Our People

Elaine Sanchez RDH, MA

Elaine Sanchez (she/her) RDH, MA
Executive Director

Elaine Sanchez is the Executive Director of NAPPR, Inc. Before joining NAPPR in 2015 as the Director of the Dental Support Center, Elaine had an extensive career in various public health settings. Her most notable positions were administrative roles at various dental hygiene education programs, including being an Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico. Her early professional experiences focused on education, patient care and research. Subsequently, her career has given rise to an affinity for the business aspects that support community public health.

Elaine is deeply committed to serving, educating, and enabling those who are less fortunate. Being born and raised in New Mexico has built this passion by allowing her to see firsthand the needs of families and communities around the state. She brings her enthusiasm, energy, and drive to NAPPR’s desire to care for more children and families in need.

Elaine has a Master of Arts in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies as well as both Bachelor and Associate of Science degrees in Dental Hygiene.

Arra Carbajal (she/her), B.A.

Director, Early Head Start Program

Arra began working with NAPPR in 2009, serving eleven years as the Early Head Start director. She has more than 22 years in early childhood care and education as a classroom teacher, administrator, technical assistance provider, home visitor, child care provider and grant reviewer throughout New Mexico.

Aliandra Maes (she/her) (RDH, BS)

Director, Dental Support Center

Aliandra is a graduate from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, she moved to southern California for a few years early in her dental hygiene career. Along with her husband and son, she returned to the Albuquerque area and made her family’s home in Los Lunas.

Sarah Braaten (she/her), MA

Director, Early Intervention Program

Sarah has always been passionate about working with children with special needs and supporting families who are raising children with disabilities. Sarah has been a childcare teacher and a developmental preschool teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools. With more than 20 years of experience in Early Childhood, Sarah has worked specifically in the field of early intervention for 15 years. She has a Bachelor’s in Child Development and Family Studies and a Master’s in Family Studies & Special Education. NAPPR has given her the opportunity to learn and grow in the field of Early Childhood for the past 9 years.

Tribal Home Visiting


Program Manager

Cathy is from Zuni Pueblo and began working for NAPPR in August 2014 and received her degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education at the University of New Mexico that same year. As a student, she worked part-time at the Women’s Resource Center as Program Assistant for the Breastfeeding Support Program. In her position, Cathy provided support and resources to students, staff, faculty and their partners/spouses who chose to breastfeed their children after returning to work or school. Cathy enjoys working with children and families in the Native communities and helping them to become empowered and have healthy relationships with their children and families. She enjoys traveling back home and spending time with family and friends, and watching movies and tv shows in her spare time.


Tribal Home Visitor

Lauren moved from Washington state to New Mexico in 2020 and has worked with children for many years as a preschool teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing along with an endorsement in secondary education. Lauren has greatly enjoyed the community in Albuquerque and enjoys exploring the surrounding areas. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, climbing, reading, and relaxing with her family.


Tribal Home Visitor

Michele has been working with children since the age of 15. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Education with a psychology emphasis. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is a southern girl at heart. Michele began her career as a nanny for various families followed by roles as a Head Start teacher followed by teaching at the elementary level. She has two young children of her own. In her free time, she enjoys interior design and cherishes moments with her family.


Tribal Home Visitor

Born in Tucson, Arizona. Kelly grew up on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, with occasional trips to the Four Corners Area of Northern Arizona (Navajo Reservation). The summer before High School began, her family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has always wanted to help others. She knew working in the health field or any field that would help others, is what she was going to do. She received her Certification as a Clinical Medical Assistant in 2018. In 2020, the pandemic struck, she became a Covid-19 Contact Tracer for the Navajo Nation. Now that the pandemic has run its course, she continues to focus on being a helping hand in her community. 

Sarah L.

Tribal Home Visitor

Sarah brings 20+ years of working in preschools, head starts and with the Rio Rancho Public Schools. It brings her much joy being part of Tribal Home Visiting. She feels NAPPR is an organization that helps children reach their full potential.  Her goal has always been to help parents/families enhance their child’s abilities and finds she can do so here at NAPPR. Being born and raised New Mexican brings a passion of wanting our children in New Mexico communities to reach for the stars and NAPPR helps take the first positive steps in that direction, which she is excited to be part of!

Sarah J.

Tribal Home Visitor

Sarah began her education career working with infants and toddlers in her home community of Laguna Pueblo 25 years ago. Of those years, 10 years were spent in the classroom and 9 years as a home visitor with the Early Head Start program. Most recently she gained experience working with elementary aged children as an Educational Assistant before joining the NAPPR team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, getting outdoors, and spending time with her husband, 5 children and 2 grandsons. 

