Board of Directors

John Sewell, Moderator

John Sewell

California born, but growing up in New Hampshire, John received his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.  After two years active military duty, he started his engineering career first in naval engineering for the US Navy, later the US Coast Guard.  Leaving government service, he spent the next 20+ years with Ingersoll-Rand Company, an international manufacturer of varied industrial equipment.  Over those years he held leadership positions in new product development and manufacturing plant management.  Accepting early retirement from IR, John spent the next 11 years with Terex Company-Mining Division, which was bought out by Bucyrus International, which was bought out by Caterpillar (ironically entitling him to a 10-year service award from CAT!).  Celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2022, John and Beth have lived in 11 states (California twice) as John’s professional career moved him around.  In most of those locations, they found a church family, Methodist in the early days, now Presbyterian for over 20 years.

John was part of the original Task Force writing the Standing Rules which formed the basis of the first Board, holding its first meeting in the Spring of 2016.  He served on that Board briefly in its inaugural year and accepted his current service in Fall 2019.

Beverly Garrett, Vice-Moderator

Beverly Garrett

Beverly received her BA in Environmental Studies and Fine arts; and her Master of Science (MS) degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Wright State University in Ohio. She has extensive experience in the community mental health arena, and began training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in 2009 and became part of an award-winning community mental health team which developed a DBT oriented program called “Wise Mind”. Beverly taught at the college level for six years; and received consistent recognition for being a client centered, team player. Her clients know her as a gentle yet encouraging presence. She moved to New Mexico in 2013 “for the mountains and blue sky” and worked at New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas NM before moving to Albuquerque to work in private practice. She has been an active member of SOTV since 2016.

Juliana Strong, Interim Director

Julianna Strong

Julianna Strong is the new interim director of Shepherd of the Valley Preschool.  She received her Bachelor of Science at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM. Julianna is native to the north valley. She has worked as a childcare giver and advanced her way into a center specialist, and now a director. She intends to continue her education and obtain her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and obtain a directors certification. She is involved in the North Valley Community and is part of the NV Little League Committee.

Outside of the preschool, Julianna loves spending time with her husband and kids, 2 month old and 5 year old. Julianna enjoys watching a good baseball game, camping, and taking her family out to discover nature.  She is passionate about working with children reach their potential through play and discovery.  She is excited to take on the new journey in developing your children with the creativity and imagination they need to succeed.

Anna Torres

Anna Torres

I have lived in the Town of Bernalillo for fifty years. I am originally from El Valle, a small town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. In my youth I attended Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Peñasco and I am currently a member at Second Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque. I am married to Jack Torres and have four sons and four grandchildren.

  • I am a retired lifelong educator who served 30 years in the Bernalillo Public Schools District
  • Kindergarten Teacher for 15 years
  • District administrator for 15 years
  • Executive Director of Elementary Education
  • Director of Even Start Family Literacy Program, Title I Federal Program, NM PreK, Elementary Fine Arts, Physical Education, After School Programs, Summer School, Early Prevention of School Failure
  • Instrumental in creating the La Escuelita Early Childhood Center in Bernalillo

Training Experience:

University of New Mexico

  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Elementary Arts with emphasis on Reading and ESL
  • Current Licensure from Public Education Department of New Mexico.
  • Level Three-B Pre K-12 Administrative
  • Level Three-A Instructional Leader K-8 Elementary with Endorsement in Bilingual Education
  • Level Three-A Instructional Leader B-3 Early Childhood

Early Prevention of School Failure and Estrellita Spanish Reading Program certified consultant

Ties to Shepherd of the Valley Preschool:

  • I’m a proud grandmother of two SOTV students, Isaac and Julianna Torres.
  • My sister-in-law, Liz Kirschner, served as a SOTV Preschool board member.
Amy Schmidt

Amy Schmidt

My name is Amy Schmidt.  I am a member of Shepherd of the Valley and have been on the board of the pre-school since fall 2021.

I grew up in the Omaha area, am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  My high school class in fact just celebrated our 50th reunion.  My undergraduate degree is in Social Welfare and for several years I worked in Lincoln as a social worker in foster care before moving to New Mexico in 1977.  I decided once here to pursue a career in medicine and in 1985 graduated from UNM-SOM then did residency in Family Medicine at UNM.

