Board of Directors
Dr. Silvia Martínez
Dr. Sylvia A. Martínez is an educator and advocate for multilingual education. She earned a Master’s and BA degree from ENMU (with endorsements in Bilingual Education and TESOL) and completed work on her doctorate from Kansas State University in 2007. Her tireless advocacy to ensure that students keep their native language and learn English has given her great pride and satisfaction in being part of the multilingual tradition in New Mexico schools and communities.
Adrián Avila is a fiscal analysit for the NM Legislature’s Senate Majority Office. He spent four years as a gifted math middle school educator within the Albuquerque Public School District. He has worked directly with diverse populations around the world since 2010. He has served on the Dual Language Education of New Mexico’s Board of Directors since May 2020. He is a graduate of Valley High School, University of New Mexico (Bachelor of Arts in History and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology—Summa Cum Laude), University of Edinburgh (Masters of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance—Distinction), and Central New Mexico Community College (Alternative Teaching Licensure). He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Dominican Republic) and continuously serves on various leadership committees for the Sigma Chi International Fraternity. Adrián was born and raised in Albuquerque as a first-generation American who grew up bilingual. In his adult life, Adrián actively seeks out opportunities to empower, collaborate, advocate, and innovate for diverse populations and their respective communities.
Viridiana Cisneros is an educator for Albuquerque Public Schools with experience in bilingual education, including English language development. She received a Bachelor of Science in Bilingual Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership as a Ben Lujan Fellow from New Mexico Highlands University. She is a member of the Bilingual Multicultural Education Advisory Council, where she serves as co-chair advocating for students and educators in bilingual programs across New Mexico, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Dual Language Education of New Mexico. In recent years, Viridiana has had the opportunity to rebuild an elementary dual language program and coach bilingual and TESOL-endorsed teachers. She has also collaborated with the New Mexico Public Education Department, the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations, and Regions 13 in providing strategies for educators and parents to support English learners. As a multilingual, Viridiana understands the importance and empowerment of teaching students in their heritage language and giving them the tools to acquire higher levels of English proficiency.
Louie García is a native of New Mexico of Pueblo Indian and Chicano heritage with experience in the bilingual classroom since 2003. He has a dual Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish as well as a Master’s in Language Literacy and Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. Also a talented traditional Pueblo fiber artist, Louie has published several articles both on language revitalization as well as the history and practice of the Pueblo fiber arts tradition in New Mexico. A product of and life long proponent of bilingual education, Louie understands the importance of maintaining language and culture first hand. As a Tiwa/Piro Pueblo individual, Louie forms part of a team dedicated to revitalizing the Tiwa/Piro language in an effort to reclaim a vital part of their Pueblo heritage from southern New Mexico. Both Louie and his wife, Paula are raising their two daughters multilingually and both girls attend dual language schools. Additionally, Louie has served as bilingual coordinator at his school since 2012. Since his tenure at Ernie Pyle Middle School, Louie and his team of dual language teachers have grown their program from 22 to just under 200 students and continually expand their program each year. Lastly, Louie is a member of the planning committee for La Cosecha Dual Language Conference, an international conference that showcases dual language programs and provides professional development for teachers and administrators alike in the development and maintenance of their respective dual language and multicultural education programs across the nation and beyond.
Silvia Sosa de Chávez
Silvia Sosa de Chávez is a National Board certified teacher in her 23rd year of teaching with Albuquerque Public Schools. Since her undergraduate and master’s degree work in bilingual education at the University of New Mexico, dual language education has been her central focus, and she looks for ways to promote student success within the program. In her first year of teaching, Silvia worked alongside a small group of teachers to plan and implement Valle Vista’s dual language program. She went on to work in the dual language programs at East San José and Dolores Gonzales Elementary Schools for twelve years. Silvia then returned to Valle Vista Elementary School four years ago as a third-grade dual language teacher. Silvia was recognized for her work in 2008 as the Dual Language Teacher of the Year, and again in 2016 as Teacher of Distinction by the Golden Apple organization. She has dedicated her entire career as a planning committee member for La Cosecha Dual Language Conference, which supports teachers and administrators in the development of their own dual language programs.
Al Gurulé is a native New Mexican. He obtained his formal education through the Albuquerque Public School system and graduated from the University of Albuquerque with a degree in accounting. Al learned to play the vihuela as a boy, eventually playing professionally with Mariachi Del Norte, Mariachi Nuevo Tapatío de Pedro Sepúlveda, and Mariachi Tenampa, where he serves as director. As a strong supporter of youth musical education, Al currently acts as director and head instructor for school-based mariachi programs at East San José Elementary, Washington Middle, Albuquerque High School, and the University of New Mexico. He has led the development of these successful programs which educate our youth to properly interpret mariachi music and on the importance of preseriving our culture for future generations.
Dr. Rebecca Blum Martínez
Rebecca Blum Martinez is Professor Emerita of Bilingual Education in the Department Language Literacy and Sociocultural Studies at the University of New Mexico, where she specializes in bilingualism, second language learning, and language maintenance and revitalization in language minority communities—particularly Spanish-speaking and American Indian populations.
Her research and scholarly interests have long centered on the study of language development in bilinguals and second language development across varied learning contexts. Dr. Blum Martinez has also served as the director of Latin American Program in Education that serves as a liaison between the UNM College of Education and Latin American educational institutions.
Jesse is a thirteen -year veteran ELA and ELD teacher who currently teaches in the Dual Language Program at Truman Middle School, the largest middle school in New Mexico. With a BA in Comparative Literature and Spanish and an MA in Bilingual Education from UNM, Jesse works with bilingual children who are developing their English. Currently, Jesse serves on the Board of Directors of Dual Language Education of New Mexico; in addition, he represents DLeNM on the Board of Directors of New Mexico Association of Bilingual Education. Jesse lives in Albuquerque where he is raising two bilingual children.