Jill Salley, Teacher
I am a native New Mexican who has lived, studied, and worked in Albuquerque most of my life. I was introduced to Spanish in School at age 11 and have studied and spoken it ever since! I love spending time with my husband, Trace, and our two children Ben and Pharris, who are students at NMIS. I am a kid at heart who loves speaking Spanish, so teaching kindergarten at NMIS is truly my dream job!
Cynthia Pedrotty, Teacher
I'm from Lima, Peru. My family moved to Utah when I was 15 and I have been in the US ever since. I received my BA and MA from Brigham Young University and have taught in Utah, Austin, and now here in Albuquerque for the past two years. My husband is finishing his residency at UNM in Radiology and together we have four children: Matthew 8, Dillyn 6, Camila 4 and Madison 6 months old We love Albuquerque and NMIS! I have taught primarily 2nd and 3rd graders in the past, but this year I wanted to try something new. I'm super excited to teach Kindergarten this year! I believe Kindergarten to be the most crucial year in a child's life and I strive to give my very best to my students every day!
Marisol Morales, Educational Assistant
I was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico. When I was 12 years old, one of my dreams come true. I was going to the Unided States to study English. Unfortunately, I had to go by myself, without my parents or my sisters . I graduated high school and I returned to my country for a few years before coming back along with my family. I got married and decided to pursue my lincense in Early childhood development. Later on, I shifted gears and I am now studing to become a teacher with a major in Early Childhood Development. I worked as a classroom volunteer for 1 year, stared with APS then jumped on an opportunity to work at an amazing school...NMIS! I love to spend time with my Family and enjoy what I do here at NMIS.
Carmen Farello, Educational Assistant
I am a wife, mother, soccer taxi mom, and cheerleader for my four awesome children. My son, Vincent (19) is in his second year at Texas Tech, my son, Justin (17) is a senior at Rio Rancho High School, my daughter, Angelina (13) is an 8th grader at St. Thomas Aquinas School and my baby girl , Eleina (11) is a 6th grader at St. Thomas Aquinas School. I am currently working on obtaining my Bilingual degree. Prior to coming to NMIS, I worked at Petroglyph Elementary for five years as a Kindergarten Educational Assistant. I find that working with Kindergarten students is so rewarding, they are so fresh and new at the beginning of the year and by May it is amazing to see how much they have learned. I look work forward to working here at NMIS.
First Grade Team
Alisa Cooper de Uribe, Teacher
I have the Wild West in my blood, having been born in Wyoming and raised in Ratón, New Mexico. My horse-saddling, cattle-wrangling skills are fairly non-existent, though, since I spent my childhood outside the classroom with my nose in a book or my hands in the dirt, relishing imaginary worlds and building forts behind our house. Somehow, no one was surprised when I declared myself an English major on my college application form. My liberal arts undergraduate experience was filled with English and Spanish classes at Abilene Christian University, where I enjoyed two study abroad programs in the UK and Mexico. Graduate school then took me to Middlebury, Vermont, where I spent four summers steeped in Spanish while living the rest of the year in New York City. I worked at the Metropolitan Opera for a season (feel free to ask me how I met Plácido Domingo!) before teaching and librarying at The Buckley School. Spanish degree in hand, I promptly found a husband (the one and only Patricio Uribe) and a life in the Mexico City area, where I worked as a translator and blogged about the culture around me like there was no tomorrow. All that writing ultimately landed me an extraordinary job in immigration law here in Albuquerque, but the classroom continued to call, and I answered. After our daughter Clara was born in August 2011, the pieces all fell into place for me to become a part of the marvelous learning community that is NMIS. And though I can’t guarantee that my students will be able to rope a calf by the end of the year, there’s a good chance that they’ll have stuck their hands in plenty of dirt and listened to Plácido Domingo.
Ana Arvizu, Teacher
I was born and raised in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, a border town with our neighbor state, Arizona. I completed my elementary and middle school studies in Mexico, but when I was 15 years old, I came to the other side of the border to learn English. It was a true challenge to begin 10th grade in a new school, with new friends, and a new language. When I faced this challenge, I realized the importance of being bilingual, so that was my first call into bilingual education. After graduating high school I moved to Tucson, Arizona to pursue higher education. In 2007 I was able to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. I have taught primarily kindergarten and 1st grade. In my spare time I enjoy painting and playing the piano. My goal is to get my Master’s Degree in Art Education to combine my passions for art and education.
