K-12 English Language Arts

Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. —Tomie dePaola

The LCPS ELA team, as part of the Teaching and Learning Center, is committed to supporting and empowering our teachers through purposeful learning experiences. We collaborate with administrators and teachers to build capacity in our schools in impactful instructional practices and Common Core State Standards driven content. Our department supports literacy learning and development of all students by providing high quality individualized support for teachers and schools. Our purpose is to utilize research based and proven pedagogical practices that encompass the four modes: reading, writing, listening, and speaking when designing highly engaging, rigorous, relevant, and real-world learning opportunities that prepare students for success in college and/or future careers. Our research based foundations is the Science of Reading and we will continue to work on our implementation of Structured Literacy. Our overall focus is to encourage students to become reflective, critical, and creative learning practitioners. Our rich knowledge base in content and teaching strategies make us an asset for you and your students.

Elementary Language Arts

Secondary Language Arts

The LCPS ELA team, as part of the Teaching and Learning Center, is committed to supporting and empowering our teachers through purposeful learning experiences. We collaborate with administrators and teachers to build capacity in our schools in impactful instructional practices and Common Core State Standards driven content. Our department supports literacy learning and development of all students by providing high quality individualized support for teachers and schools. Our purpose is to utilize research based and proven pedagogical practices that encompass the four modes: reading, writing, listening, and speaking when designing highly engaging, rigorous, relevant, and real-world learning opportunities that prepare students for success in college and/or future careers. Our overall focus is to encourage students to become reflective, critical, and creative learning practitioners. Our rich knowledge base in content and teaching strategies make us an asset for you and your students.

 

Please contact for specific support in:

Unpacking the Common Core State Standards

Vocabulary and Comprehension Strategies

Individual and Team Coaching

Individualized School Support

SPIRE Training

CORE (Consortium on Reaching Excellence) Adolescent Solution Support

SIM – Fundamentals of Paraphrasing and Summarizing Strategy

SIM – Possible Selves

Esther Peterson

Esther Peterson

Associate Director of Teaching and Learning K-12 ELA and Social Studies

Esther began her adventure as an educator in 1993, while working in an English Immersion program for 3 year olds. Her work at LCPS started in 2001 as a bilingual Kindergarten teacher at Conlee Elementary. She has a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Pedagogy, and from NMSU a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction and an MBA. Her favorite parts about reading instruction are providing students with vocabulary rich experiences and that moment when students realize reading is the door to learning. Esther loves winding down at home with her family sharing great food and a good movie.

Lisa Davis

Lisa Davis

Elementary ELA Content Specialist

Lisa began teaching for LCPS in 2010 and has had the pleasure of teaching kindergarten, 1st grade and 3rd grade. Her degrees include: a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. She is passionate about learning and teaching current reading science. Lisa thrives on inspiring and supporting teachers to implement the knowledge to meet the needs of all students.  

Her personal time is dedicated to her partner, time with family, riding horses, reading, and enjoying adventures.  

Laura Looney

Laura Looney

Elementary ELA Content Specialist

Laura began her teaching journey in 1998, and her favorite part of education is still helping children find joy in learning!  Prior to this role, she taught 1st grade at Cesar Chavez Elementary for 4 years.  She currently serves as an Elem. ELA Content Specialist at Booker T. Washington, Dona Ana, Hillrise, Monte Vista, and Sunrise, where she utilizes her degrees (BS in Elementary Education, an MA in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Language Arts, and an MA in Educational Leadership) to help schools meet their goals.  In her free time, Laura loves being outside on sunny days with her family and her dogs!

Josie Miller

Josie Miller

Middle School ELA Content Specialist

Hello LCPS students, teachers, and community!  My name is Josefina Miller (Josie), and I am the Content Specialist for Middle School English Language Arts.  I started teaching for the Gadsden Independent School District as a 5th grade teacher in 2008, shortly after I earned my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from New Mexico State University.  The following year, I started working for the Las Cruces Public Schools, and my first teaching assignment for LCPS was at Vista Middle School as a 7th grade social studies and English language arts teacher. I continued at Vista for five additional years as a 7th grade social studies, 7th grade English language arts, 6th grade social studies, or 6th grade English language arts teacher, all the while working towards a master’s degree.  I earned a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University in 2014.  Soon after, I became the Content Specialist for Middle School English Language Arts in 2015.  I can say that I am blessed to be in this role because I get to work and learn alongside the most talented educators in New Mexico.  Most importantly, I get to teach the best students in our state.  Working with students is my passion, and I am thankful I get to foster a love of literacy.  I feel a strong responsibility to prepare civically-minded students who will contribute to democracy, and I get to do so daily by promoting a love of reading and writing.  While in this role, I also earned the National Board Certification in English Language Arts/Early Adolescence in 2018.   When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family.  I am the proud mother of three – Kirsten, Mary, and Jack.  Kirsten is 23 and just earned her bachelor’s degree from NMSU with a focus in agricultural studies.  Mary is 19, and is pursuing a degree in Secondary Education; she would like to teach English language arts or history.  My baby, Jack, is 14 and is currently a student at Mayfield High School. 

