middle School, and Santa Fe High.
“I believe in creating a safe and appropriately challenging space for learning where every student becomes a confident and accomplished mathematical thinker and problem solver. I believe creating an environment where taking risks and learning from students is part of the process. I encourage students to think creatively, apply concepts, and communicate ideas in a variety of ways. I enjoy challenging students who love math, and also showing students who lack confidence that they can do much more than they ever thought that they could, guiding them to develop a belief in themselves and to see themselves as mathematicians.”
Maintenance Department. Alfredo was born and raised in Aguascalientes, Mexico and has two children. Alfredo enjoys working at Santa Fe Prep and making it a great and clean environment.
Mathematics, Chess Coach. After earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brandeis University, Joey embarked on a career as a professional artist and glassblower. He studied glass art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Pilchuck Glass School, before following his future wife out to New Mexico in 2003. After building and operating a glass shop and gallery in Pojoaque, Joey returned to his first love of philosophy and academia, teaching math and chess at Pojoaque Valley Middle School. Joey is an amateur scientist, proud nerd, voracious reader, gardening enthusiast, and chess fanatic who enjoys backpacking and skiing the mountains of New Mexico.
School Counselor. Amy earned her bachelor’s degrees in History and American Studies at Brandeis University and her Masters in Counseling at New Mexico Highlands University. Her love of the helping professions was ignited by a summer spent leading an experiential outdoor program for young people. Amy credits this experience with setting her on her career course, and she has been working in direct service provision with individuals and groups since 2002. Amy has experience in facilitating prevention/education, intervention, and treatment in clinical, community mental health, and school settings. She has extensive training in a variety of evidence-based modalities, and experience in community organizing, quality improvement, and program development for non-profit organizations. Amy is proud to provide a strengths-based approach to wellness; one that utilizes and honors the unique culture, experience, and abilities of each individual as a conduit to promoting greater purpose, connection, and health within our shared communities. Outside of work, Amy enjoys hiking, yoga, cooking, gardening, and impromptu kitchen dance parties with her husband and son.
Biology. Marc is native to Connecticut and began his teaching career as an undergraduate science educator in the Philadelphia Public Schools. Marc went on to learn and teach at various wilderness skills programs in Connecticut and Massachusetts before turning to Environmental Outdoor Education for Nature’s Classroom at various locations in New England. After completing a master’s degree in Biology while working with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife researching ways to sustain amphibian populations in Cape May County, New Jersey Marc developed his skills in science education, coaching, sustainability, and nature education at Salisbury School; an all-boys boarding school in Connecticut, and Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia. Marc and his wife, Julie moved to Santa Fe in 2015 because “the mountains were calling”. Marc enjoys volunteering at Reunity Resources, a local energy sustainability “community experiment” in Santa Fe and wandering to new places alone and with friends in his free time.
Davis New Mexico Scholarship Director, History. Sam graduated from Carleton College with a degree in history and religion before moving to Santa Fe, where he worked for the organization Citizen Schools at De Vargas Middle School while receiving his Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University. In 2012, Sam began working at Breakthrough Santa Fe at Santa Fe Prep, where he eventually served as Co-Director of that program. In 2017, Sam became the Director of the Davis New Mexico Scholarship, the largest private scholarship program designated solely for New Mexican students in the state’s history. Throughout his tenure at Prep, he has taught various upper school classes in the history department. When not at work, Sam likes to play music and explore the great outdoors.
Learning Specialist, Coordinator of Multicultural Life. Claire earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in learning disabilities from the University of New Mexico. She has participated in extensive training in neurodevelopment and learning differences and completed an internship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she helped organize and execute the first Special Olympic competition in Guatemala and also worked as a trainer in teacher education programs in El Salvador and Chile. Claire was also a national faculty member of Schools Attuned, a program helping regular education teachers manage various learning challenges in the classroom. A lifetime resident of New Mexico, Claire has worked in public, pueblo, and private school settings as a teacher and as an administrator. She is the mother of Sofia Bomse ’18.
P.E. Department Chair, School Health Coordinator. Rennae has a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and has taught PE at Prep since the fall of 1990. Over the course of her career at Prep, Rennae has been a soccer and dance coach, and has seen teams through 3 State Soccer Championships and 2 State Dance Championships. Rennae is a certified official for the NMOA in the sports of spirit, swimming, and track and field, and spends many weekends officiating high school athletics. Rennae is also a long-time member of the Ilfeld Volunteer Fire Department.
Director of Service and Environmental Learning. Eric has more than 25 years experience working with children in academic and outdoor education programs. He has taught at Rowland Hall St. Marks School in Utah and Proctor Academy in New Hampshire. He has also led Outward Bound programs in the US and Australia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences from Cornell University and his master’s degree in humanities from St. John’s College.
Director of Finance. Bruce holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from American University in Washington, DC, and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He has been in accounting and finance for over twenty years with a wide range of companies.
