Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham poses with Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools bus driver Edwin Gurule and other school staffers.  

When Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools bus driver Edwin Gurule invited Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on a bus ride to show her the condition of his route, she said yes. Approximately a  year later, on May 9, they made it happen. 

“In our area we need better roads, we need better infrastructure,” Mesa Vista Consolidated Schools Principal Richard Apodaca said.

While no solution has yet been decided on how to better the roads, Apodaca took this visit as an opportunity to show what else the school has going on. 

“We have 239 students and people assume that’s a small district that doesn’t have a lot going on, but we’ve had an amazing year,” he said. “We’ve come a long way in the last four or five years in raising academic scores, academic excellence and our sports. Even if you look around our facilities, they’re older, but our staff does an amazing job of keeping them up.”

The school recently had staff member Renee Peña receive the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation Excellence in Teaching award. The school was also 1 in 40 districts to be chosen for the Knowledge Matters Campaign School Tour, which featured noteworthy mathematics curricula in several school districts.

Also present at the school  May 9 was Sen. Leo Jaramillo (D-Española) and Secretary of the Public Education Department Dr. Arsenio Romero.

“I don’t know what describes how good it makes me feel to be at a school where the kids are engaged and excited to see you and want to show you what they’re learning,” Lujan Grisham said. “This is really what my whole job is about. The next generation of opportunities is great.”

The students were excited to engage with her. The school’s Future Farmers of America organization members met her at the steps when she arrived. 

“I’m excited to let her know what I think the school needs to be successful,” senior Carmella Archuleta, 17, said.

Junior Antonio Manzanares, 16, said he hopes for improvements that will better the school's sports and organizations. 

Lujan Grisham asked the students of the organization for some advice with her bunnies before she stepped inside the campus to visit students in other classrooms. While there, she spoke on previous presidents, free college tuition and answered any question the students had for her. 

The questions ranged from whether or not she believed in aliens – to which she answered no – what she wanted to be when she grew up and several questions from one eager student about her thoughts on Ohio – which later was discovered to be because of a TikTok trend.  

After speaking to the students, Lujan Grisham thanked the school staff for creating an environment that encouraged the students' engagement and enthusiasm. 

Lujan Grisham has been criticized for education data while serving as governor, and she said that she is not hiding from that data, but added, “We are making a difference and I need to get that out.”

She said that while there have been less children in the classroom in recent years because of several reasons including the fires and the Covid-19 pandemic, she hopes to change that with the help of Romero.

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