CYFD Recognizes Six Employees of the Month


New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) and Cabinet Secretary Dorian Dodson recently recognized six outstanding employees as Employees of the Month.

The recipients are Steve Hendrix of Early Childhood Services (ECS), Naomi Larkin of Youth & Family Services (YFS), Edwina Leal of Protective Services (PS), and Kathleen Blatchley, Michael Foster and Jody Stone-Mitotes, all representing Juvenile Justice Services (JJS).

Hendrix, a CYFD employee for more than 17 years, is the data unit manager for ECS and is that division’s Employee of the Month for April. Noted for his dedication and innovative ideas, he recently created and implemented a tool that aids child care eligibility interviewers in calculating client co-pays and income. The new tool provides time savings and helps reduce the risk of errors.

Larkin is a juvenile probation and parole officer for Rio Arriba County and was honored as the YFS Employee of the Month for February. She is noted for her strong bonds with her clients and her willingness to go above and beyond for the betterment of their families. She is also commended for being a team player and role model for her co-workers.

Leal, the PS Employee of the Month for April, is an investigator in Roswell. Leal’s genuine care for the children she comes in contact with has been demonstrated countless times by her going beyond her job title to put a smile on their faces and making them feel safe. She has orchestrated birthday and holiday parties for kids who otherwise would have missed those celebrations and has put her heart into everything she does.

Blatchley, Foster and Stone-Mitotes share the JJS Employee of the Month award for April.

Blatchley, a registered nurse at the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center in Albuquerque, is noted for her enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism. She constantly strives to improve the YDDC medical program while providing excellent nursing services.

Foster is a math teacher at Aztec Youth Academy at the John Paul Taylor Center in Las Cruces. Known as a teacher who will go out of his way to help students who need extra assistance, Foster uses “real world” examples to help students understand why math is such an important subject. He is also noted for implementing new strategies and techniques to make math more exciting and easier to comprehend for students who have had poor experiences in the subject.

Stone-Mitotes, a registered nurse at Camino Nuevo, has been called a “one-of-a-kind nurse” by her supervisor as she goes above and beyond her duties to help both clients and staff at the Albuquerque facility. An example of her can-do attitude came at Christmas, when she spent many non-work hours cooking and serving for a client celebration.

CYFD thanks all six honorees for their dedication and commitment to the children and families of New Mexico.