Dr. Lillian Torrez has worked in K-12 education throughout New Mexico for 42 years. She began her career as a special education teacher for nine years immediately after graduating from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Torrez worked as school counselor, assistant principal and principal in Albuquerque, where she was a recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. As principal, Dr. Torrez led her school to improvement by focusing on student data to improve instruction. She strategically and systemically led a school to increase student test scores from 8% (ITBS) to 52% (ITBS) to meet AYP. Her school received the National Title I Award by the US Department of Education. While there, Dr. Torrez was named Principal of the Year by KOAT TV and the Boy Scouts of America Inc. In March of 2012, she became the Superintendent of the Questa Independent School District in Questa, New Mexico. While there, Dr. Torrez was selected as Administrator of the Year by the New Mexico National Board Teacher Network. Dr. Torrez was selected top 20 in the US by AASA (American Association of School Administrators) to participate in the two-year National Superintendent Certification Institute of which she graduated in February 2015. She is in her eighth year as Superintendent of Taos Municipal Schools. This year, Dr. Torrez was honored with the AASA Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award in 2020. She is the Co-Chair of the New Mexico Alliance for College and Career Readiness. Dr. Torrez serves on the AASA Executive Board and was appointed to the Election Committee by President Deb Kerr. She serves on the Board of the REC II in Northern NM and the (CES) Cooperative Educational Services Executive Board. Dr. Torrez served as President of the (NMSSA) New Mexico School Superintendents’ Association in 2019 and on the (NMCEL) New Mexico Council of Educational Leaders Executive Board. She was elected to the National AASA Governing Board representing New Mexico in lobbying state and federal government policy issues and assisted with Governor Grisham’s education transition team. In addition, she assists on the NMPED (CTE) Career Technical Education Taskforce, UNM Curriculum Advisory Council and is a member of the Taos Milagro Rotary where she is a Paul Harris Fellow. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Special Education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, master’s degree in School Counseling at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico and holds an educational specialist (Ed. S.) degree and doctorate (Ph.D.) degree from the University of New Mexico with expertise in Educational Administration and Organizational Communication.
Our vision at Taos Municipal Schools, to “Inspire excellence and life-long success through teaching, learning and collaboration.” is more important than ever before. With the challenges of the pandemic, our ailing budgets and tragedy that has hit our community and country hard, we continue our commitment to lead the way towards providing our students with an excellent educational experience, no matter what challenges are handed down to us.
Our primary goal is the safety of our students their social-emotional health. We assure you that we will do everything possible and stay within the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines to keep every child and staff members safe. I would like to thank our forty-six member TMS Reopening Task Force who created the plans that include remote, blended and back to normal in order for our district to transition back and forth when needed, as directed by the NM Public Education Department.
One of the greatest strengths of Taos Municipal Schools is its diversity- the people, the programs, and most of all the opportunities for our students. The strengths and benefits which result from that diversity are reflected every day in the accomplishments of our students and staff. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students, so they are supported and comforted in the school environment. We truly do love every student in every school.
This preparation occurs day in and day out in classrooms from prekindergarten through high school, and every day is critical. In the peaks and valleys of our school year, teachers strive every day to provide students with as much support and love that they deserve.
Our next phase of this continuous challenge this year will be defined by the opportunities we create for our students and parents furthest from opportunity. I look forward to working diligently with our community and collaborating to create a safe, supportive and an equitable learning environment to promote social and emotional development for every student in our District. Thank you for your confidence in our teachers/staff to lead this incredible District, Taos Municipal Schools. I am grateful for such an inspiring community as we strive to get through this pandemic. Together we will comfort and support our children for them to begin to engage in learning!
We are committed to strengthening relationships with families through meaningful engagement opportunities both at your student’s school and at the district.