PreK Consultant to lead NMAEYC


It’s a new year and there’s a new president for both the nation and NMaeyc.

In 2017, NMaeyc members will welcome a new leader to helm their nonprofit organization.

Laura Docterman will be NMaeyc’s 39th president.

She begins her tenure early. Though originally slated to assume the position in July, the board of directors approved Laura to begin in December after current president Cindy Cicero resigned due to personal reasons.

NMaeyc’s board of directors thanks Cindy for her hard work and dedication as both president and president elect. She spear-headed NMaeyc’s strategic planning initiative as well as NMaeyc’s 50th anniversary celebration. Cindy also worked to develop the theme for the 2017 NMAEYC conference and to bring two renown speakers to New Mexico, Dr. Valora Washington and Maurice Sykes. She also looked within her own community of Portales to find another important speaker, Dr. Robin Wells, who, among other things, created an online master’s degree program in early childhood special education for NM educators at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU).    

Laura is a NM PreK consultant who mentors and coaches teachers in central NM, including Albuquerque, Belen, and Bernalillo. She recently finished her master’s degree in early childhood at NMSU. She grew up in Roswell, but has been a long-time resident of Albuquerque.

As president, Laura hopes to support teachers by advocating for more T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood NEW MEXICO® scholarships.

“I want legislators to know that while it’s important to increase access to high quality early childhood education, it’s also critical to provide for teachers’ education and professional development,” Docterman said. “These are crucial components that ensure positive childhood outcomes. I want to encourage teachers to apply for T.E.A.C.H. scholarships and get their degrees, and to support their growth in the early childhood field.”

Candidates wanted for board positions

In other NMaeyc news, three board positions are up for re-election this spring: Vice President of Professional Development, Vice President of Public Policy and Treasurer. The NMaeyc board is seeking interested candidates.

Being part of a nonprofit provides an opportunity for professional development. An NMaeyc board member learns best practices and principles in nonprofit management. This includes:

• learning how to oversee and manage a budget
• how to network
• how to organize and plan community projects
• how to fundraise
• how to advocate on behalf of teachers, children and their families in NM and across the nation

Best of all, board members are in charge of creating innovative learning opportunities for early childhood teachers across the state. There are opportunities to travel to NAEYC conferences to meet Early Childhood Education leaders and researchers and invite them to speak at the Annual NMaeyc Pre-Conference and Conference.

Treasurer duties

The board treasurer is in charge of providing oversight over financial transactions, preparing budgets, and keeping the board informed of key financial trends, concerns, and overall fiscal health of the organization. The treasurer chairs and works with other board members on the finance committee.

“I can’t believe that it’s already been a couple of years since I agreed to be the Treasurer,” current Treasurer Shelby Richardson said. “It has been an amazing experience. Other board and committee members have such a love for the work of NMaeyc and welcomed me. I’ve gotten to meet people from all over our state who care about children. The work of the treasurer is not what most people expect. There are professionals that all they do for a living is book keeping, audits, and taxes. The treasurer does something different. The treasurer focuses more on providing oversight over the budget numbers by asking questions and voicing concerns.  More important than professional financial experience is a heart for the work of NMaeyc and an interest in how our organization works.”

The treasurer candidate does not need to have extensive finance experience. NMaeyc provides mentorship and training for all candidates.

Current board member and past president Alberto Mares said that being part of the board is an experience any NMaeyc member should really take advantage of if they want to advance their career and make a difference.

“Working on the NMaeyc board has been so beneficial for me,” Mares said. “I came on board not knowing exactly what to do, but I was introduced to many mentors, and in a short time have grown so much professionally. I’ve learned how to plan meaningful learning events for teachers, how to read a budget, how to run an effective meeting, how to do public speaking and facilitate a workshop, and have met leaders such as Diane Trister Dodge (author of The Creative Curriculum). I don’t think I would be at this particular level in my career if it hadn’t been for all the training I received as an NMaeyc board member. Everything I have learned here I have applied to my career as a teacher, manager, and researcher.”

VP of Professional Development duties

The vice president of professional development is one of three chairs on the conference committee. The VP works with conference committee members to develop the Annual Pre-Conference and Conference while also raising money to provide scholarships for members to attend the NMaeyc conference and the two annual naeyc conferences.

VP of Public Policy duties

Advocacy is one of the main responsibilities for the vice president of public policy. The candidate elected would be the chair of the public policy committee and help organize NMaeyc’s annual Public Policy Institute(s), where educators, families, and constituents attend to learn about the legislative process and how to voice their opinions and concerns to NM legislators.

For those interested in applying or wanting more information, please e-mail NMaeyc Deputy Executive Director Olivia Natale at


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