Volunteer Training Program

All course descriptions, instructor bios, and course outlines are listed in chronological order. They are in development and could be subject to change. 

Volunteer Training Course Schedule

Virtual Tutor Preparation

Support for volunteers, who wish to help SFPS students through distance learning.
Monday, August 24, 2020
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
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 Monday, August 31, 2020
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
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Thursday, September 10, 2020
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
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Thursday, September 17, 2020
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Monday, October 5, 2020 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM To join the training, Click Here

Course Description

As we move into a new virtual norm, the work volunteers do with students will be online. This course will help volunteers understand virtual teaching concepts and platforms, while sharing the framework and skills to engage our students and secure an exceptional education for them to be successful emotionally and academically. The course will go over best practices and expectations that differ from the traditional classroom and will provide ideas on full support for teachers and students during this time of distance learning and the hybrid model of classroom re-entry

To view the course outline, Click Here

 Instructor Biography
PHoto of sabra romero  Sabra Romero is the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) Volunteer Coordinator under the Diversity, Equity and Engagement Department. She has held the position for four years and has built a comprehensive, all inclusive volunteer program. Last year, she launched the very first ever SFPS Volunteer Training Program and continues to expand the program and engage volunteers who work to ensure student success through supporting District and school goals.

Introduction to Volunteerism

Learn the details about working with youth in our schools: best practices, strategies, relationship building.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020                 

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
To view the course outline, Click Here
To join the training, Click Here

Instructor Biographies
Photo of Craig Pierce

NEW PRESENTER! Dr. Craig Pierce is a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association, a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, a board certified PTSD Clinician by the American Psychotherapy Association, a leading expert in trauma-informed treatment, and author of multiple books on effective parenting with over 30 years of experience as a clinical counselor and family therapist. Dr. Pierce is recognized as an expert in the areas of child trauma, substance abuse, childhood/adolescent development, and emotional disorders. In 2016, he was presented the Precious Gems Award for his extensive efforts for the prevention and elimination of child abuse in New Mexico.

Photo of Dr. Patty

 Dr. PattyWeigand is a Licensed Behavior Analyst for general education at Santa Fe Public Schools. She is also the Director of the Five-day Autism Training.  Dr. Patty is also an Advance Applied Project/Advance Research Project Instructor for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Patty has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000. She has worked in the field of behavior change processes since 1989, serving a variety of individuals with exceptionalities in numerous environments, including home and school. Patty has been teaching for online graduate-level programs in Applied Behavior Analysis since 2009 and has authored several online courses in the field, including Ethics for the Applied Behavior Analyst, Basic Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior Change Techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis, and Clinical Behavior Analysis. Patty is currently preparing several manuscripts for publication on food selectivity and the ethics of invasive ABA treatment procedures as well as the use of learners as problem-based scenario developers in the use of Problem-based Learning as an instructional strategy for professional development in special education. Patty provides online supervision for individuals seeking BCBA certification. She is also developing online training for the certification as a Registered Behavior Technician as well as online CEUs for individuals who possess the BCaBA, BCBA, or the RBT certifications. Patty also provides ABA teletherapy services in functional assessment and behavior intervention planning and training to remote families of children with an exceptionality who live in New Mexico.

Culturally Relevant Volunteering: Part A

Understand the history, culture, and environment of our students. Work with students to facilitate relationship building and overcome barriers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM Morning Topics 10 AM-12 PM Afternoon Topics 2-4 PM
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Course Description

Anti-Bias & Anti-Oppression Training - Creating a safe and empowering environment for youth in our schools and communities requires thoughtful attention and inquiry. This training will create a common foundation for understanding the roots of bias and oppression, the intentional and unintentional ways we participate in systems that cause harm, and lay the groundwork in order to create better practices and interrupt harm when we witness it.

Nuestra Jornada, Our Journey to Support Immigrant Students - This training will help volunteers to honor strengths in the immigrant community, to understand the difference between supporting and saving and to deconstruct some common myths and biases.  We will also explore how non-immigrant adult volunteers can effectively connect with immigrant students in spite of barriers created by racism and poverty.

