February 7, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

PED Appoints Joe Mendez to Bureau Chief for the Program Support & Pupil Transportation Division

(Santa Fe, NM)--The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) announced today that Joe S. Mendez of Las Cruces has been promoted to Bureau Chief for the Program Support and Pupil Transportation Division. He will administer three-transportation specialists, a financial coordinator, and an administrative assistant member and be responsible for providing a broad range of standards for the operations of all public school transportation.

"Mr. Mendez has provided critical leadership to the PED’s educator ethics bureau since joining the staff three years ago, particularly in the areas of educator backgrounds, professional standards, and the investigation of unethical conduct by professional educators. His broad knowledge and work experience will be essential as we forge a unified office for transportation with professional services at the PED," said Assistant Secretary of Public Education Gilbert Perea.

The Bureau Chief is responsible for recommending standards for operations and equipment of school transportation, to include determining the transportation distribution, compliance for safe transportation of students, emergency transportation approval, and audits school budgets, records, and inspections to insure compliance with equipment and safety procedures. The Transportation Bureau has duties to provide technical assistance, driver training programs, and accident investigations.

Mendez came to PED in 1999, after 18 years as a police officer and lead investigator. He has served as the Safe Schools Coordinator, for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program and as director of the Educator Ethics Bureau for the PED.

Mendez holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York, NYC, and a Bachelor degree from Western New Mexico University, Silver City, NM. He was admitted as a certified police officer, graduating form the Santa Fe State Police Academy, Albuquerque Police Academy and the Las Cruces Police Academy, to practice law enforcement in New Mexico, having attended specialized training for FEMA on emergency management operations and safe schools and security-response planning.

For more information please contact Jennifer Chávez, Public Information Officer at jchavez@ped.state.nm.us.