Las Vegas, New Mexico – A New Mexico Highlands graduate student in educational leadership will be a student panelist at the Dominici Public Policy Conference Sept. 12 – 13.
Cherie Romero received the Dominici Scholar honor and is working with mentors to develop rigorous questions for the conference speakers.
Romero is a first-grade teacher at Pablo Roybal Elementary School in Pojoaque Valley Schools.
“Cherie Romero has an outstanding ability to connect with children and families,” said Lillian Griego, principal for Pablo Roybal Elementary School. “She’s able to pull the very best from her students because she makes them feel important and like there isn’t anything they can’t do.
“Cherie is an important member of our school’s leadership team and also serves as a mentor to new teachers. She’s always willing to share what she knows and is open to new ideas that improve her instruction,” Griego said.
Romero said the conference is her first opportunity to speak at a public policy forum.
“I’m really looking forward to networking with all the other Dominici panelists and learning from one another,” Romero said. “My questions are related to immigration reform. It’s really interesting to me how rapidly things are changing in the school system with the DACA program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“We’re trying to develop school policy to support DACA students, especially the young ones with trauma from being separated from their parents at the border. For the older high school ‘dreamers,’ we are trying to support the students in pursuing their educational goals to be teachers, doctors and lawyers – anything they wish to become,” Romero said.
Romero said the educational leadership courses she takes at Highlands in the School of Education make her more aware of social justice issues in the educational system.
“Dr. Robert Karaba has been instrumental in helping me navigate methods that help me use my voice and newfound knowledge to make positive changes in my classroom and school. He and the other Highlands professors are very inspirational and extremely helpful with advice,” Romero said.
After the conference, Romero will develop an independent study project through Highlands that is titled, Immigration Reform and Education Policy: Dominici Scholar.
The Dominici Public Policy Conference topics this year will focus upon national defense, immigration and the political landscape of the nation and state. The conference is in its 11th year at New Mexico State University.
Pete Dominici, a New Mexican Republican, served six terms in the U.S. Senate from 1973 – 2009, the longest tenure in the state’s history. He died Sept. 13, 2017.