Judy Hofer

Judy Hofer, the daughter of Hungarian refugees, essentially grew up in the field of adult education and has chosen to work in this field for most of her professional life.  Her passion is helping people, especially those who face many challenges, gain tools and the belief that they can “be somebody” and achieve their dreams.  Judy has worked in adult education as a teacher, a researcher, and a teacher trainer.  She has co-authored a number of publications, including “Take on the Challenge: A Source Book from the Women, Violence, and Adult Education Project” and “How Teachers Change:  A Study of Professional Development in Adult Education”. 

Since 2004, she has served as the director of the Taos Education & Career Center.  Currently, Judy and the TECC team are leading a statewide professional development initiative to support all adult education programs in New Mexico in delivering excellence in education. Judy has wanted to live in the mountains since she was a small girl and is grateful to call Taos her home.

Nina Gonzales

Nina Gonzales is a native New Mexican who has spent 20 years working as an adolescent addiction and wilderness-based counselor, experimental educator, and community activist. She currently is the assistant director of the Taos Education and Career Center, and specializes in how education, particularly for those whom have struggled in school, can transform both individual lives and our community at large.

Jamie Eastman

Meet our Education Support Coordinator, Jamie Eastman. She moved to Taos from Boston, MA to be nearer to her family and to come join our TECC team. Since joining us Jamie has been providing support to our students, teachers, and administrative staff as well as working to further develop our volunteer tutoring program for basic literacy students in our community.

Her life experience brings a valuable perspective into our rooms as she herself struggled in the traditional school system and she went on to college as a first generation adult learner. She spent many years working as a technician in animal rescue and since graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a BA in psychology she has gone on to work in various areas of human services including substance abuse counseling and low income housing management.

Montserrat Oyanedel-Tolmo

Montserrat Oyanedel Tolmo is the English Language Learner, Marketing and Outreach and Distance Education coordinator at the Taos Education & Career Center -UNM Taos. She has been working in different areas of the adult education field since 2013. In addition, she currently works for the New Mexico Distance Education & Learning Technologies (NMDELT) team providing assistance in technology, software evaluation and applications in the classroom, and training teachers throughout the state. Montse is also an entrepreneur, she co-owns Ennui Gallery where she expose her ceramics, handmade jewelry and accessories and other products from around the world under her brand name CHA CHA Handmade.

Edie Buchanan

Owner of the Magical Michael’s Garden. She received her Bachelor of Arts Field Of Study English from Notre Dame College in 2008. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Master of Arts Field Of Study English Language and Literature.

Esther Tipton

Esther Tipton is an educator who works with adult ESL students to facilitate their personal growth, career goals, and civic engagement. Esther knows that having a strong foundation in English language skills provides opportunities and open doors for employment, relationships, and community involvement.

Esther has over 20 years of experience teaching and mentoring in the academic field. She has lived and worked overseas (Papua New Guinea, South Korea) and has taught all ages – from kindergarten level to senior citizens.  Esther has a B.A. in Religion, and Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies, and a Master of Science in Education.

When she is not in the classroom, Esther enjoys reading, working on home projects, spending time with her family, and traveling.


Dennis Hedges

Dennis hedges is a long time Taos teacher. He has worked in the Taos municipal schools for 25 years as a level III master level instructor. He has also been a UNM-Taos administrator for the last dozen years. He was named an unsung hero of Taos for his work with the nationally renowned Taos Nighthawks chess team. His passions include his wife, his dog, hiking, being out doors, and reading 1950s Mexican comic books.

John Kaeck

John has worked in education for 20 years as a math and science teacher. He also has taught skiing at Taos Ski Valley. In addition to being an educator he has also worked in the food service industry and in the construction field. 
And his time off John loves to ski and boat. In the summer if you find yourself down by the Rio you may see John guiding raft forLos Rios River Runners. In addition John has a rich family life getting together with his kids and wife as often as possible for family meals and adventures. He graduated from Appalachian State University Boone, NC.

Faith Schauermann

Faith teaches Mathematics at University of New Mexico Taos Branch and TECC. Faith is from West Palm Beach, Florida. She lives in Ranchos de Taos with her husband Darrell Schauermann.