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Let's talk Albuquerque Public Schools Board elections

The headquarters of Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico's largest school district.
Nash Jones
The headquarters of Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico's largest school district.

It’s election time and eight candidates will be vying for three seats on the Albuquerque Public Schools Board. The district has seen its fair share of struggles when it comes to teacher shortages, falls in test scores that are showing onlyfour out of 10 high school students were proficient in English and writing skills and just under a fourth were proficient in math, and the district has seen enrollment drop by 11% in the past three years.

District 1 covers the Atrisco Heritage Academy High School and the Rio Grande High School area, which is currently represented by Yolanda Montoya Cordova who is not seeking re-election. Janelle Jamie Astorga, Verland Coker, and Robert Trujillo will be vying for the seat.

District 2 covers the westside area which is the areas of Cibola High School and Volcano Vista High School. The district is currently represented by Peggy Muller Aragon who is seeking re-election and Ronalda Tome-Warito and Adrian Nogales are challenging her for the seat.

District 4 covers the Heights which is the area of Highland High School. The district is represented by Barabra Peterson who is not seeking re-election. The candidates who are vying for the seat are Heather Benavidez and Stephen Cecco.

You can see the questionnaires candidates filled out for APS here. APS also held a candidate forum that is available to view on YouTube.

On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be asking the candidates their thoughts on the current state of education and what their contributions to the board would be. And we want to hear from you! Are you a parent? What changes would you like to see implemented? Or are you a student? What would help you learn and succeed? Email letstalk@kunm.org, leave a voice message by clicking the button below, or call (505) 277-5866 during the show Thursday morning at 8.


  • Janelle Jamie Astorga; District 1 candidate
  • Verland Coker; District 1 candidate
  • Robert Trujillo; District 1 candidate
  • Ronalda Tome-Warito; District 2 candidate
  • Adrian Nogales - District 2 candidate
  • Heather Benavidez; District 4 candidate

***Candidates Peggy Muller Aragon and Stephen Cecco declined our invitations to participate.

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Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.