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What does Trujillo’s background in Las Cruces mean for the state of New Mexico?

How will southern New Mexico benefit from a former Las Cruces educator serving as the new secretary of public education?

“She’s going to be able to lead the public education department in a way that I don’t think anybody has in a long, long time,” said Ray Jaramillo, the school board member from district one.

On Thursday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Karen Trujillo, a Doña Ana County Commissioner, as the next secretary of the Public Education Department.

“Accountability is important,” Trujillo said, adding “We’ve come together to create this super team. We will not let you down.”

However, Trujillo’s district five county comission seat has seen three faces in less than a year. Commissioner John Vasquez resigned in February 2018, following accusations of misconduct. Then-governor Susana Martinez appointed Kim Hakes to the position in March. Haakes then lost to Trujillo in November.

“I think that this came up and it’s one of those places where you really have to make a decision,” said Isabella Solis, commissioner for district four. “I think she made a really wise decision. We need someone from our community to represent us well.”

“(She will go) from servicing the people in Doña Ana County to servicing the entire state,” said County Manager Fernando Macias in Santa Fe on Thursday.

“I think Karen understands what really hinders some of public education’s issues,” Jaramillo said. “That’s poverty, low income and her living here in southern New Mexico, she understands that firsthand.”​

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