Alan Marks, J.D.


Alan Marks is a graduate of Stanford University and University of Texas Law School, is a licensed attorney in New Mexico and Texas and a licensed teacher and administrator in New Mexico. Marks taught at Rio Grande HS in Albuquerque from 1978-92, and was named NM Teacher of the Year in 1989. He founded South Valley Academy, a charter high school in 2000, and built and directed the school until 2008.  He has helped hundreds of minority students from across New Mexico successfully apply to and graduate from the nation’s top private colleges and universities.  He is the founder and president of the Center for Educational Initiatives. He has served on many city, county and state boards, public involvement committees, task forces, and non-profit boards.



Maria Martinez Sanchez, J.D.

Vice President

Maria Martinez Sanchez attended New Mexico State University where she received a Bachelor's of Social Work and a Bachelor's of Arts in Government. After college Maria worked as a licensed social worker with the developmentally disabled population. She later attended the University of New Mexico School of Law. Maria served as a staff attorney for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for six years. Currently, she works as a staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico. 


Juan Abeyta

Secretary / TREASURER

Juan Abeyta is a long-time community activist, with over 35 years of work in educational and cultural programming. He works as an independent consultant designing, implementing and evaluating educational programs and initiatives for a wide array of agencies and educational institutions. Recent clients have included:

  • National Science Foundation – Broadening Participation in Computing Program;
  • Sandia National Laboratories – University Partnerships;
  • Southwest Indian Polytechnical Institute – Associate of Science in Engineering Technology Program; 
  • ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) – a central New Mexico Hispanic dropout prevention program; and, 
  • University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute – sustainable economic development initiative.