(EDITOR’S NOTE: The names of all applicants for the Los Lunas Schools superintendent position were provided to the News-Bulletin on Wednesday, July 19, after print deadline and will not appear in the Thursday, July 20, print edition of the paper.)

LOS LUNAS — The finalists for the Los Lunas Schools superintendent position have been narrowed down to three individuals who the community will have the opportunity to meet Monday, June 24.

Elena Trodden

LLS Director of Language Innovations Elena Trodden is among the finalists. Trodden has served LLS since beginning her career in education in 1997 as a teacher,  principal and assistant principal in the district. Since 2014, Trodden has been one of the district’s directors, responsible for various academic programs and initiatives.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of New Mexico and has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UNM and a master’s degree in school administration from Wayland Baptist University.

Ryan Kettler

Ryan Kettler PhD, who is currently serving as the principal of Rio Rancho High School, is also among the finalists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Wayland Baptist University.

Kettler earned a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas/Permian Basin, and he obtained his certification in educational leadership through New Mexico Highlands University. He earned his PhD in physical education from the University of New Mexico, and currently teaches classes through Southwestern University in Hobbs.

His undergraduate degree pertains to legal and ethical issues in exercise and sports sciences, and he teaches graduate level classes regarding operations and fiscal management and instructional leadership.

Curtis Clough

LLS superintendent finalist Curtis Clough currently serves as the superintendent for Hagerman Municipal Schools. He has worked at various levels of administration in several school districts, and is a graduate of Ohio State University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in social studies. He attended the University of Akron, Ohio, and completed a master’s degree in physical education with a focus on sport administration/marketing.

He acquired his secondary principal certification from Bowling Green State University, in Ohio; and has also completed his dissertation coursework at the University of Toledo.

The LLS board of education will be hosting a meet and greet from 6-8 p.m.,  Monday, July 24, for community members to meet and interact with the finalists. This will be held at the Terri Ortiz Teacher Resource Center, 801 Coronado Road NE, Los Lunas. The new superintendent is expected to be announced at the Tuesday, July 25, board of education meeting.

All applicants:

  • Brian Baca: Baca is currently the Deputy Superintendent of LLS and is a state representative. He is responsible for the supervision and oversight of maintenance, athletics, transportation and safety and security at LLS. 
  • Keith Bausman: Bausman is currently the assistant superintendent of human resources at Hazelwood Schools in Saint Louis, Mo. 
  • Nicea Chavez: Chavez, from Las Vegas, N.M., was most recently a middle and high school principal at the Peñasco Independent School District. 
  • Susan Chavez: Chavez is the Chief Student Services Officer at LLS. She currently oversees  early childhood education, educational technology, health and wellness, Medicaid services in the schools, Native American education, social emotional learning and special education. 
  • Jed Duggan: Duggan is from Las Cruces and is the director for student success at Gadsden Independent School District.
  • Katherine House: House is the director of elementary learning innovations at LLS. Prior to joining Los Lunas, Katherine served as a dual certified teacher, special education instructional leader, school site assistant principal, principal and principal support specialist between Rio Rancho and Albuquerque Public Schools.
  • George Martin: Martin, from Gilbert, Az., is currently the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and programs at Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind.
  • Kay Morris: Morris, from Albuquerque, is the associate superintendent at Pojoaque Valley School District in Santa Fe.
  • Dave Plymale: Plymale, from Goliad, Texas, is a leadership and educational consultant and regional director. He was among the finalists originally selected for interviews, but decided to step down after further discussion with his family.
  • Gregory Rockhold: Rockhold, from Hobbs, N.M., was recently a director of programs and interim principal at 21 sites with Hobbs Municipal Schools and Regional Education Cooperative VII.
  • Robert Sims: Sims is currently the assistant principal at Los Lunas High School and is a dissertation committee content expert and principal mentor at Grand Canyon University.
  • Katherine Trujillo: Trujillo, from Los Lunas, is currently the special projects coordinator and educational consultant in the community engagement division of the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. 


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Felina Martinez was born and raised in Valencia County. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2021. During her time at UNM, she studied interdisciplinary film, digital media and journalism. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, the School of Dreams Academy and the town of Peralta.