NEW LEADER FOR SCHOOL BOARDS GROUP

So­corro school board mem­ber is pres­i­dent of state group

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY WANDA MOELLER EL DEFENSOR CHIEF­TAIN EDITOR

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.

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