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Phone: 575-751-3109 | Fax: 575-751-3394
110 Paseo del Cañon West Taos, NM 87571

Staff Directory

Department List

Sarah Bradley
Sarah Bradley
Special Education Director
Mrs. Bradley was raised in Kingsport, Tennessee and attended both the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and East Tennessee State University, receiving a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She worked in the hotel business for Hyatt Regency and Fairmont Hotels  in San Francisco and Dallas. After making her way to Taos, she began a career in education, received a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading and has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, Title I Coordinator and Reading Interventionist and Principal. She joins Taos Academy as  Special Education Director.
Being part of supporting students in creating life opportunities for them brings me great joy!
Michelle DeHerrera
Michelle DeHerrera
Administrative Support
Ashley Duran
Ashley Duran
Administrative Assistant
Cruz Duran
Cruz Duran
STEM Administration
Jose Espinoza
Jose Espinoza
Facilities Coordinator
Steve Falconi
Steve Falconi
Teacher & Instructional Coach
Originally from Colorado, I have been teaching high school English for the last 8 years in the Denver/Metro area. During my time as a teacher, I also coached baseball and softball. Prior to teaching, I earned my bachelors degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and my masters degree in Secondary Education from Regis University.
Several of my teachers played a huge role in helping me become who I am, so I became a teacher to follow in their footsteps and carry their legacy forward.
Dr. Traci Filiss
Dr. Traci Filiss - EdD
Executive Director/Superintendent
My career in educational innovation began as a High School Science teacher in Woodstock, VT and continued into NM inspiring kids as a teacher at Enos Garcia and Eagle Nest Elementary. As an innovative teacher I understood that change in educational opportunities was greatly needed. I received my MS in Educational Technology and later my EdD Doctor of Education Administration. Taos Academy's hybrid model was developed with the flexibility of digital learning with the strength of relational learning found in face to face instruction. As founder of Taos Academy it is my philosophy that by providing an environment for kids to feel empowered, encouraged, and inspired supports the mission and vision of TA for developing student ownership of  lifelong learning.
Jeanette Henshaw
Jeanette Henshaw - BS /Moderate Special Needs/Elementary Education
Special Education Coordinator
Before taking on the role of Special Education Coordinator Ms. Henshaw has been an advisor, Special Education and Math Enrichment Teacher here at Taos Academy.  She originally moved to Taos with her daughter to teach at TISA.  She has taught in the UK, NC, MA and VA.  Ms. Henshaw has taught in both regular education and special education schools.  She has taught all core subject areas and several electives (drama, newspaper, animal care, student government, NJHS).  She has taught mainly at the Middle School and High School level.  She was brought up with a creative arts background and spent half of her life overseas in the UK and Germany,  Her parents were a graphic artist and the Music and Theatre Director for the US Army.  She enjoys traveling and bringing the arts into her curriculum.  She has presented workshops on Multiple Intelligences and Student Engagement.  She loves being part of the Taos Academy Family.  She is always here to help.  Feel free to drop her a line with any education questions you may have.
Megan Hudson-Tanner
Megan Hudson-Tanner
Special Education Teacher
I was born and raised in Taos, NM. I completed my undergraduate degree in Colorado Springs at Colorado College. I was then accepted into Teach For America and sent to Arizona to teach high school special education. I then returned to Taos, NM to continue my teaching career and raise my two sons. I have a huge family in Taos, and can't wait to meet my students!
I love to work with students of all abilities and assisting them with their goals after high school. 
Megan Jenkins
Megan Jenkins
Instructor
Megan Jenkins is a driven and accomplished professional with a diverse background. With 10 years of experience in the financial sector, Megan has honed her skills in financial analysis and management, budgeting, and client relations. She spent 7 years at Wolfgang Puck Catering, where she served as Lead Caterer and Finance Manager, overseeing all aspects of catering operations and ensuring financial success for the business.

In addition to her work in the private sector, Megan has also made significant contributions to the education field. She has served as an Administrative Assistant and Substitute Teacher/Educational Assistant for 8 years at Costilla, and has also worked as an Educational Assistant Taos Academy. Her experience in education has given her a unique perspective on the importance of effective communication, organization, and attention to detail.

