New Mexico Division Representatives

Division Directors represent and advocate the issues and concerns of their specific division level as they pertain to art education in New Mexico. They are a point of contact for the New Mexico art educators specific to their division statewide, regardless of membership.

Melissa DeMaagd (she/her), Elementary Division Representative

Albuquerque Public Schools, Elementary Art Teacher

Melissa is an art educator with the Albuquerque Public Schools Fine Arts Program for the last eight years. She is a mentor teacher through the APS Mentor Program as well as a cooperating teacher for UNM. She believes creating art allows you to be human and enables a unique medium of self-expression. She loves weaving and spending time outdoors hiking, cycling and climbing. She got her masters in Art Education at UNM in 2015. She is excited about her new position as NMAEA Elementary Division Representative and looks forward to connecting with other elementary art educators across the state.

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Pam Elam, Middle School Division Representative

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Jill Dooner (she/her), High School Division Representative

Explore Academy (Albuquerque), Art Educator

Jill Dooner is a Level III Visual Arts teacher at Explore Academy Charter School. While working as a pastry chef with an undergraduate degree in art, she decided to go back to school for licensure to teach art, ultimately earning an MA Ed from the University of New Mexico. After spending nine years in the Rio Rancho school district, she chose to become part of of a fledgling charter school. Collaborating with eleven colleagues to create a school from a concept is a career highlight. Still at the school which is now in its fifth year, Jill serves as the department head for electives, and teaches classes in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.

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Gig Yu (she/her), Higher Education Division Representative

University of New Mexico, Assistant Professor of Art Education


Dr. Gigi Yu is a University of New Mexico assistant professor in Art Education and the NMAEA higher education division representative. She has 20+ years visual arts teaching experience with young children to adults in community settings, museums, higher education, and public- school classrooms in Arizona, Chicago, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. Gigi worked with the Paradise Valley Community College (Collaborative Educators Institute), Albuquerque Art Museum, Santa Fe Opera Early Childhood Initiative, Albuquerque Public Schools Office of Early Childhood, and Chicago Artist Partners in Education providing pedagogical leadership and professional development facilitation, with an emphasis on early childhood art education. Gigi is the co-founder of the Collaborative Teachers Institute, a New Mexico statewide professional development initiative. Currently, she co-teaches preschool and caregiver art classes for the Albuquerque Museum. Gigi’s work with young children inspires her to see her own artistic practices in new ways. The early learning programs of Reggio Emilia, Italy and their deep respect for children’s artistic languages inspire her creative work and research. While working at Chicago Commons Child Development Agency she served as studio art coordinator, a role inspired by the atelierista from the early learning programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This role continues to inspire her work as an art educator/researcher. She is the co-editor/author of In Conversation with Reggio Emilia: Affirming the Rights of Emergent Bilinguals and Multilinguals, a forthcoming book published by Routledge. She also serves as an issue editor for the publication Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Emilia Exchange.

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Zoila A. Caamaño-Pumarol (she/her), Pre-Service Division Representative

University of New Mexico, Graduate Student in Art Education


I was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in Puerto Rico. I graduated with a M.F.A. in Fine Art Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and a B.A. in psychology from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Currently I’m pursuing a Masters in Art Education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and working on my thesis. The focus of my thesis, and efforts to date, is to contribute to the field of (art) education by recognizing art as a force for academic engagement and by cataloguing the positive outcomes of field trips as an effective and efficient way of teaching and learning. I am also collaborating with the National Hispanic Cultural Center— assisting the staff in developing programs, curricula, and resources to meet the needs of our Spanish speaking community—as their new Bilingual Art Educator and Museum Gallery Assistant. Going forward I plan to continue serving as a bridge to bring art and culture to our underserved and underrepresented populations.  I also plan to work to promote the sense of belonging, ownership and authorship in a space that we deserve in the museums and art galleries (let’s go big here) of the WORLD! I believe it is not only important to encourage each person to have a voice, but to help them value with sincerity their own unique contributions to our world---there is inside of me a burning flame for creating a positive and equitable educational experience within a culturally and linguistically responsive environment a reality for every child and to help every child to be able to learn and succeed, no matter race, ethnicity, gender or ability. 

Contact Zoila at

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Gina Medina-Gay (she/her), Admin/Supervisor Division Representative

University of New Mexico, University Supervisor and Instructor


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Kemely Gomez, Museum Division Representative

Museum of International Folk Art, Museum Educator


Kemely Gomez is an artist and museum educator, currently working at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa, NM. Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved to the United States at the age of twelve. She received her BFA in Studio Arts from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, NM. Gomez’s studio practice focuses on themes of memory, absence, and displacement. As the bilingual educator she is dedicated to expanding access to museum education and empowering individuals and communities through art.

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Phyllis Kennedy (she/her), Retired Division Representative

Retired Art Educator, Albuquerque

Phyllis’ career in the arts and education started in second grade when she discovered overlapping all by herself. What a mind-blowing visual concept. She continued her studies at Kingswood Cranbrook (HS), RIT printmaking (BFA), and NYU photography (MA). In the early 00’s she served as executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Arts Education during the time advocates were mobilizing to pass the 2003 Fine Arts Education Act. Inspired by the many arts educators and administrators involved in the targeted legislative advocacy campaign, she obtained a New Mexico elementary teaching license with Visual Art endorsement. 


Phyllis taught for five years. She then proceeded to work for the state arts agency, New Mexico Arts - first as a contract researcher and writer, then on staff as a program coordinator and arts education manager for seven years. Since retiring from New Mexico Arts in June 2021, she has returned full circle to her arts practice. Her photographs can be found in the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Albuquerque Sunport (photograph relocated to City Hall after 9/11 renovations), and the City of Albuquerque Public Art collection.

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Amy Tanner (she/her), Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Liaison

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