Architecture, Construction & Engineering Leadership High School



Leadership Team

Tori Stephens-ShaugerTori Stephens-Shauger, Co-Founder, Executive Director and Principal

Tori is an Albuquerque native and has been an educator for 13 years.
She began teaching at Del Norte High School, moved onto Amy Biehl High School and then left to co-found ACE Leadership High School in 2009. She holds level three regular and special education licenses with endorsements in science and gifted. She is passionate about supporting students to reach their full potential and has brought that passion with her to the various programs and service models she has helped build. Her role at ACE Leadership is to coordinate and facilitate the curriculum and assessment work with students and teachers in both the day program and reengagement program.

Ralph Gonzales, Director of Student Support

Ralph Gonzales graduated from West Mesa High School.
He then began working as a Sheriffs Deputy with Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). Prior to retiring from the BCSO Ralph became the Director of the Metro Air Support Unit. Before coming to ACE, Mr. Gonzales worked as a Deputy Sheriff for 23 years. While employed with the BCSO, Ralph worked in various divisions of the department. He was also elected by his peers as Chairman of the NM Gang Task Force in 2000. Mr Gonzales also worked YDI  as a gang intervention specialist with young kids in troubled communities.  “I’m here to help these kids get motivated and get them to their goals in life.”

Sahra SaediSahra Saedi, Director of Community Engagement

Sahra Saedi is a former ACE teacher with a background in visual art. Ms. Saedi’s experiences in the classroom and around Albuquerque help her to connect students to community resources and opportunities. She did community engagement work with Citizen Schools for two years, and has done outreach and volunteer work with the local experimental film scene for five. “Life is nothing if you’re not obsessed.” –John Waters

LeslieLeslie Lujan, Finance Director


Administrative Staff

CarlaCarla Grossetete, Assistant Business Office Manager





Lisa Lopez, Front Desk Manager

Roberta ZamoraRoberta Zamora, Registrar

“I’m grateful to have the ability to serve the community where I live. I see students in my neighborhood who this school will serve, and give them the opportunity to succeed, not only by completing high school but by developing into a career.”


 Project Teachers Day-Program

Lucy AlfonsoLucy Alfonso, Faculty

Lucy Alfonso is a sixth-year project teacher at ACE who earned her Masters in Educational Specialties/Special Education at UNM. “I have always taught in a direct hands-on and interactive approach, involving engaging projects that motivate students to immerse themselves in second language learning. I hope to teach the students the importance of who they are and their potential as future thinkers and builders of a better tomorrow.”

Tony Beach, Faculty 

Tony Beach has over 30 years of industry experience as a business owner and entrepreneur. Mr. Beach grew up in a similar neighborhood to many students and has a similar learning style, which makes him an effective and empathetic teacher.



DSC00444Katrina Edelmann, Faculty

Katrina Edelmann grew up in the New York/Tri-state Area. She earned her bachelor’s in Economics and master’s in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico where she supervised and trained undergraduate tutors and instructional leaders about collaborative learning. She is very excited to teach and grow alongside the amazing faculty at ACE. In her spare time, Katrina likes drawing, backpacking, and playing basketball.


Jonathan Elfstrom, Faculty

Jonathan Elfstrom grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in Biology and his teaching credentials in math and science from Sonoma State University. His teaching career has been mostly with charter schools serving at-risk students – most recently at the Academy of Trades and Technology, a charter school in the South Valley using project-based learning to help students develop job readiness skills by the time they graduate. The past couple of years, Mr. Elfstrom had been hearing good things about ACE, so when he got the chance to come work here he was happy to take it.  He is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic team of teachers in such a unique and innovative school.


BridgetBridget Elliott, Faculty

Bridget Elliot graduated with a degree in Special and Elementary Education through UNM’s dual license program. She has taught high school, mock trial, and band. Her hobbies include cooking, photography, and music.

Jamie FieldJamie Field, Construction Coach

Jamie Field is a former ACE student teacher who is now a full-time Special Education resource teacher. Mr. Field’s experience in independent construction aids him in helping students to take pride in their work, learn self-discipline, and be their own advocates. Mr. Field’s favorite project last year was building a ski shack in Sandia Peak, as it helped students to gain practical skills and provided a tangible, successful product.

EliseoEliseo Guajardo, Faculty 

Eliseo Guajardo received his BA from College of Santa Fe and his Master’s from Highlands. He is currently working on his Ph.D. from Grand Canyon University. He has been teaching for 18 years. His hobbies include guitar, gardening, family, music, country western dancing.

DSC00445Ashley Kruger, Faculty

DSC00455Brad Humble, Faculty

Brad Humble has over 25 years of experience construction as a contractor and owned his own business. Throughout, Brad has looked for ways to teach others and finally decided to follow that passion into the education setting. Brad hopes to share his passion for creating with the next generation of designers and builders.

