BELEN—Belen Middle School’s new principal sees herself as someone who can help students make good decisions that will lead to positive outcomes.
Jamie Romero, who was the assistant principal at Belen High School for the last five years, enjoys working with middle school students.
“It’s a time to see them transitioning from a kid to a young adult,” Romero said. “This is time when they realize their decisions can open doors.”
Romero earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary education from the University of New Mexico and received her administrative license from Eastern New Mexico University.
She taught for a semester in 2003 at BHS before going to the middle to teach social studies from the fall of 2005 to January of 2013.
Romero was asked to be the assistant principal at La Merced Elementary for the second half of the 2013 school year before moving to the high school that fall.
“I enjoy the age groups, middle and high school,” she said. “I saw the move to the middle school as a great opportunity in my career. I always want to keep going, have new experiences.
“This puts me in a position to help (students) make positive decisions.”
Romero said, as a leader, she works to build relationships with students, teachers and parents.
“I want to support our teachers and offer them input. It’s important to develop teacher leadership,” she said. “We have to work hand-in-hand with our students to promote their learning and success.”
This year, the middle school has a slightly modified block schedule which features math and English Language Arts on a daily basis.
The early release Wednesdays implemented district wide this year is used to let teachers focus on student data and develop Professional Learning Communities.
“This gives us more time to plan and look at student growth,” Romero said.
Also new this year is a block of life skills classes all seventh-graders are taking. Offerings include subjects such as relationship building and career planning. Students will rotate to a new class every nine weeks.
“This will tie into the high school redesign to help students focus on and plan for their goals after high school,” Romero said. “I want parents to know, I want to build relationships; I am open and communicative. I feel that I am here to serve.”
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.