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RFK Charter School Board

President: Tina Garcia

I was born and raised in the Old Town neighborhoods of Albuquerque.  Attended Albuquerque Public Schools and some classes at Albuquerque Community College (Formerly TVI).  Most of my further education was on the job training through the Department of Agriculture. Upon Graduation, I was fortunate to get a job with the USDA, Forest Service where I worked for 40-years until my retirement in the winter of 2013. I am currently a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community and a leader with Albuquerque Interfaith.  Proud to be a parent of two young men.

Vice President: Stacey Vigil

Holds an Associates in Accounting and Business Administration.  Has been working with schools and charters for 20+ years doing accounting/finance for them during that time.  The administrators and staff at the schools are a joy to work with achieving their financial goals for their schools and their students.  Currently working at a charter school in Albuquerque.

Secretary: Sister Agnes Kaczmarek

Is retired and had worked for 20 years at St. Martin’s Hospitality Shelter for the Homeless in Albuquerque New Mexico.  Sister Agnes currently volunteers at Catholic Charities – Albuquerque and serves on the Behavioral Health Initiative of Bernalillo County as a member of the Supportive Housing Committee.
Sister Agnes entered the Sisters of St. Francis Millvale Pennsylvania 40 years ago and has served in the Education Field, Hospital Finances and Social Service area for the past 30 years. Sister Agnes has a B.S. Education from Duquesne University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Volunteering is a key activity for donating her service to the less fortunate of Albuquerque.

Treasurer: Sylvia A. McCleary

My experience includes several years of financial reporting at two Universities, and an Elementary Charter School.  I am currently the Financial Analyst at the University of New Mexico’s, School of Medicine (SOM).  My responsibilities include financial statement reporting, and accrual-based accounting.  In the past, I have held the positions of Business Manager at the School of Business Administration (COBA) at the University of Texas at El Paso, and Business Manager at Turquoise Elementary Charter School (TTE).  Responsibilities have included accounting, contracts and grants financial management, and human resources.  My professional certifications include a Master’s Degree from the University of New Mexico in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Budgeting and Financial Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at El Paso in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance. I am currently licensed as a Qualifying Broker with the State of New Mexico’s Real Estate Commission.  I am a member of the Greater Albuquerque Board of Realtors, and of the National Association of Realtors.



Lawrence Barela

Mr. Lawrence Barela is a native New Mexican from Albuquerque’s south valley.  Upon graduation from Rio Grande high school he went on to the the University of New Mexico and earned a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in environmental engineering.  He has worked for the Department of Energy for over “three decades” and currently manages a technical disposal program with an annual budget of $56M across seven states.  In his free time he enjoys walking for one hour a day, fly fishing, and snow skiing.

Tina Garcia-Shams

I am the Executive Director of the Street Food Institute (SFI), an entrepreneurial and workforce training program working with individuals interested in starting their own small food business.  I am also a native New Mexican who believes both personally and professionally that food has an amazing capacity to connect people…people of all cultures, professions and generations.   I have 27 years of experience in private, public and non-profit sectors. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from UNM and an alternative teaching license in Social Studies from Santa Fe Community College. I served as a teacher, advisor and Community Engagement Director at Amy Biehl High School for 12 years and worked for several years in the private sector as a Human Resources Generalist and Manager.  My work with SFI began in 2013 where I was the Community Relations Director developing programs and partnerships that continue through today and have been the cornerstone to SFI’s success.

Mark Walch

Mark received his BA from Williams college with a double major in Biology and Psychology.  He then taught for 2 years in a private high school and then received a MA in Counseling from Michigan State.  Mark has been involved in mental health treatment for over 40 years.  He has lived in NM for the last 35 years and been involved in many educational initiatives to improve the education of NM youth.  Mark’s primary intervention when working with clients is experiential and wilderness therapy.  He has built and facilitated several challenge programs ropes courses for APS, and initiated the first Experiential Training program for APS.  Mark has a variety of other professional interests and experiences including a Leader Mentor, professor, teacher/coach, Mental Game Coach, executive director of a not for profit organization, as well as many other community involvements ranging from business and industry and mental health work to alternative medical treatment.  He is excited to be a part of RFK’s mission and to be involved in a more effective educational program.

Joseph P. Sanchez

Dr. Joseph P. Sánchez is State Director for AARP New Mexico. Prior to joining AARP, he led government and public relations for the University of New Mexico College of Nursing and has spent his career as an advocate for k-12 education and nursing. His previous leadership roles included serving as Executive Director of the New Mexico Center for Nursing Excellence, where he worked with various organizations, including AARP’s Center to Champion Nursing and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to increase the number of health care professionals through collaboration with stakeholders and influencers. He also served as program director at the New Mexico Public Education Department for nearly 13 years. Dr. Sanchez is a Veteran and served as a commander in the Naval Reserves. He brings skills and expertise as a strong team leader, results-oriented, strategic planner, operations management, health policy, workforce development, community organizer, and advocate. Dr. Sánchez is a native of New Mexico with strong ties to both the Hispanic/Latino and Native American communities.  Dr. Sanchez’s academic career includes a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of New Mexico, Masters and Bachelors of Business Administration from New Mexico Highlands University, a Certificate in Naval Integrated Logistics from the Navy Supply Corps School, Athens, Georgia and Advanced Change Management Certification. His personal work philosophy comes from J. P. Morgan: “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”

Trey Hammond

Clyde Ortiz

Clyde was born and raised in Albuquerque’s South Valley and graduated from Rio Grande High School. Clyde turned his passion for classic cars into a successful business, Colors by Clyde. Clyde and his team built and restored classic muscle cars and vintage aircraft, producing award-winning work for over 15 years.  Clyde later received his MBA and relocated to the California Bay Area, where he taught full-time and managed a variety of student support programs for disadvantaged and at-risk students at Evergreen Valley College and in partnership with the City of San Jose. In 2006, Clyde returned to his hometown and South Valley neighborhood where he began his career with Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). Clyde is now the Director of Assessment and Testing and oversees services at all 5 of CNM’s campuses. He is an active member of CNM’s Student Services Leadership Team and is very passionate about serving his community.

If you would like to email all the RFKCS Council:

Robert F. Kennedy Charter School Governance Council Meetings are held every third Thursday of the month.  The Governance Council meetings are held at 5:30pm in the Staff Lounge, room #103. Parents and other stakeholders are welcome to attend.

We will be holding our Governance Council meeting on Thursday, 04/16/2020 at 5:30pm.  During this time we will be holding the meeting by conference calling.  If you would like to make Public Comments please send your comments to tinagarcia@rfkcharter.net