Superintendent Public Forum: What You Need to Know

Las Cruces Public Schools will host a public forum featuring the three finalists for Superintendent of Schools on Thursday, June 22 at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Performing Arts Center at Organ Mountain High School. 

The district cordially invites the community to be in attendance. If you plan on going, here is what you need to know: 

  • Doors will open at 5 p.m. 
  • Please park in the west parking lot off Mesa Grande Drive. 
  • The public can enter the Performing Arts Center through the north-facing doors or the west entrance. 
  • The forum will start at 5:30 p.m. and will include opening statements from each candidate, a 150-minute moderated question and answer session and closing statements from each candidate. 
  • Immediately following the forum, the public is invited to attend a one-hour meet and greet of the candidates in the Commons area at Organ Mountain High School. 
  • Translation services will be provided on site and via Zoom. 
  • The event will be broadcast live for those who cannot attend. 

About the finalists

Dr. Debra Elder is currently the interim superintendent at Los Lunas Schools (LLS). She joined LLS in 2021 as Chief Academic Officer of Instruction, Accountability and Innovation with the charge to elevate student learning to world-class performance. Prior to LLS, Elder led the Office of Innovation and School Choice in the Albuquerque Public Schools district. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist degrees from the University of New Mexico and is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership program. 

Monica Mesa has been an educator for 31 years and currently supervises 26 elementary schools as the Assistant Superintendent of East Elementary Schools in Mesa Public Schools, the largest school district in Arizona. Throughout her career, she has served as an assistant principal, principal, principal coach and university instructor.  Mesa received her master's degree in educational leadership and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from Northern Arizona University. 

Ignacio Ruíz is an assistant superintendent for the Clark County School District in Nevada, the fifth largest school district in the nation. He has held several leadership positions including assistant principal, principal and director. Previously, Ruíz held the position of Director of Language Acquisition in the Tucson Unified School District. He is a graduate of the ALAS (Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents) National Superintendent Academy and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown. 

Stay up to date on the LCPS superintendent search here.