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Posted August 12, 2015

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25 APS Schools Have New Principals for 2015-16

15 elementary, seven middle and three high schools got new principals this school year.

The Albuquerque Public Schools have named new principals at 15 elementary schools, seven middle schools and three high schools for the 2015-16 school year.

      “We are happy to be starting the school year with almost all our principal positions filled,” said APS Supt. Dr. Luis Valentino. “It is important that these instructional leaders be in place to enhance student learning at the beginning of the year.”

      Elementary Schools -

      Patricia Gallegos, who had been principal at Lowell Elementary, is the new principal at San Antonito Elementary School. Gallegos, who holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix, has been with the district since 2007. She replaces Ellen Cromer, who retired.

      Paloma Aranda, who holds a master’s in educational leadership from UNM, is the new principal at Valle Vista Elementary. Aranda, who had been a teacher and instructional coach at Lowell Elementary since 2006, replaces Theresa Archuleta, who took a position with a charter school.

      Jacqueline Lovato, who had been principal at Pajarito Elementary since 2010, is the new principal at Chaparral. Lovato holds a master’s in elementary education from UNM. She replaces Florence Goldberg, who retired.

      Debra Larribas, who had been an assistant principal at Mary Ann Binford Elementary since 2013, is the new principal at Pajarito Elementary. She replaced Jacqueline Lovato, who left to become principal at Chaparral. She holds master’s degrees in special education and environmental engineering from UNM. Larribas joined the district as an educational assistant at S.R. Marmon Elementary in 1999.

      Denise Sandy-Sanchez, who had been at East San Jose Elementary, is the interim principal at Inez Elementary. Sandy-Sanchez, who holds a master’s degree in education from UNM, is filling in for Cindy Bazner, who is on extended leave.

      Mario Marquez, who had been an assistant principal at Roosevelt Mid-School, is the new principal at East San Jose Elementary. Marquez, who holds a master’s in educational administration from the University of the Southwest, had been at Roosevelt since 2014. He replaces Denise Sandy-Sanchez, who is the interim principal at Inez Elementary.

      Holly Hargrove, who was an assistant principal at Governor Bent Elementary last year, is the new principal at Arroyo del Oso Elementary. Hargrove, who has worked in APS schools since 2004, holds a master’s in secondary education from UNM. She replaces Stephen Maresca, who passed away last year.

      Julieta Contreras, who was an assistant principal at Barcelona Elementary last year, is the new principal at Lowell Elementary. Contreras has taught in APS schools since 2008. She replaces Patricia Gallegos, who is the new principal at San Antonito.

      Deborah Mathen, who holds a master’s in in language, literacy and sociocultural studies from UNM, is the new principal at Bandelier Elementary. She had been an assistant principal at Mary Ann Binford and has taught for the district for 14 years. Mathen replaces Glenda Armstrong, who retired.

      Katherine Trujillo, who holds a master’s in instructional leadership, is the new principal at Barcelona Elementary. She replaces Sam Candelaria, who retired. Trujillo had been principal at Henry T. Jaramillo Elementary in Belen last school year.

      Michele Pelfrey, who was an assistant principal at Chaparral Elementary, is the new principal at Montezuma Elementary. Pelfrey holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Walden University and has been with the district since 2013. She replaces Amy Lane who left the district.

      Stephani Treadwell, who had been an assistant principal at Wherry Elementary, is the new principal at Collet Park Elementary. Treadwell holds a master’s degree in assistive technology and special education from the College of Santa Fe and has taught in the district since 2008. She replaces Deborah Henwood, who retired.

      Roawn Lee, who served as interim principal at Chelwood Elementary last year following the retirement of Letha Oman, has been named the permanent principal at that school. Lee, who holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of New Mexico, has been with the district since 1999.

      Ulrike Kerstges, who holds a doctorate in physical education from UNM, is the new principal at Alamosa Elementary. Kersteges, who had taught PE in the district since 1998, replaces Steve Pino who retired.

      David Bunch, who had been an assistant principal at Armijo Elementary, has been named the new principal at Alameda Elementary. Bunch, who holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from New Mexico Highlands University, has taught in the district since 2004. He replaces Alice Braden who left the district.

      Middle Schools -

      Robert Abney, who had been principal at Tierra Antigua Elementary since 2012, has been named principal at Hoover Mid-School. Abney, who holds a master’s degree in physical education from UNM and is pursuing a doctorate degree in education from Grand Canyon University, was an elementary principal in Rio Rancho and a high school principal in Los Alamos before coming to APS. He replaces Jim Chacho, who took a position as an assistant principal at Manzano High School.

      Andy Legant, who was an assistant principal at Highland High since 2012, has been named the new principal at Madison Mid-School. Legant, who holds a master’s degree in secondary education from UNM, has been with the district since 1998. He replaces Marcie Johnson who retired.

      Jane Sichler, who had been an assistant principal at James Monroe Mid-School since 2011, has been named principal there. Sichler, who served as principal at McKinley Mid-School from 2007 to 2010 and holds a master’s degree in educational administration from UNM, has been with the district since 1995. She replaces Vernon Martinez.

      Vernon Martinez, who had been principal at James Monroe Mid-School since it opened in 2000, has been named principal at McKinley Mid-School. Martinez, who holds a master’s in educational administration from UNM, has been with the district since 1980 and served a principal at Jackson Mid-School from 1995 to 2000. He replaces Mary Cade who took another position with the district.

      Sandra Patterson, who has been assistant principal at Taylor Mid-School since 2011, has been named principal there. Patterson, who holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Southwestern Adventist University, joined the district in 2009 as a teacher of the gifted in language arts and literature at LBJ Mid-School. She replaces Mike Bateson who retired.

      Michelle Torres, who has been assistant principal at Truman Mid-School since 2013, has been named principal there. Torres, who holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from UNM, has been with the district since 1995. She replaces Judy Martin-Tafoya, who retired.

      Jeri Heileman, who was assistant principal at Van Buren Mid-School last year, has been named principal there. Heileman, who holds a master’s degree in educational foundations from UNM, was a math coach at Van Buren from 2009 to 2013 and an assistant principal at Georgia O’Keeffe Elementary. She replaces Cardinal Rieger, who took another position with the district.

      High Schools and Schools of Choice–

      Karen Webb, who had been an assistant principal at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School since 2011, has been named principal at Manzano High School. Webb, who holds a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine and master’s in counseling from Loyola Marymount, was principal at Kearny Elementary in Santa Fe from 2009 to 2011 and principal at Capital High in Santa Fe in 2008-09. She replaces Therese Carroll, who retired.

      Esther Keeton, who was an assistant principal at Sandia High since 2012, has been named principal at Freedom High School. Keeton holds a master’s degree in behavior development from the University of Nebraska, was previously an instructional manager at Madison Mid-School and Sombra del Monte Elementary. She replaces Robin Troup, who took a position as an instructional coach at Hoover Mid-School.

      Amelia Milazzo, who was an assistant principal at Del Norte High since 2010, has been named principal at Nex+Gen Academy. Milazzo, who holds a master’s in art education and special education from UNM, was the outreach director at Nex+Gen in 2009-10. She replaces Mike Stanton, who retired.

      A new principal for West Mesa High is expected to be named soon to replace Ben Santistevan who retired. Modesta Hernandez, an assistant principal at West Mesa, is serving as acting principal.

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