From the villages of Cochiti, Ohkay Owhingeh, and Santo Domingo, Trisha Moquino did her schooling in her villages’ local public schools, earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University, her Master’s degree in Bilingual Education from the University of New Mexico, and completed her Montessori certification at the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. Her master’s thesis (2000) laid out the vision for what would eventually become the Keres Children’s Learning Center (KCLC).
Moquino has taught in public, private, and BIA schools. As a public school teacher in 2006, Moquino realized she was perpetuating an educational system that didn’t work for many Indigenous children, that she wouldn’t put her own daughters in her classroom, and that she wanted a different education for her own and other Pueblo children. Moquino envisioned an education that would support Keres language and cultural learning as well as academic development. With those goals in mind and her background in bilingual and Montessori education, she co-founded KCLC, which opened in 2012 as a Keres-immersion early childhood classroom using Montessori pedagogy. It has since expanded to include a Montessori dual-language Elementary classroom.