Head of School, History. The 2021-2022 school year marks Aaron’s second year as Head of Santa Fe Prep. He brings 23 years of experience in independent school education, working with students, teachers, staff, parents, trustees, and alumni in four independent schools in Colorado and New Mexico. Most recently, Aaron concluded six years as Head of The Colorado Springs School. He earned an undergraduate degree in History from Colorado College and masters’ degrees from St. John’s College and Columbia University. In his free time, he enjoys high country adventures with his family.
English Department Chair, English 10, and English 12. Leslie started her higher education at the conventional age, majoring in English with concentrations in French and German literature at Wellesley College. She then received an MA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe. In what might most easily be described as a mid-life crisis, she returned to St. John’s at the age of 40 to receive an undergraduate degree in the Great Books program as well, before earning her master’s in English literature at CU Boulder. At Colorado, Leslie co-taught courses in Early American Literature, American Literature and Shakespeare. She is delighted to be back in the Prep community where her two children Griffin (’08) and Hillary (’10) matriculated. Outside of class, you might find her skiing in Taos, hiking mountain trails, or cheering on the Blue Griffins at any sporting event.
7th grade English, Creative Writing, Honors English. A Native of central Texas, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Service from Baylor University and a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. She worked in the field of international security before transitioning to fiction-writing. Prior to teaching at Prep, Sarah taught literature and fiction at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and at creative writing workshops in her home. Her first novel, Out There, won the 2015 Indiefab Editor’s Choice Award for Fiction, Book of the Year and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Sarah is the mother of three grown daughters and a 10-year-old son, Jack. When she is not writing or reading, you may find her in the garden. She is currently a Writer-in-Residence at the historic El Zaguán in Santa Fe, and working on a new novel entitled Her Story.
Advancement Database Manager and Events Coordinator. A native of Los Alamos, Jillian received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature & Creative Writing from The George Washington University and her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She recently returned to New Mexico after nearly a decade spent working in New York City’s professional theatre industry, and is thrilled to be back home and to be joining the Prep community.
Business Office Manager. Christella is originally from Velarde, New Mexico. She has 15+ years accounting experience, primarily from working at large-scale construction companies in the Santa Fe and Los Alamos areas. She has two daughters.
Spanish IV, V, V Honors, and AP. Originally from Colombia, Alex has lived most of his life in Philadelphia. Growing up in South America allowed Alex the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures. Alex earned a BA in Spanish for Education and a Master of Education in Secondary Foreign Language from Temple University. Alex is passionate about learning and teaching, and he is thrilled to have the opportunity to join Santa Fe Prep after teaching Spanish for twelve years in the Philadelphia area. In his free time, Alex enjoys exploring the Santa Fe area, hiking, going on spontaneous road trips, and learning more about all the wonders that the Land of Enchantment has to offer.
Ceramics. Todd Volz grew up in a small town in Wyoming. He received his Bachelor of Arts in studio art and art education from the University of Wyoming. He went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho. Todd has taught ceramics in several colleges and universities around Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. He also served as studio director at a nationally recognized ceramics studio, and has maintained his own studio practice before coming to Santa Fe Prep to teach ceramics.
World History II. Drew received a BA in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS in 2001. From there he took off to Kyoto, Japan, where he studied Rinzai Zen Buddhism at Tofukuji Monastery. He eventually returned to the U.S. to pursue a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, where he focused on world religions and ethics. After HDS, Drew taught in religious studies at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD, and at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Brooklandville, MD. He returned to higher ed in 2008 and earned a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. Before coming to Prep, he taught at Whitman College and was the Director of Gender Studies at Brown University. He is thrilled to return to his roots as a teacher in the independent school environment, and he looks forward to getting to know Santa Fe and beautiful northern New Mexico with his husband and daughter.
Pre-Calculus, AB Calculus, Advanced Math Topics. Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching from Rice University. Before joining Prep, she taught at St. John’s School in Houston, TX, as well as for the School Year Abroad program in Viterbo, Italy.
Language Department Chair, Spanish. Anna has an undergraduate degree from Brown University in comparative literature and a graduate degree from St. John’s College. She spent two semesters as a student at Prep when her family was on sabbatical here in Santa Fe. Anna also studied for a year abroad in Barcelona.
Alternative Languages Coordinator, Latin, Blue Griffin Chair for Teaching Excellence. Carla received her Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies from Wesleyan University and her Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, where she was a University Fellow.
Associate Director of College Counseling. Matt is from the notable, no-stoplight town of Altamont, Kansas, and earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in comparative studies in race and ethnicity. During college, he studied abroad in Switzerland, Russia and Germany, interned at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, coordinated a scholarship competition and helped run the Stanford Powwow. Following graduation, Matt worked as a college admission counselor at Stanford and Caltech, often supplementing his experience by collaborating with College Horizons, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Questbridge, and other programs supporting college access and retention for students from low-income, first-generation and minority backgrounds. In addition to working with Story Leonard in College Counseling, he also coaches baseball.