Community News


No- Nepotism and Non- Micromanagement!

Report Nancy Quintana from La Voz de Mora

Mora, NM. – October 25, 2019. The purpose of the Forum was to meet the candidates through their answers to different questions about their vision, commitment, motivation, honesty and understanding of their role and duties as members of the MISD Board and LCC Board of Trustees. In this way, voters can make a decision using their wisdom and thinking about the well-being of the students and the stability of the district, going out to vote if they have not done so on November 5, 2019.

The participation of the candidates in this Forum left a very good impression among the audience. We were able to hear the interventions of the following candidates running to be elected as members of the Mora Independent School Board: Position # 3 – Deidra Cordova, Karen Vigil, Victoria Valdez; position # 4: Herman Medina; position # 5: Josie Vigil.  Candidates for LCC Board of Trustees, District # 3: Dr. Phyllis S. Martinez, Tim Hagaman. We highlight the excellent participation of the public and respect for the interventions of the candidates.

Each candidate had a time of 2 minutes to answer the questions. There were similar answers, others innovative and definitely one that everyone agreed on was, that it was not the job of the board to “Micromanagement”, because the main function as a Board member is to establish policy by which school will be administered. They also, agreed that as a member of the School board, they accept the responsibility to ensure the success of MISD, which includes having a safe place for teaching and learning. Most of the candidates described the precarious conditions of some buildings and facilities in which children learn are located, and the needs to invest money in repairs and maintenance to create better learning, teaching, and working environment.

At this point, the question for the candidates and also for you dear readers were and is: What would you propose to provide for critical facility repairs and improvements, and what is your proposed seeking out funding resources?

All candidates agreed that one solution is to vote in favor SB-9 also known as the two-mill levy on November 5, but if it doesn’t pass , they must go to legislators and ask for money; talk to the Governor to see how she might be able to help accrue funds and/or apply for grants, in other words this School Board  will not  give up.

Mr. Marvin McAuley, Superintendent of MISD, addressed to the audience that was present about the importance of voting in favor of the SB-9, since if it does not happen, crucial building maintenance would either not be performed or would have to be paid for by taking operational Money out of the classroom. Also, districts would lose matching funds (up to 75% per year, depending on local tax collections) provided by the state to districts whose voters have approved levying the capital improvements tax. He also said: “I want to be honest, with respect to taxes and explained:” Because the previous SB-9 election failed, taxes will decrease for tax year 2019. Upon approval, taxes will increase to the historical two mill-levy rates for tax year 2020.

On the other hand, we hear interesting and creative responses from the candidates for LCC Board of Trustees. Of course, a mandatory question was: How will you advocate in order to keep nepotism out of LCC and have full transparency on all financial matters? Both candidates agreed to advocate for maintaining non-nepotism policy and review and update the manual and by-laws, to ensure that Board members use the powers, and resources of their position only to advance the public interest and not to obtain personal benefits or pursue private interests”. The question was also made to the candidates for the School Board of MISD, and they also, will be an advocate to keep nepotism out of the MISD.

All candidates shared their vision for the District they represent, their passion and love for children and respect for the dreams of young people who are in high school, as well as adults who wish to train.

The purpose of this report is, touch the values and conscience of the community, so that they will support this new rebirth of our District, because our work does not end with voting and choosing those who represent us and then crossing our arms waiting for them to do Miracles. Our mission, as parents, neighbors, rulers, citizens, does not end in the ballot box, regardless of whether you have children or family members at school, a good education is and will be the best legacy we can leave it to the new generations.

Being 8:00 pm, the night of the Public Educational Forum ended. Nonetheless, for you, dear reader, this report ends with two questions:

_What is your vision and what is your motivation for our District?

Capital Improvements Act (SB-9)

The Public-School Capital Improvements Act (known as SB-9 or the two-mill levy), provides an ongoing source of funding for routine school maintenance, improving school grounds, buildings, remodeling, furnishings, computers, software, and technology infrastructure. We would utilize these funds to renovate the pool building as well. These projects protect the taxpayers’ investment in our buildings and assure they are safe places for teaching and learning. School Districts must ask the voters to reauthorize the tax every six years. Mill levy funds cannot be used for school district staff salaries.