Second Grade Team
Stephanie Tuttle, Teacher
I grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and lived in a variety of places while going to school, including Missouri, Spain, Maryland, and Connecticut. I received my B.A. in Spanish and my M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Missouri. As part of my graduate training, I taught Spanish classes at Missouri and Johns Hopkins. While working on my doctorate at Yale, I realized that while I loved teaching, I would find more joy in a classroom full of children. I moved to New Mexico to be close to family and spent the next seven years teaching at a private elementary school in Santa Fe. At Rio Grande School, I enjoyed working as an assistant teacher for two years (in K and 1), being the third grade classroom teacher for three years, and teaching all the students, pre-K through grade 6, as the Spanish specialist teacher for two years. My next three years were spent in Seville, my husband José's hometown, where I taught English to young Spanish children at a Helen Doron academy. We returned to New Mexico and I taught one year in the Santa Fe Public Schools before moving to Albuquerque. I have enjoyed being a part of the vibrant learning community here at NMIS and I look forward to another great year with my second graders. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy playing soccer, writing, baking, and hiking.
Iracema Pell-Schaver, Teacher
I joined NMIS in January 2016. Since the day of my initial interview, I knew that this was the best place to be! I received my B.S in Elementary Education with a focus in Bilingual Education from New Mexico State University. After graduating from NMSU in 2009 (Go Aggies!), I moved to Albuquerque and I fell in love with it. I hold a NM teaching license with endorsements in bilingual education, TESOL and modern and classical languages. I’ve taught in the elementary and middle school level, from 1st to 8th grade. I also worked for three years as the director of the ESL department at my previous school site, where I was able to work and associate with students and families from all over the world. I’ve worked / volunteered as a translator and interpreter in different higher learning / government institutions around our state, and I still do whenever I am needed. I’ve also worked with my local church to teach Spanish to missionaries from all over the globe coming to reside to Albuquerque to help our community in various areas. I was born in Mexico and lived there the first 13 years of my life, then moved to Arizona. I am a dog lover and I am a proud owner of the most amazing and intelligent golden retriever. , I just got married in March of 2016 to a wonderful man! Since he is a transplant to NM and was almost 1,000 away from Albuquerque, I’ve been spending a lot of time showing him the wonders of the Land of Enchantment and the neighboring states. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, taking long walks, and traveling. I am a fan of road trips; I’ve been in 48 states here in the United States.
Third Grade Team
Yvonne Martini, Teacher
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska but was in my father's country, Italy, by the time I was one month old. My first experience with education was in preschool where I was exposed to a nice mixture of cultures, authentic activities, and daily art. When I was seven, my family moved to West Virginia, then to Maryland for my mother's job. In 1980, my family and I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and we've used it as our home base ever since. I attended both Italian and American schools until I graduated from Highland High School.
I spent my most of my 20's in Italy working at an American base called Camp Darby. I returned to the U.S. to receive my Bachelor's in Modern and Classical Languages in 1997 at the University of New Mexico. By 1999, I had my Teacher Licensure in Elementary Education with endorsements in Bilingual Education, Foreign Languages, and Teaching English as a Second Language. In 2003, I received my Masters in Education with emphasis in Curriculum and Instructional Design. I was fortunate enough to teach at a wonderful school in the Albuquerque Public School system for eight years. Subsequently, I taught at the Department of Defense Schools in Italy between 2008-2011.
My son, Massimo Vittorio, was born in Pisa in 2008. We then moved to Georgia where I taught for a few months. I decided to move back to Albuquerque and was thrilled to accept a position at the New Mexico International School in 2011.
