Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing announced several new administrative assignments and appointments for the upcoming school year. In addition, Ewing announced the elimination of several administrative positions which were currently vacant or restructured.

“The goal of this restructuring is to return about $300,000 in funding back to our schools for the next school year,” Ewing said. “Since our fiscal year begins July 1, these changes are a result of strategic planning for the next school year.”
The new assignments and appointments are as follows:

Dr. Maria Artiaga, formerly Director of Head Start, was named Executive Director of Federal Programs, effective Jan. 31.

Dr. Steven Sanchez, formerly Interim LCPS Superintendent, was named Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and Student Information, effective June 1.

Dr. Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, formerly Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, was named Chief Academic Officer, effective June 1.

Tiffany Gomez, formerly Assistant Superintendent of Leadership, was named Chief Leadership Officer, effective June 1.

Ed Ellison, formerly Interim Chief Financial Officer, was named Chief Financial Officer, effective March 6.

Heather Kingery, formerly Executive Director of Leadership, was named Assistant Superintendent of Middle Schools, effective June 1.

Michael Montoya, formerly Principal at Centennial High School, was named Assistant Superintendent of Operations and High Schools, effective March 26. Ewing said Montoya will maintain his role as principal for the duration of the 17-18 school year to assist the school administration during the transition period.

Christina Mullins, formerly Director of Student Information Systems, was named Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems, Data and Research, effective March 26.

Jed Hendee, formerly Principal at Las Cruces High School, was named Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, effective June 1. Like Montoya, Ewing said Hendee will maintain his role as principal for the duration of the 17-18 school year to assist the school administration during the transition period.

Vicki Campos was named Executive Director of Online Learning and Teacher Training, effective March 5.

Amanda Esquibel was named Director of Nutrition Services, effective March 12.

Dr. Christina Freeman was named Director of Head Start. Since this position requires approval at the national level, the effective date is contingent upon national approval.

Josh Silver, formerly Assistant Principal at Arrowhead Park Early College High School, was named Director of Teaching and Learning and Online Programs, effective June 1.

Edwanda Williams, formerly Human Resources Coordinator, was named Associate Director of Nutrition Services, effective March 6.

Sean Barham, formerly Coordinator of Transportation and Risk Management, was named Associate Director of Operations and Security, effective March 6.

The vacant or restructured administration positions which will be eliminated next school year are as follows:

Chief Officer of Strategic Planning, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Executive Assistant to the Superintendent.

Districtwide Safety and Security Discussed

In order to get feedback about current safety and security measures across the district, Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing announced that LCPS will host a districtwide school safety meeting Wednesday, March 7, in the LCPS Administration Building Board Room, 505 S. Main Street, Suite 249.

In addition to soliciting feedback from school safety committees, Ewing said he has spoken at length with school principals about safety and security and asked them to speak with staff and students about what to do during an emergency at a school building.

Following Ewing’s comments, Thomas, the student advisory committee representative, said the Student Advisory Council is committed to working with the district to ensure stronger security measures are put in place to protect our schools. He also mentioned that SAC members were glad to see schools practicing safety protocols and implementing additional security measures.

Reorganization of the LCPS Board of Education

As part of the Board of Education’s annual reorganization, Ed Frank was named the new LCPS Board of Education President, Terrie Dallman was named Vice President and Maury Castro was named the Board Secretary, all by a unanimous vote.

“I wanted to thank you for allowing me to serve as President for the last three years. It has been a pleasure and honor to serve,” Flores said. “I initially was only going to serve two years and Dr. Ewing convinced me to serve an additional year. Moving forward, this shows I believe in shared leadership and trust my fellow board members and Dr. Ewing.”

In addition, Frank and Castro retained their committee seats on the LCPS finance committee and the audit committee, Flores and Jaramillo retained their committee seats at Doña Ana Community College Advisory Board, and the Board voted to have a rotating schedule of Board Members on the LCPS Foundation Committee.

Following the vote, several board members thanked Flores for her leadership. Echoing the board members comments, Ewing said, “From the first interview I had here, I felt the support of Señora Flores. In my role, all incidents are reported to the Board President, so the members of our audience may not always realize that there is a constant line of communication between us.”

