BELEN — With a unanimous vote, the Belen Board of Education named Diane Vallejos the new superintendent of Belen Consolidated Schools.
Vallejos said she was excited to have the opportunity and was honored to be superintendent of Belen Schools.
“This is where my heart is,” said Vallejos Tuesday evening after the vote.
A Belen High School graduate, Vallejos was appointed interim superintendent Feb. 15. After she graduated from New Mexico Highlands University, Vallejos interned for a school in Sapello, N.M., in the East Las Vegas School District.
From there, she went to Pojoaque Valley Schools and taught for three years. She took three years off to begin her family before returning to Belen to teach part time.
All total, Vallejos has been with BCS for more than two decades.
“While I’ve been here, when people who aren’t from here talk about us, they talk about family and the welcoming feeling they get,” she said. “If outsiders see us that way, why wouldn’t I want to stay?”
Vallejos was the district director of special education from 2010 to 2015, before being named executive director of academics until 2016.
She also served as principal of La Promesa Elementary from 2005-10, was the program specialist for the special education department from 2003-05, and the IEP facilitator and a special education teacher at H.T. Jaramillo and Dennis Chavez elementary schools from 2000-03.
Vallejos has a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from New Mexico Highlands University and a master’s degree in special education from the University of New Mexico, with administrative licensure.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.