On Stands Now
May 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Photo by Dylan R. N. Crabb Questa Headstart Director, Rosie Sanchez, in classroom with 3 to 5 year-olds.Photo by Dylan R. N. Crabb Questa Headstart Director, Rosie Sanchez, in classroom with 3 to 5 year-olds.

Questa Headstart; An Essential Resource

Questa Headstart is an essential resource for early childhood education. Their dedicated team has created a fun, safe and productive learning environment for children ages 3– 5. Director Rosie Sanchez has been with Headstart since 1993. She came initially as a parent of a child at Headstart and her love of the place continued to grow and develop. Rosie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2004.

Vanessa Wilson is a teacher’s aide whom Rosie calls her right-hand. Vanessa started at Enos Garcia YDI (Youth Development Inc., Headstart’s parent company) and, after one year, transferred to Questa Headstart where she has been for four years. Vanessa is finishing up her Associates in Early Childhood Education at UNM-Taos. Her daughter Nevaeh, comes with her and attends Questa Headstart. (Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backwards!)

Joelle Pacheco, of Amalia, has been the Headstart cook for three years. When she is not in the kitchen she helps out a lot in the classroom. The three dedicated staff members love their jobs and keep the place running smoothly. It is a great program, and truly gives the students a head start — they love coming to school and benefit from the social environment of the classroom. Rosie, Vanessa and Joelle make sure to make learning experiences enjoyable for everyone.

Headstart Courtesy Photo Questa Headstart Staff at Christmas 2022; from left to right is Headstart cook Joelle Pacheco, Director Rosie Sanchez, Chris Williams and Sharon Borges masquerading as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Vanessa Wilson, and “Grandma Gloria,” Gloria Martinez from the Foster Grandparent Program.

Walk into the classroom and you will immediately see it is just brimming with the energy and activity of 20 happy children. Twenty is their absolute maximum number for students and they are not accepting any new ones at this time.

The room is divided into sections, each with a name (science room, reading room, etc.) and the students are directed to one group or split up into several groups to different sections, a very systematic approach.. From there the kids largely have free reign in what activities they would like to engage in. If conflict arises between children, Rosie makes sure to communicate clearly with those involved, having them face each other and acknowledge each other’s concerns.

Rosie is passionate about making sure the kids have the reading skills they need to continue advancing through school. “Our job is to make sure the kids know every letter of the alphabet and all the sounds to improve their reading skills,” Rosie explained.

Headstart is in session beginning at 7:30 am, breakfast is served at 8:30 am, lunch is at 11:30 am. The children get snacks at 1:30 pm, before going home at 2 pm. Questa Headstart is located at 148 Embargo Road and can be reached at (575) 586-0585.