Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
Karen Trujillo, New Mexico’s new Public Education Department Secretary-designate, has some skin in the game.
She has more than 30 nieces, nephews and godchildren in the public school system, so her leadership at the department will affect some of the students closest to her.
But the number of years she has spent in education is almost equal to the number of those students. Trujillo, 48, has been in education for 25 years.
Most recently, she was the interim associate dean for research and research faculty, and director with the Alliance for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at New Mexico State University. There, she co-authored a report describing the extent of the teacher vacancy crisis in New Mexico.
Before that, she was a math teacher at Alma D’Arte Charter High School in Las Cruces, a history teacher at Cobre High School in Bayard and a math teacher at Las Cruces High.
She has also been a principal, an adjunct professor and a community college instructor.
She earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, and a Master of Science degree in mathematics education at New Mexico State University.
She has three children and also has a profusion of family ties to education.
Her mother, Bernadette Apodaca, who was raised in Questa, was a teacher. So were three of Trujillo’s sisters.
Her husband, Ben Trujillo, who works for State Farm, used to be a principal and a teacher.