Early Intervention


Infant Mental Health Specialist (LMSW)

Heather (Pueblo of Zuni/Navajo) began her career working with homeless youth and their families. This experience eventually led her to pursue a Master’s in Social Work from New Mexico State University. She hopes to utilize her degree to join efforts in strengthening Native families and communities.


Billing Manager

Tracy supports and helps staff directly by working with families, and takes pride in doing it to the best of her ability.  Her passion comes from family success stories, which makes her work even more meaningful. Tracy has been employed with NAPPR for more than three years and has worked in the business office, the Health Education and Outreach program, and has been an Early Intervention assistant. She has an Associate’s in Medical Billing and Coding from the University of New Mexico.

Sadie “Girt”

Quality Assurance Manager

Girt (Hopi-Tewa/Pueblo of Laguna) began her career with NAPPR in 2015 as a Developmental Specialist III in Early Intervention. She is currently serving as the Early Intervention Quality Assurance Manager. Girt has a master’s degree in Multicultural Special Education and over 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and home-visitor. Girt strongly advocates for individual and family successes at all levels.


Database Assistant 

Sandra (Pueblo of Laguna) has been with NAPPR for more than 20 years, beginning her employment in 1995. She began as a part-time receptionist and later as a Data Entry/File Clerk and was later promoted to Database Specialist.  Sandra is currently the Early Intervention program assistant. With 23 years of experience at NAPPR, she has enjoyed watching NAPPR grow and succeed.  She has an Associates in Secretarial Studies from TVI.  Sandra enjoys working at NAPPR and is dedicated to her work family.


Program Assistant

Ashley has been in the education field for a little over 8 years- specifically working with children ages infant-5 and elementary-aged children. With a background of working in Special Education, Ashley has served in the Early Childhood field as an Early Childhood Director, Teacher, and One-on-one Special Education Teacher. She first joined the NAPPR team with the Little Scholar’s Academy as a teacher in 2016. She then became part of the Early Head Start team in 2019.  She is excited to join the Admin side of NAPPR and looks forward to continuing to serve the families of NM.


Administrative Assistant

Rindra Josoa is the newly appointed Administrative Assistant. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of New Mexico. An upcoming senior, Rindra hopes to gain experience in improving the lives of marginalized communities and being a resource for minorities. Rindra enjoys playing sports, video games, the piano, and watching/reading anime on his free time. Fun Fact: He is an international student from Madagascar!

Early Head Start

Cecilia “Cece”

Education, Mental Health and Disabilities Coordinator

After being a classroom teacher for more than 20 years, Cece believes in successful outcomes are the result of how well you connect with the parents of the children you are serving. She received a Bachelor’s in Family Studies from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Capella University. She is a current member of the National Head Start Association, the New Mexico Head Start Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research and the New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health.


Family and Community Partnership Coordinator/Home Visiting Supervisor

Jennifer has worked with families and children for the last 10 years in many capacities including crisis intervention, advocacy, after school programming, Head Start, and Home Visiting. Jennifer is a Licensed Master Social Worker and also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Jennifer is passionate about continuing to empower and educate families in the state of New Mexico.  Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, caring for her puppy, inspiring and helping others in their health and fitness journeys as an online fitness coach, and party motivating with a DJ company at various events.


Health, Nutrition, and Safe Environments Coordinator

Christen joined NAPPR, Inc. in 2022. She received her B.A. in Indigenous and American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of New Mexico. Christen enjoys working with families and children within the Native communities of New Mexico, promoting education, health, culture and language. In her free time, she enjoys visiting family, friends, traveling and playing volleyball.


Early Head Start Home Visitor

Gail is a Home Visitor for Native American Professional Parent Resources, Inc. (NAPPR) Early Head Start program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has worked in the field of Early Childhood. She received her formal education from the University of New Mexico in Family Studies. Ms. Salas interest is working with American Indian families to improve health outcomes.


Early Head Start Home Visitor

Kendra is from Farmington, NM and moved to Albuquerque in 2015. She obtained her Bachelor’s at University of New Mexico in Family and Child Studies. Kendra pursued her education even further and achieved her Master’s in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University. She has interned at the Early Childhood Outreach Program at PBS Kids. During that time, she prepared child-friendly and fun activities for the students at various elementary schools in Albuquerque. Kendra has worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters, which she conducted interview on volunteers and families. She enjoys staying active by doing things such as going for runs and playing soccer. During her free time, Kendra likes to go hiking, camping, playing with her dog, and spending time with family and friends.


