Tierra Encantada Charter School Governance Board

Joseph Salazar

Joseph E. Salazar, President

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.


Melarie Gonzales, Vice President
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Jamie Stevens

Jamie Stevens, Board Secretary

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I was born in Albuquerque into a large family from Santa Fe and the Pueblo of Isleta. After spending part of my childhood in the Bay Area of California, I grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from Sandia High School. I then returned to San Francisco and worked in underwriting for a commercial insurer for several years, enjoying my proximity to the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. After my son was born in 2006, we decided to raise our children closer to family and moved to Santa Fe. After welcoming our daughter in 2008, I spent many happy years as their full-time mother and part time student. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Mexico, majoring in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology. I am now an archaeologist at UNM’s Office of Contract Archaeology.


Once my children were school aged, I spent a lot of time volunteering in their schools. After those experiences, I learned that I care a great deal about public education and about the children in our community. It is my honor to serve on the Governance Board at Tierra Encantada. Our charter’s mission is in line with my personal values so I am proud to work to empower our citizen scholars. Thank you for allowing me to serve our Alacranes community!



Nick Maestas
Nicholas Maestas, Treasurer

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.



EJ Volkman

E.J. Volkman, Member

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EJ Volkman was born in Charleston, West Virginia and lived throughout the Southern United States until moving out with his family to Santa Fe in 1985. He graduated from St. Michael’s High School in the early 90’s and after attaining his first bachelor’s degree in Kansas, moved back to New Mexico in 1996.


EJ has been a teacher with the Santa Fe Public Schools since 1998, starting his teaching career at Tesuque Elementary, eventually moving to the district level for Special Education. He currently is the Director of Operations for Special Education for the Santa Fe Public Schools.


Having always attended, or taught at, small community-based schools; EJ shares an understanding of the power of smaller, student-focused schools. EJ is energized by the mission of Tierra Encantada and has seen the power of student engagement first-hand. Tierra Encantada helped his nephew be the first of his generation go to college; and he is currently experiencing his own child’s amazing education at TECS.


EJ is both honored and humbled to be on the Tierra Governance Board. A lifelong learner himself, EJ is excited to bring unique lenses and viewpoints to the Board as they work cohesively to continue guiding the implementation of the Tierra Encantada charter.