I was the physician for Albuquerque Healthcare of the Homeless for several years before going into private practice.  June 2021 I retired after 32 years in practice!  I am adjusting well to this lifestyle with much less stress!

I have 2 adult sons both of whom live out of state.  My older son Evan has been an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, now making a big change to live with his family in Austin.    My younger son, Tyler works in tech, is based out of Denver.  Evan and his wife have a new addition this year, Wally, my first grandchild has been such a joy!  Wally's arrival was a big incentive for my retirement as I wanted to be available whenever to visit!

I am an avid gardener, tango dancer, international traveler (hoping to add new journeys again soon when restrictions are lifted).  Having sons who love adventure has encouraged me to be a sport--try the moguls, jump out of an airplane, scuba dive in open waters (including an open water, night dive for certification) as well as several "shark dives" (the real truth is they should be much more afraid of us than we should be of them).  I enjoy attending the lectures with the Albuquerque International Association which has increased my understanding of the world.

Fr. Richard Rohr has offered me great spiritual mentoring starting more than 30 years ago when I studied his book on the ancient  Sufi wisdom of the enneagram.  His more recent writing, "The Universal Christ" has greatly aided my faith journey.  SOTV adult ed class on Centering Prayer is proving a challenge for a quiet , disciplined endeavor.

I first joined SOTV years ago when Phil Butin was the pastor but I was brought up as a Methodist and am still getting used to all the committees for committees in the Presbyterian tradition!  I was a SOTV deacon but had too little time then to devote to it and must say I am not fond of meetings, however, the zoom format has helped my participation!

My significant other, Tim Petre, is also a SOTV member, sings in the choir, has been a NM  educator for 25 years.  I come from a long line of educators but only survived one teacher college class before changing my major.  My medical background and experience included pediatrics but I really think motherhood was my best training for understanding pre-schoolers and their parents!

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall

I am Beth Marshall and I have lived in Albuquerque for 50 years. I graduated from Eastern New Mexico University and the University of New Mexico in communication disorders. I worked for APS as a speech/language pathologist for 36 years. Within the time I worked at four Title I schools and at an area office as a speech/language evaluator. At one school I was part of the side-by-side program. Most of my years were at Mission Avenue Elementary. During that time, I served kindergarten through fifth grade regular education and special education students. I served as Head Special Education Teacher, Support Team Chair, and the chairperson for the business partnership committee. I also worked on a part time basis at various preschools for Child Find.

In addition to my career, I adopted two daughters as a single parent. I have been a member of Shepherd of the Valley Church for approximately 12 years. Within retirement I have actively participated in the Chile Festival and as a deacon for 6 years. I tutored at Mission Avenue for 5 years, then at La Luz Elementary for 3 years through Project Shine. I helped to establish the book/book bag program through Project Shine. I also enjoy Project Linus and am currently a citywide team member, as well as working with the SOTV group.

Janice Beck


Janice Beck became involved with SOVP when the preschool was first established by Holly and she volunteered to help when her sons attended.  When her second son went off the college, Janice decided to reenter the teaching field and became a teacher at SOVP until she retired. While there, she especially enjoyed teaching Math, Science and Art to the Bears and watching the children grow and develop.  In her retirement, she enjoys spending time with her family and serving on & supporting the Boards and Outreach/Mission, Bible Studies, events & activities of Shepherd of the Valley Church and its very special preschool.  Recently, Janice has been painting and playing the piano. Janice majored in Elementary Education & Early Childhood with a minor in Art at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  While her husband finished his medical studies, she taught Kindergarten in three different states before moving to Albuquerque.

Kathryn Westerfield

Hello, I’m Kathryn Westerfield. I feel honored to be invited to stand for election for a position on the Shepherd of the Valley Preschool Board. My husband and I joined Shepherd of the Valley several years ago. Since that time, I have continued to be impressed by the sound and fundamental program it offers to children and the quality and commitment of their staff.

