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Dr. Arsenio Romero, left, superintendent of Los Lunas Schools, was named Administrator of the Year by the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders on July 21. Melissa Galaz, center, president of the New Mexico Association of Elementary Principals and principal of a Las Cruces elementary school, presented Romero with the award. Stan Rounds, president of the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders, right, was also present at the event.

LOS LUNAS — The New Mexico Coalition of Education Leaders named Dr. Arsenio Romero as its Administrator of the Year at their annual summer conference.

Romero began working with Los Lunas Schools at the beginning of the year, and previously served as superintendent of Deming Public Schools. He also serves as a regent for New Mexico State University.

“What I’m really excited about is that it’s a recognition from my peers,” Romero said. “They are the ones that voted on this. So, you have all your superintendents, you have all principals, both secondary, elementary being able to vote on these things, different recognitions.”

Romero believes the award is not a reflection of the work he did with any single school district or organization, but rather all encompassing of his 25 years in education.

“It makes you realize that this is a hard job. There’s a lot of things that happen. This is part of some recognition about why we do it,” Romero said. “The reason we do it is really to make lives better for kids.”

In addition to positions within the New Mexico public education system, Romero is also Turnaround Leader for Principals Pursuing Excellence and an adjunct professor for both Eastern New Mexico University and New Mexico State University. He was also named to the Governor of New Mexico’s Central Racial Equity Committee in the summer of 2020.

“Some of the things I love to do are developing leaders.” Romero said. “I want these principles to be better principals. I do a lot of that work with new superintendents.”

He added that every year, about a third of superintendents are new to the position. Through the New Mexico Superintendents Association, he is able to take a group of the greener superintendents under his wing to show them the ropes of the job.

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.