Bruce Langston, President
Bruce Langston served as the President of “Amigos Del Norte” Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, sits on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference New Mexico, and is the President and Director of the Academy of Enhanced Training. Bruce is well-versed in the use of parliamentary procedures and committee chairmanship. Coming from the criminal justice world, he has served as a Chief Compliance and Regulation Officer, a Warden, Director of Operations and Programming, and Superintendent for the State of New Mexico. Bruce provides key insight into the managerial oversight of multi-component, yet interconnected operations. Being a Superintendent has also provided Mr. Langston with vast experience in dealing with youth who have special needs and challenges. Bruce Langston served as President of the 2014 Charter School Board of the Year.
Andee Hendee, Vice President
Andee currently serves as a Director at the Charter School Growth Fund, serving charter schools strategically and through grant funding across the country as they navigate and explore growth. Before joining CSGF, she worked at M&T Bank, where she supported small- and middle-market businesses in accessing capital for sustainable, long-term growth. Earlier in her career, Andee taught high school science. While teaching, she and her students started a small garden that became an urban farm where students sold produce, donated to local shelters, and engaged the community at large. Andee is an Education Pioneer alumna and also has experience across many educational organizations, including Teach For America, the New Teacher Project, and Denver Public Schools. She earned an MBA and a master’s in environmental management from Duke University and graduated with honors with a BA in sociology and criminal justice from Gonzaga University as a first-generation college student.
Pam Kissoondyal, Secretary
Pam enjoys her job as a Family Engagement Coordinator - working with families who have children with special needs, including deaf/blindness. Pam partners with agencies and professionals in related fields. She has presented on a variety of disability related topics at local, regional, state, national and international conferences including keynotes. As a collaborative partner with other deaf/blind programs, Pam serves as a mentor and facilitator on several activities to enrich and to enhance family engagement, and build family leadership. Her first-hand experience of parenting a child with special needs makes an easy transition into the shoes of a sympathetic and empathetic guide, to help parents navigate complex and stressful situations. Familiarity and experience with multiple community programs and organizations for families with special needs children is an added bonus when working with families. She has over 20 years of experience and continues her education by attending conferences, webinars on topics with family centered/partnership approach. She has received training in the INSITE, SKI-HI and VIISA models and is a Florida Partners and Policy Making Graduate. Pam is also a Certified Infant Massage Teacher, Certified Life Coach and Certified Canfield Success Principle trainer. She is the current chair for the Center for Autism and Related Disability at the University of FL. She serves as a volunteer consultant for Margika, a non-profit in India.
Liza Knight, Treasurer
Liza Knight has been an educator for over twenty-five years. She holds degrees in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education, Electronics Technology, Systems Administration, and a certificate in Photonics Technology. She has worked with learners from preschool through sixth grade in a variety of teaching environments, including Headstart, elementary education, and computer education. She has been awarded a Sam’s Club Teacher of the Year Award and several Who’s Who Among American Teachers awards (initiated by students who believed Ms. Knight was the one teacher who made a difference in their K-12 education). She has also received awards of excellence from Central New Mexico Community College for Women in Technology. She holds a strong conviction that all students can learn, and an effective teacher is a critical factor in student learning.
Senator Bill O’Neill, Member
Public service has been at the center of Bill O’Neill’s life, much of it involved with the criminal justice system. Eighteen years ago, he helped found the highly regarded Dismas House, where parolees rebuild their lives in a positive, law-abiding manner. He served as Executive Director of the New Mexico Juvenile Parole Board and is currently the Development Director for the PEP Program, a mentoring program for high-risk juvenile offenders run through the New Mexico Conference of Churches. A graduate of Cornell University, Bill has lived in Albuquerque since 1990. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and is currently serving as a New Mexico State Senator for District 13.