Heather joined the NMCL in May of 2001 and has worked in every capacity for the organization. She has worked on boards and with student leadership groups at the collegiate level and for the nonprofit sector in fundraising, outreach, communications, and direct service. She has also served as a staff member for St. John’s College’s Development Department, Alumni Department, and Bookstore; Heather was the Student Polity and Board of Visitors and Governors Student Representative for the Santa Fe Campus, as well. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College (the “Great Books Program”) and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the College of Santa Fe (CSF). She also holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Community Counseling from CSF and a leadership certificate for nonprofit chief executives from BoardSource. Heather completed her clinical work with at-risk youth and their families at Youth Shelters and Family Services, Juvenile Community Corrections and Family Counseling programs. She volunteered as a grief facilitator for youth at Gerard’s House, as well. She has over twenty five years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a focus in community service and education; she lives for the NMCL’s mission of reading and writing in the pursuit of truth, freedom, fun, knowledge, and wisdom. An eclectic at heart, she brings with her experience from past and present lives to support programs. While at the NMCL, she continues her work with at-risk populations and for human rights, such as access to literacy for all. Heather spends her free time with her plants, pets, kids, and husband, who is also committed to lifelong learning as a teacher, professor, administrator, IT, and perpetual student. Since a rolling stone collects no moss, she likes to keep things moving…life is learning.
Amy Jo Sandoval
Amy Jo joined the NMCL in May of 2010 and has over thirty years of experience in the financial field. She owned AJS Accounting Services for over ten years, where she provided financial and computer services to several different entities and maintains the company on a periodic basis. She also worked for a local CPA for over fourteen years. In fact, this was the start of her fascination in the professional field of numbers, although she comes from a family of people who work in the profession for a living so it’s also in her blood. Amy’s ability to integrate budgeting, accounting, and bookkeeping into financial management systems is unparalleled. She is one of the few who can connect the parts to the whole and vice versa. Amy also has experience as a legal assistant and works part-time for a local law firm. Born in Santa Fe, Amy Jo enjoys being in New Mexico’s beautiful outdoors and riding motorcycles. Amy also has six children and seven grandchildren! She is a fantastic Auntie to her nieces and nephews. She has been enjoying her work with the NMCL as the steward of its finances and has succeeded in receiving unqualified audit opinions annually – way to go!
Ellen joined the NMCL in July of 2009 and brought with her thirty years of administrative/executive and front office experience. Ellen was hired as an administrative assistant, and moved her way up to Outreach Coordinator. Ellen was employed with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) for over ten years where she worked closely with the State of New Mexico Medicaid Project. She also worked as a membership coordinator for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and is very well versed in the fundraising aspect of a nonprofit organization. Ellen has also taken it upon herself to volunteer at several nonprofit organizations. She has volunteered for Bandstand on the Plaza selling raffle tickets and schmoozing with tourists and locals. Ellen was born and raised in Santa Fe and is from a very large family, of which she is the youngest of thirteen siblings. She raised one daughter who was an avid snowboarder and lover of life until she passed away from cancer; her life now lives on in her memory, friends, family, and mother’s work to support health literacy, education, and enlightenment. Ellen shares her light with everyone she encounters and will humbly serve you while honoring your dignity. She is a healthy dose of motivation with an equal part of practicality. When you are ready to take that next step, Ellen will be there to help you at every pace along the way.
Susan Baker Roybal
Basic Literacy Tutor Trainer
Susan Baker Roybal has been an adult literacy volunteer tutor since 2012, a ProLiteracy-certified tutor trainer since 2014, and a life-long advocate of literacy, education, and multilingualism. Susan was born on the border and has lived at different points along the Rio Grande River for most of her life, with stints in California and Mexico. She relocated to Española in 2011 with her husband, an Española native, where they are involved in the local arts and activism scene. She is a tutor and board member with the Rio Arriba Adult Literacy Program, based in Española. Susan is fascinated by travel, cats, nature, and language.
Board of Directors
Testimonial: “You made the information come to life…you successfully motivated me to develop better board member involvement on our committee.” — Tom Nurre, Keep San Angelo Beautiful
Testimonial: “As a senior level development officer, I have a hard time finding useful workshops. Jean’s programs should be required for even us old CFREs.” —Trisha Dunbar, Visiting Nurse Association
English as a Second Language Tutor Trainer
Jennifer Holmes is a retired public school ESL teacher who lives in Los Alamos, NM, and tutors adult learners at many Northern New Mexico locations. She loves reading and teaching and has volunteered as an ESL and Basic Literacy tutor with Rio Arriba Adult Literacy Program since 2015. From 1973 to 2000, Jennifer served as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, and coach in several Native American communities in New Mexico, where most of the students spoke English as a second language. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and furthered her education with a Master’s degree at the University of New Mexico. While doing more graduate coursework in San Diego, California, Jennifer taught language arts at the mid-school level and was responsible for English learner California state compliance, including testing and monitoring records. She admires adult learners of all levels.
English as a Second Language Tutor Trainer
Lynn Simson, Ed.D., became involved with literacy programs because she enjoys helping others and understands the necessity to communicate in English (speaking, reading, and writing) in order to interact with others and succeed in society. Her skills include assessing the ESL needs of an adult learner and then finding or creating specific lessons and activities to meet those needs. She has a Doctorate in education with a focus on adult education and a Masters degree in human resources development. As a professor at Webster University for 20 years, she taught both traditional and online courses. As a Basic Literacy tutor, Lynn tutored from 2000 to 2005 at the Literacy Center of Albuquerque. In 2014, she became an ESL tutor at ReadWest and has tutored adult learners in the areas of: government forms, medical forms, health and medical vocabulary, immigration forms and the interview process, job applications, and parent/teacher conferences. She also teaches an ESL conversation course and a 10-week Citizenship course.
Basic Literacy Tutor Trainer
Helen VanNess has developed and presented training courses in personal and professional development over 20 years. Currently, she works as the assistant program coordinator at ReadWest Adult Literacy Program and has volunteered there as a Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language tutor. Her other volunteer stints included Cibola Little League, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Bernalillo County Juvenile Parole and Probation Office, Oasis Elementary School Tutoring Program, and religious education. Helen received her Bachelor’s degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University. Originally a native New Yorker, Helen has lived in New Mexico for the past 40 years. She has two sons and two grandchildren. For fun, Helen likes to spend time with family and friends, reads, crafts, and has even been a hot air balloon crew member.
Board of Directors
Yvonne Wise is a Board of Directors’ Trainer for NMCL and was the 2010-2011 Trainer of e Year. Prior to that, the ReadWest Adult Literacy Program in Rio Rancho provided invaluable on-the-job training and preparation for literacy board training by allowing her to serve first as their Program Coordinator, then Executive Director, grant writer, board officer, and finally advisory board member, an unforgettable 19-year journey. Before retiring to New Mexico in1994 with husband James, they lived in Frankfurt, Germany for 15 years. Yvonne worked as American Express Bank’s Director of Public Relations and Advertising for the 135 U.S. Military Banks in Germany, Holland, Greece and the U.K. During that period, she completed her delayed college degree with President’s Honors from City Colleges of Chicago. Yvonne failed the first grade because reading was hard. She was introduced to the Irlen Method at a national ProLiteracy Conference. Since then, as a certified Irlen screener, she has helped countless literacy students and others improve reading and writing skills by relieving their scotopic symptoms, because she knows all too well that reading can be hard.