Excellence In Student Achievement Awards Program

The Excellence in Student Achievement Awards program seeks to promote student achievement in school districts and assist local school boards in recognizing school leaders, staff and other individuals who have played an important role in improving student achievement at the local level.

2023 Student Achievement Award Criteria, Timeline and Nomination Form

2022 Student Achievement Award Recipients

2021 Student Achievement Award Recipients

2020 Student Achievement Award Recipients

2019 Student Achievement Award Recipients

2018 Student Achievement Award Recipients 

2017 Student Achievement Award Recipients 

Excellence In Student Achievement Award Recipients Announced

The New Mexico School Boards Association (NMSBA) today announced recipients of the 2021 Excellence in Student Achievement Awards. The awards, sponsored by NMSBA, are presented to individuals selected by local boards of education throughout New Mexico who have played an important role in improving student achievement in their local school district. Fifty-Eight (58) school boards participated in this year’s program and two hundred and nineteen (219) award recipients were selected. Recipients are listed below and will be honored at local school board meetings throughout New Mexico over the next few weeks. For specific information about award recipients, please contact the local school district. For additional information on the Excellence in Student Achievement Award Program contact Joe Guillen, NMSBA Executive Director.

                    School Board                       Recipient                                           Category________

                    Alamogordo                      Colonel Bryan Callagan               Ex-Officio Board                                                                                                                         Member


                    Albuquerque                     Refugee & Newcomer                  District Department

                                                            Supports Program


                    Animas                             Senator John Arthur Smith           NM State Senator


                    Artesia (13)                       EOG Resources                          Community Member

                                        PY Foundation                            Foundation

                                        Chase Foundation                       Foundation

                                        Written in Red                             Foundation

                                        Yates Family Foundation             Foundation

                                        S.P. & Estelle H. Yates                Foundation

                                        Penasco Valley Telephone           Community Member


                                        Artesia General Hospital              Community Member

                                        Artesia Daily Press                      Media

                                        Pecos Valley Broadcasting           Media

                                        Holly Frontier/Navajo                   Community Member

                                        Devon Energy                             Community Member

                                        Artesia Chamber of Commerce          Community Member         

Belen                                Lawrence A. Sanchez                            Administrator


Bernalillo                           Manuel Montano                         Staff Member


Bloomfield                         Debbie Hernandez                      Staff Member


Carlsbad (2)                      Lori Zink                                     Community Member

                                        Permian Strategic Partners                    Community Member


Chama                             Anthony Casados                        Superintendent


Cimarron                          David Salas                                Staff Member


Cloudcroft                         Bob Daniels                                Retired Staff Member


Clovis                               Cynthia Kleyn-Kennedy               Staff Member


Corona                             Walter Garfield                            Community Volunteer


Deming                             Fred Parker                                Administrator


Des Moines                       Paul Briesh                                 Community Member                                        Baca Valley Telephone              


Dexter (3)                          Dexter Schools Food Services           Staff Members


                                        Dexter Schools Information          Staff Members

                                        Technology Department             

                                        Dexter Schools Transportation          Staff Members



Dora                                 Audrey Powell                             Staff Member


Espanola                          Anna Gutierrez                            Administrator


Estancia (3)                      Stewart Burnett                           Administration

                                        Melinda Harvey                           Staff Member

                                        Jennifer Gonzales                       Administration


Farmington (16)                Cody Diehl                                  Administrator

                                        Phil Valdez                                  Administrator

                                        Dale Bode                                   Staff Member

                                        Cathy McDonald                          Staff Member

                                        Chris Pash                                  Administrator

                                        Ted Lasiewicz                             Administrator

                                        Nicole Lambson                          Administrator

                                        Robert Emerson                          Administrator

                                        Frank Whalen                             Staff Member

                                        Daniel Fear                                 Staff Member

                                        Mike Mestas                               Emergency Manager

                                        Steve Neville                               State Senator                            

                                       James Strickler                           State Representative

                                        Gwen Warniment                        PED Deputy Secretary

                                        Tom Swenk                                 Human Resource Dir.