He went on to say, “You truly believe in the district, you truly believe in teaching and these are the values we all share. Thank you for your guidance and support and thank you for helping me to become the leader I am today.

Head Start Program Changes

Executive Director of Federal Program Dr. Maria Artiaga explained that the Head Start program is transitioning to an electronic application process for the 2018-19 school year.

Following the presentation, Board President Maria Flores asked Artiaga to solicit feedback from staff and parents about the new process and give a follow-up report about the effectiveness of the new electronic application process.

Head Start is an optional early childhood program, funded by the federal government, which provides educational and support services to children and families who fall within federal poverty guidelines. The program is headquartered at Booker T. Washington Elementary School.

Construction Projects Update

During a report about ongoing construction projects in the district, Director of Construction Gloria Martinez reported that Las Cruces High School Phase II is currently scheduled to be approximately 90 percent complete by mid-April. She also mentioned that the Northwest side of one of the LCHS Classroom wings will be re-roofed during the summer, since an issue with the existing roof was discovered during construction.

Martinez said the Mayfield High School kitchen remodel project is on schedule to be completed by the end of the school year, which will allow the facility to be used at the start of the following semester.

Kindergarten Online Registration

Director of Student Information Systems Christina Mullins announced that online kindergarten registration is live, as of March 1, on the LCPS website.

“The registration process is available in English and Spanish, thanks to the hard work of the bilingual department which translated all of the content,” Mullins said

Mullins explained that parents use their parentVUE account to access the kindergarten registration process via the link on the left-hand side of the LCPS district website.

Ethnic Studies and Restorative Justice Updates

Andres Armijo, Executive Director for Student Success & Restorative Justice, said the restorative justice program is in the process of creating several subcommittees who will help develop an abstract plan for the program. He also discussed a plan to keep the restorative justice program at the six pilot program schools, in order to further study the program’s effectiveness before implementing the program districtwide.

Armijo also discussed a plan to host ethnic studies forums, in conjunction with New Mexico State University, for teachers and students. In addition, Armijo said the ethnic studies task force reviewed social studies standards and benchmarks to identify potential integration strategies and opportunities for ethic studies.

Migrant Education Program

Migrant Program recruiter Bernardo Lopez Casas described the recent growth of the Migrant Education program. Migrant Education is a United States Department of Education program that provides a variety of supplemental educational and support services to eligible migrant children.

“If a family qualifies for the program, based on the occupational survey they submit, they are contacted by the program officials and offered resources and support services through the program,” Lopez Casas said. “Currently we have the largest migrant program in the state.”

Lopez Casas explained that the program has continued to rapidly expand since the program hired recruiters. In 2014, prior to the introduction of recruiters, the program served 39 students. After regional recruiters were hired, the number of students served grew to 54 in 2015, 84 in 2016 and 263 in 2017.

This year the program has already served more than 203 students, even though the peak harvesting season is just beginning, Lopez Casas said.

The Board of Education unanimously thanked the migrant education program staff for their hard work, passion, outreach and dedication.

Innoventure, Jr. Promotes Entrepreneurship

Amada Bradford, program manager at Arrowhead Center, discussed the Innoventure, Jr program, an elementary school program which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation through education and training.

Bradford said the program offers a variety of free teaching resources, some of which are bilingual, such as activity books, videos and hand-on classroom projects. Bradford said that the program is currently being utilized in about 24 elementary school classrooms.

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Broadband and Master Planning Services Approved

The Board of Education unanimously approved the award of two district Requests For Proposals (RFP)—one for category one broadband connectivity and another for facilities master planning services.

The category one broadband connectivity RFP was awarded to Unite Private Networks, based on the recommendation of the RFP selection committee. Chief Financial Officer Ed Ellison said LCPS will only responsible for approximately five percent of the total cost.

The facilities master planning services RFP was awarded to Architectural Research Consultants, based on the recommendation of the RFP selection committee. Ellison said the will only be responsible for approximately 34 percent of the total cost.

Earlier this year, the district was awarded up to $247,949 in grant funding to assist with the development of a districtwide five-year facilities master plan. The five-year FMP is required for LCPS to apply for Public School Capital Outlay funding to assist with capital construction projects.

-LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren,, (575) 527-5808