Past SB-9 Projects: Track preparation for resurfacing, Asphalt match, Cafeteria plumbing, Computers for classrooms, Boilers at Elementary and High School, High School gym boilers, the Fire alarm system at High School, High school gym bleachers .

Will My Taxes Increase? Because the previous SB-9 election failed, taxes will decrease for the tax year 2019. Upon approval, taxes will increase to the historical two mill-levy rates for the tax year 2020.

How Do I Vote? The elections polls will be open between 7:00 am & 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.   Early and absentee voting will be held in the Mora County Complex Election Room beginning October 8, 2019, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm. On Saturday, November 2, 2019, voters can vote early or absentee from 10 am – 6 pm.

Contact Us: #10 Ranger Drive Mora, NM 87732 575-387-3100
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Profile of School Board Candidates

According with the New Mexico School Board Handbook: “As educational policy-makers, school board members have an obligation to provide valuable learning experiences for all students, to strive to meet the unique and separate needs of the individuals and to recognize and protect the rights and responsibilities of these young citizens.

Herman Medina Profile

My name is Herman R. Medina and I am a resident of Mora, New Mexico. I am married to my wife Margaret and will complete 39 years of marriage in October. I Have three grown children and fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. I am a family man.

_Why I want to run for the position in the School Board of MISD? After growing up in Mora (La Cueva and Encinal, NM) and prior to relocating to Denver and Brighton Colorado, I had a call from God to open a Christian School in Mora. Calvary Christian Academy was open for seven years and was successful. In 2001 God called me to Colorado where I lived for 15 years. Ten of the fifteen years I had the wonderful opportunity to direct a K-12 Public Charter School and became very knowledgeable in the “Public School” arena.  I would love to share my knowledge and make a difference in the Mora Schools. I’ve never been a politician and would love to first and foremost advocate for integrity and honesty. Secondly, I would love to advocate for students, teachers, staff, and those in school leadership. I would like to focus on increasing the Mora schools’ grade and open a teacher incentive program. Thank you and God Bless. _Yes, I agree to participate in a public forum with other candidates.

Victoria Lujan Profile

I am Victoria (Vicky) Valdez, a lifelong resident and a businesswoman in Mora County. I am a Mora High School graduate, along with my three children. I am proud that one of my grandsons is, now, attending Mora Elementary!

My priority as a Board Member, if elected, is the interest of the students, staff and the school district. Being a businesswoman, in Mora, I talk to many people and I hear their concerns about our school. I feel that if the Board Members work together, these many concerns can be addressed. If I am elected, I want to work together with my fellow Board Members, administration, staff, students and parents for the betterment of our School District. _YES, I most definitely would love to participate in a Forum, along with the other candidates. Thank you for this opportunity!

Annamarie Trujillo Profile

My name is AnnaMarie Trujillo, I was born and raised in Mora, N.M. My parents are Gloria & Valentine Maestas, from La Cordillera. I moved away for about 10 years after high school, but have been back for the past 12years.

My children are my first concern, I have raised them to be humble and kind. Our children are our future and their place of education plays a very important role in their ability to learn. It’s important to make them feel safe in their environment, make sure they have all the materials needed and to help our teachers and staff have a better, less stress environment, make sure they are trained properly and most important feel appreciated. _Yes, I agree to participate in a public forum.

Karen Vigil Profile

I am married to Eldy Vigil and have two children named Logan (13) and Kylee (11) and we live in Buena Vista. I am a special education teacher and currently work at Las Vegas City School District.

_ Why I want to run for the position in the School Board of MISD? I decided to run for the school board because as a parent and community member I want to continue to advocate for the students and teachers at MISD. We have a wonderful staff and they work very hard to make sure that the students are learning. Often times changes are made by Administration without thinking of the long-term effects it will have on our students. I want to be part of a solution that focuses on education and school improvements. _I am willing to participate in a public forum.

