NMSAA Board

NMSSA Executive Council

2022-2023 NMSSA Exec Council

2022-2023 NMSSA Executive Council Members

NMSSA Executive Council

Bonnie

Bonnie Lightfoot

President

blightfoot@houseschools.net

Superintendent, House Municipal Schools Bonnie Lightfoot is currently serving as the Superintendent of House Municipal Schools; however, she began her administrative career as a Principal in the Cimarron Municipal School District.  Before her Superintendency at House, Bonnie was proud to have been Superintendent for Roy Municipal Schools. Bonnie considers herself to be a servant leader and she has found herself in numerous leadership positions including President of NM Schools’ Superintendent Association, President-Elect of NM Coalition of Educational Leaders, as well as the Eastern NM Education Resource Center representative on the NMCEL Board. Bonnie is happy to have been in NM education for the entirety of her 28-year career.  Prior to administration, she was an Agricultural Education teacher and FFA Advisor and taught in the Aztec, Magdalena, and Moriarty school districts. Her favorite part of being an Ag Teacher was the leadership skills and opportunities she was able to provide for her students.  Bonnie is most proud of training the NM FFA State Champion Parliamentary Procedure team in 2005 that went on to win the National FFA Parliamentary Procedure Championship as well. That record still belongs to Bonnie and her team 17 years later. While Bonnie is passionate about education in NM, she is most proud to be married to Clay Lightfoot for 27 years and mother of three children: Mackenzie, Micah, and Braeden.  Education runs deep in her family as both she and her husband are teachers, and two of their three children are pursuing degrees in education.

martin madrid

Martin Madrid

Secretary

mmadrid@srlions.com

Superintendent, Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools

Martin is currently serving as superintendent of Santa Rosa Consolidated Schools. He also serves on the New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors. Martin has served his entire 24-year career at Santa Rosa Schools. He taught 2 nd grade at Santa Rosa Elementary for the first five years of his career. He was then transferred to Santa Rosa High School for the next ten years, where he taught social studies and Spanish. He also coached baseball and cross country. He was then promoted to be the SRHS Principal for the next five years. He is currently in his fourth year as the SRCS superintendent. Martin enjoyed teaching elementary and hopes to one day finish his career teaching at the elementary level because he feels male teachers make a significant impact at that level. Martin has been married to his wife Francisca for 21 years. They have four children Martin Jr. (20), Andres (18), and twins Daniel and Danika (13). Martin is proud to be able to serve his hometown students and help them succeed. He loves to tell them his story and lets them know that someday one of them could be the superintendent of SRCS. He often tells them, "If I can do it, anyone of you can certainly do it".

Stan Rounds

Stan Rounds

Executive Director

stan@nmcel.org

Kim Mizell

Kim Mizell

Past President

kmizell@bsin.k12.nm.us

Superintendent, Bloomfield Schools

Dr. Kimberly Mizell, PhD., has been an educator/administrator for 25 years.  She is currently the Superintendent of the Bloomfield School District. She is starting her eighth year as the Superintendent.  She grew up in Northwest New Mexico in the beautiful community of Bloomfield and comes from a long line of educators.  Her first degree was in Business Administration where she began a career in corporate management for seven years.  She changed her profession and became an elementary teacher and taught first and second grades at Central Primary in Bloomfield.  She was able to earn her teaching credentials and a Reading Specialist certification from the University of New Mexico and soon earned her Master degree in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University (NMSU).   She was promoted to Assistant Principal of Central Primary and remained in that position for four years.  She was promoted later to Principal of Blanco Elementary for four more years.  She became a Federal Grant Coordinator for Three Rivers Education Foundation and a Regional Education Cooperative Director for (REC2), while working she earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from NMSU.  She is passionate about her community and making a difference for the students.  As difficult decisions are being made in the Bloomfield School District, Dr. Mizell’s first question is always, “What is best for our students?”, she believes that “Hope is not a strategy”, “Don’t blame the students” and “Everything we do as educators is about learning”.  She knows the work that many New Mexico Superintendents are doing through-out our great state will help our students to realize their own futures and that work will help them to achieve their life goals. She was elected as the President of the New Mexico Superintendents Association for the 2021-22 school year.  She was awarded and recognized by her peers as the Superintendent for 2021-22 school year for her service to the organization. She is a servant leader and has been honored to serve her colleagues and mentor many administrators over the past 15 years.

