Pamela Cort Named to District 2 Seat
Cort will finish the term vacated by former board member Terrie Dallman
A retired Las Cruces Public Schools teacher was appointed Tuesday to serve as the District 2 representative on the LCPS Board of Education. Pamela Cort was one of five candidates who qualified for the selection process, held Tuesday morning at Las Cruces High School.
Charlene Bencomo, Carissa Brealey, Scott Ochs and Henry Young joined Cort in individual interviews conducted by the board. Candidates were given an opportunity to give an opening statement, followed by questions from each board member and a question submitted by students. At the end of the interview, candidates had an opportunity to give a closing statement. Questions ranged from thoughts and opinions on equity in education to what ideas candidates had for improving engagement and communication among students, parents and teachers.
The final selection process, voted on by the board just prior to the first interview, was to conduct a ranked-choice vote of the candidates. Board members assigned scores to each candidate from one to five, with one being the best score. The ranking was tallied, and the candidate with the lowest combined score could be nominated, which required a motion and second. Although Bencomo received first-place votes by two members, Cort received the overall lowest score, or first place in a ranked-choice.
Cort’s career as an educator spans a total of 31 years, 26 of which were spent with LCPS. She was the New Mexico Teacher of the Year in 2013 and spoke extensively on her experience as a high school French teacher, promoting cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom. Since her retirement in 2019, Cort has stayed involved with state teacher organizations to create professional development opportunities for educators. The next step, according to Cort, was to serve her community as a member of the LCPS Board of Education.
During her interview, Cort spoke about the need to create an open-door policy to make parents feel comfortable and welcome on school campuses.
“The welcome centers at our high schools are a great resource, but they aren’t widely advertised,” said Cort, who taught at Las Cruces High School.
Cort will finish the term vacated by Terrie Dallman, who resigned from the board last month. Board seats in Districts 1, 2 and 3 are up for election in November.
Cort will be formally sworn-in Wednesday, July 7 at 10 a.m. by Doña Ana County Clerk Amanda López Askin. The ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held inside the Loretto Towne Center.
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