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New Mexico’s public education secretary recently visited the Gadsden Independent School District to tout the successes of two elementary schools and the school system as a whole. New Mexico Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski stopped at Mesquite Elementary, one of two GISD schools that earned an “A” grade in the state’s A-F school grading system. The yearly school grades were released in late August.


The achievements of Mesquite Elementary and the second school, Desert View Elementary in Sunland Park, show that “demographics are not destiny,” Ruszkowski said during an afternoon school assembly. The schools have a high percentage of poverty and minority students, but those aren’t barriers to earning an “A.”

“That is a powerful thing,” he said.



Travis L. Dempsey, superintendent of the Cloudcroft school district for the past five years, was approved by the GISD Board of Trustees as the new superintendent of the Gadsden Independent School District recenlty.


Dempsey will now lead 28 schools, 1,902 teachers and support employees and 13,653 students in the predominantly Hispanic district. GISD was recently described by New Mexico Interim Secretary of Education Christopher Ruszkowski as a model district based in part on recent PARCC scores which were among the best in the state.

Note: there are few, if any, additional employers in the GISD that employ circa 2 K. The economic health of NM educational institutions is a huge component of local economies in all areas of the state, but especially in Dona Ana County. As funding for schools from NM Legislature goes down, good jobs disappear, and this has a ripple effect on other jobs in the communities the schools serve. It just continues to bear repeating, that education and healthcare are huge parts of the US economy, and changes in those areas will have concomitant effects on economies nationwide. Just the way it is. 

PSA hopes that the changes coming through mobile and other tech, AI and AR, etc, will not only make both those fields greatly more effective and economically efficient… but at the same time manage to support employment. That’s a difficult equation to solve, admittedly, but it somehow has to be done. One obvious change is that as cloud and networked tools empower individuals, we will all take on more personal responsibility to achieve both learning and health.

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