Dawn Apodaca

Dawn Apodaca

President Elect

dapodaca@mpschools.net

Superintendent, Mountainair Schools

I have been the proud Superintendent of Mountainair for the past 6 years.  Currently, I am the President Elect of NMSSA. I am 1 of 2 NM Superintendents on the AASA Governing Board. I currently co-chair CREC 5 board and EVFYC. My career actually began  in 1990 when I was hired as an Educational Assistant for Los Lunas Schools.  I continued my schooling at UNM while working as an EA in a severe and profound classroom. Upon completion of my BS, I became the teacher in the classroom where I had been an EA.  Then as I completed my Masters in Special Ed, I was promoted to IEP Facilitator where I moved to Valencia Middle School. I continued to pursue my degree in Ed Leadership. I was then given the opportunity to work with an amazing leader while at Ann Parish Elementary, however I was quickly moved to Peralta and given my own school.  I stayed at Peralta for a couple years.  It was in 2011 when I left LL Schools after 20 years.  I went to work for Hogares for a short period where I worked with foster parents creating schedules and routines for children new to the home. Then in 2012 my son was critically injured, it was then that I realized what all my professional training had prepared me for.  I stayed out of work until I was hired by Mountainair Public Schools as a Sped Teacher in 2013. I am the proud mom of two wonderful sons, Christopher (29) and Chance (27).  I knew early in my career that my role on this Earth was to support as many families as possible.  God opened the doors in my career allowing me to continue my journey.

Elected Regional Representatives

Kevin Summers

Kevin Summers

Region 1 Representative

adsummke@aztecschools.com

Superintendent, Aztec Municipal Schools

Mr. Kevin Summers is the Superintendent of Schools for the Aztec Municipal School District. Prior to this position, he served in administrative roles in the Bloomfield School District as the Director of PreK-12 Curriculum & Instruction as well in the Roswell Independent School District as a Principal. Mr. Summers has taught secondary science in California, Texas, and New Mexico. Mr. Summers holds a Bachelor of Science in Education with an emphasis in Life Sciences from New Mexico State University and a Master of Education degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University. Beyond the New Mexico School Superintendents Association, Mr. Summers also serves on the Cooperative Education Services executive committee as well as the Four Corners REC #1 board.

Debra Sena-Holton

Debra Sena-Holton

Region 2 Representative

dsena@pecos.k12.nm.us

Superintendent, Pecos Independent Schools

Debra Sena Holton is  the Superintendent of Pecos Independent School District. Mrs. Sena Holton has been in education for the past 27 years. She was the principal at Pecos Elementary for 10 years before taking on the Superintendent position at the Pecos District in 2020.  Prior to becoming a school administrator, she spent 15 years as a bilingual 4th grade teacher. She is proud of her northern New Mexico roots. Debra is a graduate of the Pecos District and is proud to serve her community as an educational leader. She earned her BA in Elementary Education from New Mexico State University and her MA in Education Leadership from New Mexico Highlands University. She married her college sweetheart and has three amazing sons. She is participated in CES "Aspiring Superintendents Academy" and AASA "Newly Appointed Superintendents Leadership" program.  

adan estrada

Adan Estrada

Region 3 Representative

aestrada@cimarronschools.org

Superintendent, Cimarron Municipal Schools

Adán Estrada has been a New Mexico Educator for 25 years.  He started his career as a Bilingual Teacher in Carlsbad New Mexico.  Mr. Estrada has been a school administrator since 2003 and has been an Elementary and High School Principal.  Mr. Estrada has been the Superintendent of Cimarron Municipal Schools for the last 10 years.

sue cleveland

Sue Cleveland

Region 4 Representative

sue.cleveland@rrps.net

Superintendent, Rio Rancho Public Schools

robert brown

Robert Brown

Region 5 Representative

rbrown@texicoschools.com

Superintendent, Texico Municipal Schools

Robert Brown is the Superintendent of Texico Municipal Schools and has served in that role for 8 years, with 26 years’ experience as an administrator and 10 years as a teacher and coach. I started my career in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston, Texas and have now served the educational community in New Mexico for 23 years, all as either the High School Principal at Lovington High School or the Superintendent of Schools in the Texico Municipal School District.

