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Heather Benavidez

Barbara PetersenHeather Benavidez
District 4

Phone: (505) 880-3729
Email: (Please send all invitations to events to



Video Introduction

Board Role  

  • APS Board Member: 2024-present 
  • Term Ends: Dec. 31, 2027
  • APS Board Committees: 
    • Finance
    • Audit 
  • Represents the APS Board: 
    • Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Commission 


Heather Benavidez is no stranger to public service. The former City of Rio Communities municipal judge and former Valencia County magistrate judge currently serves as the CEO of a non-profit that advocates for people living with disabilities. She has also previously served as chief of staff for the State Treasurer’s Office. Benavidez and her husband, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Chief Judge Joshua J. Sánchez, have one child.

Benavidez firmly believes that public education is essential to a healthy democracy and that it must be protected. She is committed to serving her constituents with integrity, transparency, and a deep sense of responsibility and pledges to remain grounded in the principles of justice, equality, inclusion, and diversity.

She notes that she and her family are proud to have attended and graduated from public schools in New Mexico. Benavidez supports a curriculum that encourages respect for the planet and each other and believes that schools must push back against any pressure to rewrite history. She says it’s vital for educators to teach students to think critically so they have the tools to distinguish fact from fiction.

Benavidez looks forward to working with the superintendent in a way that encourages continued collaboration with the union, leads to an increase in school and classroom autonomy, and creates a system of schools that can focus resources to ensure APS attracts and retains the educators students need and deserve. She supports more funding for special education and mental health resources, wants a plan for addressing racial inequities within the district, and would like to work with the superintendent to provide consistent technology training and access for all students and staff. 

Benavidez has a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico.  

In Her Own Words

“Listening to the community is one of the most important jobs of an elected board member. I look forward to working closely with all our constituents by listening to their concerns and ideas, being responsive, and taking action when and where I can.” –2023

“Attracting and retaining highly qualified staff in all job categories so that we are fully staffed is imperative, and the tone set by the board and the superintendent is key in helping this happen.” – 2023

“There is so much to be proud of within Albuquerque Public Schools, and yet there are people who never miss a chance to criticize and find fault. I look forward to working alongside each of my fellow board members to demonstrate the excellence of APS and prove those pessimistic people wrong.” – 2023 

Organizations Present and Past

  • Chair of the 100% Community Housing Taskforce in Valencia County
  • Chair of the Valencia County Juvenile Justice Advisory Board
  • Served on the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Taskforce
  • Served on the DWI Planning Council
  • Served in the Pilot Club of Belen from 2008-2016
  • Former volunteer with Los Lunas Schools for several years as a Rotarian

Possible Conflicts of Interest

None listed by the board member