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Los Alamos Middle School Principal Rex Kilburn has a new secret weapon for the Hawks, Assistant Principal Anna Vargas-Gutierrez.
Vargas-Gutierrez arrived at LAMS one month ago, jumping in with both feet by introducing herself and making the rounds at lunchtime to meet both staff and students.
The new AP said she always heard many positive things about the Los Alamos Public Schools and after working at the district administrative level for the past two years, she had a desire to return to working more directly with students.
“I have enjoyed meeting many the new faces here at LAMS and of course, interacting more directly with students,” Vargas-Gutierrez said. “I am learning all about the scheduling here and getting back into observing classroom instruction.”
Students call her Mrs. Gutierrez and she said she has found the new atmosphere to be welcoming, positive and even inspiring.
She was voted “Teacher to Make Learning Most Fun,” by students at Santa Fe High School in 1997.
“Middle school students are having fun here and they seem to be enjoying their school experiences. I have observed them participating in numerous school activities and working on interesting school projects,” she said.
Gutierrez is originally from Taos and still has family there.
She has youth experience raising three sons (Anthony, Lance and Tyler) with husband Lawrence.
Lawrence Gutierrez grew up in Los Alamos and is employed with the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Kilburn said he is happy to have a partner join him at the helm.
“I find her personality to be very calm and self-assured as she works into the role of assistant principal,” he said.
Kilburn took his current leadership role just prior to the start of the school year, after serving as assistant principal at LAMS, following his duties as a Piñon Panther.
He is solely responsible for most aspects of the operation of the school and is held accountable, but welcomes his new partner, who will fill some long-empty shoes.
“Her role is to help me handle everything that comes our way. She is on an equal status as far as I’m concerned with the duties and expectations of principal/assistant principal,” Kilburn said. “The staff can go to her as freely as they come to me to help solve problems.”
Gutierrez’s duty should come as second nature for her, with 18 years of experience in district, elementary and secondary areas, a bilingual educational background and training on quality transition plans, IEP development and compliance for special education students.
When she has free time, Gutierrez enjoys spending it with family, bowling, watching movies and traveling when possible.
She said she looks forward to meeting Hawk parents and community members and can be reached at email@example.com.