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Los Lunas superintendent named new education secretary

Los Lunas School Superintendent Arsenio Romero is New Mexico’s new Secretary of Education. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Romero’s appointment Tuesday.

Romero, who will assume his new position March 6, is a veteran New Mexico educator and superintendent. He has served as superintendent in Deming as well as Los Lunas, and also as assistant superintendent for the Roswell Independent School District.

During his tenure in Deming, the district transformed from the lowest-performing school district in the state to a model for instructional practices and career technical education pathways. 

Romero also serves as New Mexico State University regent. In 2019 he was awarded the National Superintendent of the Year by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. 

“Arsenio Romero is a proven education leader. He knows what it takes to focus on New Mexico students, make hard decisions and improve academic achievement,” said Amanda Aragon, Executive Director of NewMexicoKidsCAN. “We look forward to him bringing a student-centered vision and much needed stability to the PED for the remainder of the governor’s term.”

Lujan Grisham has found it challenging to keep the education secretary filled. Romero will be her fourth education secretary. The most recent, Kurt Steinhaus, resigned last month. Several other senior department administrators have left in recent months as well.

Romero’s appointment comes at a critical moment for public education in the state. New Mexico students continue to rank last in every educational measure, and student achievement is at its lowest point in decades.