Category Archives: episode

Rural Education Town Hall: Every Day Matters

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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One of the most important predictors of student success is consistent attendance.

This special rural education town hall takes a close look how to help keep kids stay in school and what keeps them coming back. Parents, students, educators and community stakeholders from rural Central New Mexico gathered in the NMPBS/KNME studio for a candid, solution oriented conversation about attendance and student success. Panelists and members of the audience discussed how to prevent chronic absence. One solution that came up over and over is the importance of a supportive relationship with an adult, whether it is a teacher, a parent or a friend.

Moderator Sarah Gustavus of NM PBS/KNME was joined by three veteran educators: Tony Monfiletto – The Director of The New Mexico Center for School Leadership, Richard Luarkie – former Governor of Laguna Pueblo and a longtime education leader in his tribe, and Audie Brown – Superintendent of The Estancia School District.

This town hall is a key part of a larger community initiative to create awareness around the important issue of attendance. A great deal of planning and research went into preparing for this town hall and other events such as the Mission Graduate Attendance Summit and the Attendance Awareness project. New Mexico PBS/KNME partnered with New Mexico Learning Alliance and LittleGlobe in holding community conversations and media workshops at Bernalillo High School, Estancia High School, Los Lunas High School and The School of Dreams Academy In Los Lunas. They collected student’s thoughts about the challenges they face and what keeps them engaged in school. Their personal videotaped stories helped frame later conversations in the community and in the TV town hall.

Watch this month’s PUBLIC SQUARE “Rural Education Town Hall: Every Day Matters” on Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm on Channel 5.1, hosted by Sarah Gustavus.

Funding for the production of this Public Square program is provided by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation working to improve the lives of vulnerable children. This program is the result of a partnership with Mission: Graduate and funded locally by the United Way of Central New Mexico. And, this program is part of American Graduate, let’s make it happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“Kids don’t care how much you know. They care how much you care. You need to care. You need to feel connection.”
Byron Taylor, Estancia High School Teacher

“Some of the disengagement between staff and students is the fact that we have so much testing that is taking place in our classrooms.”
Audie Brown, Superintendent, Estancia Municipal School District

“One of the problems is we think of school as preparation for life instead of thinking about school is life.”
Tony Monfiletto, Director, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

Cancer: Connecting to Cultures

Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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Cancer used to be a death sentence and many feared even talking about it. That has changed drastically in the last few decades — at least in “mainstream America.”

But what about in our diverse communities in New Mexico? Overall, cancer is still more common in the Anglo population than in Native American or Hispanic/Latino communities. However, that is starting to shift. And screening rates in these communities tend to be lower. Thus it’s common for cancer to be detected at later stages. That, along with other factors, leads to worse outcomes in terms of surviving cancer. Also certain types of cancer are actually higher among these groups, such as colon cancer in Hispanics, and cancer of the gall bladder and kidney in Native Americans.

What are the challenges in talking about cancer in Hispanic and Native communities? Why aren’t people getting earlier screenings? What role does access to care play? And how can we change these outcomes in New Mexico?

On this month’s Public Square, as part of linking to the new Ken Burns documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” we’ll explore these questions with Hispanic and Native survivors of cancer, advocates and health workers, as well as data experts. And we’ll talk about solutions with Joaquin Baca and Dr. Art Kaufman at the University of New Mexico.

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by American Graduate and a new, 2-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“Some of our community members don’t want their community members their families to even know that they’ve been diagnosed with this.”
Jean Pino, Community Health Representative, Zia Pueblo

“It was amazing someone was talking to me in my own language about my issue.”
Carmengloria Wichelns, Cancer survivor and peer mentor with Comadre a Comadre

“Everybody providing healthcare has to be culturally competent.”
Charles Wiggins, Director and Principal Investigator, New Mexico Tumor Registry

“A pap test, something you can go into a facility and they can do very simply, that you can get. But if you need a colonoscopy, you better get in line.”
Emily Haozous, Assistant Professor, UNM College of Nursing

“We need more Native physicians, Hispanic physicians, nurses at all levels of the field of primary care and medicine.”
Dr. Gayle Dine’ Chacon, Family Medicine Physician, Sandia Pueblo

Panelist Participant List

Community Panel:
Helen D. Bird
Single Parent,
Cancer Survivor Advocate
Alcohol substance abuse counselor
Santo Domingo Pueblo

Dr. Gayle Dine’ Chacon
Medical Director, Sandia Pueblo Health Center

David Espey, MD
CDC/NCCDPHP Medical Officer for Tribal Affairs
Assigned to Albuquerque, NM

Emily Haozous PhD., RN
Assistant Professor, UNM College of Nursing
Chiricahua Fort Sill Apache

Jean Pino
Community Health Representative Coordinator, Zia Pueblo

Iris V. Reano
Pueblo de Cochiti Health Program Director

Dalila Romero
Patient Navigator, Comadre a Comadre Program
Breast cancer survivor of 20 years
Comadre office: 277-2398

