July 9, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Charmaine Jackson-John
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393


Santa Fe--The Public Education Commission today elected John A. Darden of Las Cruces, N.M. as the new Chairperson of the Commission. Catherine M. Smith of Mimbres, N.M. was also elected as the Vice-Chairperson, and Millie Pogna of Albuquerque, N.M. as the Secretary. Darden replaces former Commission Chairperson Eleanor B. Ortiz of Santa Fe.

Voters in September 2003, approved the Constitional Amendment changing the governance of public schools. The Commission was created as an advisory commission, replacing the former State Board of Education.

The Commission plans to collect input for a Five-Year Strategic Plan focusing on Public Elementary and Secondary Education which includes requesting input from local school boards, school districts, and the general public on policy and governance issues.

Findings and recommendations will be reported to the Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García and the Legislature.

The next Commission meeting will be held on September 17, 2004 the location will be announced at a later date.