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.


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Maria Martinez Sanchez, J.D.

Vice President

Maria Martinez Sanchez is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Albuquerque. She attended Albuquerque High School and New Mexico State University. She received her law degree from the University of New Mexico in 2008 and has worked in the public interest field since becoming an attorney. She worked at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty for six years, where she fought to improve the living and working conditions of New Mexico's farm and dairy workers. Since 2014 she has been a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, defending New Mexicans' constitutional and civil rights.

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Juan Abeyta

Secretary / TREASURER

Juan Abeyta has over 40 years of experience in developing, coordinating and evaluating educational and social justice programs for underrepresented communities.  He currently serves as coordinator for La Red del Rio Abajo, a social justice collaborative of 13 community service organizations that have established a collective impact initiative in Albuquerque’s South Valley. He recently assisted in the establishment of the Listo Nuevo Mexico campaign, a coalition of organizations dedicated to the full integration of immigrants in New Mexico by ensuring low-income immigrants access to social and legal services to obtain citizenship and administrative relief, fostering leadership development in the immigrant community and promoting economic and civic engagement. 

In the early 1980’s he helped establish the first online educational network, CAPNET, among rural schools in New Mexico.  He has served as a consultant to federal and state agencies including the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, the State of New Mexico, the WK Kellogg and McCune Charitable Foundations, as well as universities across the country.