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Northern welcomes new regents

Española, NM—Northern New Mexico College swore-in two newly-appointed regents at Thursday’s board meeting and bid adieu to two other veteran members.

Regents Kevin Powers and Donald Martinez officially took their place on Northern’s board. Powers is an investment banker who has experience in financing public projects for local governments and public schools, and Martinez is a rancher from El Rito with experience in higher education.

State Secretary of Higher Education José Garcia was present for Thursday’s ceremony. “ I am confident that Northern will continue to evolve, persist and advance in higher education,” he said.

Board positions were voted on during the meeting, establishing Rosario “Chayo” Garcia as Board President, Alfred Herrera as Vice President, Kevin Powers as Treasurer and Donald Martinez as Secretary.

Also sworn-in were two newly-selected student representatives to the Board, Michael McGowan (Hardev Singh Khalsa) and Michelle Montes. McGowan is pursuing an integrated studies degree and is active in Northern’s Multifaith Club. Montes is studying education and plays on Northern’s women’s basketball team.

Although the student representative positions are only advisory, the option to amend the State constitution to allow for a voting student regent will be considered on the ballot this November. 

Student regents Lisa Salazar and Gregg Padilla served during the 2013 term and were honored along with retiring board members at Thursday’s ceremony.

Leaving the Board is Cecille-Martinez Wechsler, who served as a member since 2008 and was acting treasurer. Prior to her appointment, she served as a principal, teacher and diagnostician in the Santa Fe Public Schools.

Also stepping down is Board Vice President Filiberto Martinez, appointed in 2007, who worked previously as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.

“I’ve seen this institution come from where it was six years ago to where it is today: a strong, four-year college,” Martinez said.

Although they will no longer serve in an official capacity, both Wechsler and Martinez say they will remain an active part of the Northern community.