Two familiar faces will be in the halls of Belen High School and La Promesa Elementary School next year.
The Belen School Board named Joe Trujillo as the new Belen High School principal and rehired Richard Tafoya for the La Promesa position on Tuesday.
Trujillo, currently an assistant principal at Los Lunas High School, will fill the position that has been vacant since Dr. Terry Greer’s retirement in December.
Tafoya was appointed administrator at La Promesa Elementary in August, when then-principal Bernadette Molina was promoted to director of human resources. At the time, Tafoya was an assistant principal at the high school.
Even though he was the acting administrator, Tafoya was required to apply and interview for the position for a 2002-03 contract.
“I’m glad to get my wings back and to come home,” Trujillo said upon hearing of his new position.
The Belen High Class of 1967 graduate taught special education at his alma mater from 1977 to 1998. During that time, he also coached football.
He left Belen to pursue administrative positions at Truth or Consequences for one year and Los Lunas for three years.
“When we were looking for a new principal, we wanted someone who understands the community and is part of the community. We got someone who is from here but has been able to get experience elsewhere which he can bring back to his hometown,” Board President Julian Luna said.
“He has been exposed to different programs from different areas. If a new idea is going to benefit our kids we are open to it.”
Of the seven applicants, Luna said, Trujillo seemed to have ideas that will fit in with Superintendent Don Duran’s goals for the district.
“I am looking forward to Joe Trujillo’s leadership. Our high school is fortunate to have an administrator who will focus on providing a safe learning environment and a continuation of academic excellence at Belen High,” Duran said.
“The board and I have great confidence in his ability to lead our school in meeting the goals set by the district, including a ninth grade academy and a career academy.”