SFPS announces more leadership changes

·2 min read

Jul. 17—Santa Fe Public Schools has picked a new executive director for its Language and Culture Department and announced a variety of other administrative promotions and hires.

Stephanie Nieto, a former elementary and middle school principal in Rio Rancho Public Schools, was hired to succeed Lisa Vigil, who has accepted an associate principal job at Capital High School.

In her new role, Nieto will oversee the implementation of bilingual multicultural education programs; the support for English-language learners; bilingual seals for graduating seniors; and culturally and linguistically relevant instruction.

Nieto has worked at the Rio Rancho district since 2004, where she helped create a districtwide bilingual program, according to a news release. Santa Fe Superintendent Hilario "Larry" Chavez credited Nieto for her "in-depth" work with English-language development.

Under Vigil's leadership, nearly 100 Rio Rancho students obtained a bilingual seal during the 2021-22 school year. In 2022, she launched a pilot program to reimburse teachers for getting endorsements in English as a second language to address the needs of Rio Rancho students as the state dealt with high rates of teaching vacancies.

"We look forward to expanding SFPS' high-quality culturally and linguistically responsive instruction through her leadership," Chavez said of Vigil in a news release.

Nieto completed doctoral coursework in a diversity, instruction and behavior program from University of New Mexico, and has master's and bachelor's degrees from UNM.

At Capital High, Vigil will succeed Carla Pacheco, who took a principal position in Las Vegas, N.M.

Nieto won't be the only new face in the Santa Fe Public Schools administration heading into next school year. The district also announced several new principals and assistant principals.

u Veronica Vigil was named assistant principal at César Chávez Elementary School. She will succeed Alyssa Maestas, who was named principal at Salazar Elementary School

u New Mexico School for the Arts history teacher Cameron Sperry will be the new assistant principal at El Camino Real Academy, where former Assistant Principal Evan Gourd is moving up to take the place of the departing Jack Lain.

u At Nina Otero Community School, Donald Dionne and Valerie Apodaca will be assistant principals. They will occupy positions vacated by Mia Anderson, who is leaving the district for personal reasons, and Cynthia Clarke, who was named dean of students.

u Janice Ulibarri, formerly the preschool program administrator at Vaughn Municipal Schools, was named assistant principal for Ramirez Thomas Elementary School. She will succeed April Ortiz, who took a principal position in Las Vegas.

Chavez also announced two administrative promotions: Prevention coordinator Jenn Jevertson is the new assistant director for the Office of Student Wellness and digital learning director Dan Villescas is now the executive director of digital learning.