I was an active educator for more than 40 years. Though I have worked with children of all ages, my career primarily found me working with those in the pre-school to the upper elementary age group. I had the privilege of working with children from all different backgrounds. Many of the children faced significant life challenges, and many were in situations beyond their control. These children often lacked the security and stability that a school can provide. Whenever you work with children, you certainly must engage with their families. That home-to-school connection is vital for a child’s educational success. I feel this is also an area of experience that I bring with me.

Since my retirement I have tried to continue this work in part by joining with groups that provide intentional care and support for children. My efforts would include participating in  Wings For Life events, making quilts for the Linus Project, and my involvement in Project Shine at La Luz Elementary (where I attended first grade 67 years ago). Because I have seen that it is a vital part of the community here, I have also continued to support the Shepherd of the Valley Preschool. It continues to offer a safe, nurturing, and creative environment for children and their learning.

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson is a father of two boys, Heath (4.5) and River (nearly 2). Heath has attended SOV Preschool for 2 years, and both boys will be attending in the fall, so he's quite familiar with the staff and general workings of the preschool program. Mark's wife Cyndi is a former teacher and board member of another preschool so there's some familiarity with the processes involved as well, though Mark has not been directly involved himself yet.   Mark is the Head of Product and Lead Engineer for Hostfully, an internet startup in the travel industry, and has 20+ years of software and general IT experience to share. Hobbies include gaming, cooking, and competitive weightlifting (though not so much since the kids arrived).  Mark has been in Albuquerque for 6 years and is looking for new ways to become more deeply involved in the community.

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee has over 15 years of experience ensuring organizational success in the behavioral health field. She grew up in Albuquerque and moved away to receive her bachelor’s in psychology and criminology at Drury University and then went on to complete her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Christian Theological Seminary.  Her passion for helping people become the best version of themselves launched her into management, with promotions leading her into executive level positions at two mental health centers in Albuquerque.

In 2005, she moved back to Albuquerque to marry her high school sweetheart and they have two beautiful boys: Evan and Ethan.  When Sarah is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, going on hikes, playing Board games and feeding their two playful guinea pigs; Cuddles and Oreo.  She volunteers with her husband in the Marriage Ministry at Sagebrush Church and in 2022, she joined the SOTV Board.

Susan Keil Smith

Susan Keil Smith

Susan Keil Smith is a retired early childhood program administrator with more than 30 years experience in the field.  She has an MA in Family Studies and is on the boards of several community organizations as well as an active deacon at First Presbyterian Church and leadership with Presbyterian Women.

Tania Triolo

Tañia Triolo

Tañia Triolo is a native of Albuquerque, NM.  She has been married 41 years, has two grown daughters, and two grandsons.  Tañia, along with her husband Adam, operate some small business’ which have dealings in rental properties.  She likes to read, garden, practice yoga, and travel.  She and her husband spend a lot of time in San Francisco, CA. where one daughter and her family live.

Tañia attended the University of New Mexico, where she earned a Master of Science degree in Speech/Language Pathology. Upon earning her degree, she worked for Albuquerque Public Schools, Cooperative Educational Services, and in 2007 started her own privately-run business. In 2011 she retired from speech/language pathology and helped co-found New Mexico’s first charter school to offer all single gender classes for both boys and girls; Coral Community Charter School. She served on the governance council for Coral for eight years until July 2019. In addition to the Shepherd of the Valley Preschool board she serves on a board for My Native Sisters’ Fire, which advances causes for Native American Women and Children.

Charmayne Kilcup

Charmayne Kilcup PhD

Charmayne Kilcup PhD, is an Albuquerque native with a passion for education. Having attended A Child’s Garden as a preschooler, kindergartner, and then working as a staff member, Charmayne knows firsthand the value of compassionate and holistic play-based education.

She holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and a PhD in Research Psychology. In her private practice as a coach, she sees the importance of early childhood years on adolescent and adult well-being.

Charmayne has a thriving private practice and is author of Heal Your Heart. She married her husband, Walter, in 2018 and together they have a son and dog. Weekends you will find them enjoying outdoor adventures, camping, gardening, and enjoying chia seed pancakes.