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January 2017 Member Spotlight - Dr. Almudena Abeyta

Dr. Almudena (Almi) G. Abeyta
Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning and School Support, Santa Fe Public Schools, Santa Fe, New Mexico; ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy Alum, Cohort V

Career Highlights & Education: 
I have spent 21 years working in education. During my career I have served as a kindergarten teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent of both small and large urban school districts. I take pride in the work that I do as a leader building teacher and principal capacity.  I enjoy recognizing talent in others and developing them into leaders.  
 
What I like best about my job: 
The best part of my job is being in schools and visiting classrooms.  I pride myself on being in schools.  When I am in schools I get to see what is really happening in the classroom, and I can make better decisions at the central office level as a result.
 
The best advice I’ve ever received:
When I was studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become a principal, I had one professor tell me years ago, "Almi, don't ever forget where you come from...don't forget to take your kindergarten teacher perspective with you as you lead and be yourself!"   
 
Advice you would give a new superintendent or school system leader: 
Build relationships!  Get to know people because then they will trust you as a leader.  And, don't forget we are in the people business.
 
If I ever snuck out of work early, I would probably be found: 
They would find me watching my daughter figure skate or dance!  Watching my daughter figure skate is therapeutic!  
 
People would be surprised to know: 
That I was a cheerleader in high school because I'm an introvert at heart!  
 
One thing I wish more people knew about ALAS: 
I wish more people knew that ALAS is an organization that builds up Latino leaders.  The people in ALAS are family and will help you get through the tough times in this profession through a lot of love and encouragement!