Santa Fe Public Schools announced Amanda Chavez, principal of César Chávez Elementary School, has been named the district's new special education director.

Assistant Principal Fernando Morales will take over as the head of the elementary school.

Chavez has been an educator for 14 years, working in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. She has bachelor's degrees from the University of New Mexico in general and special education and a master's degree in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University.

She'll take the place of outgoing Special Education Director Julie Lucero, who is retiring.

Chavez has been principal at César Chávez since 2018 and previously served as assistant principal and special education contact teacher at Amy Biehl Community School's 21st Century Community Learning Center. 

Morales has worked at César Chávez for 14 years. He got his start as a second grade teacher and then taught technology to elementary students before becoming assistant principal. 

He has a bachelor's degree in political science from New Mexico Highlands University and a master's degree from the former College of Santa Fe, where he focused on at-risk youth. 

The leadership change is one of several happening throughout the district as new Superintendent Larry Chavez selects his Cabinet for the coming school year. 

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