Autumn is upon us and I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with many of you in the last two months, individually and at the Regional NMSBA meetings around the state. I look forward to seeing more of you soon as we finish up those meetings. Additionally, I recognize that many of you are still working at being fully staffed while for others this is your first superintendency.
The NMSSA along with CES have taken on a new, enhanced role in mentoring those who are early in their administrative assignments. Specifically, we began an enhanced mentor/mentee program for new superintendents in September, which will continue throughout the year, that has paired up senior superintendents in New Mexico with those who are just starting out. One of our significant strengths in New Mexico is our relationships of support and networking. We are enhancing those this year in a purposefully designed way to “up our game” of support. We want to recognize those 40 or so superintendents that are part of this new program.
I want to recommend that we continue to focus our efforts of collaborative support across all of our NMCEL member organizations. I want to point out the excellent work of CES in providing a “suite” of support that is available to you individually and on a district basis. David Chavez and CES continue to work to assure that resources they have designed and developed are readily available to you. We continue to enhance that “suite.” A reminder that we will have the first CES Superintendents Academy October 20-23. In conjunction with that Academy, the NMSSA Business Meeting will be held October 24. This is all at Embassy Suites in Albuquerque. The NMCEL Board will meet on October 17 at 10:00 a.m. at the NMAA.
I want to recognize our new Secretary of Education Ryan Stewart and his work to establish relationships with us. I have been able to meet with him more than half a dozen times since he arrived early in September. We are pleased to be scheduling him into our meetings and events as he becomes an active member of our educational leadership community.
I also want to recognize the efforts of our colleagues at the LESC and LFC who continue to reach out to work on our legislative trajectory for the 2020 Legislature. I am happy to report that we are working together with the legislative staff and the PED to collaborate in preparing for the 2020 Session. With that, I am seeing a better understanding of important issues such as K-5+, ELT, and long-term strategies for sustainability of funding for our districts, programs, and capital outlay needs.
Finally, I am aware of the continued challenge to find teaches and other educational specialty staff. This issue seems to be statewide and I believe there are more than 800 openings throughout the state as we enter October. I am recommending that we meet with PED, ERB, LESC, LFC, NMCEL, NMSSA and NMSBA in a targeted gathering before the next legislature to re-address the teacher/educator shortage and steps we might take here in New Mexico to solve the issue.
Thanks for your dedication to our children in New Mexico!