Our Team

Principal - Moises Padilla

Moises Padilla

Principal - Executive Director

Moises Padilla grew up and is now raising his family in the South Valley and his work focuses on building a strength-based approach in the public schools that support children and their families. He has over 18 years in the educational and non-profit sector all focused on working with students and families in the South Valley. Moises has served on various education and non-profit boards all focused on improving outcomes for New Mexico’s families. He was also a 2014 W.K. Kellogg Foundation community leadership network fellow. He previously served as an administrator at Atrisco Heritage Academy and Albuquerque High School where he was part of a team to create, build and implement a community school that functions as a change agent for a community that is 93 percent Hispanic and in which most members live at or below the poverty line. He also served as founder and Executive Director of Siembra Leadership High School, an entrepreneurial focused school in the South Valley of Albuquerque. He has also served as an educator at Foothill High School teaching incarcerated youth. Moises understands the value of community partnerships and works closely with community agencies and nonprofits to advance his goal of developing classrooms and school cultures that foster self-confidence, esteem, and academic success for all students. He also holds degrees in Elementary Education, a Masters in Language Literacy and Sociocultural Studies, and has 42 doctoral credit hours from NMSU in Curriculum and Learning Technologies.

Jessica-Brown

Jessica Brown

Dean of Curriculum & Instruction

Jessica Brown was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jessica is passionate about building engaging curriculum to meet students where they are, ensuring that student needs and learning are the driving factors for curriculum innovation. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Eastern New Mexico University. In her free time, Jessica enjoys hiking, backpacking and exploring the great outdoors with her husband and their two goldendoodles.

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Alfred Martinez

Business Manager

Alfredo has worked at the school for 4 years, not including the 30 years he has worked as a business manager at other companies. Alfredo’s favorite part of his job is seeing how much the students enjoy and learn at SVP, our school would not be the same without him!

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Ramona Blea

Office Manager

Ramona is SVP’s office manager and she has been with us her whole career in schools being 5 years. Ramona’s favorite part of her job is working with a super-duper team and spending time with students.

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Santana Avila

6C Homeroom, Humanities C Strand

Santana is our school's science teacher, she has been with us her whole career as a teacher being 1 year. Santana’s favorite part of her job is making kids smile by teaching them science.

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William Bittner

7B Homeroom, Humanities B Strand

Mr. Bittner was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He grew up on the outskirts of Albuquerque’s South Valley, on the west side of town, near West Mesa High School. The relationships he developed growing up, immersed him in Spanish-speaking households which has greatly aided in his basic fluency of the Spanish language. He attended some of the best schools in the state including: Sunset Mesa Elementary School, Sandia Preparatory School, and ultimately the University of New Mexico where he was a two-time Dean’s List scholar and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He uses these academic experiences to help him with his teaching at South Valley Prep every single day. Mr. Bittner was a multi-sport athlete who played basketball at the varsity level for Sandia Prep. He is passionate about sports, dogs, and cars; and he looks forward to turning his automotive passion into a new “Automotive Basics 101” elective course for 8th graders at SVP. Mr. Bittner has just recently completed his 8th year at SVP teaching humanities and reading, and he looks forward to many more years to come!

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Edward Blea

Teacher

I am Edward Blea . I have been teaching at SVP for seven years. I have taught Science, Reading, Writing, and Humanities. I also coach the flag football team. I am from Albuquerque and grew up in the South Valley. I have a bachelors degree in Social Studies from the University of New Mexico and a Masters degree in Secondary Education from the University of
Phoenix. Teaching is my second profession. I am a retired police officer from the Albuquerque Police Department and I worked there 21 years.

I am married to my beautiful wife Melanie. I have two sons, Zac and Aaron, from a previous marriage and also have three grandchildren. I love sports especially football. I also love watching movies and reading comic books.

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Gino Blea

P.E. & Health Teacher

My name is Gino Blea. I was born and raised in the South Valley in Albuquerque, NM. I have a seven year old daughter named Bailey. I received my bachelor's degree from Highlands University in secondary education with a concentration in Health Education and later an endorsement in Physical Education. I have been teaching these subjects for over 10 years with the majority having been with South Valley Prep. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of overseeing the Aztec sports program including coaching both the Track and Cross Country teams.

Aside from educating our youth in our community, my passions include spending time with my family, especially my daughter and trying to live life to the fullest.

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Bianca Caraveo

6B Homeroom, Science B Strand

Bianca has been working for the school as a teacher for 1 month but has been working in total for 9 years. Bianca’s favorite thing about her job is teaching and working with students. Watching students succeed.

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Nora Chavez-de Montano

Reception / Nurse Assistant

Nora has been working for the school for 10 years as a co-nurse but in total, she has been working for 29 years. Nora’s favorite thing about her job is the community, students, staff, food pretty much everything about her job.

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Margaret (Peggy) Davis

School Nurse

Margaret has been working for the school as a Nurse for 5 years but has been working in total for 5.5 years. Margaret’s favorite thing about her job is the people, especially Nora.

Maria-Duarte

Maria 'Mari' Duarte

Parent Liasion

Maria is a  Native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque she's excited to be the new bilingual parent liaison and is enthusiastic about working with parents, students, and teachers gathering information to keep everyone informed about what's going on in the school.

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Michelle Gonzalez

Intervention/Special Education Teacher

My name is Michelle Gonzalez, I am a Native New Mexican, raised and still currently live in the South Valley. My husband, Victor and I are raising 4 teenagers, Angelica, Santiago, Mateo and Alicia. In my spare time I like to camp, bake, barbeque and hang out with family and friends.

