Martha Alvarez, an educational assistant from Highland Elementary, receives a rose from Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Greg Ewing after being named a semifinalist for the district's Educational Support Personnel of the Year.

Las Cruces Public Schools on Tuesday recognized the 2020 campus employees of the year, along with four employees from Central Office, at the Second Annual LCPS Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony. The event took place at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. In addition, district officials announced the semifinalists for the districtwide Teacher of the Year award and the Educational Support Personnel of the Year award.

“Las Cruces Public Schools is home to many outstanding employees, and our students’ success is evidence of the excellence that exists in our schools,” said Superintendent Greg Ewing. “It is truly a pleasure to be able to recognize them for their hard work, and to celebrate their dedication and commitment to the students and families we serve.”

Superintendent Greg Ewing and members of the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education pose with LCPS Educational Support Personnel of the Year semifinalists on Tuesday, February 27, 2019 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

Tuesday’s awards luncheon was sponsored by Memorial Medical Center, Campos School Portraits and Dickerson Catering.

This is the second year district officials have awarded campus-level teacher of the year awards at every school in the district, in addition to the districtwide award. This is also the second year that the district has given campus-level awards for educational support personnel such as custodians, educational assistants, food service workers, secretaries and other classified staff.

Superintendent Greg Ewing and members of the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education pose with LCPS Teacher of the Year semifinalists on Tuesday, February 27, 2019 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

As part of the selection process, the campus employees of the year, who are selected by their respective schools, are then entered into the running for the district awards. Two selection committees — one for Teacher of the Year and another for Educational Support Personnel of the Year — then select ten semifinalists, two finalists and one winner in each of the awards categories.

The 2020 LCPS Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Educational Support Personnel of the Year will be announced at the LCPS Foundation’s annual Celebration of Excellence in Education Awards dinner Monday, April 29 at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.

The campus employees of the year and the semifinalists for the district employee of the year awards are as follows: (Asterisks denote semifinalists for the district award.)

Alameda Elementary School
Lisa Esqueda – Teacher of the Year                Nicole Williams – Edu. Support Personnel of the Year

Booker T. Washington Elementary School
Rebecca Velarde – TOTY                                 Marisol Carrasco – ESPOTY

Central Elementary School
Joe Flores – TOTY                                           Jeanette Saenz – ESPOTY

César Chávez Elementary School
Graciela Madrid – TOTY                                  Leticia Jimenez – ESPOTY

Columbia Elementary School
Rebekah Perez – TOTY                                    Barbara Brunette – ESPOTY

Conlee Elementary School
Alicia Groves – TOTY                                     Rebecca Valenzuela – ESPOTY

Desert Hills Elementary School
Michelle Estrada – TOTY                                 Pat Rivera – ESPOTY

Doña Ana Elementary School
Sabrina Misquez – TOTY*                               Mary Bachman – ESPOTY*

East Picacho Elementary School
Abigail Husson-Matter – TOTY*                      Jackie Stevenson – ESPOTY

Fairacres Elementary School
Melissa Cherry – TOTY *                                  Maria Herrera – ESPOTY

Hermosa Heights Elementary School
Eva Marquez – TOTY                                       Lydia DiMatteo – ESPOTY

Highland Elementary School
Ana Bruner – TOTY                                         Martha Alvarez – ESPOTY*

Hillrise Elementary School
Mark Dwake – TOTY                                       Rachel Rodriguez – ESPOTY

Jornada Elementary School
Roscoe Farmer – TOTY                                    Jan Williams – ESPOTY*

Loma Heights Elementary School
Leticia Peña – TOTY                                        Evelyn Piña – ESPOTY

MacArthur Elementary School
Darlene Hernandez – TOTY                              Frankie Saenz – ESPOTY

Mesilla Elementary School
Efren Aleman – TOTY                                     Amalia Garcia – ESPOTY*

Mesilla Park Elementary School
Everardo “Eddie” Leon – TOTY                       Lupe Lerma – ESPOTY*

Monte Vista Elementary School
Michelle “Kimberly” Whitaker – TOTY            Grace Griffen Rios – ESPOTY*

Sonoma Elementary School
Rosie Melendez – TOTY                                  Jennifer Franco – ESPOTY

Sunrise Elementary School
Yvette Crofford – TOTY                                  Jesus Ortiz – ESPOTY

Tombaugh Elementary School
Benjamin Ledezma – TOTY                             Rosie Rosales – ESPOTY

University Hills Elementary School
Patrick Jimenez – TOTY                                   Gavien Barela – ESPOTY

Valley View Elementary School
Jana Strnadova – TOTY*                                  Lydia Kelley – ESPOTY*

White Sands K-8 School
Angela Veara – TOTY                                      Nikki Kroger – ESPOTY

Camino Real Middle School
Cora Garcia-Mayers – TOTY                            Melinda Serna – ESPOTY

Lynn Middle School
Maria Perez-Luna – TOTY                               Martha Madrid – ESPOTY

Mesa Middle School
Michael Dominguez – TOTY                            Nataly Calix – ESPOTY

Mesilla Valley Leadership Academy
Amanda Mata – TOTY*                                   Ana Lisa Montoya – ESPOTY

Picacho Middle School
Morgan Harding – TOTY*                                Jayne Pieroni – ESPOTY*

Sierra Middle School
Erin Brown-Meeks – TOTY                              Nora Fierro – ESPOTY

Vista Middle School
Amy Lopeman – TOTY*                                  Lisa Benavidez – ESPOTY

Zia Middle School
Katelynn Tupponce – TOTY                             George Ann Jaramillo – ESPOTY

Arrowhead Park Early College High School/ Medical Academy
Lisa Ehlers McCuller – TOTY*                         Diane “Dee” Acosta – ESPOTY

Centennial High School
Brianna Duerksen – TOTY*                              Crystal Enriquez – ESPOTY

Las Cruces High School
Anna Roman – TOTY                                      Laura Conelley – ESPOTY*

Mayfield High School
Elizabeth Turner – TOTY                                 Guillermo “Willie” Jacquez – ESPOTY

Oñate High School
Michael Ogas – TOTY                                      Oscar Flores – ESPOTY

Rio Grande Preparatory Institute
Nikolina Keyes – TOTY*                                 Frances Melendrez – ESPOTY

Megan Jimenez – TOTY                                   Chris Chairez – ESPOTY

Virtual Learning Academy
Amy Ewing – TOTY

Central Office
Sylvia Contreras – ESPOTY                              Connie Stewart – ESPOTY*
Terri Arellano – ESPOTY                                 Patricia Monge – ESPOTY

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811,