BY ELLEN SPECTER
LAPS Board Candidate District 1
I have had the honor of serving on the LAPS School Board for a full term since 2017, and I am again humbly asking for your support. I want to ensure that current and future generations of students thrive and bring their learning to the next level each year as my own three children did from 2000 to 2020.
Proven Leadership and Experience
My service on the Board has included countless hours listening to teachers, parents, students and community members, reading books and research articles, not to mention thousands of pages of school board packets and updates, and over 30 hours of training. During my tenure on the School Board, I have served as both President and Vice President. For my efforts, I was presented with an Outstanding Leadership Award from the New Mexico School Board Association.
Over the past five years, I have been actively involved in two successful bond elections and major construction projects at Barranca Elementary, Mountain Elementary, and the LAHS Field House. During the Covid-19 pandemic, a myriad of difficult and heart-wrenching decisions have come my way. At each decision point, I have done my very best to learn as much as I can about the issues and actively listen to conflicting opinions. Ultimately my goal was to reach consensus when possible and then render decisions that support the best interest of our students and staff.
Support for Educators
When I ran for election in 2017, I made a commitment to increase teacher salaries, because at that time, raises were either very low or non-existent. Over the past five years, the School Board has given all LAPS teachers and staff cumulative salary increases totaling 19.5%, with an average of 3.9% per year. These raises usually exceeded what was required by the Legislature and PED. I am proud to have delivered on my promise to increase compensation for our educators, and I will continue to advocate for measures that support all our educators and foster their success and wellness. In the future, addressing issues with competitive staff salaries and cost of living in Los Alamos will be crucial to recruiting and retaining the best and brightest educators in the region.
Upcoming Important Decisions – Experience Matters!
The LAPS School Board will make important decisions over the next several years, including selecting a new superintendent and rebuilding both Pinon and Chamisa Elementary Schools. I will prioritize stakeholder and community input. My leadership experience as School Board President and in-depth knowledge of our district and community will help us make good decisions.
New Ideas, Programs and Projects
I worked hard to bring new resources and ideas to the district, which often included collaborating with our community partners. From policies to protect immigrant students and transgender students to unwavering support for the Healthy Schools Initiative, I view every decision through the lens of the wellness of our students and staff.
My love of this community and our schools is steadfast, and I believe we have the opportunity to ensure every student has the same advantages my three children benefited from for nearly two decades. I respectfully ask for your support in the November 2nd School Board election.