Monica Saenz, Teacher
Fourth Grade Team
Julia De Lilla, Teacher
Amanda Sayer, Educational Assistant
Albuquerque has been my home for my entire life. Growing up here, I was always running. If you couldn’t find me, it was probably because I ran off somewhere, on some secret mission that only I knew. All throughout my elementary and middle school years I ran both cross country and track, and danced ballet and tap. After 8th grade I decided I wanted to put all my focus on running (and of course school, too), and quit the dance life--a wise choice on my part because I was recruited to run for many camps and universities since the ripe young age of 13. Running was an exhilarating experience that took me to many places to run and compete. Finally my senior of high school came around and it was time to choose a college, but I faced with many difficult choices. I had many different scholarship options to choose from, and some even offered to coach me to have a shot to try out for the London Olympics. So I had to make the decision: which school would I want to represent as a runner. I decided to attend Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. My coach was a 6-time Olympian so I thought while training with her I could still get my shot at the Olympic tryouts. Southwestern also has an awesome academic program, so I knew I would be set in case something was to happen. I declared my major as Education and my minor as Spanish from my freshman year. I have always loved kids (dancing and running around them all my life) and I also love the Spanish language, having grown up with my grandmother speaking it to me all my life, so I knew I had chosen my major and minor wisely, but sadly did not apply the same thought process to my sport. Many good things come to an end; I sadly had a knee injury. The injury put me out of running for the rest of the year, and also ruined my opportunity to go to London Olympic tryouts. I had my first knee surgery during my sophomore year and thought I could make a comeback, but reinjured my knee a second time and had to have surgery again at the beginning of my senior year. That was when I got an ultimatum: either keep running and have a partial knee replacement before 30 or start life anew. This time I chose the safe route, and completely stopped running. My world did a complete 180. No more running. But everything happens for a reason. This injury allowed me to focus and pour more of my heart and soul into teaching, and my new love for yoga. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Spanish, I said goodbye to Texas and returned home; I missed my family and my dogs too much! I started my teaching career right after college, and here I am at NMIS! I love the community feel here at NMIS and am super glad to be a part of its team!
Fifth Grade Team
Ivonné Bouché, Teacher
Sara Granados, Special Education Teacher
I grew up in Los Alamos and have lived in New Mexico my whole life except for two years in California. I attended NMSU where I got my BS in Education. I have been teaching for 28 years. I started my career in California where I worked at Richards Dyslexic Clinic for two years. I moved back to Albuquerque in 1987 and taught in APS for 26 years. I have taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels. I have three grown daughters and two grandchildren. In my free time I love to ski, mountain bike, hike and spend time with my family.
Bobbie Thompson, Art Instructor
I was born and raised in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights. I attended Eubank and Bellehaven Elementary schools, Grant Jr. High and Sandia High School. I graduated from The University of New Mexico with a degree in Elementary Education and minor in Art Education. I was already married and the mother of two when I began my teaching career. I taught second grade and kindergarten for many years at Lew Wallace Elementary school in downtown Albuquerque. In 2000, my husband was transferred to Colorado Springs where I was hired to teach elementary art for the first time. I was so excited and up for the challenge. I soon realized this was my true calling. Teaching children about art and facilitating their creativity has got to be the best job I could have hoped for! After teaching elementary art in Colorado for 10 years, I retired and moved home to Albuquerque. I am so happy to be back near my family. I have a wonderful husband of 33 years and two grown children. I also have three beautiful grandchildren, two baby granddaughters and three year old grandson. It is so sweet being Ama! Some of my pastimes include spending time with family, reading, loafing on the computer and dabbled in all types of arts and crafts. I feel so fortunate to be semi-retired and working with your children at the New Mexico International School.
Lauren Hunter, Suzuki Violin Instructor
Ms. Hunter holds a bachelors and masters degree in violin performance as well as long term training certification for Suzuki Violin (Books1-10). She is currently the manager of Keller Hall, UNM Music Department's recital venue, and a part time lecturer there teaching string methods to music education majors. Lauren has a private studio of teenage and adult students that she teaches weekly. She enjoys the opportunity to teach all age levels as well as performing with local ensembles and the Transiberian Orchestra when they come through town.
Iman Baaba, Arabic Instructor
I was born and raised in the Middle East. I migrated to the US in 1993, where I got married. I have been living in Albuquerque since then. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Literature and Morphology. I have been teaching at a private school for more than 11 years. I enjoy what I do and strive to enhance my teaching methods.