Why are school board races so important? Once upon a time, not a lot of attention was paid to school board races, especially by those who didn’t have children in that district. Times have changed. According to Ballotpedia, school board races are now one of the hottest seats on the ballot.

What Do School Boards Do?

School board races became the hotbed for the so-called “culture war” that has inspired new candidates to run in races all over the country, Sandoval County being no exception. In many of these races, voters will choose between candidates with vastly different ideas of the fundamental teaching in schools. The school board will have a say in what schools should teach and what public education looks like for the children in that district.

The Signpost sent out candidate questionnaires to all school board candidates from 4 school board races in Sandoval County. School boards with an election this year are Jemez Valley Public Schools, Bernalillo Public Schools, Cuba Independent Public Schools and Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Jemez Valley Public Schools Board candidates

District 1: Amelia Trujillo

District 2: Cathay Trujillo-Wiseman

District 4: Glenda Medina, Anthony Delgarito and Manuel J Lucero

We will post candidate responses as we receive them.

Cuba Independent Public Schools Board candidates

District 1: Vivian Keetso

District 4: Dianna Maestas-Lovato and Adan Delgado

District 5: James Casaus

We will post candidate responses as we receive them.

Bernalillo Public Schools Board candidates

District 1: Christine Suina

District 4: Cordelia Chavez

District 5: Paul J Madrid

We will post candidate responses as we receive them.

Rio Rancho Public Schools Board candidates

District 2: Amanda Galbraith

District 4: Elizabeth Miller, Ramon Montano and Noreen Krewer Scott

Only one candidate from one school board race responded to our questions. We are featuring those questions below.

Rio Rancho Public Schools are by far the largest in the county, and as such have a pretty competitive school board race. The five-member elected Board of Education (also known as the School Board) is the statutory governing body for the school district. The Board is also responsible for establishing overall direction and district policy. Under state law, the Board hires the district Superintendent. Board members serve four-year staggered terms. This year, District 2 and 4 seats are up for grabs. District 2, which covers much of the south and southwestern portion of Rio Rancho.


Amanda Galbraith

How many years have you lived in the district?



Teacher and race director

There’s been a lot of talk about removing certain books from shelves at libraries and schools. Would you support banning books in Public Schools libraries?

School libraries play a crucial role in our children’s education. However, it is important to maintain age-appropriate materials in these spaces. We must strike a balance between promoting intellectual freedom and safeguarding the well-being of our students. Inappropriate books can potentially expose children to content that is not developmentally suitable. Being transparent, in the purchasing of books, and involving parents, teachers, and librarians in this process can help ensure that the materials available align with our educational goals and respect the diverse backgrounds and beliefs of our students.

School shootings have become a common threat at schools across the country. Do you support armed police officers or security guards at Rio Rancho Public Schools?

In light of growing safety concerns, around the nation, having armed security guards on school campuses is a proactive measure that ensures the protection of our students and staff. Their presence not only deters potential threats but also provides a rapid response in the event of an emergency. Rio Rancho Public Schools currently has armed security guards on campuses. This program prioritizes the safety and well-being of our school community, offering peace of mind to parents and fostering a secure learning environment.

Do you support Title IX protections for transgender students to participate in school sports? Why or why not?

Title IX protection for transgender students in sports is a complex issue that deserves careful consideration. It’s crucial to support all students, regardless of gender identity. All students are deserving of respect and opportunities. However, we must also be thoughtful of the concerns raised by female athletes regarding fair competition. Striking a balance that accommodates transgender students while ensuring equitable competition for female athletes is a challenging task. We should engage in open dialogue, consult experts, and craft policies that respect the rights and worth of all individuals involved, striving for fairness and inclusivity.

According to the Public Education Dept., data shows that less than 20% of students in the district are proficient in English and language standards. Just 8% of students are proficient in math and only 15% are meeting science standards. What role does the school board play in impacting outcomes and what specifically will you do to impact achievement?

School boards are essential in guaranteeing proficiency in math, science, and English language arts. They shape curriculum, allocate resources, and set policies to ensure alignment with educational standards. School boards also oversee teacher development, establish assessment methods, and foster parental and community engagement. My approach includes prioritizing teacher professional development, providing resources for their growth, and promoting innovative teaching methods. I believe in data-driven decision-making, using performance metrics to identify areas for improvement and tailor strategies for success. Collaborating with parents, local organizations, and the community is essential to creating a supportive learning environment for all students.

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