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Barbara Petersen

Barbara PetersenBarbara Petersen
District 4

Board of Education, Term Expires: 2023

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

Video Introduction


  • APS Board Member 2015-present
  • BS Elementary Education, University of New Mexico
  • MA Elementary Education, University of New Mexico 

Barbara Petersen worked as a teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools for more than 30 years and is mother to one daughter who graduated from district schools. She has also served as the political outreach coordinator of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.  In her first term on the APS Board, the district faced a severe budget crisis and a number of punitive state and federal policies that focused on blaming the student, teacher and community.  Ms. Petersen is focused on spending this next term working to rebuild and transform Albuquerque’s public schools.

Ms. Petersen believes that the most important part of the district’s mission and vision is the recognition of its responsibility to educate all children.  To do that well, Ms. Petersen thinks that children must be recognized as more than test-takers. They need to be recognized as part of a community with cultures, languages and experiences that must be honored.  Ms. Petersen sees her primary role is to support the policies and budget priorities that make implementation possible.

“APS has amazing educators who have created programs that speak to the heart of the community -- ethnic studies, dual language, restorative practices, art and music, career and technical opportunities. The urgent challenge now is bringing those opportunities in a strong, equitable and meaningful way to all students.” – BP 2019

“I love the connection [being a board member has] given me with the community, it’s the community work that has always been really important to me. I’ve always been involved with political work and the legislature, but there’s a level of communication when just hearing from the community” – BP 2020

“We’ve got to make sure that… families that traditionally haven’t had strong voices in the school district have access to a voice for their community, and so I think that the development of community schools is really critical.” –BP 2020

Organizations Present and Past

  • AFT NM Retirees
  • Sandia Dog Obedience Club
  • Albuquerque Teachers Federation
  • International Reading Association
  • Reading Recovery Council of North America
  • New Mexico School Boards Association Master Board Member

School Board District 4

District 4 Map 2013Schools in School Board District 4

District 4 Map (PDF)