President Ray Jaramillo
District 1 | Elected in 2017 (Term ends in 2021)
LCPS Board of Education-Secretary
Ray Jaramillo's Biography
Ray Jaramillo has been a resident of Las Cruces for more than twenty-five years. He and his wife, Mackenzie Jaramillo, have two children, both educated in Las Cruces Public Schools. He is a graduate of New Mexico State University where he has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a minor in child advocacy studies. Mr. Jaramillo attended Erikson Institute for a master’s in early childhood education, and is pursuing a doctoral degree in education at Northcentral University
Ray is currently the Director of Alpha School for Young Children, a five star nationally accredited preschool. He has been working with young children and has been employed with Alpha School since December of 1995. In 2012, he was appointed by Governor Martinez to the New Mexico Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC). In July of 2018, Ray was reappointed to another four-year term with ELAC where he currently serves as co-chair of the public policy committee.
Ray was elected to Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education in February 2017 to represent District 1. Ray believes that education should be built on positive relationships. “Through relationships, we provide students with the essential support for learning. Education built on relationships will have positive life-long implications for both students’ academic and social development.”
Vice President Carol Cooper
Carol Cooper's Biography
Carol Cooper was born and grew up in Roswell, NM. Her father, Clyde Long, was in the U. S. Air Force, so while she attended elementary school and high school in Roswell, she was also a student (grades 8-10) at Ramey High School in Puerto Rico. She graduated from Roswell High School and began her college education at NMSU in the fall of 1964.
Marriage to Gary Thurm and the births of their two sons, Gary Jr. and Evan Thurm, postponed completion of her college education. Anticipating divorce in 1979, she returned to NMSU and graduated in the spring of 1982 with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. Within a few months she began her career in public accounting.
In 2000, she married Tom Cooper, CPA and cattle rancher, and that meant a second career for Carol as well! Carol and Tom lived and worked together, rarely separated until Tom’s passing in 2012. Carol is no longer ranching but continues to serve her accounting clients.
Carol is an active member of Mission Lutheran Church and regards teaching Sunday School as a very special joy in her life. She is also a member of Republican Women of the Mesilla Valley and previously served as the club’s president. When schedules permit, Carol travels to visit her sons and their families. Gary, a civil engineer in Minden, Nevada, and Evan, a personnel trainer and recruiter in Portland, Oregon.
Carol writes, “l am often asked why I wish to serve as a school board member, and I think it is important everyone involved with me know the answer to that question. Frankly, I hope our community shares my desire: I desire that all the people who share our planet know the resources our Creator has provided us (individually and collectively) and learn how to use them-in order that we may all lead full, productive, peaceable lives. I believe that requires the knowledge of the generations be shared with the generations that follow-not always having to “reinvent the wheel”. Further, I think that happens best when, in concert with professional educators, we (mothers, fathers, extended family, friends, neighbors…) are all committed to being connected to the students in our lives, all of us teaching and learning. I am here to encourage, facilitate effective learning however, whenever I can.”
Secretary Teresa Tenorio
Teresa Tenorio's Biography
Teresa Tenorio was elected on November 5, 2019 and began her four-year term on January 1, 2020. She ran for school board to offer Las Cruces Public Schools her perspective as a parent of school-aged children, her courage as an education activist, and her conscience to serve ethically and responsibly.
Teresa grew up in the town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico where she and her three siblings attended public school, K-12. Her parents, now-retired public school teachers, were wonderful role models in the community. She was surrounded by educators, 12 in her family among three generations. Ms. Tenorio graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in University Studies from the University of New Mexico, with an interdisciplinary focus on Health & Society. She worked on research and intervention projects at the UNM Health Science Center and the University of Texas School of Public Health pertaining to health promotion and disease prevention among underserved and at-risk populations.
Ms. Tenorio and her spouse, Manuel Sanchez, have called Las Cruces “home” since 2011. Their three daughters attend East Picacho Elementary. Teresa has coached a handful of Las Cruces City Recreation Youth basketball teams and also teaches youth catechism. For several years, she led LC Moms on the Move, a local wellness group for expecting women and mothers with young children. Prior to starting her family, Teresa worked directly with youth and community for over 10 years on various education, health, and leadership initiatives. She currently serves on the NM Public Education Department Student Success Task Force.
Since 2015, Teresa has been strongly involved in efforts locally and statewide to reclaim public education from corporate reform malpractices. Her advocacy substantially expanded her network of stakeholders in education. These stakeholder interactions and intensive research affirmed her values in relevant and inclusive learning, evidence-based practices, increased teacher autonomy, the whole child approach, community engagement, and informed decision-making via local control.
“I am honored to serve on the board. I encourage you to reach out to me and the other board members with your concerns, questions, and yes, even praises related to LCPS, so that we can better guide and support the district’s efforts.”
Member Pamela Cort
Pamela Cort's Biography
Pamela Cort grew up in Santa Fe, NM but has been a resident of Las Cruces for the last 30 years. Her mother was born and raised in Las Cruces so her love of the city has been with her all her life. Pamela and her husband, Robert, raised their two children in Las Cruces where they attended and graduated from Las Cruces Public Schools. Pamela taught French at Las Cruces High School for 26 years after beginning her teaching career in the Albuquerque Public Schools. Pamela earned her BA in French from Washington State University, her MA in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University, and her Ed.S in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University.
Pamela’s love of education and passion for teaching began when she was a child, growing up immersed in the education system. Her grandmother and mother were elementary school teachers, her grandfather was a high school band director, and her father was a college professor. Pamela is most proud of the relationships she formed while in the classroom and the connections she has made with her students. Although Pamela retired in May 2019, she has continued her education work through involvement with professional teacher organizations and creating professional development opportunities for educators through NEA-NM EL3.
During her time as a high school French teacher, she worked tirelessly for her students in the classroom and school governance. The students were the reason she went to work every day and stayed an educator for 31 exhilarating years. In 2012, she had the honor of being selected as the Las Cruces District Teacher of the Year, and became the New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 2013. Her experiences as Teacher of the Year have allowed her to gain a more expansive national view of education and a greater appreciation of how state and district policies directly affect the student population. As a language educator, Pamela promoted cultural and linguistic diversity in her teaching, prompting her English Learners to become leaders in the classroom. She completed her Ed.S degree in 2018, with the bulk of the work concentrated on Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (CLRT). Pamela’s educator network spreads across the world due to her membership in multiple professional language teacher organizations and her work with the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. She has a vast educational reference system because she is in constant contact with these associations. There will be many challenges facing education in the coming years, and Pamela’s extensive background will provide the first-hand experience necessary to meet these issues head-on.
Member Maria Flores
District 3 | Elected in 2017 (Term ends in 2021)
Maria Flores' Biography
Sra. Maria A. Flores was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but has lived in Las Cruces for 30 years with her husband, Dr. Ernest A. Flores. Together they raised three children, all graduates of Las Cruces Public Schools and all college graduates. Sra. Flores was an elementary teacher for 15 years and has devoted her career to the education of children.
As an advocate for education, Sra. Flores has championed children’s literacy projects, as well as nutrition and social justice initiatives. She has fought against education policies that she believes place too high a value on standardized testing, and has worked steadfastly to restore the joy of learning to classrooms. In 2012, the New Mexico School Board Association named the LCPS Board of Education, NM Board of the Year. She continues to volunteer her time and energy to serving and mentoring the children of Doña Ana County. She was one of the founding members of the Children’s Reading Alliance and has served for three years as a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. She was also named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest.
Sra. Flores was first elected to the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education in 2009 and has served proudly as its President and Vice-President. Her focus has always been to speak for those with no voice, and to promote equity for our students.