dwain haynes

Dwain Haynes

Region 6 Representative

dhaynes@eunice.org

Superintendent, Eunice Municipal Schools

Dwain Haynes is in his 15 th year as the Superintendent of the Eunice Public School District. He graduated from NMSU in 1988 and accepted a teaching position with the Eunice Public Schools serving as a math and social studies teacher, coach, and later as a Technology Lab 2000 facilitator. In 1993, he received his Master’s in Administration from ENMU. He also met his wife, Susie, and they started a family.  He has two sons, Jacob and Kalob. In 2000 he became the elementary principal where he served for four years before moving to the middle school where he served as principal for 3.5 years. An interesting point about Superintendent Haynes is that he worked a number of summers with maintenance staff, where he picked up knowledge about building infrastructure. This knowledge served him well throughout his tenure as Superintendent as he helped his community rebuild the Elementary, Activity Center, Caton Middle School, Cardinal Football Stadium, Cardinal Field House, Cardinal Baseball Stadium, EHS Auditorium, and the Vocational Center. He also facilitated the purchase of additional property to construct teacherages in order to attract new teachers to the District.  During his time as superintendent, Mr. Haynes has served with incredible people, from community members, staff, students, and peers who have patiently refined him into the leader he is today.

george bickert

George Bickert

Region 7 Representative

bickertg@ruidososchools.org

Superintendent, Ruidoso Municipal Schools

Dr. George Bickert has served as Superintendent of Ruidoso Municipal Schools since April of 2013. His previous administrative experience includes principalships at Tohatchi Elementary (TOE, 2006-2009) and Crownpoint High School (CHS, 2009-2013) in the Gallup-McKinley County District. Dr. Bickert led successful turnaround efforts at both schools. Prior to relocating to New Mexico, Dr. Bickert accumulated 14 years of classroom experience, working with special education students in Georgia. He began his career working for Emanuel County Schools (4 years) and also taught for ten (10) years at Cartersville City Schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College (Rome, GA), his Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees from Georgia Southern University, his administrative coursework was done at West Georgia University, and he completed his doctoral program, earning his Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision at Arizona State University in 2011. He and his wife, Janice, have 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren.

loren cushman

Loren Cushman

Region 8 Representative

lrcushman@animask12.net

Superintendent, Animas Public Schools

scott elder

Scott Elder

At-Large District Representative

elder_s@aps.edu

Superintendent, Albuquerque Public Schools

Scott Elder was the Albuquerque Public Schools Chief Operations Officer when New Mexico closed its public schools in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Working alongside then-Superintendent Raquel Reedy for several months before taking the reins as Interim Superintendent on July 1, 2020, Elder helped the district transition from in-person to remote learning and back again. He and his team made sure students had the technical equipment and internet support they needed to learn at home, assured that they were fed, put in school safety measures in anticipation of their return, worked with community partners to provide services to families, ushered in virus testing protocols and then vaccination opportunities, and developed several learning models that would allow some and then all students to head back to the classroom.

In addition to navigating APS through the pandemic, Elder has committed to making APS classrooms culturally and linguistically responsive. Under his guidance, the district rolled out a new equity plan that outlines a dozen steps to achieving racial and education equity and reducing barriers for students and parents. This includes more culturally responsive instruction, improved hiring practices, better resource allocation and access, improved school climates, and anti-racism training for staff.  Elder has worked with a shrinking budget, balancing being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and ensuring funding is intact for instruction, health and safety measures.

The third-generation New Mexican began his APS career as a substitute teacher more than three decades ago. He rose through the ranks as a high school teacher, middle and high school principal, Chief Operations Officer, and Interim Superintendent before being named Superintendent on March 15, 2021.  That need for flexibility and creativity became even more evident when Elder was a principal at McKinley Middle School, the Career Enrichment Center, Highland, or Sandia high schools. "I was constantly putting out unexpected fires, fixing unimaginable problems, dealing with unforeseen issues".

