2022 Incoming Officers of the Council

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Welcome, to our newly elected officers assuming new leadership roles with NMAEA starting in January. Thanks to Michele Platis, who has served for seven years on the board and will be taking an appointed position as Advocacy Chair. Thanks to outgoing president, Steve Heil, who will serve on the board as the Past President next year, and to Justin Makemson, who will be taking the lead as President in January. Newly elected or re-elected positions include the following exemplar art educators!


President-Elect: Mary Durfey (she/her)

Works with the past president and president regarding NMAEA issues and goals. Chairs the Conference Committee.


Mary Durfey will have served 4 years as Secretary for NMAEA at the end of this year. She wanted to give back to the organization that provided the conferences she loved to attend each year. As secretary she has also been very involved in helping create and run the state conferences. Running for President elect is the next step in giving back. She feels confident to be able to serve in this capacity because of the wonderful executive officers and council members who work as a supportive team to serve NMAEA members. She has a BFA in visual arts and returned to school to receive alternative licensure to become an elementary art teacher and later finished her masters. This is her 11th year teaching elementary art for Farmington Municipal Schools. This year she was able to speak to state legislation to help advocate for the visual arts funding. She also has been a strong advocate in Farmington Municipal schools for increasing the time elementary student’s have in art from twice a month or one semester to every week and is grateful student’s will have more time to create, explore, learn about their world and cultures as well as express themselves through art. She believes strongly in the power of art for children’s well-being and has really been intentional in providing more SEL competencies to her ‘hidden’ curriculum. Recently she also received her 200 hr Yoga Certification (and wellness and SEL facilitating certification) from Breathe4change. She is part of her district’s wellness team and attends SEL4NM meetings when possible. She’s excited to continue to support New Mexico educators and New Mexico students through the wonderful supports NMAEA offers its members and students of members.


Division Director: Leslie Warnick (she/her)


Serve as Executive Officer and Chair of Membership Committee consisting of the Regional Coordinators; assist in the creation and promotion of membership campaigns.


Leslie Warnick is the K-8 Art Education Coordinator at Anansi Charter School in Taos, NM, and recently earned her MA in Art Education. She serves on the board of NAEA’s LGBTQ+ Interest Group, working in advocacy to support LGBTQ+ youth in art education programs.

Leslie’s creative passion is puppetry, puppet making, and writing stories for her puppets to tell, and also loves working with collage. She enjoys swimming to stay fit and beat stress and loves to travel and experience the beauty and diversity of other cultures. Leslie and her family lived in Latin America for many years before arriving in Taos in 2010. She has two awesome sons, now 16 and 18 years old.


Treasurer: Christine Martinez (she/her)


Collects dues, pays association bills, makes deposits. Prepares and submits quarterly financial status reports to the BOD. Serves as registrar for all conferences and workshops. Archives all financial records.


Christine Martinez was born and raised in New Mexico and loves living in this area. She received her Associate of A.S. in Media Technologies and Communications from the San Juan Community College and attended NMSU for a year. She then ventured out to earn her Bachelor of Art in Multimedia Authoring and Communications with a Minor in Photography from Sam Houston State University outside of Houston, TX, where she then worked as a graphic artist for several years. After she ventured out, she returned to NM to raise her family where she worked for the Farmington Daily Times as a graphics department manager. Soon after she discovered her passion for teaching and went through the alternative licensure program to earn her teacher credentials and has been working for Farmington Municipal Schools ever since. In 2016 she earned her Master of Education in C&I in Educational Technology Leadership and she worked as a technology teacher integrating art throughout the course. In 2019 the art teacher position at her middle school opened up and she was able to move into a position where she could explore art with her students. She is now working to help students find a voice, express creativity and have fun through their artwork.


Secretary: Elisabeth “Lisa” Gillett (she/her)


Secondary Art Educator, Albuquerque Public Schools

Takes minutes at all Executive Officer and Council Meetings. Maintains a system of accurate and up-to-date records and documents, as required, for all Association business.


Lisa grew up in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. After graduation in 1994 from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a BA in Art History, she moved to New Mexico. In 1999, she received a Masters in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. She has been teaching art in the Albuquerque public school system for twenty-two years. Presently, she teaches Jewelry at Albuquerque High School. She lives in Albuquerque with her daughter Izzy, dog Luna, and two cats, Star and Nova. Eddie, her partner, lives nearby. For Lisa, the visual art electives provide a place for students where they are nurtured & encouraged in a caring educational environment. Author and art educator Joan Erickson once said, “So attuned are our physical senses to the arts that through the ages human beings have stressed an ultimate form of expression unique to each sense: music and poetry became the arts of the ear; the visual arts the aesthetic media of the eye, sculpture and ceramics the arts of touch; dance the experience of motion motivated by the pure enjoyment of the body.” The senses are nourished, expressed, and vitalized by involvement in the arts. The jewelry classroom is a space that supports rich sensory experiences. Lisa strives to create a safe and curious space for her students; filled with joy, play, acceptance and intention. Lisa loves making collages; analog and digital. She also enjoys writing.


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