New LAMS Principal Jill Gonzales
Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) announced that Jill Gonzales has accepted the position of principal at Los Alamos Middle School.
She is replacing Principal Suzanne Lynne who has announced her retirement. Lynne spent 30 years as an educator. Twenty-five of those years were in New Mexico. During her tenure as a classroom teacher, she taught at Mountain, Chamisa and Aspen schools. For 14 of her 25 years, she worked as a Reading Coach in all five elementary schools. For the last six years, she has served as a principal.
Lynne was the principal of Chamisa Elementary School for three years and the principal of Los Alamos Middle School for the last three years. Her first position as an administrator was at La Tierra Montessori School for the Arts and Sciences, a state charter located on the Okay Owingeh Pueblo. Lynne has very fond memories of all of her positions.
“I will miss the people the most,” Lynne said. “LAPS is a phenomenal place to work. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving our community. The kids are amazing. I hope to volunteer in the schools after retirement. It would be too difficult not to be involved with our schools in some way.”
Lynne added, “I am thrilled that Jill Gonzales will take my place at LAMS. She is a wonderful person with excellent experience. I know the team of Jill Gonzales and Andy Ainsworth (assistant principal) will take LAMS to new heights.”
Gonzales said, “I am excited to work with the incredible staff at Los Alamos Middle School. I am looking forward to meeting the students and parents of our Hawk family. Go Hawks!”
LAPS Superintendent Jose Delfin said, “Mrs. Gonzales has a genuine love for students and has built caring relationships with all stakeholders at LAPS. She brings a well-rounded skill set and rich leadership experiences to continue the mission of educational excellence for students and staff at LAMS.”
In Los Alamos, Gonzales has served as principal of Pinon Elementary School in White Rock for seven years and the Topper Freshman Academy principal for four years. Most recently, she served on the LAPS Healthy Schools Team and has supported students in the areas of prevention and attendance.
“My educational philosophy is that, in order for students to be successful, they need to feel safe, connected and have a sense of belonging,” Gonzales said. “When these protective factors are in place, students can thrive socially, emotionally and academically. It takes all of us – teachers, caregivers and community partners – working together to provide the tools, resources and supports students need to learn and grow into healthy and productive adults.”
Gonzales is a California native who grew up one of four children in the San Francisco Bay Area, attending De Anza High School in Richmond and graduating from UCLA with a major in political science. After a brief stint in Washington, D.C., she pursued her desire to become a teacher – graduating from California State Dominguez Hills with a secondary teaching credential and master’s in educational administration.
Beginning her career in education in 1995, Gonzales has served in a variety of roles – as a high school social studies teacher, activities director, educational advisor, assistant principal and principal.
Gonzales moved to New Mexico in 2004 with her husband, Greg Gonzales (a Pojoaque native) and their two children Michaela and Luke.