In two decades as a school and then district administrator, Elder has dealt with policy changes, budget shortfalls, the threat of school violence, suicide, testing, the effects of poverty and homelessness and abuse, leaky roofs, flooded classrooms, social upheaval, immigration and refugees, language barriers, learning and emotional disabilities, teacher shortages, mental illness. His experience, knowledge, and compassion prepared him to lead one of the nations largest school districts.

Elders five years as Chief Operations Officer for a district that spans 1,200 square miles with 13 million square feet of instructional space in 143 schools have provided him with invaluable insight into how things run. During his time as COO, Elder oversaw APS Police, athletics, maintenance and operations, facilities design and construction, student transportation, food and nutrition, and more.

The native New Mexicans ties to Albuquerque are invaluable as he serves as a pillar of the community. Elders family has a long history with APS: his mother worked for the district for 20 years, his grandfather was a school board member off and on from 1945 through 1969, and his understanding is that his great-grandfather was also a board member, starting in 1892.

Elders wife, Deborah Elder, is a longtime educator, and his two sons, Sam and David, are APS graduates.  Elder graduated from the University of New Mexico, where he earned bachelors degrees in political science and Spanish and masters degrees in secondary education and business administration.

ralph ramos

Ralph Ramos

At- Large District Representative

rramos@lcps.net

Superintendent, Las Cruces Public Schools

Ralph Ramos was named Superintendent of LCPS by the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education on June 1, 2021. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University, where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural extension education with a focus on administration. He began his teaching career with Las Cruces Public Schools in 1992 as an eighth-grade science teacher at Picacho Middle School and has served the district as an assistant principal at Sierra Middle School and Vista Middle School. Prior to accepting the interim superintendent position, he was the principal at Camino Real Middle School for the past 13 years. Ramos is from Hurley, New Mexico. He and his wife Yolanda have two daughters, Kacee and Erin.

dennis roch

Dennis Roch

Rural North Representative

droch@loganschool.net

Superintendent, Logan Municipal Schools

Dennis spent much of his childhood in Clovis, growing up the son of an Air Force officer stationed at Cannon AFB.

In 1995, he received a teaching degree from Eastern NM University in Portales and continued his studies in the Washington, DC, area-- earning his master's degree while working for US Senator Pete Domenici (R) on Capitol Hill. He returned home to serve as a Field Representative for US Rep. Bill Redmond (R) in Roosevelt, Curry, Quay, Harding, Union, and Colfax Counties.

He joined the Texico Municipal Schools faculty in 1999 and spent more than eight years there, teaching English and math and coaching baseball and volleyball. In 2007, he accepted a position with the Tucumcari Public Schools as assistant superintendent. It was there that he met Rochelle Hodge, a Tucumcari native, who became his wife in June 2008. The couple now live in Logan, where he serves as Superintendent of the Logan Municipal Schools. He and Rochelle have three daughters and one son.

Dennis first sought elective office in 2004, when he was elected to a 4-year term on the NM Public Education Commission (formerly the NM State Board of Education). He served as the Commission's chairman for 2 years. Then, in 2008, he was elected State Representative for District 67 in northeastern New Mexico and was subsequently re-elected in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. He retired from the legislature in January 2019.

While in office, Dennis served on several committees, most notably the House Education Committee and the House Rules & Order of Business Committee. During the interim period between legislative sessions, he served on many interim committees, including the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC), and he was privileged to chair this key committee in 2016-2017.

lee white

Lee White

Rural South Representative

lwhite@lovingschools.org

Superintendent, Loving Public Schools

I have served in a multitude of capacities during my 24-year tenure in education. For the past five years, I have served as superintendent for the Loving Municipal Schools. Prior to being named superintendent, I served as a high school principal, middle school principal, elementary principal and alternative school principal. Before becoming an administrator, I was a high school/middle school special education teacher for 8 years. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM and sought my fame and fortune in the oil and gas industry in Lea County before becoming entrenched in education. I am married to a very patient and understanding kindergarten teacher. Together we have raised 5 kids ranging in age from 36-18, three of them are NM college graduates, one is currently serving our nation in the army and our last one is finishing her first semester at New Mexico State (Go Aggies!). Raising kids has consumed the majority of my “extra” time, but now my wife and I are enjoying the empty nest syndro