CSTA-NM Officers

Since July 2015, here are your new officers.  Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions.


Paige Prescott


Paige Prescott has been involved in Computer Science education for more than ten years.  She began by bringing programming into her science classrooms in 2004 and by 2007 she focused on teaching computer modeling to middle school students and their teachers.  She became the Program Manager of Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) and is a facilitator to train science teachers around the country to do more with coding, computer modeling and computer science concepts.  Paige is currently part of the Code.org initiative to bring computer science to all students K-12.  She is a K-5 Affiliate to train elementary school teachers in curriculum to engage young students in computer science.  She has been active in the Supercomputer Challenge community as a judge, mentor & trainer. Paige has experience teaching around the state of New Mexico as well as internationally.  She started her teaching career in Gallup, then moved to Espanola and eventually to Santa Fe and has taught in Mexico and Thailand.  She has been active in supporting teachers wanting more computer science teaching through workshops at statewide conferences, site visit trainings and on-line support.   She has presented at a variety of conferences including CSTA.


As President of NM-CSTA, I am interested in strengthening the community of people involved computer science education and to expand its membership.  I feel it will be my role to advocate on a state and local level to see more computer science offerings in schools and districts as well as have state recognition of the importance of computer science as a graduation requirement or apply their CS class towards science or math credits.  I would like to see more opportunities for teachers to connect and get quality professional development that will help them to bring computer science to our students in New Mexico.


Enrico Pontelli


My background is deeply rooted in Computer Science. I completed my Ph.D. in CS at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1997. I am currently a Regents Professor of CS and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at NMSU. I am an active researcher, with interests in assistive technologies, bioinformatics, and AI. I have published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and served as principal investigator for funded projects in excess of $14M. I have worked in CS education since 1996, with emphasis on initiatives to broaden participation in computing for individuals from underrepresented groups. In 2006, I created, and I still lead, the Young Women in Computing program, which focuses on engaging and training women in computing, from 5th grade to the undergraduate level. The program has reached over 10,000 participants, increasing awareness and participation in computing. I am serving in the leadership team of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions, which links CS programs at the major Hispanic serving institutions, to promote recruitment and training of Hispanic students. I led one of the national pilots of the College Board CSPrinciples curriculum.


I am interested in serving as vice president of CSTA-NM to aid the organization in increasing the presence and relevance of computing across the state. New Mexico has been for years at the forefront of advances in CS education, with emphasis on serving a diverse student population; nevertheless, this has not translated into a concrete impact on state-wide scale. For example, while several states have approved computing as a high school graduation requirement in math and science, New Mexico has not made progress in this direction. I believe I have the knowledge to aid CSTA-NM make headway in expanding the impact of computing education and asserting New Mexico as a national leader in CS education.


 Melody Hagaman


Melody is a high school computer science teacher and technology extracurricular coach.  She teaches four computer science courses to over 200 students.  Melody also spends her summers training high school teachers to recruit females and minorities into computer science and helping middle school science teachers integrate computational modeling into their classes.  When she isn’t busy with school stuff, she likes to sing and act, as well as hang out with her cat, turtle, and hedgehog. 

Over the past couple of years, I have completely devoted by time, my energy, and my career to creating a thriving computer science program in my school.  I recognize the importance of computer science education for each and every student, and would like to be actively involved in making this a reality for students in New Mexico.  I believe my experience with recruitment, obtaining resources, public relations, and professional development will be instrumental in helping CSTA-NM achieve our goals.  I would love to “get my feet wet” as secretary as we move forward for this term to learn more about the status of computer science education throughout our state.  Ultimately, I would like to serve CSTA-NM in any manner possible and help grow its reputation across the country as a powerhouse in promoting and developing computer science education. 


Maximo Lazo


I am a nuclear engineer, with physics, mathematics and computer programming background that has recently retired for SAIC/LEIDOS. My BS, MS and PhD have been based on numerical techniques and computer programming applied to physics problems. Since 1996 I have been a judge for the Regional and State Science Fairs, and Science Olympia and Robotics competitions. In addition, I have been judging for the annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge event.


I'm running for office, first to show that New Mexico has very well motivated scientists that would like to promote computer science to the K12 students at the basic level using Logic, Discrete Mathematics, and Computer Languages, and Hardware systems like Raspberry Pi.


 Trevor Schmitt


Born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Trevor received his undergraduate degree in Intercultural Communication and Political Science at the University of New Mexico. As a 2012 South Carolina TFA corps member he taught social studies in Orangeburg, SC while completing his master’s degree in Education from Francis Marion University. Recently, Trevor was a Leadership for Educational Equity Policy and Advocacy Fellow with the New Mexican Legislative Finance Committee. After completing his fellowship Trevor joined the Teach for America staff to manage the organization’s partnership with Google to support the pilot Google CS First, an exposure based Computer Science initiative that has reached over 50,000 students nationwide. His current role is titled the Manager of Corps Member Community Engagement with an emphasis on Coputer Science education advocacy. He also received an Advanced Diploma in Data and Systems Analysis from the University of Oxford. He has first-hand seen the powerful impacts of excellent Computer Science and strongly believes that every student is entitled to the opportunity to pursue a passion in Computer Science. 


Elisa Cundiff


I am writing to express my interest in serving as the University Liaison for the New Mexico chapter of CSTA . Having spent two years working for a strategic communications firm and the last two years as New Mexico public high school Computer Science teacher, I feel that I can be helpful by bridging my skillset and experience with my passion for Computer Science education in New Mexico. I will bring this passion and energy to the activities required by our organization. 

The needs in our state are complex, but our small size means that with some organization we can secure some quick and impactful victories. We have incredible potential for developing a strong and robust computer science pathway for our students. We are uniquely positioned to offer a strong CS program for our students. We have a great network of higher-ed institutions with strong Computer Science programs, we have the support of two national labs, and unique partners like the Santa Fe Institute.  We have powerful network to pull from.  But where do we start? Currently, I think that immediate needs include but are not limited to: 
• allowing computer science classes to satisfy existing graduation requirements for math or science  
• ensuring quality and ongoing professional development support for both new and existing CS teachers
Just as importantly, I feel we need to work collaboratively with New Mexico colleges and Universities to establish computer science standards for our high schools which ensure a successful pipeline into their computer science programs, and to also establish a computer science teacher certification process which encourages and develops the growth of high quality talent in the classroom.  These are a few ideas I have considered, though I completely understand that we will identify our priorities as a group, and I understand that my role would be to communicate our collective vision.  I only wanted to share some of my current ideas! 

I have been incredibly impressed by my interactions with staff in the CS departments at UNM, NMSU and at Highlands, and I know that these departments have a genuine interest in supporting the efforts of CSTA in New Mexico. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve our organization in helping to facilitate these interactions and this communication. Thank you very much for considering my application, and I look forward to working with everyone in any role in which I can be helpful.