Southwest Regional Education Center Staff

We are proud to employ a dedicated staff of experts in their field! With a love for our community and a desire to provide our students with an exemplary public education, we are committed to providing local school districts with services that streamline their administrative responsibilities so they can focus on what matters most—students! If we can help you in any way, please feel free to contact us. We are here to serve you!

Administration

Vicki Chávez
Executive Director
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Biography

About Vicki Chávez

Vicki Chávez currently serves as the executive director of the Southwest Regional Education Cooperative, providing professional development and technical assistance to seven school districts in the southwest region of New Mexico. Her professional life began in private industry as a commercial loan analyst and financial manager. She felt a calling to work with kids, so Ms. Chávez returned to school to become a teacher and began her educational career as a 7th grade math and enrichment teacher. While teaching during the day, she also had the opportunity to teach math for an alternative night school program for high school age students and coach the high school girls soccer team. Ms. Chávez moved into instructional coaching and then became an elementary principal. She has loved every role she has been in and is grateful for the amazing students and staff she has worked with over the years. Ms. Chávez holds a BBA in finance and an MA in curriculum and instruction, with secondary and elementary licenses and an endorsement in TESOL. Woodrow Wilson recently accepted her as a fellow, and she is working on an MBA at NMSU. Her passion for student success drives her to expand her own learning. She believes that an education is a gift no one can take away, and she knows the future of our country rests on the investment we make in our children.

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Valerie Brea
Associate Director
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About Valerie Brea

Valerie Brea has been in education for over 22 years. She spent the first eight years of her career as a special education teacher in a self-contained K–5 class and then as a reading coach in an elementary school in Silver City, New Mexico. During these years, she obtained two master’s degrees in special education and educational leadership, in addition to her BA in elementary education. Providence led her to a ten-year position, during which she was simultaneously the principal and SPED director, and she taught as many as three classes a day in history and English to both middle and high school students. Ms. Brea has spent the past four and a half years working with the Southwest Regional Education Cooperative (SWREC) as a program director and associate director, designing and implementing professional development for teachers covering a wide range of topics. She also mentors principals in the Principals Pursuing Excellence program and serves as the onsite team leader with the Teachers Pursuing Excellence program.

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Geralyn Bennett
Business Manager
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About Geralyn Bennett

Geralyn Bennett began her career in business management in 1995, when she started at Truth or Consequences Municipal Schools. She soon developed an interest to pursue the finance management background. At that time, she moved to the Regional Education Cooperative to become the business manager. Prior, Geralyn worked as a dental hygienist, but the passion for finance has kept her in education for kids, which is how she likes to phrase it. Geralyn works with the local 4-H groups in the horse program. She grew up on a ranch in northern New Mexico, and she has represented New Mexico on the national level. Geralyn enjoys the outdoors, hiking, horseback riding, crafts, and being with family and friends. Her husband, Tom, is a retired NM state livestock investigator. They have one grown son and two wonderful grandkids.

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Prestine Parten
Technology Manager
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About Prestine Parten

Prestine Parten is a level III teacher who began teaching in the Deming Public School District in 1998. She holds an elementary education bachelor’s degree from NMSU, a master of education degree in technology in education from Lesley University, and she has a second master’s degree in educational leadership/administration through WNMU. She taught grades 4–7, was a technology coach at Columbus Elementary, and joined Deming Public School District’s technology department in July 2011, where she supported teachers with instructional technologies for the classroom as well as trained district and school staff on various technology tools and programs, website authoring, and Office 365 features. She was also the instructional and technology coach for J.U.M.P. School (multi-age classroom) teachers. In August 2017, Prestine began working with the Southwest Regional Education Cooperative (SWREC) as the technology manager. She spends part of her week in Animas Public Schools as their tech support. She continues to offer training in instructional technologies.

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Erica Reyes
Operations Manager
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About Erica Reyes

Erica was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but she has lived in Deming, New Mexico, all her life. She started as a vocational transition specialist who, after being in the banking business for ten years, plunged into this new career on August 1, 2017. Erica has earned a bachelor’s degree in general business and a master’s in business administration, both from Western New Mexico University. As of January 3, 2018, she is the SWREC operations manager.

