Educational Staff

Kindergarten Team

Martha Pacheco, Teacher

I was born and raised in Colombia, but I have been living in Albuquerque for the past 25 years. When I first immigrated to the United States with my two young daughters, I quickly noticed the lack of bilingual education in their school system. I was inspired to become the teacher who I wish my daughters had in their earliest years of education. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Education with endorsements in Bilingual Education and TESOL as well as my Masters of Arts in Language, Literacy, & Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. I love being a bilingual kindergarten teacher and I have been lucky to be one since 2004.

Marina Cortes Nunez, Teacher

No bio available at this time.

Cynthia Pedrotty, Teacher

Photo of Cynthia Pedrotty 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 smile 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! smile

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.

Miriam Fuentes, Educational Assistant

No bio available at this time.

First Grade Team

Alisa Cooper de Uribe, Teacher

Photo of Alisa Cooper de Uribe 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

Photo of Ana Arvizu 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

Julia Delilla, Teacher

No bio available at this time.

Barbara Lopez, Teacher

No bio available at this time.

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 Highschool. I spent 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. I have taught 3rd grade most of my career and I am the IB-PYP Coordinator for our school since 2015.

Monica Saenz, Teacher

Coming soon...

Fourth Grade Team

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!

Amanda Kraft, Teacher

I am an Albuquerque native, and a graduate of Rio Rancho high school. My first fascination with language was hearing my maternal grandmother speak Italian to her relatives on the phone, and my mother retelling stories of her childhood visits to Italy. Entire other worlds existed from mine, and I’ve spend the past 30 years exploring them, first through my voracious love of literature, and then by traveling as much as I could manage through my twenties. I attended Spanish language schools in Buenos Aires, the Patagonian region, and in the mountains of Guatemala, and my love for teaching was born in 2008-2009 when I accepted a job teaching English abroad in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China. I have Bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing and in Women’s Studies, (2007) and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education (2011) with endorsements in Bilingual Education and TESOL. I have two wonderful children, Anahi Paz (2012) and Asher (2017), and a kind and pun-loving husband. I have 7 years experience teaching 3rd and 4th grade in the public schools, but most recently have chosen to stay at home since my son was born. My hobbies include: sewing and making toys, swimming, gardening and urban animal husbandry, cooking and day-tripping with my family. I am excited to become a part of the NMIS family, and to facilitate discovery, impart curiosity, and read some really great books.

Fifth Grade Team

Jessica Castro-Buelna, Teacher

I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My parents are from Cananea, Sonora and moved to the United States about 35 years ago. I completed my studies at Western New Mexico University and graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. In my spare time, I love to travel to Mexico to see my family as well as traveling all around the world. As I think about my school years, I remember how difficult my schooling was due to the language barrier I had. The only language I spoke was Spanish when I was in my elementary, and it was very difficult. Now, I am an advocate for those students who have difficulty with learning the English language as well as for those students who would love to learn the Spanish language and culture. My goal is to complete my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.

Special Education

Amberly Cox, Special Education Teacher

No bio available at this time.

Special Programs

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 39 years and two grown children. I also have four beautiful grandchildren, three granddaughters and a grandson. It is so sweet being Ama! Some of my pastimes include spending time with family, reading, loafing on the computer and dabbling in all types of arts and crafts. I feel so fortunate to be working with your children at the New Mexico International School.

Lauren Hunter, Suzuki Violin Instructor

Photo of Lauren Hunter 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.


The staff and teachers at NMIS are amazing. They are dedicated to providing rigorous academic standards with an emphasis on diversity and respect for others. Our daughter loves NMIS and is achieving above her grade level. - Brenda and David V., NMIS Parents