To view the course outline, Click Here

Instructor Biographies

 Photo of Jenn Jevertson Jenn Jevertson, M.S., is the Prevention Coordinator for the Office of Student Wellness of the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS), and oversees the District’s wellness and prevention efforts. Additionally, she oversees the SFPS Safe Zones Program and the Gender Support Plan process for transgender and gender nonconforming students, as well as serving on SFPS’s Diversity and Equity Council. Jenn has over eighteen years experience utilizing experiential education and therapeutic adventure methodologies with children, youth, adults, schools, and organizations. Her expertise includes the content areas of experiential education, bullying, suicide, substance use, anti-bias, anti-oppression, gender/sexuality, and youth-driven work, and is an experienced trainer and facilitator.
Photo of Jess Clark

Jess Clark is the Education and Prevention Manager for Solace Crisis Treatment Center in Santa Fe, NM. His work over the last decade has focused on increasing youth capacity to interrogate systems of oppression, exploring queer/trans masculinities as a site of violence prevention, and supporting organizations in better serving transgender communities through policies, best practices, and learning to be like his grandma. Jess is Vice Board Chair for Girls Inc. of Santa Fe and serves on the Santa Fe Public School District’s Diversity and Equity Council.

 Photo of Alena Schaim Alena Schaim is the Executive Director and Instructor at Resolve, a violence prevention organization based in Santa Fe. She has been working to prevent violence and support survivors for almost 20 years. Her work centers around helping people shift beliefs that shape norms and speak up for themselves & others. She enjoys the balance of supporting school districts and organizations in implementing policies that promote inclusiveness and working directly with staff and students to ensure that community members have the skills to navigate situations that arise. Alena has presented at regional and national conferences on topics including Empowerment Self-Defense, sexual and domestic violence, and preventing violence for specific communities.
Photo of Karen Dugas  Karen Dugas (she/her) is a health educator, parent, daughter, sister, auntie, and youth advisor who is committed to supporting our community to build upon its inherent resiliency. She serves as the NM Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network and Adventure OUT! Program Manager at The Mountain Center in Tesuque, NM. Karen is a seasoned trainer and facilitator on a variety of topics of expertise, including anti-oppression. She earned a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan, and specializes in social determinants of health and behavioral health. She is the treasurer of HEAL+NM, a member of the NM Public Health Association, and an alumna of the NM Women of Color Leadership Initiative. Karen is a Queer Latina of multiracial descent originally from greater Detroit/Ann Arbor, Michigan and moved to NM in 2013.

Photo of Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil is Director of the Language and Culture Department for Santa Fe Public Schools. Mrs. Vigil is a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University, where she received a BA in Elementary Education, a MA in Curriculum & Instruction and a MA in Educational Leadership.  

 Mrs. Vigil taught in the elementary setting for 14 years in northern New Mexico prior to transitioning into the administrative roles of assistant principal at El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe, NM and her current position as the Language and Culture Director.  Mrs. Vigil is dedicated to creating an equitable educational environment that incorporates the histories, languages, values, beliefs, and perspectives of all SFPS students. She works to ensure teachers are adequately trained in culturally and linguistically responsive instruction to better meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

 Photo of Nancy Davis

Nancy Davis, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, serves as the Director of Native American Student Services for the Santa Fe Public Schools.  Previously she was a teacher and taught grades K, 1st, 7th-8th grade math. She currently oversees academic and cultural programs for over 400 Native American students in grades K-12.  The students come from many different tribes from all across the United States as well as the local pueblos and tribes here in NM.  She enjoys working with students at all grade levels and strongly encourages their involvement in school, community, athletics and visual and performing arts.  Nancy is a dedicated advocate for students and their families attending Santa Fe Public Schools. She serves on the Truancy Task Force, Homeless Children and Youth Task Force, the Superintendent’s Diversity and Equity Council and is a member on the Santa Fe Indian Center board. She has two loving daughters, Kayla who is beginning her senior year of college at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, CO and Isabella who is in the eighth grade and attends ATC School.

 Photo of Katrina Koehler Katrina Koehler is Co-Executive Director of Gerard's House. Since 2001, Katrina has been leading grief support groups for children and teenagers at Gerard’s House. She was the program director for ten years and continues to train, supervise and support volunteers and staff. The Co-Executive Director assists with collaborative partner coordination, volunteer training, outreach, program evaluation and fundraising. Katrina co-facilitates the  Semicolon group for youth who have attempted suicide and coordinates referrals and services for Nuestra Jornada participants who are also in the Semicolon group. She also supports and supervises Nuestra Jornada staff, is a substitute group leader and co-leads the Nuestra Jornada program. 
Photo of Nicole Maes- Gonzales 

Nicole Maes-Gonzales is Co-Executive Director of Gerard's House. Nicole has been involved in Gerard’s House since the beginning in 1997.  As a volunteer, Nicole has run some very successful special events for Gerard’s House, including Mend a Broken Heart, our Dia de los Muertos Event and our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. For many years she worked at Berardinelli Family Funeral Service managing a large staff, and she brings both special events and organizational management expertise to our organization. The Co-Executive Director assists with recruiting, coordinating and appreciating volunteers, creation of marketing materials, coordination with collaborative partners, administration of surveys and fundraising. She also supports and supervises Nuestra Jornada staff, serves as a substitute and co-leads the Nuestra Jornada program. 