Mindy Tapia

Mindy Tapia

Elementary ELA Content Specialist

Mindy started her teaching career back in 1999. Her education includes a BA of Science in Sociology, a MA of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, and an MBA. Mindy loves being able to work with teachers and students all over our district. She loves being in classrooms and seeing the joy on teachers' faces when an instructional strategy pays off for their students. During her personal time, Mindy loves to spend time with her husband and two daughters watching soccer.

Joel Hutchinson

Joel Hutchinson

High School ELA Content Specialist

Joel Hutchinson started teaching English Language Arts in 1997.  His teaching experience includes 9th and 10th grade honors and regular English, 11th grade regular and inclusion English, AP Language and AP Literature. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a BA in Secondary Education emphasis in English and received his MA from the University of New Mexico in Secondary Education with an emphasis in technology. He is a Teach Plus alum2016-17, was part of the New Mexico Teacher Leader Network for two years, 2016-18, and served on the NM PED Secretary’s Teacher Advisory in 2017-18.  Joel enjoys working with teachers around the district learning and discussing ways to teach reading, writing, and critical thinking.  He is married with two daughters, both LCPS graduates, and enjoys outdoor activities.  Joel served four years in the United States Air Force and received an honorable discharge.

Kina Marlatt

Kina Marlatt

Elementary ELA Content Specialist

My name is Kina Marlatt, and I love working as an ELA content specialist for Las Cruces Public Schools. My career as an educator began in 2003 when I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Early Childhood from the University of Nebraska. I grew as a teacher in Nebraska where I taught third grade and served on numerous district-wide initiatives. I started teaching with LCPS in 2017 when my family moved to New Mexico, and I have had the privilege of serving as a third-grade teacher and instructional specialist at Conlee Elementary and as a third-grade teacher at Sonoma Elementary prior to becoming a content specialist in 2020. In 2019, I received a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from New Mexico State University.  

I love learning new things and collaborating with others on ways to impact students through curriculum and instruction. During my years as a classroom teacher, I thrived on instilling that same passion and love of learning in my students. I am always up for a good challenge and have taken on roles as a district grade level coordinator, mentor teacher, and instructional specialist. All these experiences have prepared me for this exciting opportunity to serve as an ELA Content Specialist for LCPS. I love my job so much, but I think my favorite part of being a content specialist is the chance to work with so many awesome, brilliant colleagues across the district to help our students learn. I look forward to working with you!

Outside of work, I enjoy crafting and hanging out with my husband Rick, our two sons, and our very spoiled third son with paws named Max. 

This year I will be supporting the following schools; Columbia, Loma Heights, Mesilla Park, Tombaugh, and University Hills.  

Isabel Self

Isabel Self

Elementary ELA Content Specialist

My name is Isabel Self and my career as an educator began in 2002. After 16 years in a nearby district, I transferred to Las Cruces Public Schools in 2018. I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, and a License in Administration.

My first ten years were as a classroom teacher, where I taught Kindergarten and 1st grade.  My desire to support teachers led me to serving in roles as a Reading Specialist, Instructional Specialist, Gifted Facilitator, and currently, an ELA Content Specialist. My favorite part about my job is working collaboratively with teachers to implement impactful instructional strategies.

Outside of work, I enjoy running half-marathons with my husband, Travis. We have four kids and enjoy cheering them on in everything they do!

Comprehensive Literacy Development Grant

Dee Singh

Dianna (Dee) Singh

Secondary Literacy Data and Intervention Coach

Dianna (Dee) Singh- I have been in education for over 35 years, working in different departments and capacities.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality Management.  I completed an alternative certification program and began my teaching career in 2007 in a small town located on the Navajo reservation north of Gallup, NM.

The best part of my current position as an intervention and data coach for secondary schools is connecting with teachers and administrators, establishing relationships, and working together to help our secondary students work towards literacy success.

The schools I support are: Arrowhead Early College, Centennial, and Mayfield High Schools and, Camino Real, Picacho, Sierra, and Zia Middle Schools.

 On a personal note...I have three loves in my life:  my 26-year-old son, Ryan and my two doxies, Bella and Molly.  All three make me smile and bring calm into my life!  Ryan makes me proud every passing day.  He will be graduating in May, having earned his master’s degree in Public Health Administration and then he’s headed for a dietetic internship, so no telling what condition I’ll be in next summer when he moves away.