West administrators shuffled

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Promotions created several vacancies at district

By Mercy Lopez

The West Las Vegas School District has undergone a series of administrative changes since the promotion of Gene Parson to the superintendent position last month.

Former middle school principal Darice Balizan was promoted to associate superintendent, the position previously held by Parson.

Julianna Trujillo originally replaced Becky Gallegos as interim Valley Elementary and Middle School principal upon Gallegos’ retirement earlier this year. But after Balizan was promoted to the associate superintendent post, Trujillo was made principal of West Middle School.

Cathy Lucero, the district’s special education director, was then  moved to the Valley to fill that vacancy. Lucero has been an employee at the school district for 19 years.

Former district diagnostician Jeannie Rubin was then selected to serve as interim special education director. Parson said that while Rubin has been a district employee only since Aug. 1, she has worked with the district on a contract basis prior to her becoming a school district employee.

According to the district’s website,  the closing date for in-district employees to submit a letter of interest for the special education director position is this Friday.

Parson said some of the administrative changes were initiated by former superintendent Ruben Cordova prior to his resignation.

“Dr. Cordova made a couple of changes when he was superintendent,” Parson said. “I then made a couple of additional changes a couple of Fridays ago.”

Balizan was formerly employed at the Springer schools and originally replaced Steve Sandoval as West Middle School principal when the district didn’t renew his contract this summer.

“She (Balizan) was middle school principal as well as special education director in Springer,” Parson said. “She has experience with a lot of federal programs.”

Parson said he requested letters of interest from interested applicants within the district for the associate superintendent position.

“She (Balizan) submitted her letter and was the successful one,” he said.

Prior to being a West Las Vegas district employee, Trujillo, worked at Pojoaque and in Santa Fe.

“She (Trujillo) has been with the district for about a month as interim principal at the Valley,” Parson said.