Meetings are open to the public and will be held on Google Meet for the foreseeable future. The link is posted on the CCPS calendar and will begin at 5:00pm. Minutes of meetings are available for review 10 days after the meeting has taken place. Meeting minutes are kept both electronically and in a binder in the administrative offices at the Jefferson campus. Meeting minutes are posted on the web page after they have been approved in the next month’s meeting by the full council.
Rathi Casey, President
Rathi was born in India, grew up in Hong Kong and moved to Albuquerque in 2014. She completed her degree in Architecture at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She has worked in Architecture offices around the world, including Hong Kong, Paris, New York and New Mexico. Rathi is Partner + CEO of UKUU Creative, a new design firm in Albuquerque. She has traveled to 20+ countries and is passionate about immersing herself in different cultures. She is fluent in English, Tamil and Mandarin Chinese. She also speaks French, Hindi and Cantonese Chinese. Rathi brings experience in architectural design, programming, planning, and construction. She also enjoys building strategic partnerships in the community. She has worked on the design and construction of school buildings across the state and is deeply committed to the continuous growth and improvement of educational institutions in New Mexico. Her international background makes her particularly driven to work with CCPS’s mission for children to be “internationally-minded lifelong learners who are inspired to improve themselves and shape a more peaceful world”
Wesley Burghardt, Treasurer
Wesley Burghardt was born and raised in Alamogordo, New Mexico. He graduated from New Mexico State University with his Masters of Accountancy degree in 2011. Wesley is an Audit Manager with KPMG LLP, where he focuses on real estate and federal audits. Wesley is also actively involved in instructing courses for KPMG employees as part of his role, including courses on effective use of data and analytics. Wesley received his CPA license from the state of New Mexico in 2013. Prior to moving to Albuquerque, Wesley worked for the College of Agriculture at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, working closely with state funded programs. Wesley is excited for the opportunity to serve Cottonwood and to support to growth of our future leaders!
Louis Papponi, PAC Representative
Louis is one of the parent members of Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School’s Governing Council. He and his wife Brenda have three sons and have been part of the Cottonwood family since 2011. Louis works at Sandia National Laboratories in the areas of Business and Organizational Development and has more than a decade of experience in higher education. Louis currently holds an adjunct faculty position with Lewis University where he teaches undergraduate, graduate, and online courses in Human Resources, Business and Organizational Leadership and Development. Louis has also served as board president and been an active member of several private school organizations.
Susan LaBarge, Member
Susan joined the CCPS Governance Council in Feb. 2019. She is a recently retired Albuquerque Public School administrator. During her 26 year career she served as a high school teacher for 8 years, high school Assistant Principal for 2 years and a middle school Principal for 16 years. She brings a body of knowledge and expertise from her career in education in the following areas: prioritizing programs and curriculum development to serve a diverse student population, recruitment practices that support diversity and a successful transition to middle school, development of a culture focused on teamwork, trust and collaboration, responsibilities for all aspects of staffing and school personnel, preparation and fiscal management of a multi-million dollar budget, community relations and outreach, and served in various leadership roles within APS. In retirement Susan’s intention is to continue to serve in the education arena and support the continuous improvement of education to ensure that all students have the opportunity to reach their potential and become mindful individuals who are productive members of our global community. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King Jr.
Rahni Kellum, Member
Rahni was born in Kansas City Missouri and moved to Albuquerque in 2015 where she began her career at Sandia National Laboratories. Working as a technical business development specialist, Rahni is responsible for identifying synergies and creating relationships between Sandia and universities to enhance research and build the talent pipeline. Rahni has a passion for diversity and inclusion, specifically around minority serving institutions. Rahni is actively involved in helping minority students who want to pursue a degree in STEM and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Rahni is excited and privileged to be serving on the governing council to help further integrate inclusion and diversity principles in the CCPS mission. She received her bachelor’s degree From Prairie View A&M University in Marketing and a Masters of Business of Administration from the University of New Mexico.
Jennifer Raven, Member
Originally from Boulder, CO, Jen moved to NM in 2019 as an independent contractor focused on strategic planning, data analysis, research, and consulting. Jen graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) concentrating in International Management. She is now building a career assisting small businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and academic institutions with economic development efforts. Jen is currently collaborating with UNM on curriculum design for an accreditation course in global business and international trade. Her other recent projects as an Economic Research Specialist with QB, LLC, involve data collection/analysis of several federally funded grant programs to determine their impacts on local and national economies. And she continues to work on nonprofit database management and client relationship management (CRM) platforms as the Development Administrator for Global Ties ABQ. Jen is eager to utilize her diverse experience in data-driven decision making to support CCPS and the ED Outcomes Committee.
Kathy Alexander, Member firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyrell Gaines, Member email@example.com
Liz Titus, PTO Representative
Joy Van Meter, Staff Representative
Governing Council Policies & Bylaws
You can see the current versions of all policies here.
The CCPS Governing Council bylaws can be read here.