High school gets new principal

By Ryn Gargulinski: Quay County Sun

When Susan Montoya graduated Clovis High School, she walked up to the principal, accepted her diploma and said she would never go back to school again.

Now some 30 years later, she’s back in education — as the new principal for Tucumcari High School.

Although classes don’t start for students until Monday, Montoya said she’s officially been working 50-hour weeks since Aug. 1.

“I like it,” Montoya said of her new position. “It’s different than being a teacher. I think I’ll like administration.”

With a decade worth of education experience, Montoya’s first job was far off the instructional mark; she was a waitress at Cannon Air Force Base.

She said she’s had many a job since then, but a cog clicked in her brain drawing her back to academia when she ended up as a religious education director in Germany where her military family was stationed in the early 1980s.

She came back to the States in 1991, where she immediately pursued a bachelor’s degree at Colorado Christian University and later a master’s in education at Eastern New Mexico University. With that under her belt, she became the first in her family to graduate high school and college.

Montoya then chose to earn a certification in administration, also at ENMU. Throughout her pursuit, she gathered experience teaching at Clovis Christian School and in Floyd.
She said she has high hopes in Tucumcari.

“I expect this year we will raise the standard of academic excellence for Tucumcari High School students,” Montoya said, adding it could only be done with a top-rate staff, like the one already found in her school.

“The staff is genuinely motivated to better the students,” she said. “They genuinely care about the students.”

As Montoya admires her staff, she’s already acquired at least one fan of her own — Tucumcari schools Superintendent William Reents.

“She’ll do very well,” Reents said. “She’s already started doing well. She is strong in her beliefs in quality education.”
Montoya’s beliefs are so strong, she carries them home to her husband, three children and two grandchildren.

“I’m the grandma who sends all the educational toys,” she said.