Growing up surrounded by a mother and sisters who were teachers, Karen Trujillo decided to rebel. “No,” she said to herself as a child, rejecting the idea she should become an educator. “I don’t want to do that. I want to do something else.” But the call of the classroom was too strong for her to resist, she said, and when she was about 12 she had what she called an epiphany.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday finally hired her secretary of public education, and both said they aren’t afraid of the challenges ahead. “I’m feeling not so much fear but excitement,” said Karen Trujillo, a longtime educator from Las Cruces, who will lead the department. In choosing Trujillo for the $128,000-a-year job, Lujan Grisham ended weeks of speculation about who would overhaul a public education system often ranked as one of the worst in the country. The governor said Trujillo leads an “all-star team of education” professionals. Together, they hired four New Mexico educators as deputy secretaries and a special adviser from California whose background is in education and sociology.
After two terms of clashing with the governor, teachers unions will have a loudervoice, at least during the transition period. Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham is rushing toward her inauguration on Jan. 1 and is working with various people to fill her administration in different areas, including education and Indian Affairs. Previously: Lujan Grisham names transition team for environment, energy and water
Earlier in November, Lujan Grisham named former New Mexico Governor Garrey Carruthers, former Santo Domingo Governor Everett Chavez and Principal and CEO of the Native American Community Academy Kara Bobroff as co-chairs of the Education and Indian Affairs transition committee. Last week, Lujan Grisham named more people to her transition team.