                                        Greg & Patty Merrion               Community Members       

Floyd                                Floyd Baptist Church          Community Organization


Gadsden (5)                     Ralph Gallegos                           Staff Member

                                        Maria Guerra                              Staff Member

                                        Judy Creegan                             Staff Member

                                        Rosy Villalobos                            Staff Member

                                        Jessica Herrera                           Staff Member


Gallup-McKinley (10)         Thedeous Tah                             Staff Member

                                        Kathy Ledingham                        Staff Member

                                        Pauline Platero                            Staff Member

                                        Gerald Sleuth                              Staff Member

                                        Valerie Antone                            Staff Member

                                        Constance Nance                        Staff Member

                                        Pamela Tsadiasi                          Staff Member

                                        Jean Cox                                     Staff Member                                                  

                                       Jeannette Lewis                              Staff Member

                                        Michelle Tietjen                           Staff Member


Grants-Cibola (6)              Jackie Sanchez                           Administrator

                                        Linda Sanchez                            Staff Member

                                        Francie Lee                                 Parent

                                        April Cash                                   Parent

                                        Dr. Melissa Riley                         Community Member

                                        Shawn Ray                                 Community Member


Hagerman                         Cafeteria & Custodial Staff           Staff Members


Hobbs (2)                          T.J. Parks                                   Superintendent

                                           Rene Cantu                                Administrator


House                               Cathy Ray                                   Staff Member


Las Cruces (6)               Adalaide Olberding                      Volunteer

                                        Nyasia Lambert-White                 Volunteer

                                        Lauren To                                   Volunteer

                                        Behavior Health Providers           Department (All Staff)

                                        Karen Trujillo, Ph.D.                    Former Superintendent

                                        Stephen Ewing                            Volunteer


Las Vegas City (2)             Gloria Lovato Pacheco         Former School Board  Member                                                         

                                           Elaine Luna                           Former School Board  Member


Logan (24)                        Lacey Bidegain                            Staff Member

                                        Justin Bollinger                            Staff Member

                                        Billy Burns                                  Staff Member

                                        Suzanne Byrd                             Staff Member

                                        Holli Cantrell                               Staff Member

                                        Kristen Griffiths                           Staff Member

                                        Kyle Griffiths                               Staff Member

                                        Audra Gudgell                             Staff Member

                                        Johna Horne                               Staff Member

                                        Bobby Kandel                              Staff Member

                                        Colleen Kulback                          Staff Member

                                        Clay Lightfoot                              Staff Member

                                        Angie Medrow                             Staff Member

                                        Sonya Reid                                 Staff Member

                                        Dwayne Roberts                         Staff Member

                                        Melissa Roberts                          Staff Member

                                        Rochelle Roch                            Staff Member

                                        Glynna Strand                             Staff Member

                                        Rachell Teaschner                      Staff Member

                                        Crystal Terrell                             Staff Member

                                        Dallas Valentine                          Staff Member

                                        Raynee Wallin                             Staff Member

                                        Tera Wong-Williams                    Staff Member

                                        Robert Young                              Staff Member


                    Lordsburg (9)                Abraham DeLaGarza                   Staff Member

                                                            Baltazar Dominguez                    Staff Member

                                                            David Flores                               Staff Member

                                                            Elida Hernandez                          Staff Member

                                                            Tereso “Teddy” Medina               Staff Member

                                                            Olivia Pantoja                             Lordsburg Advocate

                                                            George Philhour                          Staff Member

                                                            Tereso Rodela                            Staff Member

                                                            Frances Rosales                         Staff Member


                      Los Alamos (4)              Mateo Cardiel                              Staff Member

                                                            Victoria Daley                              Staff Member

                                                            Christine Englebrecht                  Staff Member

                                                            Becky Cocina                              Staff Member


                    Los Lunas                      Los Lunas School District            Entire Staff

                                                            Technology Department             


                    Lovington                          Bill Lewis                                    Staff Member


                    Magdalena (3)               Chelsea Pettis                             Staff Member

                                                            Dorothy Gutierrez                        Business Manager

                                                            James Clark                                Teacher


                    Maxwell                            Kristen Forrester                         Superintendent


                    Mesa Vista (5)                  Cindy Garcia                               Staff Member

                                                            Marlena Fahey                            Community Member

                                                            Victor Coronado                          Staff Member

                                                            Kamryn Kidder                            Student

                                                            Shaun Tae Quintana                   Student


                    Mora                                Ruby Mares                                Staff Member


                    Moriarty-Edgewood (2)      Sherrill Kelly                                Staff Member

                                                            Kris Armijo                                  Staff Member


                    Mosquero (3)                    Christina Vigil                              Staff Member

