Los Alamos Public Schools assistant principals named for the upcoming school year are, from left, Katherine Herring, Shannon Trujillo, Jennifer Kieltyka and Audrey Juliani. Photo Courtesy LAPS
LAPS NEWS RELEASE
Los Alamos Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of four assistant principals for the upcoming school year. They are: Shannon Trujillo, Aspen Elementary School; Audrey Juliani, Barranca Mesa Elementary School; Katie Herring, Mountain Elementary School; and Jennifer Kieltyka, Piñon Elementary School.
“On behalf of all instructional leaders at LAPS, I would like to thank our new assistant principals for having the desire and grit for leading our students and staff,” said LAPS Superintendent Dr. Jose Delfin. “It’s one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever love! Please know that we are all here to support all of you for success.”
Shannon Trujillo earned both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Eastern New Mexico University in Communicative Disorders. She has also been a speech-language pathologist for 29 years.
“I just completed my 20th year in the district,” she noted. “Most of my time in the district has been as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and special education contact person, and I also spent time working in Student Services completing speech-language evaluations.”
Ms. Trujillo completed the Administrative Leadership Development (ALD) program through CES last year to work towards obtaining her administrator’s license.
“I had the privilege of piloting the program of having assistant principals in elementary schools during the 2021-2022 school year,” she said. She served as the Assistant Principal at Aspen Elementary.
She is looking forward to the fall and continuing in this position. “Now that we have many procedures and safety measures in place, I am looking forward to starting the new school year in a more traditional way,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with new staff, and continuing to bolster Aspen’s supportive culture and commitment to engaged learning.” Her goal for the upcoming school year is to continue to build individual relationships with students and families.
Audrey Juliani has been an elementary classroom teacher for the past 28 years, first with the Grants/Cibola County Schools in Grants and then with LAPS. After graduating from Western New Mexico University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, she earned her elementary teaching certification. “Then I spent twelve rewarding years teaching 2nd and 3rd grades to primarily Latino, Native American, and Caucasian students,” she said. In addition to teaching, she coached varsity athletic teams at the local high school.
In 2005, while continuing full-time teaching and coaching duties, she received her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Multicultural Studies from New Mexico State University. She attained certification in the state of New Mexico (Level III-Instructional Leader), and gained a teaching endorsement in TESOL. In 2012, she became Nationally Board Certified in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood.
“I am very interested in working with the students, parents, teachers, staff, and community of the Los Alamos Public Schools,” she said. “My experience in the classroom will allow me to truly delve into curriculum and learning strategies for teachers.”
Katherine Herring is a lifelong resident of Los Alamos County, having attended Chamisa, Aspen, LAMS, and graduating from LAHS. “My journey to teaching started at Mountain Elementary, where I worked as a one-on-one instructional assistant in a kindergarten classroom,” she explained. In addition, she completed her student teaching at Mountain Elementary.
“I am so excited to return to Mountain where my love for teaching began,” she said. Ms. Herring worked for 9 years at Barranca Mesa Elementary and was nominated as the Teacher of the Year in 2018. She has also been a summer school instructor and a district tutor for a number of years. During the summers, she works with the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in the summer education programs, “doing what I love: hiking and helping kids experience science and nature.”
She holds several professional development certificates focusing on innovative math and science teaching strategies, and has an Associates of Sciences degree from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Summa Cum Laude with an endorsement in TESOL, from Northern New Mexico College. She also completed her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Highlands University and is currently working on her Administrative License Certificate with help from mentors Andy Ainsworth and Suzanne Lynne.
“I am a champion for change and growth, which is what led me to pursue this new position,” she explained. “I love challenging myself and pursuing new experiences. I have served on many committees, planning groups, and hiring committees with the talented and dedicated staff at Barranca Mesa Elementary. My dedication to the teachers, students, and families has just naturally guided my path to working in administration.” Next year she is looking forward to connecting with the staff at Mountain Elementary. “In the classroom, I focus on opportunities to grow in problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. In this same spirit, I am excited to work with the staff to celebrate their success and work together to overcome challenges.”
Jennifer Kieltyka just completed her 30th year with the district. She taught Special Education for 24 years at Chamisa, moved to Los Alamos High School as Dean of Students and Contact person, then spent two years as principal at Mountain Elementary. She then spent a year at Pinon Elementary teaching Special Education and serving as the Special Education Contact. She has spent the past year as the Special Education Contact at Los Alamos High School.
She holds a Bachelor of Art in Elementary Education K-8, and Special Education K-12, and an early childhood endorsement, as well as a Master of Art in Educational Administration.
“I loved being a principal, and working with both the teachers and the students,” she said. “As a teacher, I was able to work with only those students assigned to me for the year, but in the role of principal, I was able to support all teachers and students in my school.
“I am looking forward to having additional experience and leadership to support our students at our elementary schools in the upcoming school year,” said Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Guy. “Our new assistant principals are not only an asset to their respective schools, but to the district as a whole.”