New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee Accepts Letter Of Resignation From Director Rachel Gudgel Following Controversy

LESC News:

SOCCORO – Today, voting members of the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) met in executive session to consider the letter of resignation submitted by the agency’s director, Rachel Gudgel.

The committee voted unanimously to accept Director Gudgel’s resignation, with an effective date of Feb. 18, 2022. Until that date, Gudgel will be using her accrued leave.

LESC Deputy Director Dr. Vanessa Hawker will serve as acting director through the end of the 2022 legislative session.

“We have resolved what has been an extremely difficult time for the LESC,” Committee Chair Sen. Bill Soules said. “We can now focus on our most pressing objective, which is to achieve the highest possible positive learning outcomes for every student in New Mexico. This is a goal every committee member is committed to, and I am confident that we remain united in working to achieve it.”

Editor’s note: Rachel Gudgel has served as director of the Legislative Education Study Committee since 2016. Lately, she has been the center of controversy surrounding disparaging remarks she made about Native Americans and Native American education. Gudgel sent a letter of apology July 28 to New Mexico pueblos and tribes. The controversy did not subside and today she resigned her position.

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