podcastED: New Mexico siblings enjoy customized education thanks to ‘multiple choice’ mom

The Guerra family: parents Ashley and Keith and children Caden and Emma

On this episode, reimaginED senior writer Lisa Buie talks with Ashley Guerra, a New Mexico parent who for years has customized the education of her two children, Caden, 12, and Emma, 10. New Mexico, while offering robust public school choice, does not have a private school choice option.

Guerra and her husband, Keith, began by observing their children’s learning styles, making notes on how they absorb material. Then they modeled an education program based on Caden and Emma’s strengths.


“We … are constantly open to changing arrangements as we see them evolve in their educational journey. We really engage them in regular discussion so we can see how they feel they are doing. We want our children to feel fully invested in their education. We want them to take ownership, so their educational experience remains a complete reflection of themselves, their desires, and their areas of interests.”


  • Guerra children’s strengths and interests
  • An inventory of the various education models the family has used over the years
  • How Guerra’s serious illness required different arrangements for her children
  • How the Guerra children could benefit from expanded choice in New Mexico, including an education savings account program

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BY Lisa Buie

Lisa Buie is senior reporter for NextSteps. The daughter of a public school superintendent, she spent more than a dozen years as a reporter and bureau chief at the Tampa Bay Times before joining Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa, where she served for nearly five years as marketing and communications manager. She lives with her husband and their teenage son, who has benefited from education choice.