On Tuesday, June 11, the Las Cruces Public School Board approved a contract extension for Superintendent, Dr. Gregory Ewing. The board met in Executive Session to discuss and review the Superintendent’s 2018-2019 end-of-the-year evaluation. The contract was extended for an additional year until 2022 to remain as a three-year contract, which is the maximum length allowed by law.

In addition, during the LCPS board meeting, President Ed Frank entertained a motion to approve the completed end-of-the-year, 2018-2019 evaluation and presentation of the evaluation to Superintendent Ewing. The motion was moved by Secretary Castro, seconded by Ray Jaramillo and carried unanimously by the board. President Frank presented the next item on the agenda, a discussion and possible extension of the Superintendent’s contract—to be maintained until June 30, 2022. Secretary Castro took a roll-call, and the board unanimously approved the Superintendent’s contract to be renewed.

Las Cruces Public School Board President Ed Frank, Secretary Maury Castro, Board Member Maria A. Flores and Superintendent, Dr. Gregory Ewing during the June 11, LCPS board meeting.

“I’d like to say thank you to the staff. We work together, and I appreciate all of you very much, each and every day,” Ewing said. “Getting the contract renewal is a testament to the work you’re doing. I appreciate everything you all are doing. I appreciate you individually, and as a collective group. Thank you very much. It’s an honor and a pleasure to continue to serve the board.”

Dr. Ewing took on the role as the leader for the district in 2016, after a rigorous selection process to find the next superintendent for Las Cruces public Schools. The five-month process, facilitated by interim Superintendent Steven Sanchez, included several public forums and community input panels. Parents in the community also chimed in, providing input during the search process.

Dr. Ewing was previously the Chief Accountability and Research Officer with the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Georgia. Ewing’s experience also includes 16 years as a classroom teacher and 14 years a district administrator — including 10 years as a curriculum supervisor and four years as the senior leader in charge of accountability, charter schools, ESOL programs, and alternative schools. He was also formerly an assistant professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, where he taught for 20 years while working full-time as a K-12 educator.

He also has experience as a district administrator for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), foreign languages, international welcome centers, intensive English language program schools, and dual-language programs. Dr. Ewing holds Level IIIA New Mexico teacher certification for grades 6-12 in Language Arts, Social Studies, Psychology, Modern and Classical Languages, and ESOL. He also holds Level IIIB administrative certification, K-12.

Dr. Ewing has dedicated more than 35 years to education, as a teacher and administrator, and was named the Hispanic Serving Administrator of the Year by the Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents (ALAS) for his work, passion, and commitment to education. He also received the 2016 Special Educator Award from Univision.

As a former teacher, Dr. Ewing continues to emphasize the importance of supporting teachers in the classroom and encouraging them to instruct students on subjects of their expertise without worry of the state’s standardized testing. Last year, Las Cruces Public Schools celebrated a No. 1 ranking for the best four-year high school graduation rate among New Mexico districts. The 85.5 percent “cohort” graduation rate is slightly higher than the national average of 84 percent. Districtwide, LCPS witnessed a more than 5 percentage point gain in graduation rates between 2015-16 and 2016-17, according to data.

“Tests should never be used to denigrate students nor shame teachers,” said Ewing. “I empower you to return to teaching. Teach your subject areas with the experience and knowledge you already possess; show your students the enthusiasm teachers have about their respective fields; and finally, be that teacher you are and were before the days of standardized testing. With solid and outstanding teaching, valid tests will demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have imparted on your students. Therefore, I simply say, enjoy the year and teach!”

During his time with the district, Dr. Ewing has led the expansion of International Welcome Centers in middle schools, working closely with migrant students. To date, the district has increased the number of teachers in the classroom and projects the same trend for the 2020 school year. Lastly, Dr. Ewing has set out to make Las Cruces Public Schools a safe learning environment for students. Over the course of his time with the district, Ewing has fortified schools, incorporated additional cameras in schools, and has significantly increased security personnel for every school in the district, including elementary schools.

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net