Los Alamos Public Servants Among 44 Awarded Professional Training Certificates Across New Mexico

From left, Los Alamos County Engineering Project Manager Bryan Aragon, NMAC Vice President Sharon Stover and Los Alamos County Councilor Rick Reiss. Courtesy photo

COUNTY News:

SANTA FE – A graduating class of 44 public servants received certification in their fields in January through an education program administered by New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Through the years,10 Los Alamos County employees or elected officials have graduated with certifications from this program including recent graduates, County Councilor Rick Reiss who earned his Certified County Commissioner designation and Engineering Project Manager Bryan Aragon who earned his Certified Public Supervisor designation.

Through its Certified Public Manager and County College programs, NM EDGE, which stands for Education Designed to Generate Excellence in the public sector, graduated its 12th class of public servants at a recent ceremony during the annual Legislative Conference of the New Mexico Association of Counties in Santa Fe. Since 2008, the program has awarded designations to 231 public officials.

To obtain a certification designation, the students must complete a required number of three-hour classes depending on the certification, and a portfolio demonstrating, through written and project work, their application of the competencies learned by participating in the classes.

Jon Boren, New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service director, and Steve Kopelman, NMAC’s executive director, presented each graduate with their certificate and a commemorative lapel pin as the graduates’ names were read by Mary DeLorenzo, NM EDGE program director.

Eight graduates received the designation of New Mexico Certified Public Purchasing Professional, NM EDGE’s newest public sector specialization program. To earn this designation, the graduate had to complete 25 three-hour classes on topics such as New Mexico purchasing and procurement, contract administration, and acquisition methods.

“The public purchasing certification curriculum was developed through the collaborative efforts of NM EDGE, many of our partners, and practicing experts,” DeLorenzo said. “It is recognized by New Mexico State Purchasing as a reciprocal certification to the Chief Procurement Officer. CPO certification is required by state statute to be completed by July 1. We are delighted to be part of the solution.”

Receiving the public purchasing profession designation were Monica Abeyta, Guadalupe County project manager; Rose Fernandez, Guadalupe County finance director; Joanne Hethcox, Luna County budget/procurement director; Rosa Porras, Luna County human resource/payroll; Alicia Aguilar, Rio Arriba County purchasing clerk; Sammie Vega, Socorro County procurement officer; Jeanna Elam, Taos County accountant II; and Elsa Vigil, Taos County purchasing officer.

NM EDGE graduated 11 individuals with customized designations, seven of which received the certified treasury official designations.

To earn the certified treasury official designation, public employees had to complete 26 three-hour classes, plus a portfolio project. Receiving the designation were Pearl G. Russell, McKinley County deputy treasurer; Justin Garcia, San Miguel County chief deputy treasurer; Anita Gonzales, San Miguel County tax processor III; Trish Greene, Sandoval County accounting supervisor; Rosemary Mora, Sandoval County accounting specialist; Adam J. Bailey, Santa Fe County accountant; and Terri Copsin, Sierra County treasurer.

Other certifications awarded were the public sector specialization designation of public assessment officer, county commissioner and advocate for public ethics.

Rick Reiss, Los Alamos County Councilor, earned the certified county commissioner designation, by completing 26 three-hour classes plus a portfolio project.

Maryln Chewning, Lincoln County appraiser; and Janie Hoffman, Quay County chief deputy assessor, earned the certified public assessment officer designation, by completing 26 three-hour classes plus a portfolio project. 

Kelly Bouska, former Valencia County public works director, earned the certified advocate for public ethics designation by completing 26 three-hour classes plus a portfolio project.

Two levels of the core designations in the New Mexico Certified Public Manager program were awarded during the ceremony.

Twenty-seven graduates earned designations in the nationally recognized New Mexico Certified Public Manager Program. The program has three core certification programs in which students build on their course work as they advance from certified public official to certified public supervisor to certified public manager.

During the ceremony, 16 graduates earned the New Mexico Certified Public Official designation, having completed 18 three-hour classes plus a portfolio project.

