' Board of Directors - People For The Kids

Board of Directors


Carmella Salinas, Early Educator and Board President: Espanola, NM

Carmella Salinas has been an early childhood educator for 14 years and teaches 4-year-old Pre K at the Family Learning Center in Espanola, New Mexico. While she is working full time, she has also spent the last several years working towards her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and development.  Despite her years of experience, and the importance of her work, Salinas, a single mother of three, is one of many in the field who are paid so little that she qualifies for Medicaid, has to go on food stamps, has had her electricity, gas and water disconnected for nonpayment. She loves her job, but "passion doesn't pay the bills. Finding the AFT and The PEOPLE for the Kids let me know I was not alone, and I intend to fight to make New Mexico a better place for those in my profession and the kids in our centers across the State,” says Salinas. She devotes her precious time and energy to being a part PEOPLE because she knows she can make a difference. There is a solution to the early care and education crisis in New Mexico. “As we do this work together and grow more powerful, I know we are being heard. Together our voices can change things for all of New Mexico’s children, families and educators.” 


d5.jpgSusan Florsheim, Center Owner and Board Secretary: Albuquerque, NM

Susan Florsheim is the owner and director of Los Ninos Montessori, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She currently serves as Board Secretary.  Susan moved to Albuquerque from her home state of Louisiana in 2001 after graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in General Studies and a focus of Applied Life Science.  In 2007, she began working at Los Ninos as an assistant teacher. Having found a deep passion for this work, she quickly decided to pursue her Montessori Teaching Certificate.  After a few years of being lead teacher and then Director, she was given the opportunity to purchase the school and did so in 2013.  “I believe that everything children touch can become a learning experience, and I am dedicated to creating a setting for children to find warmth, comfort, and gentleness and an abundance of opportunities for movement, exploration, and self-discovery!  This is difficult on it’s own.  Our centers need more resources and owners of private early learning centers need a voice in the policies that affect our businesses. That is why I decided to become active with the People for the Kid’s Board.”


d3.jpg Jay BainbridgeEarly Educator, Board Member: Albuquerque, NM

Jay Michael Bainbridge is an early childhood educator at Congregation B’Nai Israel in Albuquerque. He has been in the field going on 28 years. He has taught all ages from infant to pre K. He is also an artist. He believes that creativity is the foundation of all learning and applies this philosophy in the classroom as he lays down the foundation for the future. He believes that with a solid foundation we actually have a future.






d8.jpgKris Buchmann, Parent and Board Member: Albuquerque, NM

Kris Buchmann is a single mother of a 4 year old and lives in Albuquerque. She graduated from the College of Santa Fe in 2005 with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Political Science and has been working as an esthetician for 8 years. She has struggled to find and pay for quality childcare for her son and has been unfairly denied child care contracts from CYFD. In addition to her work with PEOPLE for the Kids, she is a parent leader for the OLÉ Working Parents Association. She has seen the positive impact of quality early childhood education in her own child and the dedication of her sons’ teachers at his early learning center, and is committed to expanding access to quality programs for all children across New Mexico. “For me, its not just about my own child, I do this for the sake of every child and for all of the single moms, like myself, who don’t feel like they have a voice in policies that affect their lives and children's education.”


Brenda Frayra, Early Educators, Board Member: Albuquerque, NM