Antonio Jaurigue is a relatively new representative for Los Alamos School Board, District 2. Courtesy/LAPS
White Rock resident Antonio Jaurigue was elected last November to the Los Alamos School Board, representing District 2. This is his first term on the board. Let’s meet Mr. Jaurigue.
Jaurigue was born and raised in Glendale, Ariz. “I met my wife in high school and at the age of 18 I joined the Navy, married my wife and served for 9 years,” he said. “Having traveled the country, we ended up back in Arizona after finishing my service, but with two sons we didn’t have when we left. Shortly after, my daughter was born. It was not long before I had heard of an opening at the lab and was lucky enough to get a job. Since moving here, my entire family has been the happiest and most at ease since we left the comfort of high school life.”
His decision to run for the School Board was not an easy choice.
“It was born less out of any perceived failings from the district and more out of love of service,” he explained. “I had no ill will towards any of the board members while running but I saw myself as a voice with different priorities and strengths that could continue the trajectory that I saw while strengthening our weaker areas.”
Jaurigue has hit the ground running since being sworn in during the first board meeting in January of 2022, and being elected Board Secretary. The School Board has hired a new superintendent, participated in workshops and training, and is preparing to discuss the budget for the 2022-2023 school year. Jaurigue is serving on the Audit, Budget and Finance, and the White Rock Construction Design Committees. Along with Board member Christine Bernstein, he served on the New Mexico School Board Association Excellence in Student Achievement Award Selection Committee. He also was recently spotted volunteering with the Pi Day activities at Los Alamos Middle School.
As the representative for District 2, he lends a voice for families from both Chamisa and Pinon Elementary schools. However, he doesn’t see his role as representing just one or two schools.
“I like to think that every board member represents all the schools in our district,” he said. “We are one body made of 5 minds who all want to work together to improve all schools.”
He is excited over the prospect of a new school building at Chamisa. “Ideally, for Chamisa Elementary, my vision is that the school represents and reflects the needs and desires of the educators, meaning all school staff, of the school,” he explained. “I would like to see a design that utilizes a ‘pod-like’ structure similar to what is present. Educators have reported a greater degree of oversight, as well as deeper connections made between students across different grades.”
“I would like to see a school with state-of-the-art technologies, while also promoting a safe learning environment, with the ability to provide a robust and diverse education that will foster a lifelong love of learning,” he added.
Jaurigue sees the top three focuses of the School Board are usage of the lots that are currently unused, the construction of two elementary schools in White Rock, and ensuring the newly hired superintendent has all of the tools and resources he needs to promote further successes in our district.
“Usage of the land can come in the form of housing, multi-use centers, leased office space, etc.,” he said. “There is a strong push to not leave these assets stagnant and that is an important initiative in the near future.”
“Construction of the elementary schools in White Rock is an exciting one and at this stage the sky’s the limit, but what is actually possible when wants and needs are balanced with capabilities is yet to come,” he continued. “It is important to keep in communication with the communities as well as the educators to ensure the schools meet every need.”
Jaurigue said that the final point is more abstract, but “the superintendent is the only employee beholden to the board and it is a responsibility of the board to support the superintendent in their efforts to implement the district policies and grow our district towards their full potential.”
In his spare time, if he can find any, he enjoys working with his hands, whether it be renovation projects, painting or woodworking. “Although I’m not likely to go down in history books for how good my work is, I do it because it makes me feel good,” he said. “My favorite is to build furniture for the specific spaces and purposes my wife envisions — a table that fits our area better than the store bought ones, or an entertainment center to fit in an awkward corner are a couple of examples.”
The next School Board meeting is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24 in the School Board Room.