Megan holds an AA in Energy Management and is currently working towards her BA in Science and Career Tech. She is a dedicated learner who is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in her field. She balances her professional and educational pursuits with a busy family life, as she is the proud mother of three children.

In her free time, Megan enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and skiing, as well as traveling. Her passion for adventure and exploration is reflected in her work and personal life, as she constantly seeks out new challenges and opportunities for growth.
Lisa Joseph
Lisa Joseph - BS Secondary Education Social Studies, MAOM, MATE, NBCT
Community School Coordinator
I love teaching and learning. I moved from Colorado Springs to Taos in 2009 and started teaching at Taos Academy in 2012.  I enjoy riding my horses in the mountains of this beautiful state. My education includes the following:   BS Secondary Education Social Studies, MA Organizational Management, MA Library Media and Technology. I earned an Early Childhood Through Young Adulthood National Board Certification in Library Media and have been a facilitator of National Board Certification Support Classes for teachers.   I embrace the Community School Coordinator position with a passion. In this position I want Taos Academy, as a Community School, to continue to impact the lives of our students in positive ways with a focus on continuous improvement and collaborative leadership.

Patti Kravitz
Patti Kravitz - B.S. K-12 Special Education PE/Health Endorsement
PE/Wellness/Health Advisor Special Education Advisor Athlete Coordinator
I have been in education for over 10 yrs in various roles in Ohio, Colorado, and here in Taos. I am also a professional Voiceover artist as well as have been in the health and wellness world for over 30 yrs as a Musculoskeletal Therapist/Personal Trainer working with all ages (MY OTHER PASSIONS). I enjoy working with youth providing them with tools for their toolbox for life¨. When not working with kids I am either behind my mic, running, hiking, stretching, keeping my mind/body/ spirit in balance. 
Elizabeth LeBlanc
Elizabeth LeBlanc - MA in Educational Technology and Curriculum Design
Director of Teaching and Learning
Elizabeth LeBlanc is a passionate educator, teacher and mom living at high altitude. She has over 15 years of experience in the design and implementation of high-quality blended learning programs. Elizabeth is the founder and project coordinator for the Taos Education Collaborative (TEC) and received the NMSTE 2019 "Making IT Happen!" award. She is incredibly proud to be a part of the Taos Academy team. 
Amy Lucero
Amy Lucero
Front Office Manager
Jamie Lucero-Martinez
Jamie Lucero-Martinez - B.U.S.- University Studies Music/Creative Writing, M. Ed Educational Administration
STEM +Arts Coordinator, School Test Coordinator, 21st Century Instructor, Equity Council Lead
Tami Martinson
Tami Martinson - MS in Teaching and Learning
Advisor
I am an Academic Advisor, and I teach High School and Middle School English Language Arts Enrichment. I also sponsor Middle School Student Advisory Council. I hold a Masters Degree in Teaching and Learning from Colorado State University Global Campus, and I enjoy reading, writing, and lifelong learning. 
Patricia Meagher
Patricia Meagher NBCT (Social Studies/History)
Advisor/ELA Enrichment Teacher
After living part time in Taos for nearly fifteen years, Mrs. Meagher permanently moved to Taos in 2020. In her previous life, she lived in Chicago where she taught for over twenty years for the Chicago Public Schools. Mrs. Meagher’s teaching focus is in the areas of English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Gifted Education. She has received the Fund for Teachers Fellowship, the Transatlantic Outreach Program Fellowship, as well as multiple education grants from the Chicago Foundation for Education. Mrs. Meagher was also an adjunct professor for Loyola University of Chicago, and has served as mentor to several pre-service teachers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University, and a Masters of Education from Depaul University of Chicago. In her free time she loves to read, cook, hike, travel, knit and play with her Stray Hearts pup, Scout. Mrs. Meagher’s philosophy of teaching is if the students and teacher aren’t having fun - then you’re not doing it right!
Bre Messerole
Bre Messerole
I am a Licensed Level II teacher with several years of experience working in both district and charter schools. After graduating from the University of South Dakota with a degree in English Education and Library Media, I moved to New Mexico. I am recently a new mother and enjoy spending time with my husband and baby. 
Melissa Montoya
Melissa Montoya
School Counselor
I was born and raised in Taos.  I love working with people and building relationships.  I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and my minor in biblical studies.  
I have devoted my life to working with children of all ages but my favorite is the teens and young adults.  I find that students are so interesting and fun to be around.  I feel being around the youth of today is my secret to staying young. I started in my early 20's working and volunteering with teens and going to summer camps, field trips, and concerts.    My strengths are working with students in groups and helping them make life decisions, working on achievements, and encouraging them to follow their passions.  I am happy to be a part of the Taos Academy Community.
Ben Mortenson
Ben Mortenson
CCP2 Instructor, MS Leadership, Math Enrichment
I was raised in Albuquerque and moved to Taos in 2017. I received my undergraduate in Environmental Planning & Design from UNM in 2016. Graduated Summa Cumm Laude in the Masters of Education program at ENMU in 2022. I enjoy staying connected to my community through teaching, connecting the youth of Taos to our public lands, and I am happy to spend time in the wilderness. I joined the Taos Academy team in 2022 and I am focused on teaching my students math, college and career preparedness as well as environmental studies. 
Karin Moulton
Karin Moulton - BA in Graphic Arts, NM Teaching License K-12, endorsements in Gifted, Language, and PE
Taos Academy Co-Founder, GC Non Voting Member, Taos Academy Foundation Board Member
Mrs. Karin Moulton has been an educator for over 25 years in both public and private schools. Mrs. Moulton has been recognized for her work with the gifted and talented. She has gained the respect and recognition for being a highly effective teacher as well as an advocate for student rights. With this experience Mrs. Moulton brings the understanding of the importance for students to have the 21st century leadership skills necessary to succeed in the modern world. Skills such as creative critical thinking, collaboration and communication, global awareness, personal responsibility and career and life skills are all important in today’s world.
 “Every child in public school should have an individualized plan for their education.  Families shouldn’t have to pay tuition at a private school in order to get their needs met.  Education of a child is more than academics alone.  It takes experiences with peers and within the community, interactions that develop communication and problem solving skills.  Taos Academy is an inherent part of preparing our children to be successful in their lives.”
Erica Olson Hensley
Erica Olson Hensley
Instructor

