Sunday, November 17, 2019

The work we are undertaking together has been an extraordinary journey. In many respects, the board of education, this community and so many others care deeply about our children's education and have embarked on this journey with us. So many parents and so many people in various walks of life in Taos have all talked about this in one form or another, and are committed to participate in the improvement of all schools in our district. Together we have begun the journey of focusing on student learning and academic achievement of all students to equip them with the skills and character necessary to work productively in society.

 Dr.Torrez Picture 2

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Phone: 575-758-5202 • Fax: 575-758-5250

Dr. Lillian Torrez' Biography

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First semester 2017, all of us together:

·Survived a million dollar deficit
·Began a Five-Year Strategic Plan that will be complete within the next three months
·Held two school board retreats
·Adopted sixty additional board policies to be fully up-to-date
·Were released of corrective action for non-compliance of special education by NMPED
·Were released of corrective action by NMPED for our program at the Taos Juvenile Detention Center
·Analyzed our budget to diminish unnecessary expenses
·Initiated budget forecasting
·Performed safety assessments at all schools
·Held district-wide Active Shooter Training
·Hosted the 2-day IDEA Region Session
·Hosted the NMSBA (New Mexico School Board Association) Region meeting; reduced legal costs by 90%
·Completed twelve million dollar capital projects at all schools; applied for several grants and received funding for two
·Attended many professional development opportunities focusing on student instruction and increased achievement (best practices) such as data disaggregation, Instruction through the Common Core, etc.
·Created a new school website
·Revitalized the high school cafeteria for increased revenue in food service
·Established a collective bargaining agreement
·Increased National Teacher Board Certification candidates to 17, and so much more.

All of these accomplishments are significant and are forming the foundation for a solid focus on student learning. This semester we will continue the strategic improvement in our financial solvency, facilities and maintenance, food services, and most importantly, our curriculum and instruction to students. I believe that if we continue our hard work this school year, we will be set for significant improvements in student achievement.

I am very thankful to all the staff, teachers, administrators, students, parents, community members, elected officials and our business partners for their commitment, dedication and passion to work endless hours and go above and beyond, giving of their time, skills, money, materials and whatever was asked of them. They've never said, "no". Instead, they have given more. Together we are making a difference!

 -Dr. Torrez

Superintendent's Profile

Dr. Lillian Torrez has worked in K-12 education throughout New Mexico for 41 years. She began her career in education as a special education teacher in Albuquerque for nine years immediately after graduating from the University of New Mexico and K-12 schools in APS. Dr. Torrez also worked as school counselor, assistant principal and principal in Albuquerque, where she was a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. As principal, Dr. Torrez led her school to improvement by focusing on student data to improve instruction. She strategically and systemically led a school to increase student test scores from 8% (ITBS) to 52% (ITBS) to meet AYP. Her school received the National Title I Award by the US Department of Education. While there, Dr. Torrez was named Principal of the Year by KOAT TV and the Boy Scouts of America Inc. After seven years of leading her school, she moved to the educational private sector for a few years to gain expertise in strategic planning, high quality instruction, creating a climate for school improvement and best practices and principles of school excellence. While she was there, she graduated from the New Mexico Aspiring Superintendents’ Academy and was a finalist for New Mexico Secretary of Education.

 Dr. Torrez moved back to the public schools as an Assistant Superintendent. In March of 2012, she was the Superintendent of the Questa Independent School District in Questa, New Mexico. While there, Dr. Torrez was selected as Administrator of the Year by the New Mexico National Board Teacher Network. Dr. Torrez was selected top 20 in the US by AASA (American Association of School Administrators) to participate in the two-year National Superintendent Certification Program of which she graduated in February 2015. She is in her sixth year as Superintendent of Taos Municipal Schools. Dr. Torrez serves as Past- President of the (NMSSA) New Mexico School Superintendents’ Association and is on the (NMCEL) Executive Council for the New Mexico Coalition of Educational Leaders. She was elected to the National AASA Governing Council representing New Mexico to lobby state and federal government policy issues and assisted with Governor Grisham’s education transition team. She was recently appointed to the AASA Election Committee by President Kerr. This year, she was elected to serve on the Board of (CES) Cooperative Educational Services. She is assisting NM with broadband (e-rate, etc.) for Native American lands. Dr. Torrez serves on the NMPED (CTE) Career Technical Education Taskforce, UNM Curriculum Advisory Council and is a member of the Taos Milagro Rotary where she is a Paul Harris Fellow.

She completed her bachelor’s degree in Special Education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, master’s degree in School Counseling at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico and holds an educational specialist (Ed. S.) degree and doctorate (Ph.D.) degree from the University of New Mexico with expertise in Educational Administration and Organizational Communication.