Throughout my time in education — as a teacher, a school leader and a superintendent — I’ve been driven by the personal values I learned growing up here in Valencia County.
Returning to this community as superintendent is without question an opportunity of a lifetime. As I step into this new role, I intend to earn and maintain your trust and support to foster a culture of learning, growth and opportunity. I know that Valencia County’s greatest opportunity can be found in its diversity.
To turn an opportunity into a strength, we must work together to meet the needs of all of our students and provide every student with a world-class education. That can only be done with excellent teaching and learning in safe and high-quality classrooms.
I’ve spent most of my entire life in and around schools. I grew up in my mother’s classroom and then earned one of my own. Along the way, I’ve held positions at every level — from classroom teacher to district superintendent. I started my career in education nearly 25 years ago, serving some of the most vulnerable and at-risk students in our state. I have been fortunate to teach in multi-age settings, allowing students to find their individual successes unique to each learner. The opportunity to be a teacher has instilled in me to unequivocally always put students first.
For the last four years, I’ve had the great opportunity to serve as superintendent of the Deming Public Schools — a border town in southern New Mexico. Despite the miles between these districts, there is a great deal of similarity, and I’ve built a track record improving outcomes, strengthening finances, and setting students on pathways to college or a career. When I started in Deming, our district ranked 89 out of 89 in the state. And as I leave, that district is now held up as a model for innovative instructional practices.
I share this background because I am confident that we will generate similar results here in Los Lunas for your children. We will be the premier school district in the state of New Mexico by exemplifying high levels of learning for all students, and that work will start by ensuring we continue to deliver high-quality remote learning opportunities while we plan for a swift and safe reopening in the weeks and months ahead.
Growing up in Valencia County, I’ve always known Los Lunas Schools as a community that is filled with tradition and promise. I am eager to be a part of this future. I have a close commitment to providing our students with access to a high-quality education that will prepare them for a bright future.
I also have a deep sense of commitment to each of you. I am committed to advancing equity and excellence in every classroom across Los Lunas Schools. I have a belief in the power of education to increase opportunity for every child every day. This is done regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background or family background.
At a personal and family level, I am so excited and grateful to be a part of this community. Instantly, I feel at home and have been welcomed by everyone I have encountered in these first weeks here. It did not take long for me to realize that I share the values and aspirations that so many in this community hold dear.
Together, we have many years of important work ahead of us to prepare our students — from the youngest learners to adults leaders — to become citizens and leaders of tomorrow. We are called to pass the torch to the next generation through our collective efforts.
As your superintendent, working closely with the Los Lunas Board of Education, Los Lunas Schools staff, and — most importantly — parents, I’ll set out to expand opportunity and ensure that we’re only investing in the things that work. Together, we’ll expand our Career Technical Education Programs and create pathways for students to experience sciences, arts and cultural studies to help prepare them for college or a career —or both. We’ll improve student performances in math and reading at every grade level. And through our work, we’ll increase graduation rates.
As I step into this new role, I know that success will not be possible without the incredible educators and staff serving across our district. Our educators and staff have played such a vital role in the recent months with tireless effort and commitment for our students and families. Their work has been critical.
With a pandemic still raging, this may not be the easiest time to transition into leading a school district. It is, however, a crucial moment for strong, collaborative and innovative leadership.
The last 11 months have been like nothing any of us have experienced. Educators were called upon to pivot to a very different model of teaching and learning, and families were asked to play an absolutely critical role in their child’s education. Strong teaching and learning is more important than ever.
Students must have access to technology and broadband internet. We must provide students with excellent virtual and in-person learning environments, and classrooms need to be safe learning environments for our students and staff.
I want to thank you for your patience, your courage, your flexibility and, most importantly, your partnership as we work to build a stronger district for your children.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be a new member of Los Lunas Schools. I look forward to learning more about the strengths of our schools and our community as well as the aspirations we share for our remarkable community. A strong relationship built on trust will serve to continue delivering outstanding results for the children of Los Lunas Schools.
(Dr. Arsenio Romero, the new superintendent of Los Lunas Schools, began his new position this week.)