SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber’s adviser on education — a volunteer position — on Tuesday announced her intention to run for school board in District 1.
Carmen Gonzales, a product of Santa Fe Public Schools who spent more than 40 years as an educator, said in a news release that she wants to give back to the community and has time to do so now that she’s retired.
“I have spent my entire career in education, and I understand the needs of Santa Fe’s families. For Santa Fe’s School Board, I will help create equal opportunities for all of Santa Fe’s children,” she said.
Gonzales said her goals include promoting and expanding early childhood education and pre-K programs, helping prepare students for the global job market, and making sure that all students have an the opportunity to succeed regardless of race, language, gender and orientation. She also said she would demonstrate integrity, transparency and positivity and be fiscally responsible with tax dollars.
Gonzales will be running for the seat currently occupied by Steven Carrillo, who has represented the east-side and downtown district since 2012.
Carrillo said Tuesday that he would put off a decision about running for reelection for another few weeks — after the school board was finished with the budget and addressed Superintendent Veronica Garcia’s evaluation and contract.
Schools located in District 1 are Acequia Madre, Atalaya, Chaparral, E.J. Martinez and Wood Gormley elementary schools and Santa Fe High School.
Gonzales was named to the volunteer position of advisor on education by Mayor Webber in December. He said then that her responsibilities would involve identifying opportunities where the city and school district can work more closely and collaboratively.
“We need the City and the School District to work together on behalf of our kids and families,” the mayor said at the time. “Having Carmen serve as the education advisor to the Mayor will improve that working relationship and deliver better results for Santa Fe.”
A SFHS graduate, Gonzales got a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Mexico, according to the news release. During her professional career, she was a K-8 teacher and a university faculty member and administrator, including vice president for student success from New Mexico State University. She held that same title at Santa Fe Community college when she retired in October 2017.