Lane2Wendell Lane, Faculty 

Wendell Lane is a project teacher at ACE with 15 years’ experience in civil litigation, 10 in traditional high schools, and 15 in coaching track and cross-country. A New Mexico native, Mr. Lane has a penchant for reinventing the wheel, which aids in his approach to education and eclectic projects.

KKathleen Kess Loudermilk, Faculty

Kathleen Loudermilk entered teaching after 20 years as an architect. Ms. Loudermilk was drawn to ACE due to its whole-person approach, giving students the knowledge, experiences, and confidence that they need to succeed.



karin_2017webKarin Pitman, Faculty

Karin Pitman is an experienced architect who has served as the National Chairman of the Young Architects Forum. Ms. Pitman is also a local American Institute of Architects former president and watercolor artist whose work is sold and exhibited around New Mexico.

Robert ShaugerRobert Shauger, Faculty

Rob Shauger is a eight-year project teacher at ACE who is currently working toward his PhD in Special Education. Mr. Shauger immerses himself in his projects in order to learn alongside his students, and teaches through modelling. In his spare time, Mr. Shauger is an avid outdoorsman: “any reason to be outside is a good one.”

DSC00457Justin Terry, Faculty

john thompsonJohn Thomson, Faculty

John is in his 3rd year as a special education teacher. After completing a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and minor in Sustainability Studies at UNM, he was searching for a fulfilling career that gave back to the community. Two years at APS gave him a taste for the power of teaching  to positively shape a community, but he was disappointed with the adverse impact of bureaucracy on education. In the ACE family, he not only found the meaningful work as an  educator, but also the environment and dedicated peers he was looking for.

Daniel Zev WolfskehlDaniel Zev Wolfskehl, Transition Coach

Daniel attended Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and holds a B.F.A., Fine Art and Education from the School of Visual Arts (NYC). A co-founder of FabLabAbq, Daniel has practiced architecture both domestically and abroad in China, which included working for acclaimed postmodernist Robert A.M. Stern. Recently, Daniel’s architectural work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal’s “House of the Day”.

Project Teachers-Evening Program

KeithKeith Atkins, Faculty

Keith Atkins received his BS in Physics from Ohio University. He has 21 years of experience in education teaching Physics and English. He also has experience in computer chip, aviation, and pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as metals refinery. “I wish you great success, which means you have to work and plan and work your plan.”




Matt Buchanan, Faculty

Matt Buchanan is a lifelong East Mountain resident. He graduated with an MA in Special Education from UNM. This will be his third year teaching and he loves fly fishing, bicycling, and running.

ReneRene Larrichio, Faculty 

Student Support Team

DSC00449Denise Bennett LMSW, Student Support

DSC00460Donald Chavez, LISW, Student Support

Don Chavez works at ACE to make sure that every student has the resources they need to be successful. Mr. Chavez has a broad range of work and life experiences that aid him in his work at ACE: he has studied in Puebla, Mexico, worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, interned for Cesar Chavez in Michigan, and received a congressional commendation.

DSC00454Patricia DeHoyos, LCSW, Achievement Coach 

Patricia DeHoyos serves as a social worker at ACE and directs special education. She is always going out of her way to help students and can frequently be heard reminding others, “don’t judge people.” Her compassion extends outside of ACE, and has led her to volunteer at the Austin Boxer Rescue.

DSC00441Clay Johnson,  Building Safety Coordinator 

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Mr. Clay has always loved being active whether with soccer, track, or monitoring safe practices around the ACE campus. He went to college in Iowa, worked in plumbing for 6 years and has an extensive knowledge of safety regarding Architecture, Construction and Engineering projects. He loves helping students with outdoor construction work such as the dog houses being made as part of a joint project with New         Mexico Appleseed.

Community Engagement Team

DSC011312Ryan DeHoyos, Community Engagement Coordinator

Ryan grew up in Austin, Texas and attended Texas State University for graphic design. His favorite part of his job with the community engagement center is feeling like he is connected with ACE’s specific population of students. When asked about his role, he says, ” I am not an authority or disciplinary figure so my ability to connect is on a different level.” He also loves rollerblading at skate parks, helping coach ACE’s football team, and Sports Wednesday’s with                                                            students.

DSC00462Ana Torres, Community Engagement Fellow- Jesuit Volunteer 

Originally from Maryland, Ana studied nursing at Boston College. She spent her time volunteering on a unit for kids with emotional and behavioral dysregulation. She is passionate about alternative education and creating a loving environment for students to thrive, like at ACE. She is currently hosting a volleyball workshop at ACE and looks forward to integrating her nursing  background to engage different communities with the ACE student  populations.

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