Mrs. Los Lunas gets acquainted with Belen Schools

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The students at HT Jaramillo Community School are already getting used to Katherine Trujillo’s funny voices and silly faces.

The new principal is getting to know a lot of her students during the summer thanks to the fact that Jaramillo is one of the district’s Pre-K Plus sites.

Katherine Trujillo HT Jaramillo principal

The flexibility of the program lets Trujillo do a principal’s project on Fridays that fits into the curriculum.

“It gives me the opportunity to interact with them and get to know them and their parents,” Trujillo said. “I’m not afraid to be silly with them.”

A recent project she did with the students studied the different states of matter that water can take on. To capture their interest, Trujillo gave them blue-tinted bubble soap. As they blew bubbles that broke against white poster board, she explained how water can be a liquid, a solid and a gas.

By the end of the lesson, the poster board was a lovely shade of blue and ready for an art project.

Trujillo spend 11 years with Albuquerque Public Schools as an elementary teacher, and has her kindergarten through eighth-grade certification and administrative license for kindergarten through 12th.

She attended both the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University to complete her degrees, which can be awkward.

“People ask if I’m a Lobo or an Aggie,” she said. “I have to say I’m both.”

Trujillo got her administrative license in 2009 but didn’t make the transition out of teaching immediately.

While competing for the Mrs. Los Lunas title, she ran on a platform of education, specifically early childhood education. In the interview portion one of the judges was impressed with her passion for the classroom and encouraged her to make the leap and take that passion for education into administration.

So she took the plunge into administration and snagged a title along the way — she is the reigning Mrs. Los Lunas 2014-15.

Trujillo said she is very excited to be at HT Jaramillo Community School, pointing out it is the only school in New Mexico that is part of the No Excuses University, a program that champions the idea that all students deserve the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college if they so choose to attend. It brings together a culture of universal achievement and a college type atmosphere.

Trujillo brings three children to the Belen district — a fourth grader, sixth grader and a sophomore.