I have been teaching at South Valley Preparatory Charter School for the past 3 years and have taught at various APS and Charter Schools for 23 years.

I graduated from The University of New Mexico and have a Bachelor of Science in Education, a Master of Arts in Elementary Education, and endorsements in TESOL, Language Arts and Social Studies. I am currently in the Online Portfolio for Alternative Licensure Program (OPAL) to get my Special Education Endorsement.

Staff - Gillian Green

Gillian Green

Special Education Teacher

My name is Gillian Green and I am one of the special educators here at South Valley Preparatory. I was lucky enough to complete my student teaching at SVP while in my undergraduate program for special education and general education at the University of New Mexico. I am currently continuing my studies at UNM for my graduate degree in special education. In my free time, I enjoy going running, reading books, and spending time with friends and family.

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Amanda Gutierrez-Lopez

Community Schools Coordinator

For over three years Amanda has served as South Valley Prep’s Community School Coordinator. You will often find her connecting students and families to community resources and opportunities. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker who focuses on macro level change. When she is not serving as the bridge between families and communities she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring different eateries, and collecting interesting reads.

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Allison LePree

8C Homeroom, Math C Strand

Allison has been working for the school as a math teacher for 2 years but in total, she has been working for 18 years. Allison’s favorite part of her job is that every day is different and never knows what might happen next.

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Albert Lucero

Janitorial Service Provider

Albert is a janitorial service provider at SVP, he has been working with our school for 4 years and that long in total. Albert’s favorite part of his job is making a difference in the appearance of the school and making a difference.

Denise-Manzanares

Denise Manzanares

Licensed School Social Worker

My name is Denise Manzanares and this is my first year at South Valley Prep. I was born and raised in a small town in Northern New Mexico. I received my Master’s in Social Work in 2020 from New Mexico Highlands University. My passion has always been working with people and helping them make positive changes in their lives. I really look forward to meeting with the students and their families to provide support in the classroom setting as well as providing the needed resources. During my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and fur babies. Please reach out to me regarding any questions or concerns at (505) 515-2507 or via email.

Staff - Elsa Martinez

Elsa Martinez

8B Homeroom, Math for all grades/strands

Graduated high school in Artesia New Mexico. Attended UNM college of education and graduated with a K-8 bachelor's degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics. Bilingual fluent in both Spanish and English. Did student teaching at La Mesa Elementary school, taught at Washington Middle School.

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Carmela Montez

8A Homeroom, Math A Strand

I am in my 27th year of teaching; 15 years at Kit Carson Elementary School and 12 years at South Valley Prep. I am a founding member of South Valley Prep. The Charter was certified by the state of New Mexico in 2009. I am the 8A Homeroom teacher; math teacher for 6, 7, 8; I teach reading, Spanish Language Arts and for the first time this year, Science Olympiad as an elective! My identity is my superpower! - A. Ferrera

Staff - Alexandra Rivas

Alexandra Rivas

FoodCorps Service Member

Alex Rivas is the oldest daughter of 5 siblings. She grew up in South Central Los Angeles, went to Gompers Middle School and Health Services Academy. Both her middle and high school were underfunded but that did not mean they lacked richness. Through these schools she learned how to make do with what she's got and developed a rasquache mentality.

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Esperanza Roman

Volunteer

Esperanza has been working for the school as a volunteer for 1 year here and in total. Esperanza’s favorite thing about her job is helping the students and seeing how kind they can be.

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Isabel Roman

Cafeteria Assistant
Staff - Holly Tilseth

Holly Tilseth

Special Education Teacher

Hello! My name is Holly Tilseth. I am a Native New Mexican, raising my two kids with my husband who is a first responder in Albuquerque. We love to be outdoors gardening, hiking, or finding local restaurant to eat at. I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies with a focus in Communication and Psychology as an undergraduate and a Master of Arts in Special Education; Intellectual Disability and Severe Disabilities: Studies in Educational Equity for Diverse Exceptional Learners. I enjoy working at South Valley Preparatory because of the small size, collaborative work, and commitment to teaching students in unique and relevant ways.

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Tatyana Trujillo

21st Century Program Coordinator

Tatyana is our 21st Century coordinator, she has been working in schools for 1 year which has been with us. Tatyana’s favorite part of her job is making fun activities for the students to enjoy.

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Margarito Uranga

Art Teacher

Mr. Uranga, is a Native of New Mexico, born and raised in Carlsbad New Mexico. He’s a graduate from Carlsbad Senior High School and attended NMSU where he majored in Art Education. He comes to you with over twenty years in Education. He currently has a Masters and over 50 college credits. He is also a graduate of ENMU and the University of Phoenix with a major in School Administration and Curriculum. I was also recognized as a NMSU Alumni in 1987.

During my instructional service years, my students have been recognized at the State Level for creative achievement and student’s work placed at the Governor’s Gallery. I served the Tucumcari School District over eight years and the Carlsbad School District six years. My Student’s also participated in State Competitions along with New State Fair Exhibits.

In 1988, I was offered my first opportunity in School Leadership, where I served over 17 years as a Principal, Director and a School Superintendent.

I retired in Arizona in 2007 while my wife continued toward her retirement. I did not fully retire but chose to continue to teach for TUSD, in Tucson Arizona.