Erica Olson-Hensley was born and raised in Minnesota.  She attended Bethel University, a Liberal Arts University, where she double majored in Political Science and Secondary Education- Social Studies. Mrs. OH has had quite the teaching journey including: Chicago Public Schools, Summit High School in Breckenridge, CO, and Capital HIgh in Santa Fe, NM.  

Erica Olson-Hensley also spent 10 years living and working abroad.  She taught in Cairo, Egypt and served as an International Fellow with the US Agency for International Development, in Benin, West Africa.

After a visit to Taos, she fell in love with the community, the land, and its people.   Mrs. OH has been teaching in Northern New Mexico since 2006, where she taught for Taos Municipal Schools and Dulce Independent Schools, on the Jicarilla Apache Nation.  Mrs. OH and her beautiful family live in Taos.

At TA, Mrs. OH serves as both a Middle School & High School advisor. She teaches ELA and helps run the MS+ program. 

Billy Pepper
Billy Pepper
Grade 7,8,9 Advisor, Fitness/Health Instructor, Math Enrichment Teacher, Speech & Debate Facilitator
Born and raised in New Mexico I spent most of my days anticipating the next sunrise or sunset. Following the sun led to a fabulous childhood full of wide open spaces, biking with buddies, kicking the ball around on the pitch, shooting hoops in the gym and of course learning within New Mexico's public education system. Ultimately earning a MA in Education from UNM. I spent 14 years giving back what I have learned on this journey through life to the youth of various ages in a variety of public school settings in Albuquerque. Seven years ago my family relocated to Northern NM. I taught 5 years for Cimarron Municipal Schools then made the transition to Taos Academy. I believe you should play as hard as you work and vice versa! 
Kelci Pike
Kelci Pike - BA in Arts, Teaching License in Secondary Education with a focus in Social Studies
21st Century Educator, Math Enrichment Teacher, Career Pathways Teacher, ECHS Liason
After working for a high school global service learning program, Rustic Pathways, for 5 years, I came to Taos Academy excited to work with the wonderful youth of our Taos community. I graduated from Brandeis University with a focus in International Studies and Sociology. At Taos Academy I have the pleasure of teaching several subjects including Global Studies, Leadership, Career Pathways, Geometry and Pre-Algebra. 
Mark Richert
Mark Richert
Dean of Students
I grew up in Michigan and earned my Bachelors Degree in English and Political Science at Central Michigan University.  I earned my M. Ed - Instructional Specialist at UTEP and M.Ed - Educational Administration at Highlands University I have been an educator since 1991 and taught in Hungary, Turkey, Venezuela, Texas, Michigan, and New Mexico.  Since 2004, I have lived in Taos and have taught English, been a charter school director, and social and emotional learning coordinator.  My wife is a teacher, and we have two sons, Leandro and Marcelo.  When not at school, you can find me standing in streams or coaching hockey in the winter.