Elba Saavedra
Director, Faculty, UNM College of Education, Comadre a Comadre Program
Comadre office: 277-2398

Simon E. Suina
Community Health Representative
Pueblo de Cochiti

Carmengloria Wichelns
Cancer survivor and peer mentor with Comadre à Comadre

Chuck Wiggins
Director, New Mexico Tumor Registry

Leadership Panel:
Joaquin Baca
Program Director, Health Sciences Center, Vice Chancellor for Community Health

Arthur Kauffman
Professor & Vice Chancellor, UNM Office for Community Health

Family Friendly Workplaces

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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Around 64 percent of mothers with children under age six work, according to federal statistics. In 40 percent of households with children, women are now the sole or primary breadwinners. Yet many employers haven’t shifted policies to reflect those changes and the United States is the only developed country without paid maternity or parental leave for workers.

Studies have found that policies like maternity and paternity leave, lactation programs, childcare and eldercare, and flexible scheduling have positive impacts on the health and economic stability of employees and families. Such policies also correspond with increased sales and higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and lower health-related expenses.

In this month’s Public Square, we talk about family-friendly workplace policies with employers and employees, policy experts and advocates. Community leaders include Giovanna Rossi of Collective Action Strategies, Danny Jarrett, a labor law attorney who serves on the board of the Association of Commerce and Industry, and Santa Fe City Councilor Carmichael Dominguez.

Family Friendly Workplaces RESOURCES.

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by American Graduate and a new, 2-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“When we have such a poor state and we don’t have family friendly policies we just work to keep the poor people poorer.”
Giovanna Rossi , Collective Action Strategies

“We’re talking about a lot of different things that really allow people … to have a dignified standard of living and the ability to manage work and families.”
Harry Van Buren, professor, Anderson School of Management

“Some 46 percent of women in workplace are pregnant or are planning to give birth at some point in time during the period that they are working. So yes, we do need protections for them.”
Pamelya Herndon, executive director, Southwest Women’s Law Center

“Are we looking at the well-being of the next generation? What is the legacy that I’m going to leave as an employer as somebody who does business in New Mexico.”
Jessica Aranda, program director, Southwest Creations Collaborative

“We are constantly in conflict between those demands of the workplace and our demands at home, and when families are under that kind of stress, nobody gets what they need.”
Ona Porter, CEO, Prosperity Works

Community Participants

Erika Abeyta
HR Manager, POD, Inc
Facebook Page

Jessica Aranda
Program Director, Southwest Creations
Facebook Page

Adriana Candelaria
Director of Operations, Betty’s Bath & Day Spa
Facebook Page

Cindy Chavez
State Coordinator, New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force Website
Facebook Page

Pamelya Herndon
Executive Director – SW Women’s Law Center
Facebook Page

Flor López
Leadership Development Manager
Southwest Creations
Facebook Page

Ben Montgomery
Service Technician
Concerned citizen

Ona Porter
CEO Prosperity Works
Facebook Page

Harry Van Buren
Professor, Anderson School of Management
Facebook Page


Carmichael Dominguez
City Councilor – City of Santa Fe
Facebook Page

Danny W. Jarrett
Managing Shareholder, Jackson Lewis, P.C.,
Facebook Page

Giovanna Rossi
President, Collective Action Strategies LLC
Co-Chair, NM Work-Life Balance Task Force
Facebook Page

Linking Communities and Schools

Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm on Ch.5.1
Original airdate:Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
Take a Survey on Linking Schools and Community


Across the country, it’s increasingly clear that traditional education models aren’t working for many students. In response, many schools are shifting how they operate in order to meet the changing needs of students and communities.

The most widespread example of this idea is the community school. Such schools connect families with resources and give parents the tools to support their children in their education. That means linking families to health services, fostering family engagement, and offering extended learning programs outside normal school hours for both students and adults.

Data collected from these kinds of schools nationwide show reduced truancy rates, more parental engagement, and higher reading and math scores. New Mexico passed a community schools act in 2013, but it remains unfunded. So could we improve New Mexico’s education rankings and the well-being of our children through these kinds of models?

In this month’s show, we’ll talk with educators, community leaders and community coordinators. Community leaders include State Senator Michael Padilla, Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson and Albuquerque Public Schools Administrator Kristine Meurer, executive director of student, family and community supports at Albuquerque Public Schools. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE is provided in part by a new, 2-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“Our students come to the table with a lot of different things beyond not being able to add and subtract.”
Marco Harris, Principal, Highland High School

“Our schools are the hub of the community, they’re the heart of the community and people see it as a refuge, they see it as a place to go to get help.”
Peggy Candelaria, Principal, Manzano Mesa Elementary School

“If we can drop the dropout rate to under 10 percent, we’re going to experience a 700 million dollar a year savings to every taxpayer in NM. I’ll take that investment any day of the week.”
Michael Padilla, state senator

“You have to wrap yourself around the whole child and that’s part of what a community school does.”
Kristine Meurer, exec. dir., student, family and community supports, ABQ Public Schools

Community Participants

Robert Baade
Director, Robert F. Kennedy Charter School
President, South West Educational Partners for Training, SWEPT
About Robert:
About RFK:

Peggy Candelaria
Principal, Manzano Mesa Elementary (APS)
Prior to becoming principal at Manzano mesa, Peggy taught at Sandia Base Elementary School and Algadones Elementary School. She says that “being a principal is hard and exhausting work! We DO make differences in the lives of our students, and the community which we serve.” “Manzano Mesa has phenomenal teachers! It’s a great place to be everyday. Our motto is “Together We Can” and we really believe that.”