CPO designation recipients: 

• Joe West, Chavez County road maintenance foreman
• Dolores Vallejos, Cibola County treasurer
• Paul Ponce, Dona Ana County chief deputy assessor
• Jessica Etcheverry, Luna County community projects director
• Guadalupe Mercure, Rio Arriba County assistant director
• Christine Montano, Rio Arriba County director of finance
• Anita Gonzales, San Miguel County tax processor III
• Dolores Rubio, San Miguel County financial specialist I
• Anthony Rodriguez, Sandoval County reappraisal supervisor
• Lillian L. Armijo, Santa Fe County administrative assistant
• Amanda Hargis, Santa Fe County GIS coordinator
• Danielle Miera, Santa Fe County recording clerk
• Ardis Thomas, Santa Fe County continuous quality improvement coordinator
• Patrick J. Varela, Santa Fe County treasurer
• Anthony Mondragon, Taos County CIS technician II
• Kelly Bouska, former Valencia County public works director

Eleven graduates earned the second-tier designation of New Mexico Certified Public Supervisor by completing 30 three-hour classes and a six-hour culminating assessment in which the student demonstrates the application of competencies learned through participating in the certified public manager classes.

CPS designation recipients:
• Cheryl Navarette, Colfax County assistant county manager
• Bryan Aragon, Los Alamos County engineering project manager
• Priscilla Bustos, San Miguel County solid waste billing clerk
• Adam Leigland, Santa Fe County director of public works
• Adamina Pino, Santa Fe County accounts payable supervisor
• Theresa Romero, Santa Fe County treasurer’s department administrator
• Gabriella Trujillo, Santa Fe County administrative manager
• Lupe Martinez, Taos County deputy finance director
• Antonia Santistevan, Taos County administrative assistant at detention center
• Susan Trujillo, Taos County treasurer
• Julian Barraza, Valencia County IT technical support specialist

“We feel this program directly assists us in our mission to take practical education to every part of our state. We couldn’t be more pleased with the enthusiastic response to the program,” Boren said of the NM EDGE program. “We continue to find collaborative ways to reach out to new partners toward our mutual goal of better government through education.”

Recent graduates of NM EDGE’s County College and the New Mexico Certified Public Managers were recognized in January in Santa Fe during the New Mexico Association of Counties’ Legislative Conference. Courtesy photo

Front row from left, Elia Galindo, NM EDGE; Danielle Miera, Santa Fe County; Monica Abeyta, Guadalupe County; Sharon Stover, NMAC vice president; Mary DeLorenzo, NM EDGE program director; Steve Kopelman, NMAC executive director; Paula Garcia, NMAC president; Julian Barraza, Valencia County. Second row, Pearl Russell, McKinley County; Sammie Vega, Socorro County; Guadalupe Mercure, Rio Arriba County; Christine Montano, Rio Arriba County; Rose Fernandez, Guadalupe County; Terri Copsin, Sierra County; Adamina Pino, Santa Fe County; Antonia Santistevan, Taos County; and Susan Trujillo, Taos County. Third row, Ardis Thomas, Santa Fe County; Theresa Romero, Santa Fe County; Jeanna Elam, Taos County; Joanne Hethcox, Luna County; Dolores Rubio, San Miguel County; Maryln Chewning, Lincoln County; Elsa Vigil, Taos County; Anita Gonzales, San Miguel County; Joe West, Chaves County; and Bryan Aragon, Los Alamos County. Fourth row, Rick Reiss, Los Alamos County; Janie Hoffman, Quay County; Rosa Porras, Luna County; Priscilla Bustos, San Miguel County; Kelly Bouska, San Miguel County; Amanda Hargis, Santa Fe County; Adam Leigland, Santa Fe County; Gabriella Trujillo, Santa Fe County; and Marc Legarreta, NM EDGE. Back row, Patrick Varela, Santa Fe County; Lupe Martinez, Santa Fe County; Cheryl Navarette, Colfax County; Lillian Armijo, Santa Fe County; Adam Bailey, Santa Fe County; Justin Garcia, San Miguel County; Anthony Mondragon, Santa Fe County; Jessica Etcheverry, Luna County; and Anthony Rodriguez, Sandoval County.

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