Administration Staff

Administration Staff


Todd Knouse

Todd Knouse

Head of School

I was born in Bend, Oregon, but moved to southern California with my mom shortly after being born. After high school, I went to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. I knew all along I wanted to be a teacher, and was lucky enough to get a teaching job in San Luis Obispo right after graduating.

During my first year teaching I met my wife-to-be, who was also a first year teacher. I taught for 10 years in elementary and middle school, and went back to school for my Master’s degree in Educational Administration before we moved to Albuquerque. When we came to Albuquerque, I worked as a teacher trainer for Albuquerque Public Schools for four years. In 2011, I was hired to open NMIS as a brand-new school. I have been leading the school since we opened our doors, witnessing us grow from a tiny start-up to the amazing school we are today.

My wife and I are blessed with three great kids. Our two oldest are in high school, and our youngest is a student here at NMIS.

Julia Rivera-Tapia

Julia Rivera-Tapia

School Director

Julia Rivera-Tapia graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Education. Her teaching career began in the summer of 2005. In 2009 she moved to New York to obtain a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. Mrs. Rivera-Tapia was an intern principal at Coronado Elementary School where she had the privilege to learn from an amazing principal. In 2010 she obtained her administrator license but made the choice to remain in the class as I was also a new mother. Sub-Directora Rivera-Tapia is passionate about bilingual education and witnessing the magic when students begin to read and write! Besides teaching kindergarten, she has been a first grade teacher, early childhood liaison, an instructional coach, an IB coordinator, and has served as a school leader in many capacities as well as an advocate in non-profit organizations throughout the community. Mrs. Rivera-Tapia has experienced the growth of New Mexico International School, and is truly fortunate to be able to be a part of this new phase. Mrs. Rivera-Tapia is married to Luis and they have three amazing children, two guinea pigs, and a dog named Cachito (because he is really tiny).

Corinne Teller

Finance Director

 and Raised in Albuquerque, NM, I graduated from Valley High School and then went on to graduate from UNM. After graduating, I lived in Chicago and Florida. I have always been interested in the diverse education offered through charter schools. I am not seen at the school very often because I am often in my office crunching numbers, doing what I can to drive the finances behind our successful school. I love working in an office, working with the numbers an helping with the students when I can. I have been with NMIS since it opened in 2011 and marvel at how much the school has grown since then.  Although I have been in finance for several years this is my first job working at a school- working around children and parents who appreciate the benefits of a charter school like NMIS makes it even more enjoyable to come to work! I love the sounds of kids working, playing and learning to speak multiple languages.


Paula Popp

Operations Manager

I was born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland. Moved to ABQ in 2016 to be closer to a sibling who has lived here since 1980.

I received an Asssociate of Arts degree in a nursing focused curriculum, but I’m not a nurse. Instead decided to follow an administrative vs. clinical career.  I’ve worked in a variety of settings including healthcare, research and educational institutions. 

My pride and joy is my daughter who has a successful financial career in NYC. 

Since moving to ABQ, I’ve rescued a Red Heeler named Bella, learned to appreciate a rainy/overcast day, and decided that I prefer GREEN chile to red!

Carmen Farello


No bio available at this time

Eliza Gutierrez


I worked for the Public Schools and the Public Education Department for over 35 years. I retired in 2013 from Bernalillo Public Schools. I am truly enjoying substituting in the classrooms here at New Mexico International School and working at the front desk.

Grace Castillo

Health Assistant

I was born in Minatitlan in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. My family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when I was six years old. When I was young I would always think that I would end up being a Veterinarian, Dentist or a mechanic; yes, a mechanic. I love cars, but I see that more as a hobby. In 2013 I decided to go to college; I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to put down as my major, so I went with my first choice that was Veterinary. One year later I decided to change my major to Dental Assistant and move up from there. In the Fall of 2015 I decided to put school on hold but see myself working at a Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics clinic in the near future. I have been with my high school sweetheart for 10 years; as of now we don’t have any kids yet. In February 2019 I got the amazing opportunity to be part of a fantastic work team at NMIS. I enjoy what I do here at NMIS; I love that I am able to assist students with their first aid needs, illnesses, any other health issues, and seeing the students evolve as time passes.



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7215 Montgomery Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
(505) 503-7670