I thrive on the enthusiasm and ideas our young people bring to the world. 
Pamela Rodriguez
Pamela Rodriguez
Assistant Finance Manager
Over 10 Years of Experience in School Administrative Assistant positions
Kenneth Shannon
Kenneth Shannon
IT Director
Kenneth Shannon currently serves as the IT Director at Taos Academy Charter School, where he oversees all technology-related operations and strategies. With a background in computer science and over a decade of experience in IT, he is deeply passionate about how technology can be used to enhance learning experiences for students. As an alumnus of Taos Academy, Kenneth is honored to work where he graduated from and contribute to its success. He remains committed to furthering his knowledge in the field and always seeks to improve his skills to better serve the school's community.
David Thibadeau
David Thibadeau
Special Education / Technology
David Thibadeau started his career in Auburn City Schools in Auburn, Alabama as a special education paraprofessional. Afterwards he taught Special Education, Computer Science, and later became a Technology Director for Coweta County Schools, in Newnan, Georgia.  In 2008, David became a Sales Engineer selling solutions in Cyber Security Software until 2022. David's wife, is also a teacher at Taos Academy.  They both play live acoustic music around Taos as much as possible. David has a BS in Special Education and a MS in Instructional Technology from Auburn University.
He is in education to make the world a better place.
Gwen Thibadeau
Gwen Thibadeau
English Teacher
Gwen Thibadeau just moved to Taos from Atlanta, GA, where she was an English teacher and lacrosse coach for just under twenty years. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts English from Auburn University and her Master's degree in Secondary English Education from Auburn University at Montgomery.  She is also a writer, musician, and artist.
Ms. Thibadeau is an English and reading teacher because she knows that reading is the key to all learning and wants to share her passion for learning with her students. 
Cal van Willigen
Cal van Willigen - MA Degree in Education
5th & 6th Grade Adviser
Cal van Willigen began his teaching career in southern Colorado where he earned a MA Degree in Education from Adams State University. Returning to his hometown of Taos, NM he has a certain "joie de vivre" that permeates into the classroom and creates a fun, exciting learning environment.
Angelina Vialpando
Angelina Vialpando
School Counselor
As a school counselor and advocate, Ms. Vialpando provides social-emotional, academic, and career support to all students.  With 13 years of experience working with students, as a teacher and counselor, she has confirmed that working in an educational setting and being part of a team is where she belongs.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Northern Arizona University and a Secondary Teaching Certification at Northern New Mexico Community College.  After teaching for 6 years, she received a Master of Arts degree in School Counseling at Adams State University.  She is happy to be part of the Taos Academy team and serve the students of the community.
Jason Weisfeld
Jason Weisfeld - BS in Wildlife/ Evolutionary/ Biology and Ecology
Advisor, Career Pathways Teacher and 7th & 8th Grade Science/Math Enrichment Teacher
I was born and raised in Taos. I have been teaching for over 22 years. My passions include my family, teaching, learning, spending time in the great outdoors and playing music. I have a Tier 3 NM Teaching Licence and Master of Science Teaching from NM Tech.
Dorota Witney
Dorota Witney
Instructor
I was born, raised and educated in Poland, finishing my formal education with Masters of Geophysical Engineering degree. I relocated to England with my work in the Oil and Gas sector and where I also started my own family. While raising my two daughters I continued my education, finishing with a Bachelor of Honors Psychology degree. In 2005 we relocated to Houston, Texas with our jobs in the energy exploration fields. I started to teach in Houston and following our move to Angel Fire, NM, I continue to serve local communities teaching math and science.
I am in education to invest in our future.