Center Operations Lead/ Lead Teacher 

Dollie has been working with children in Head Start programs for 10 years. She has her Early Childhood Multicultural Education certificate with UNM as well as her Child Development Association Certificate which nationally recognized. Dollie is currently working towards her Associates in Early Childhood Multicultural Education Degree at Central New Mexico Community College.


Early Head Start Teacher

Roxana has been working with children in Head Start programs for 10 years.  She has her Child Development Certificate from Central New Mexico Community College, where she is also working towards obtaining her degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education.  Roxana loves working with children because they brighten up our day and she loves to watch them grow.


Early Head Start Teacher

Bio coming soon.


Early Head Start Teacher

Bio coming soon.


Early Head Start Teacher

Bio coming soon.


Early Head Start Teacher

Born and raised in Mexico, Carolina is happily married with 2 children. She has experience working with young children and received her CDC in 2020. She continues her education in Early Childhood to better understand how to comprehend and work with young children. She enjoys working at NAPPR Early Head Start and happy to bring her Spanish language into the classroom. 


Early Head Start Cook

Lawrence has been in the cooking and food service industry for 17 years. From bussing tables to line cook to cold room prep to chef, he has stepped down from big restaurants and casinos to aid young children with health and meal education. Introducing new foods to young children and making good, wholesome meals makes him happy as he’s able to teach children about foods, knowing they will always leave school full and healthy.

Dental Support Center


Oral Health Outreach Coordinator

Alice joined NAPPR in early 2020 as the Oral Health Outreach Coordinator. She comes from the Pueblo of Cochiti, and has been in the dental field for more then 15 years. Alice was awarded Albuquerque Area Dental Assistant of the year. She has found her passion in public health where she is able to continue to help those in need throughout the Native communities.




Born and raised in Albuquerque Brittany has always wanted to help her community thrive and improve. NAPPR has given her the opportunity to begin connecting families to resources that can enrich the lives of infants, toddlers, and caregivers. She is a strong believer that a smile and support can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. Being a mother herself she hopes to work closely with families and assist them to being the best they can be. Her ultimate goal is to improve the future for our youth

Tracy Sanchez

LCDR Sanchez has extensive business and finance experience as an Executive Officer in the Indian Health Service. In addition to a clinical background in social work, Tracy is a physician assistant. Tracy Sanchez is from the Pueblo of Acoma.

Lucas Frank

Lucas N. Frank is an attorney and shareholder with the Albuquerque law firm Moses, Farmer, Glenn, Gutierrez, & Werntz, P.C. Mr. Frank and his wife Taunya McCabe Frank (Diné) are also licensed New Mexico resource parents and provide a temporary home in a culturally appropriate setting for Native American children who need one while their family works through a child court proceeding. During their time as resource parents, the Franks have received the benefits NAPPR provides.  Mr. Frank now serves on NAPPR’s Board to help support NAPPR’s mission because he knows firsthand how NAPPR can change lives through the services it provides. 

Volelle Zamora

As the former CEO of the Isleta Healthcare Center, Ms. Zamora has comprehensive business and finance knowledge. Volelle has professionally served under a board of directors and is eager to give back by serving as a board member. Volelle is a member of the Navajo Nation.

Steve Tetrev

Dr. Steve Tetrev has a vast knowledge of the Indian Health Service medical and dental services which is supported by a multitude of advanced academic business degrees. Steve is a retired Captain of the US Public Health Service.


Angela Vigil

Ms. Vigil is Certified in Health Care Compliance (CHC) who brings over 30 years’ experience in the health care/health insurance industry at both the regulatory and private industry spectrums.  Her personal mission is to be a voice of support, encouragement, inspiration and influence to others I have the privilege of meeting along life’s journey by continuously and unselfishly sharing my personal and professional experiences and knowledge that may serve as a source for positively impacting and enriching their lives.

Randall Cooper

Mr. Cooper is a regional business operations and transformation executive with over 18 years history leading strategic and tactical business initiatives. In addition, he has over 23 years’ experience as a certified police officer and is currently working as a substitute teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools. Mr. Cooper is committed to promoting the highest standards and values. Randall grew up in southern Alaska and is from the Tlingit tribe.

Pauline Joe

Ms. Joe has worked in various government, non-profit, and enterprise organizations with most positions being executive level roles. She believes that integrity coincides with inspirational leadership, that success is built on strong foundations, and continuous growth comes from achieving goals when carefully balancing risks with rewards. Pauline grew up near Thoreau, NM and is Navajo and Mescalero Apache.