Deidra Cordova Profile

I am currently serving as the Vice Chairwoman for the MISD, Board of Education and an alumna from MISD and NMHU with a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work.

 _My efforts as a Board Member would be to continue serving my community by advocating for all children and their educational needs. Working cohesively with my fellow board members to implement and revise outdated policies to ensure student achievement and increase transparency with the community. I feel my education and experience will assist me in providing leadership for a platform of progress in a positive direction.  _Yes, I agree to participate in a public forum.

Cody Alcon – Erni Lovato – Josie Vigil

Candidates for Luna Community College Board of Trustees

Dr. Phyllis S. Martinez Profile

Teacher at West Las Vegas, teacher and principal at Mora and Penasco;. Education administrator at NMPED Adjunct professor at NMHU and NNMCC; BA & MA – NMHU; Doctorate in Educational Leadership at UNM

Reasons for Seeking Election as a Trustee on the Luna Community College Board:

  • I am concerned the college will lose accreditation
  • Taxpayers want to see improvements and value for their money.
  • See the college begins the process of rebuilding – 1200 students; 250 employees and countless businesses in Las Vegas and other communities depend on Luna.
  • Decreasing enrollment.
  • Continuing and increasing dual credit classes for high school students.
  • Expanding partnerships especially with NMHU.
  • I believe in education whether it be high school students or those who want to learn a new skill.

George A. Trujillo Profile

 Graduate of Mora High School.  Retired as a Supervisor with NM Department of Transportation after 28 years.  My experience:  24 years of service with Mora Independent Schools Board of Education; served a four-year term as Mora County Commissioner.

Reasons for Seeking Election as a Trustee on the Luna Community College Board:

For so many, Luna Community College is a springboard to upward mobility. Whether as an experiential training ground for the region’s workforce or a path to a four-year degree, Luna has a noble purpose. I won’t ever take that for granted.  I am running to be a responsible steward of this important institution and to continue being a servant-leader. Right now, LCC is in trouble.  Accreditation issues have formed a cloud over LCC, student enrollment remains a huge concern, and employee morale is low. 

The top priority is addressing the findings and recommendations of the Higher Learning Commission. Enrollment is another big issue facing LCC.   Job training, development of technical skills, a pathway to a bachelor’s degree, all of these need to be highlighted in ways that resonate with people.  The Nursing Program at Luna merits particular emphasis relative to the workforce needs of the region and state.

Help me fight to ensure that LCC remains viable, affordable and transformative.

Tim Hagaman Profile

Tim married Ellen Baker from Ojo Feliz, has lived and worked in Mora and New Mexico for 35 years.

Reasons for Seeking Election as a Trustee on the Luna Community College Board:

Tim will lead an ethical board of trustees following open meetings procedures, understanding financial statements, experienced grant writing, collaborative legislation, financing and bonding.

 An Eagle scout, Tim earned a bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and later graduated from OU Economic Development Institute. What separates Tim is a fresh outside vision working throughout New Mexico’s communities and tribes.

Tim Hagaman would appreciate your vote to help create a professional Luna board and earn a new accreditation for our students.

Candidates for Soil & Water Conservation Board:

Felix Archuleta; Joseph Griego; Agnes Padilla; Arthur Sandoval; Roger Romero; Vangie Rivera; Leroy Abeyta.

Running for first time: Agnes Padilla. Why you are seeking election for this board?

My goals for the office, the employees and all the people in my community are to be fair, professional, impartial and ethical. All decisions will be made with people in mind first. We need to review all the inventory of equipment that the district has at hand, we also have to look at the rental rates that exist and make adjustments so that all people who need to rent the equipment can pay the rent and use it. Also, we must work to obtain state and federal funds and grant funds to make the district more operable and continue to grow.

Your vote and support will be greatly appreciated.