Icela Pelayo, Ph.D.

Dr. Pelayo is the ALD4ALL Project Director. She is also the State Director of the Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau of the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Excerpt from a newsletter article published in
Noticiero (NMABE, October 2012).

Dr. Icela Pelayo received her Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, focusing on learning, instruction and policy in P-12. She completed her undergraduate studies in Spanish Language and Literature, and Political Economy of Industrial Societies at UC Berkeley.

Prior to pursuing doctoral studies at USC, Icela earned her M.A. in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount University while serving as a public school teacher in South Los Angeles, where she worked with culturally and linguistically diverse students, including English language learners. As a teacher leader, she collaborated with administrators, teachers and parents to foster authentic home-to-school connections and create lasting community partnerships.

Her research background includes the intersection of policy with respect to the instruction of English language learners, especially as these relate to teacher quality, culturally and linguistically responsive instruction, and professional development. Icela’s most recent work focused on developing and implementing a model of culturally and linguistically responsive coaching and professional development with Bilingual Early Childhood educators working in a multicultural setting with English language learners.

Joseph P. Martinez, Ph.D.

Dr. Martinez, Director of Research and Evaluation for the Center for Positive Practices (CPP) is conducting the independent, external evaluation for the ALD4ALL Project. He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Colorado in Educational Administration with emphases in research and evaluation methods, educational psychology, instructional design, and cognition and instruction.

Dr. Martinez is a long-time independent professional development/technical assistance, educational research and evaluation consultant. He has provided services to several universities, state agencies, school districts, schools, and non-governmental and technical assistance organizations. He is a former Grants Coordinator and Graduate Resource Center Program Coordinator, respectively, at the Los Alamos and Albuquerque branches of the University of New Mexico. Additionally, he is a former Senior Research Associate of RMC Research Corporation, a federally-funded comprehensive center serving the U.S. Department of Education and several states. For several years, he was the instructional designer for the University of Colorado at Denver where he also taught graduate courses in instructional design, computer application design, and human performance technology.

Dr. Martinez advocates for improving the education of disenfranchised children and adults, greater community involvement in education, and for improving the social and environmental conditions for school teachers and counselors.

Marcia Brenden, Ph.D.

Dr. Marcia Brenden has been an educator for her entire professional career. After starting her own Montessori School in Dixon, NM in 1981, Dr. Brenden continued her education and earned her doctorate in Education and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 2000. She returned to her native state of New Mexico to work with the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations of New Mexico Highlands University as a teacher educator and coordinator of the ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) and GEAR UP programs. She also served as the first Regional Director for AVID – a college preparatory program for first generation college-going students in local high schools.

Currently Dr. Brenden is a Senior Associate with the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations at New Mexico Highlands University. Previously she served as the Post Baccalaureate Program Developer in the College of Education of Northern New Mexico College in Española. She also teaches college classes in her areas of expertise including bilingual and multicultural education, linguistics, culturally responsive teaching and leading, and English Language Learners.

Dr. Brenden has presented at numerous professional conferences and served on the NM ENLACE Statewide College and Career Counseling task force. She has also collaborated in developing and publishing Drawing From the Well — a place-based curricular guide — as well as a series of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading online learning modules. She is published in (2005) Funds of Knowledge: Theorizing Practice in Households, Communities, and Classrooms. Dr. Brenden continues to live in her home of many years in Dixon, NM.

Susana Ibarra Johnson Ph.D.

Susana Ibarra Johnson Ph.D. is a former bilingual education teacher. Her commitment to improving the education of bilingual students has to do with her own experience as a bilingual learner. As a WIDA bilingual researcher and consultant, she helped develop Los estándares del desarrollo del lenguaje español (Spanish Language Development Standards). She has been facilitating professional learning in the implementation of bilingual multicultural education programs, and in the development of critical literacy and bilingual acquisition.

Dr. Ibarra Johnson is currently the Lead Developer and Consultant of the Academic Language Development for All (ALD4ALL) project in New Mexico directed by the Bilingual Multicultural Education Bureau (BMEB) of the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED). Susana is adjunct faculty at The University of New Mexico.

Vincent Werito, Ph.D.

Dr. Vincent Werito is originally from Na’neelzhiin (Torreon, New Mexico), a rural Navajo community southwest of Cuba, New Mexico. Currently, he lives and resides here in Albuquerque, NM.

Dr. Werito began his college career at New Mexico State University (NMSU). After several years at NMSU, he moved to Durango, Colorado to attend Fort Lewis College. In December 1997, he received his first bachelor’s degrees from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado in Southwest Studies.

After receiving his first Bachelor’s degree in Southwest Studies, Dr. Werito moved home and started teaching. For several years, Dr. Werito worked at two schools in his community, Ojo Encino and Pueblo Pintado schools, while working on getting his teaching certification through a Ford Foundation Teacher Grant program through Fort Lewis college. In June 2000, Dr. Werito obtained another bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Bicultural Studies from Fort Lewis College.

In August 2000, Dr. Werito received a teaching license in the State of New Mexico. Also, upon completion of his undergraduate degrees and teacher certification, Dr. Werito moved to Albuquerque to begin a Master’s program in the Department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies (LLSS) in the Fall of 2000. During this time, he has worked as a Navajo language teacher and a substitute teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS). In December 2002, Dr. Werito received his Master’s degree in Secondary Education at the University of New Mexico. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Werito worked as a Resource Teacher providing alternative language services to culturally and linguistically diverse students. Dr Werito also began his Ph.D program in LLSS in Fall of 2002. Dr. Werito was hired in December 2010 as a tenure-track faculty member of the American Indian Education program in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies (LLSS.)

Dr. Vincent Werito is currently an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Socio-cultural Studies. His concentration areas are in American Indian (Indigenous) Education and Bilingual Education. His primary research interests are in the following educational areas: teacher education; Indigenous pedagogy; Dine (Navajo) Education; Navajo Language language/cultural revitalization; Indigenous Nation building and cultural sustainability.