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Lisa Pastran
Administrative Assistant
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About Lisa Pastran

Lisa has an extensive background in banking/finance. She was a bank officer and has been in banking for 28 years. In 2001, she received a management degree from Anderson School of Management at UNM. In March of 2013, Lisa joined the SW Regional Education Cooperative. Although challenging, she has found it exciting to see the inner workings of education and to experience this whole new world.

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Priscilla Cabral
Accounts Payable
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About Priscilla Cabral

Priscilla Cabral joined Southwest REC in July 2016, and she wears a few hats in the business office. She has roles in accounts payable/receivable and the Medicaid billing program and is a CPO for the REC and some of the district/charter schools under it. Priscilla is a 2009 Hot Springs High School graduate continuing her secondary education at New Mexico State University in business management. She resides in the town of Truth or Consequences with her high school sweetheart, their two rambunctious, red-headed boys, and their dog. Downtime is rare, but when it does happen, Priscilla enjoys reading, listening to podcasts/music, and exploring her home state of New Mexico.

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Amber Kelly
Medicaid Specialist
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About Amber Kelly

Before coming to SWREC, Amber worked at Mimbres Memorial Hospital as an ER clerk. She also worked in scheduling and admissions/registration. There for nine years, Amber became very familiar with insurances and how billing begins. Amber came to SWREC in September of 2016 and has not regretted that decision one bit. At the SWREC offices, she does the billing for Medicaid in the schools. It keeps her busy!

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Chasity Montes
Instructional Specialist
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About Chasity Montes

Chasity Montes is currently a professional development specialist for Southwest Regional Education Cooperative. Her love for teaching and making a difference for New Mexico educators and students has inspired her to shift from an elementary educator (for over seventeen years) to a regional instructional coach, supporting educators in our seven districts. Chasity is a certified CPI facilitator and a Key Project GLAD Trainer® for Guided Language Acquisition Design. Mrs. Montes has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a master's of education, with a focus in instructional technology.

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Ashlea Crumley
Vocational Transition Specialist
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About Ashlea Crumley

Ashlea Crumley spent the last seven years working with the NM Human Services Department and joined the SWREC in August 2017. As a vocational transition specialist, she partners with local NM Division of Vocational Rehabilitation offices to deliver pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities. Ashlea is a 2004 Deming High School graduate. She received her bachelor of business administration degree from New Mexico State University, and she is currently attending Mitchell Hamline School of Law in pursuit of a juris doctor degree. Ashlea and her husband have four sons.

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Cristina Villarreal
Vocational Transition Specialist
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About Cristina Villarreal

Cristina joined SWREC January 2018 as a vocational transition specialist. She is a Deming High School graduate from the class of 2003. Christina is married and has one son. She was in the banking industry for 13 years. She is very excited to start this new journey of learning and being and advocate for children in need.

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Gina Trujillo
Business Manager
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About Gina Trujillo

Gina Trujillo started as a student aide while in high school at the administration office at Hatch, New Mexico, learning basic bookkeeping. After graduation, she worked through a grant at the administration office and became the payroll clerk. During this time, she learned about and received training in the school environment as well as worked with staff at the Public Education Department, where she moved up the ranks to become their business manager. Gina worked for 29 years with school districts and charter schools and retired in June 2014. After one year of retirement, she looked for part-time work with SWREC and was lucky to come on board in October of 2015. She and her husband have 2 children: a daughter who lives in Converse, Texas, with her husband and 2 boys and a son who retired from the Air Force and lives in Rapid City, South Dakota, with his wife and 3 children, a boy and 2 girls. Gina and her husband are proud parents and especially proud grandparents.

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Laura Williams
Teacher Mentor
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About Laura Williams

Laura grew up in Deming, New Mexico, where her parents, grandparents, and teachers instilled a love for learning. She graduated with a B.S. in elementary education from Western New Mexico University and began serving students with Deming Public Schools in first and second grade. Laura obtained an M.A. in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on history and business. Laura's love for education and preserving history led to authoring a book about her hometown of Deming in 2012. She later married and moved to El Paso, Texas, and served as a kindergarten, second, and fifth grade teacher before becoming an instructional specialist. She recently became a mother and enjoys reading, counting, playing, and singing with her daughter. Laura joined the SWREC during the 2017-2018 school year and currently works as a region mentor with teachers in Truth or Consequences who are new to the district. She is eager to share her passion for education with other teachers in the land of enchantment.

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