LAPS Selects New Barranca Elementary Principal And Los Alamos High School Assistant Principal

Renee Dunwoody, new assistant principal at Los Alamos High School. Courtesy photo

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools is pleased to announce that Gina Terrazas has been selected as the next principal of Barranca Mesa Elementary School and Renee Dunwoody has been selected as Assistant Principal at Los Alamos High School. 

Terrazas and Dunwoody begin their new positions Monday, July 20.

Terrazas has spent the last nine years as an administrator with the Mesa Vista School District in Ojo Caliente both at the elementary and high school levels. She began her career in education 17 years ago.

Gina Terrazas, new principal at Barranca Mesa Elementary School. Courtesy photo

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1998 from New Mexico Highlands University and went on to pursue a Masters in Educational Leadership also from Highlands University. 

Her professional license includes endorsements in Reading, Bilingual, and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) education. During her career, she has served in various capacities within the school system including teacher, science literacy coach, and administrator.

Terrazas excels as an educator because of her passion for learning, her focus on students, her dynamic personality, and her lifelong commitment to education. Former supervisors state that Terrazas has had a positive influence on students that can be seen and felt in the lives she has touched and inspired. She believes in the success of all students and engages in collaborative work with the entire school community. Her passion is to guide and mentor students to become successful and confident community members who value each day and each other.

Terrazas has three children; Samantha who will be graduating this semester from NMSU, Kaitlyn who will be a high school freshman this fall, and Miguel who will be in 5th grade. Terrazas is truly excited to join the Barranca Mesa Elementary School community and bring her passion and dedication to student achievement and continue the tradition of excellence at Barranca.

Dunwoody’s experience in education includes serving as an active parent, substitute teacher, instructional assistant, and special education teacher. She also oversaw the work-study program at Los Alamos High School. She received her B.A. in Education in 1993 from Purdue University where she studied special education for students with mild disabilities. Upon graduation she accepted a position at Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Indiana where she taught English, math, and the Special Education work-study program.

Dunwoody was born and raised in a suburb of Chicago and moved to Indiana as a teenager. She and her husband John moved to Los Alamos in 2001 where her family grew to include four sons. She chose to stay home with her boys while they were very young. During this time she was active in the schools and the community and volunteered her time in many areas including the Los Alamos Hockey Association and serving as the Altar Server coordinator for her church.

Dunwoody excels as an educational leader because of her strong interpersonal skills, passion for student learning and teacher professional development, knowledge about educational research, and her experience as a parent. When LAPS partnered with New Mexico Highlands University to offer advanced degrees to employees, she began the Educational Leadership program. She completed her internship last year at Los Alamos High School. She is very excited about getting started as Assistant Principal, is looking forward to this new growth opportunity, and becoming a member of the LAHS administrative team.

Join LAPS in welcoming Gina Terrazas and Renee Dunwoody.

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