NEW LEADER FOR SCHOOL BOARDS GROUP
Socorro school board member is president of state group
Pauline Jaramillo, a Socorro school board member, was chosen by her colleagues to head the state association.
Longtime Socorro Consolidated School Board member Pauline Jaramillo was recently elected by her colleagues to be president of the New Mexico School Boards Association for 2019.
Jaramillo is serving her third term as a member of the Socorro Consolidated School Board, and last year, she served as president-elect of the association. She previously served as Region IV president.
In 2017, Jaramillo was named School Board Member of the Year.
Her recent appointment took place in Albuquerque during the annual convention of the New Mexico School Boards Association at the Embassy Suites Hotel. During the convention, school board members from across the state listened to keynote speakers and participated in formative breakout sessions.
In 2009, Jaramillo was elected to the local board of education in Socorro, determined to support the local school system, its teachers and employees. While some faces have changed, many of the issues have not.
“Funding, teacher shortages and declining test scores are some of the issues we have been struggling with,” she said. “We have identified these issues locally and have worked on addressing them at the state level as well.”
Jaramillo got involved in the New Mexico School Boards Association soon after whe was elected to the school board.
“I attended the NMSBA’s institute in Santa Fe a few days after my election,” she said. “The association brought in more than 150 newly elected school board members to provide training on roles and responsibilities, brief us on hot legislative topics, and allowed us time to meet with our local legislative leaders at the capital to ask for their support on various education and funding issues.”
Shortly after that she attended the NMSBA Spring Region IV meeting with board members from 13 central New Mexico school districts that she wanted to become more involved. Her involvement got her elected as a region officer and later a region president, state officer and now president of the organization.
Jaramillo’s priorities as president include making certain NMSBA is a resource for development and support for local school boards.
She also intends to advocate for educational issues at the state Legislature and Congress. These concerns include ensuring schools receive enough funding for local decision-making and preventing unfunded mandates.
Other priorities include leadership development services and training for local school boards, all while encouraging partnerships with elected officials and other educational organizations to help improve New Mexico schools.
One of the tough challenges Jaramillo will face is getting support for sufficient school funding.
“Many critical programs and services have been reduced or eliminated over the last several years,” she said. “Plus, there are teacher and principal pay and shortages. The pay for our teachers and principals must be increased. We must recruit more teachers into the teaching profession. The number of children being taught by substitute teachers is unacceptable.”
School safety also must be a priority, she said.
“We must continue to make our schools a safe place for children by providing resources for school security officers, school safety systems as well as school counseling and mental health screening,” Jaramillo said.
And if there’s one thing Jaramillo is passionate about it’s that parents should encourage and support their children’s education. “Spend time and read to your child. Be active in your child’s school and be a role model for learning. Do all these things to make your child successful,” she said.
Pauline Jaramillo, center, with her husband, Robert, and other family members, takes the oath of office as president of the New Mexico School Boards Association in Santa Fe earlier this month. Jaramillo was first elected to the Socorro board of education in 2009.