Public Education Secretary Unveils Leadership Team: Ready To Work Together To Elevate Education


New Mexico’s Secretary of Education Arsenio Romero has announced his top leadership team, comprised of educators eager to make a difference in the lives of students across the state.
Two cabinet members are internal, two come from leadership roles around New Mexico and one heralds from a diverse area of Texas. All are committed to ramping up student success across the state.

  • Seana Flanagan is Managing Director. She had been in the post on an interim basis. Previously, she was Division Director of Educator Quality and has been with PED since 2014. Before joining the Public Education Department, Seana was a middle school educational assistant and teacher in Vermont. She also worked in retail leadership and training for multiple companies, including Apple.
  • Gregory Frostad, former interim Policy and Legislative Affairs Director and Safe and Healthy Schools Director is Assistant Secretary of Policy and Research. During his nine years with the agency, he has managed the COVID response for schools, supervised the successful submission of more than $20 million in competitive grants and worked with the legislature and Governor’s Office to achieve the largest funding for New Mexico schools in history.     
  • Amanda DeBell, current Albuquerque Public Schools Zone 3 Schools Associate Superintendent, is Deputy Secretary of Teaching, Learning and Innovation. As part of her role, she will support educator quality and curriculum, instruction and assessment. Community and charter schools, as well as struggling schools, fall under her purview.
  • KatieAnn Juanico, who most recently worked for the San Felipe Pueblo as the Education Director, is Assistant Secretary of Indian Education. As part of her job, she will lead Indian Education Programs, Native American language and culture projects, and tribal consultations.
  • Candice Castillo, current Executive Officer of Student Support Services at Houston Independent School District, is taking the role of Deputy Secretary of Identity, Equity and Transformation. She will oversee such things as federal programs, safe and healthy schools, language and culture, and the Black and Hispanic education acts, as well as student, school and family support.

“These education leaders embody our vision to boost student outcomes across the board. We will use data to drive decisions that are best for our culturally rich state,” Romero said. “Thought, care and intention were put into the selection process to produce a varied team of individuals poised to affect change. This is my personal dream team, and I am so honored that they are all up to the task. Our work is the future of the children of New Mexico!”

Click here for photographs of the PED leadership team.