                                                            Anna Hibner                                Staff Member

                                                            Lynda Ray                                  Teacher


                    Pecos (2)                          Kelly Cramer                               Staff Member

                                                            Elia Guzman-Distlehorst              Staff Member


Penasco (4)                      Marina Lopez                              Staff Member

                                        Norman Rodriguez                      Staff Member

                                        Mandy Montoya                          Staff Member

                                        Darren Griego                             Staff Member


Pojoaque (2)                  Jill Morton                                   Staff Member

                                        Gary Johnson                                Staff Member


Portales                         Portales Municipal Schools’          District Service

                                        Student Nutrition Services           


Quemado (2)                 Nichole Sanders                          Staff Member

                                        Joy Padilla                                     Staff Member


Raton                               Brenda Ferri                                Community Member


Rio Rancho (20)             Kimberly Johns                           Administrator

                                        Alicia Banes                                Administrator

                                        Daniel Bonsell                             Administrator

                                        Jennifer Bartley                           Administrator

                                        Cheryl Clark                                Administrator

                                        Trent Heffner                              Administrator

                                        Stephanie Nieto                          Administrator

                                        Jessica Kettler                            Administrator

                                        Dana Petro                                 Administrator

                                        Sarah Poutsch                            Administrator

                                       Miranda Jeantete                        Administrator

                                        Christine Prescott                        Administrator

                                        Catherine Rodriguez                    Administrator

                                        Jennifer Daddio                           Administrator

                                        B.J. Hartford                               Administrator

                                        Andrew Pierce                            Administrator

                                        Ryan Kettler                                Administrator

                                        Scott Affentranger                       Administrator

                                        Sue Carley                                  Administrator

                                        Julie Arnold                                 Administrator


Roswell (6)                     Kimberly Meeks, FS Director          Staff Members

                                        RISD Cafeteria Workers             

                                        Brent Clay                                   Staff Member

                                        Shelley Burns                              Administrator

                                        Corina Avina                               Staff Member                                                 

                                        RISD Custodians                        Staff Members

                                        Michael Gottlieb                          Superintendent


Santa Fe (15)                Carl Marano                                Staff Member

                                        Dr. Tom Ryan                             Staff Member
                                        Earth Care/Santa Fe Mutual Aid/ Yucca    Community Member

                                         Adelante Program                       Staff Members
                                        Linda Sink                                   Staff Member
                                        Dr. Neal Weaver                         Staff Member
                                        Marissa Bonifer                           Staff Member
                                        Anita Hett                                   Staff Member
                                        Michael Hagele                           Staff Member
                                        Shawna LaValley                         Staff Member

                                        Kristen Lewis                              Staff Member
                                        Mary Massey                              Staff Member
                                        Cynthia Maynard                         Staff Member
                                        Dr. Veronica C. Garcia                 Superintendent
                                        Grace Mayer                               Staff Member


Santa Rosa                    Christina R. Campos                   Community Members

                                        Guadalupe County Hospital



Silver (3)                          SCS, Jeanette Medran                Staff Member

                                        SCS Technology Department          Staff Members

                                        SCS Student Nutrition                 Staff Members



Socorro (6)                     Jefferey Tull                                Administrator

                                        Sonia Lawson                             Administrator

                                        Ronald Hendrix                           Administrator


Socorro (Cont.)              Pamela Mackenzie-Licha             Staff Member

                                        Transportation Department           Staff Members

                                        Socorro School Teachers            Staff Members


Springer (2)                      2020/2021 Springer Schools           Staff Members

                                        Entire Staff                                          


Taos                                 Maria Jeantete                            Staff Member


Truth or Consequences     Tiger Families of T or C Schools          Parents


Tularosa (4)                      Patrick Ventura                           Staff Member

                                        Patrick Garcia                             Staff Member

                                        Johnny Hudson                           Staff Member

                                        Nita Hudson                                Staff Member


Wagon Mound (3)         Teresa Casias                             Staff Member

                                        Ernesto Juarez                            Staff Member

                                        Cirilia Peralta                              Staff Member


West Las Vegas (5)           Juan Montano &                          Administrator & Staff

                                           Maintenance Crew           

                                        Christopher Gutierrez                  Administrator

                                        Paul Sandoval & Food Services           Administrator & Staff


                                        Matt Probst                                 Community Member

                                        Christine Ludi                              School Board Member