Janyce Cardenas
Community Engagement Coordinator
YDI – Elev8 Program
Janyce Cardenas facilitates health literacy and advocacy work at Wilson Middle School, which is a YDI-Elev8 New Mexico community school. Ms. Cardenas uses Wilson’s school-based health center to spark students’ interest in pursuing health careers. To combat childhood obesity she supports the expansion of Wilson’s gardening program and youth-led service learning initiatives. She tries to ensure that all endeavors respect families’ cultural diversity.

Marco Harris
Principal, Highland High School
Mr. Harris was born in Santa Barbara, CA and studied at the University of New Mexico, He began his career at Kennedy Middle School in Albuquerque at a 6th-8th grade Social Studies teacher, and Special Education and Language Arts teacher.
He worked at Wilson Middle School as an Assistant Principal and became principal in 2008. This year he is principal of Highland High School.

Aradeli Ibarra
Mother and RFK Student
Aradeli and her two sisters all attend RFK Charter High School. She enrolled after she failed to pass the GED acceptance exam and is determined to succeed. She hopes to earn a license as an early childhood educator and start a childcare business.

José Muñoz
Executive Director of ABC Community School Partnership
José has been working tirelessly to scale up community schools since 2012. A former professional football player, José has a long history of working on behalf of youth, especially those in greatest need. José supports a unique partnership between Albuquerque Public Schools, the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Business & Education Compact, and the United Way of Central New Mexico. José works with many partners including the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (which adopted a Community School Resolution), the University of New Mexico, and the Central New Mexico Community College.

McKane Sharff
School Based Health Care Program Manager, UNM Dept. of Pediatrics, Div. of Adolescents
McKane worked with children and families for 10 years. Her background includes health policy and research. As a program specialist for the School Based Health Center Improvement Project (SHCIP), she provides quality improvement coaching and support to School Based Health Care programs across New Mexico. She has a special interest in helping SBHCs gain Patient-Centered Medical Home certification and adapt to the changing health policy landscape.

Moneka Stevens-Cordova
Director Community Engagement Center, Health Leadership High School
Former Director of NM Youth Alliance
Link to Generation Justice Documentary about Moneka:

John Whalen
3rd Grade Teacher, Manzano Mesa Elementary


Wayne Johnson
Bernalillo County Commissioner District 5
* Member/Former Chair, ABC Community School Partnership
Commissioner Johnson has been involved in several important Economic Development initiatives. He led the County’s first trade mission to a foreign country, visiting Israel in the Spring of 2013 with members of the City, County and State Economic Development offices, business owners, and representatives from the University of New Mexico, the Albuquerque International Trade Alliance and the New Mexico Israeli Business Exchange. The group met with government officials, tech incubators, research centers and facilitated meetings for Israeli companies interested in doing business in New Mexico.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Commissioner Johnson attended Sandia High School and the University of New Mexico, where he worked his way through college in television news as a news photographer. He graduated with a degree in University Studies with an emphasis in Computer Engineering and Film/Television, and is currently the president of Vista Media, a family-owned business started by his mother, Nancy Johnson, in 1975. Vista Media produces everything from commercials to documentaries to web content.

Kristine Meurer
Executive Director for Student, Family and Community Supports Division, APS
* Board member, ABC Community Schools Partnership
Position: Executive Director of Student Family and Community Supports
Kris is the Executive Director for the Student Family and Community Supports Division, Albuquerque Public Schools. Dr. Meurer has over 37 year experience in education and health promotion. She has been in her current roll with APS for 2 year. However, she was working as a health educator and athletic trainer in APS in the 1980s. Prior to coming to APS, Dr. Meurer was with the Public Education Department for 22 years.

Senator Michael Padilla
District 14 (South Valley Albuquerque)
Senate Majority Whip

Padilla’s primary focuses as a legislator are early childhood education and intervention, jobs and economic growth, water management and conservation, and child safety and protective services. Padilla was the first freshman senator in his class to move a bill through the legislature in his first year as a senator, and was the first senator in his second year as a senator to move a bill all the way through the senate. In 2014, Padilla was appointed chairman of the science, technology, and telecommunications interim committee.

Padilla grew up in Los Padillas, a rural farming community, that his family helped settle over 150 years ago, and is located inside of the district he represents. Padilla has been a lifelong member of the democratic party of New Mexico, serving as a precinct chairman, ward chairman, county central committee member and state central committee member.