Photo of Roxana Melendez   Roxana Melendez  is the Nuestra Jornada Outreach and Training Specialist for Gerard's House. Roxana has been at the heart of the Nuestra Jornada program from the beginning. Because Roxana’s mother is from Guatemala and her father is from El Salvador, and because she grew up in Santa Fe with Spanish as her first language and with friends whose families came from Mexico and Central American countries, she has been immersed in these immigrant communities.  She provides outstanding support for every aspect of the program, including the coordination of programming with schools, collaborative partners and volunteers, outreach, marketing, donations and volunteer training. She also connects participants and families with needed services, from basic needs to mental health needs. She also leads 2 Nuestra Jornada groups.
Photo of Maggie Boyle  Maggie Boyle is the Program Coordinator of the Nuestra Jornada Program and the Bilingual Coordinator. She is a former Gerard's House volunteer and rejoined the team in May 2019. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker. Maggie is a non-native Spanish speaker. It was through learning Spanish that she first understood that our country needs more kind, smart, hardworking immigrants, not fewer. Before joining Gerard's House she worked at Catholic Charities in Santa Fe and Albuquerque providing immigration legal support, as a case manager at Refugee Women's Alliance and as therapist at SeaMar Behavioral Health Clinic in Seattle. Maggie is relieved to be back in New Mexico where she belongs, holding space for all of Santa Fe's residents to find healing and connection.


Reading Quest Tutor Preparation: Part A

For those tutoring students who are reading at a kindergarten to a third grade level.

Monday, October 19, 2020                 

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM 

Morning Topics 10 AM-12:10 PM Afternoon Topics 2-4 PM
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Course Description

This training will provide concrete support for tutors working with children who are reading at a K-3rd grade level. This workshop includes; growth mindset, reading rules, phonics and multi-sensory strategies for tutoring reading, in addition to providing reading resources, creative strategies and games for tutoring reading.

To view the course outline, Click Here

 Instructor Biography
Photo of Rayna Dineen Rayna Dineen loves teaching and learning, and has worked in education for 38 years. She received a master’s degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, in addition to doing doctoral work at Colorado State University. She co-directed the Santa Fe Public School based Cariño Community Children’s Program and has worked as an education consultant for EL Education in America, India and Australia. Rayna founded the Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences here in Santa Fe in 2000 and served as their teaching principal for 13 years. She is the founder and executive director of Reading Quest, a non-profit organization which provides year-round, high quality reading tutoring for students who are one or more years behind grade level in reading.

Basic Math Tutor Preparation

Foundational math concepts for third through fifth grade level math tutors-helping students to succeed through understanding math basics, patterns and relationships, such as number sense, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020                

9:00 PM to 12:00 PM
To join training, Click Here


Course Description

This training will provide Math Tutors with the understanding and tools to help students build confidence and knowledge of fundamental Math concepts.  This training can be helpful to third through fifth grade students who struggle with basic mathematical operations. 

Students will learn to determine answers and solutions independently (or working with pairs) by employing various strategies, including Math manipulatives, with coaching and guidance from their tutors. Tutors will be able to identify and direct students through various approaches to mastering of basic math facts and their relationships to each other.   Handouts will include practice sheets for understanding Place Value, Number Sense, Fact Families, and also what students are expected to learn during each grade through Common Core information.
To view course outline, Click Here

 Instructor Biography

Cynthia Torcasso Photo

Cynthia Torcasso is a former Dallas ISD elementary school Math teacher. After a decades-long career in Advertising and Marketing Sales and Management, Cynthia went through the 2-year Dallas ISD Alternative Certification Program, beginning in April 2009.  Upon moving permanently to Santa Fe in August 2012, Cynthia began tutoring at Salazar Elementary, joining Santa Fe For Students that became an affiliate of Communities in Schools (CIS). In October 2013, she became the CIS Volunteer Coordinator until August 2017.  Cynthia was a part of the New Mexico Children’s Well-Being Study Group that provided research for Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign manager and policy director. Cynthia then worked as one of two NM Legislature House Education Committee Analysts in the 2019 session. Currently she is a volunteer tutor at Aspen Community School, since 2013, and also is a member of two Santa Fe Public Schools task forces, working with Sabra Romero to improve student academic outcomes through successful relationships with the District’s volunteers.  

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