Abenico E. Baldonado is a native New Mexican from Las Vegas, New Mexico, and a graduate from New Mexico Highlands University class of 2011; receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Law.
In 2011, Abenicio was selected as one of only two individuals in the State of New Mexico, to receive an internship with the New Mexico State Legislature. During his time as an intern, he focused on bill drafting and policy analysis with the Legislative Council Service.
In November of 2012, Abenicio became a teacher at Tierra Encantada Charter School (TECS). During his tenure, he was responsible for educating students in government and economics. Additionally, he taught courses in New Mexico History and United States History. Furthermore, Abenicio’s background in government, propelled him to bring prior experiences and knowledge into the classroom, in order to excel student engagement.
During his time at TECS, Abenicio believed in being an advocate and was an active member in the community. Abenicio’s involvement ranged from coaching baseball, coordinating student council, and serving as a liaison for the Tierra Encantada Parent Partners (TEPP). Although he is no longer a teacher at TECS, Abenicio continues to express his gratitude for the experience and opportunity he received to grow professionally and personally.
Currently, Abenicio is the State Ethics Officer for the Secretary of State, and has been appointed to the TECS Governance Board as of July 1, 2016. Additionally, he is in the process of completing his studies in public policy, and will obtain his Master’s Degree in Public Administration by December 2017. Upon completing his graduate studies, Abenicio intends to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico.
Abenicio continues to support the values, mission, and vision of TECS, and will continue advocating on behalf of students, staff, and community of Tierra Encantada Charter School.
Born in Santa Fe, Joseph grew up in Tierra Amarilla in northern NM, where he spent his formative years learning the traditions of colonial NM on his family’s ranch. As an avid outdoorsman, Joseph’s love of the land and animals are the cornerstones of his passion to live life to its fullest and help any and all where he can.
Before graduating from the NM Institute of Technology, Joseph began to build his work experience in the mining industry. After many innovative contributions marking those years as being successful and still talked about by his peer’s years later, Joseph diversified. Working for the State of New Mexico as a telecommunications director, growing a multi-million dollar telecommunications business, and building his own security systems business, his passion for excellence is as strong as ever.
Joseph never lost sight of his passion to help the youth of our community. Coaching, mentoring, and improving the lives of kids has culminated in Joseph joining the board of directors at Tierra Encantada Charter School. His success in business and lifelong love of learning give him a unique perspective as he works to implement programs for the betterment of all who call themselves members of the TECHS family.
Nicholas Maestas is a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and had a focused minor in Native American and Hispano Cultural Studies. He has an extensive background in leadership. As a Highland Hornet in Albuquerque, NM, Mr. Maestas was elected by his peers to serve as the Junior Class and Student Body President. He organized many community service projects, student activities and competed in extra curricular activities as a letterman in three sports; football, wrestling and baseball. He also represented the New Mexico Highlands University wrestling team on the mat when he competed during the 2008-2009 season. While attending NMHU, Mr. Maestas was involved in the Associated Students of New Mexico Highlands University (Student Senate). As a Senator, President Pro-temp and as the Vice President, Mr. Maestas represented the student body during meetings and worked with NMHU administration to make changes necessary to increase the quality of life for students on on campus. Mr. Maestas worked on a committee to bring hip hop artist Pitbull and Paul Wall to Las Vegas, New Mexico for a concert. As an advocate for ease of living on campus he worked with administration to allow students the ability to utilize their id cards to pay for meals on campus and to be used in the bookstore to purchase books and test materials.
Mr. Maestas has been a part of the Tierra Encantada Charter School family for four years as an Assistant Head Wrestling Coach since the program’s inception in 2012. During his involvement with TECS, he has learned about the school’s unique mission and will bring his experience to the Governance Board to assure that the board keeps the students safety and their education as a top priority. He was appointed to the TECS Governance Board in June 2016 and began his service on the Board July 1, 2016.
First visiting New Mexico in 1997, Tanya and her family moved from New Jersey to New Mexico during summer break of 2011. Along with her husband (Henry), their three children (Tala, Noni, and Shane), and her father (Jimmy Manello), all have now made their home in Cerrillos.
As one of the five original parents that founded the Tierra Encantada Parent Partnership group, Tanya has served in the TEPP group for the past 4 years and is the active Treasurer. Within this group, TEPP accomplished hosting many events that have come to be a common place at Tierra Encantada Charter School, including the Valentine’s Day Bingo and Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.
Tanya was appointed by the Governance Council to fill a vacancy on the Board in February of 2014 and has since been elected and serves as Board Secretary.
Having specialized in IT Operations, Tanya has worked for many, very large, progressive companies including the world’s largest breeding barn for trotters and pacers (race horses) – Lana Lobell Farms, the makers of the first car phone – Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems, Newsweek Magazine, the world’s largest datacenter – Prudential Financial (IT Manager), world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical company – Johnson & Johnson (IT Procurement Manager), world’s largest and most diverse medical device company – Ethicon, a global leader in aviation technology – Honeywell (Counterfeit Parts Division), and New Mexico’s primary electrical provider – PNM (IT Asset Manager).
In her personal life, Tanya was a PTO member and class parent for all three children from Pre-School until 5th grade (total of 10 years), acting as chaperone, assistant, and class room activity support. Tanya has also been involved in Girl Scouts for 20+ years, assisted with the Cub Scouts for 3 years, and was a volunteer at the Raptor Trust for the Injured Aviary Society. She worked for Black Horse Stables as the Barn Supervisor, helping in riding lessons, horse shows, and general barn supervision of groom staff and students. Prior to leaving NJ, Tanya had the honor of serving on the Somerset County C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) as well.
In New Mexico, besides becoming involved in Tierra Encantada as a community member and parent, Tanya has also been appointed as a member of the Santa Fe Chapter of the Awesome Foundation, earned her certification in Software Asset Management, is a member of the PNM’s Green Team, serves as a member and contributor to the Enterprise Architecture Solutions Board and member and contributor to the Governance, Risk, and Compliance Board for PNM.
Melarie Gonzales, Member
Celedina Coss, Member
Celedina Coss is a native New Mexican born in Las Cruces and raised in Santa Fe. She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a Masters in Social Work in 2014. Throughout Celedina’s career she has worked for multiple social justice organizations in Santa Fe. She was a Prevention Education Specialist at Solace Crisis Treatment Center working with youth in grades k-12. She has worked for Southwest Care Center, been on the Board of Directors for PFLAG and HRA/Santa Fe Pride and has focused her efforts to work with youth in Northern NM. Currently she is a therapist at the Santa Fe Mountain Center working with the youth of Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties that have had an issue with Substance Use. As a new board member for Tierra Encantada she will to bring her diverse skills and previous experiences to the board as a voice for the youth who attend the school. Celedina worked for the school as a School Social Worker/Counselor previously and has a child who attends the school. She can provide a unique perspective on what the youth in Tierra Encantada want and need. She wholeheartedly believes in and wants to support the mission of the school. Celedina will work diligently to make sure the school holds up the mission of being a Project-based/Dual language/College Preparatory School.