Click on each person’s name below to read more about each member of our Board of Trustees.
Ben Alaimo-Monson, Vice President
Julia Rosa Emslie
Julia Rosa Emslie is a native New Mexican and first generation United States citizen. Her career in education started as an undergraduate language tutor at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) where she earned a bachelor of science in education with a focus on Spanish language. Her first teaching job was as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Capital High School in Santa Fe, then at Roswell High School; followed by a Spanish teacher and activities director at Albuquerque High School, and a credit-recovery program director at El Dorado High School in Albuquerque.
Julia Rosa earned her Master of Science degree from Kansas State University in secondary education with a focus on ESL. During her time at KSU, Julia Rosa was a project director for a program that supported middle school teachers in obtaining a Master’s degree in education or an ESL certificate; then as a project director for first-generation college students seeking an undergraduate degree in education with an ESL focus. After her time at KSU, Julia Rosa briefly managed a program at New Mexico State University that focused on training public school principals and superintendents that worked near the New Mexico—Mexico border to ensure that they were prepared to provide the best education possible to students living on both sides of the border attending public schools in New Mexico.
Most recently, Julia Rosa has diversified her education experience and knowledge by working at the state-level for the New Mexico Public Education Department as an employee and now a consultant. Her knowledge and experience in state government includes but is not limited to: policy, non-regulatory guidance, constituent services, family engagement, professional development, editing, design, and project management.
As a member of the Desert Academy Board, Julia Rosa is focused on inclusion and representation through continuation of the Desert Academy legacy of graduating students prepared for college and beyond, representing the population of Santa Fe and neighboring tribal communities, and ensuring that students and parents are involved meaningfully.
Kim Motola, Trustee Committee Chair
Shona Rodar, President
Mrs. Rodar has a solid background in Office/Retail Management, Human Resources, Team Building, and Corporate Training focusing in areas of Technology,Customer Service and Diversity.
Through their business, she and her husband, Jake work to support the community as much as possible. Some of the organizations they have made a priority include New Mexico Cancer Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, SF Farmer’s Institute, Railyard Stewards Native Bee House Project and of course, Desert Academy’s tuition assistance fund. Shona also helped to found and acted as board treasurer of the Ransom Reynolds Memorial Foundation in Santa Fe which supported the Children’s Museum, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, to name a few.